There were some questions when Missouri hired Kim Anderson as its new head coach in April, considering he had been a Division-II coach for the last 12 seasons.
But Anderson is answering a lot of those questions with the way he has filled out his staff. He kept ace recruiter Tim Fuller as a holdover from the Frank Haith staff, and added high-profile high school coach Rob Fulford on Monday.
Fulford was the head coach at Huntington Prep, where he coached a number of high-level players -- including none other than Andrew Wiggins.
"I couldn't be more excited to welcome Rob to the Mizzou family," Anderson said in a release. "Rob is obviously an outstanding coach and he won at an incredible level at Huntington Prep. He is well-respected by his peers and will be a great asset to our program. One of Rob's biggest strengths is his ability to build relationships with his young men. He gets the most out of his players because of those strong relationships and that's exactly what we were looking for as we went about completing our staff."
Fulford was at Huntington (W.Va.) for five seasons, going 138-17 in that span.
He has done a terrific job attracting talent to West Virginia, producing dozens of Division-I players as well as first-round draft pick Gorgui Dieng. Fulford has key relationships with people across the country, and will combine with Fuller to form a very good recruiting tandem.
“I want to thank Coach Anderson, Mike Alden and University administration for this incredible opportunity,” Fulford said. “I wasn't looking to leave Huntington Prep but after speaking with Coach Anderson and seeing his vision for the program, this opportunity was too good to pass up and I'm excited to be a Missouri Tiger.”
This hire comes at a good time for the Tigers -- as elite 2016 prospect Thon Maker is expected to be on campus on Tuesday. Fulford (and Fuller) has a relationship with Maker and his circle, and having him in Columbia for Maker's unofficial can only help. The 2014-15 version of Huntington Prep also has several players that Missouri could potentially get involved with. Thomas Bryant is a five-star 2015 prospect, while Miles Bridges is a top-30 player in the class of 2016.
One name to watch will be Teki Gill-Caesar, a Canada native and a member of the 2015 class. However, there was always talk that Gill-Caesar would reclassify to 2014 -- and Fulford's hire at Missouri could reignite that discussion. Gill-Caesar's academics are fine, but it remains to be seen if he wants to move to 2014. Keep an eye on his situation.