Mueller, Anderson Relationship Is a Family Affair
When watching a St. Louis Community College men’s basketball game this past winter, Charley Mueller and Darryn Anderson probably wouldn’t be the first two players to catch your eye. Both players performed in a reserve role, providing capable minutes off the bench. Both players preferred steady production over flash and self-directed notoriety.
Despite their workmanlike performance on the court, the Archers’ super-sub duo had one of the more intriguing stories of this year’s basketball season.
Mueller to Anderson – Three Decades Later
Bob Mueller had seen the play before.
Charley Mueller, Bob’s son, and freshman forward for St. Louis Community College, received a pass in the high post, passed it off to Anderson in the low post, and watched as Anderson finished the bucket.
It was a play the elder Mueller had performed time and again. Only then, he was dishing the pass to Darryl Anderson, Darryn’s father. Bob Mueller and Darryl Anderson played together at Saint Louis University.
Fast forward 30 years, and Mueller and Anderson are seeing their sons in the same positions they manned at SLU. The two are in an eerily similar situation as their fathers, with Charley Mueller as the 6-7 forward with a long wingspan and inside scoring threat, and Darryn Anderson, the offensive-minded guard.
Anderson and Mueller were key cogs in the Archers’ bench all season, and saw their roles enhanced as the season progressed. Anderson registered a season-high 19 points in the regular-season finale against Wentworth Military Academy on March 3.
Anderson’s progress has been closely monitored by his father, who noted that adjusting to a “sixth man” role would have been difficult.
“He’s an extremely hard worker,” Darryl Anderson said of his son. “He probably understands his role a bit better than I did.”
For the year, Darryn Anderson averaged five points and three rebounds. He also grew into a “closer” role late in games, as he converted his free-throw attempts at a team-best 85 percent clip.
For Bob Mueller, comparing the playing styles of himself and Charley proves difficult, due to the inherent changes in the game through time.
“Being tall back then was probably a little more of an advantage than it is today,” said the elder Mueller, who stands 6-8. “Those guys aren’t maybe as much of a factor as they were back then. As far as shooting, I was a 15-foot free-throw (line) guy. Of course, there was no three-pointer. (Charley) just has much deeper range than I did.”
Charley Mueller attributes much of his shooting touch to a late growth spurt. Before he became a physically imposing post player, Mueller relied on his shooting for his offensive production.
“I was always a little guy and played on some pretty big teams as a kid,” Charley Mueller said. “I had to step out and shoot some threes if I wanted to play.”
However, while the younger Mueller may have a bit more of a scoring touch than his dad, Charley Mueller is quick to note one key area in which the mentor has outperformed the pupil.
“He worked a lot harder than I did, I can admit to that,” Charley Mueller said with a laugh. “I’ve seen some of his tapes.”
Following their playing days at SLU, Mueller and Anderson kept occasional contact through SLU basketball games and alumni events, and in crossing paths on the youth basketball circuit. Last summer, when Charley Mueller joined Darryn Anderson on the STLCC roster, they added one more reason to attend events together.
Similar to Bob Mueller, the elder Anderson is often reminded of his own playing days as he watches his son from the stands. However, with both players performing well and the Archers closing their season with 23 victories, the greatest source of pride remains in seeing the younger Mueller and Anderson cut out their own legacy at the collegiate level.
‘I’ve seen several plays that have taken me back, but it’s just good to see both of them playing well and getting the opportunity to play college basketball,” Anderson said.