Michigan State Basketball: Former Spartan Alan Anderson re-signed by Toronto

The Toronto Raptors re-signed free agent guard/forward Alan Anderson on Monday.

Anderson was signed to a 10-day contract on March 26 and then for the rest of the season on April 16. In 17 games with the Raptors this season, Anderson started 12, averaging 9.6 points and 27.1 minutes per game.

Since graduating from Michigan State University in 2005, Anderson has played in various teams throughout Europe as well as the NBAD League.

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Anderson was one of the best combo guards to ever play for Tom Izzo at Michigan State (read my combo guards list here).

Throughout his four-year career at Michigan State, Anderson, along with his fellow classmates Chris Hill and Kelvin Torbert were dubbed as underachievers (read Drew Sharp’s article of the Detroit Free Press here).

Left to right: Chris Hill, Alan Anderson, Tom Izzo

Part of the reason they were perceived as underachievers during their playing career was because they all arrived on campus just as the 2001 class was leaving, the same class that won four straight conference titles and appeared in three Final Four’s, including winning the 2000 National Championship.

If you can’t remember who left in 2001, it was Charlie Bell, David Thomas, Mike Chappell, and Andre Hutson. Not to mention, Jason Richardson and Zach Randolph both declared for the NBA Draft as a sophomore and freshman, respectively.

Anderson, Hill, and Torbert were forced to start as freshmen in 2001-02. Still, the Spartans finished that year 19-12, the following year 22-13 and an appearance in the Elite Eight, and then in 2003-04 with an 18-12 mark. As seniors, they came up short of a Big Ten title, finishing 13-3 in the league (a record that is good enough to win the conference almost all the time).

In the quarterfinals of the 2005 Big Ten Tournament, Anderson was at the line with under seven seconds remaining with the Spartans down 70-69. He missed both, and the class of 2005 underachieved yet again.

As the Spartans geared up for the NCAA Tournament as a 5-seed, Tom Izzo came into the film room with a sledge hammer. They watched all the tapes of everything that had gone wrong with that team, and then Izzo proceeded by smashing the tapes.

The Spartans were able to squeeze by the first couple rounds against Old Dominion and Vermont.

The following weekend in Austin, TX., is remembered as one of the most memorable weekends in Michigan State Basketball history. The Spartans beat No. 1 Duke in the Sweet Sixteen and then followed that up with a double-overtime victory over No. 2 Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Michigan State, once again, was back in the Final Four.

Anderson, Hill, and Torbert were able to leave with an 85-44 record, four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and were able hang a banner in the Breslin Center.

If that’s underachieving, then Michigan State has a pretty good basketball program.