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New coaches, stud recruits highlight Big 12 spring

With five new coaches and eight high-profile recruits entering the league, the Big 12 should be very interesting this season, Fran Fraschilla writes.

Originally Published: May 26, 2006
By Fran Fraschilla | Special to ESPN Insider
Identification name tags were not needed at this week's Big 12 coaches meetings in Colorado Springs, but there definitely were a lot of new faces. Five of the conference's 12 schools have made coaching changes -- the most in its 10-year history. Combine that with the arrival of some of the nation's best high school talent, as well as the departure of some of the league's best players to the NBA, and you have more storylines than a season's worth of "Lost" episodes.

The coaching changes have provided the biggest buzz, with each of the five having its own unique impact on the hoops landscape.

After a wild and wooly search, Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden hit a home run, hiring Mike Anderson away from UAB. The former Tulsa guard and long-time Arkansas assistant already has roots in this part of the country and his frenetic, pressing style -- which turned out a Sweet 16 team in 2004 -- will be the most unique in the league. When the cupboard fills up talent-wise, Missouri will create havoc for opponents in what has been, through the years, a grind-it-out league.

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