2021 WR out of Texas includes 2 SEC teams in top 10 – Saturday Down South

2021 WR out of Texas includes 2 SEC teams in top 10  Saturday Down South

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2021 WR out of Texas includes 2 SEC teams in top 10 – Saturday Down South

2021 WR out of Texas includes 2 SEC teams in top 10  Saturday Down South

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Report: Mizzou among 3 finalists for talented Bowling Green grad transfer – Saturday Down South

Report: Mizzou among 3 finalists for talented Bowling Green grad transfer  Saturday Down South

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Report: Mizzou among 3 finalists for talented Bowling Green grad transfer – Saturday Down South

Report: Mizzou among 3 finalists for talented Bowling Green grad transfer  Saturday Down South

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Study Hall: Mizzou losses were every bit as bad as you remember them

study hall 2020

It’s funny when nobody plays well how hard it gets to win.

My post-season project extends for the third week. Study Hall for the season but broken down by:

  1. Mizzou vs Everyone
  2. When Mizzou won
  3. When Mizzou lost
  4. Mizzou on a skid
  5. Mizzou recovers

The next few weeks are going to be a little painful. I don’t think it’s rocket science to say when teams lose they usually play worse. But trying to extract what goes wrong in those moments, versus what goes right in wins is how you get better.

Unlike with the wins, we’re not throwing any games out.

So we looked at:

  • at #45 Xavier
  • vs #25 Butler
  • vs #36 Oklahoma
  • vs #318 Charleston Southern
  • at #29 Kentucky
  • vs #68 Tennessee
  • at #48 Mississippi State
  • at #60 Alabama
  • vs #131 Texas A&M
  • at #10 West Virginia
  • at #69 South Carolina
  • at #131 Texas A&M
  • at #37 LSU
  • at #47 Arkansas
  • vs #48 Mississippi State
  • at #102 Ole Miss

Let’s jump in.

Team Stats

study hall 2020 losses
  • PPP in wins... 1.06, PPP is losses 0.90. On the Defensive side they were 0.88 in wins, and 1.08 in losses. That’s a net difference of 0.16 on offense, and 0.20 on defense. So a net change of 0.36 points per possessions (36 points over 100). Over 67 possessions that’s a 24 point swing from a win to a loss. I think you can expect a swing but that’s a dramatic swing.
  • Geesh the defense gave up 57% in true shooting percentage: 34% from three, and over 51% from two... for a team which prides itself on defense isn’t good. Early on in the season Missouri was dragging their opponents down, even in losses, but that changed quickly once Tilmon and Smith got hurt.
  • Mizzou’s offensive BCI was relatively unchanged: but things defensively weren’t good either. Turnovers went from 15 to 12 per contest, and assists went from 9 to 12. They also lost the expected rebound battle which was a net 2.7 rebound swing.

Again, you expect things to be worse in losses, but the degree to which they’re worse is the problem. Missouri had 16 losses on the season and in those losses they were collectively 24 points worse per game than in wins. Of the 16 losses, 10 of those were by double digits. Only six games were by less than 10 points and one of those was to a sub 300 KenPom team.

This teams swings from good to bad were far too extreme.

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Dru Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon Jr, Mark Smith

study hall 2020 losses

Dru Smith’s GameScore was roughly the same, but in spots 2 & three were guys that missed a fair amount of the losses. Tilmon missed 8 of the 16 losses, and Mark Smith missed 4 of the 16. So basically they’re contributing more in 8 and 12 games than the rest of the roster did with the whole 16.

Missouri’s best version of itself involved a secondary perimeter scorer and some kind of action from the wing. As you can see from the front court, they were able to sustain through the losses. Both Reed Nikko and Tilmon were productive, even Kobe Brown was productive.

Meanwhile Xavier Pinson had a 78 offensive rating, Javon Pickett was at 70, they were both bested by Torrence Watson’s 79 offensive rating. Just a whole lotta ugly numbers, which put Dru Smith in a real bind to try and find the rest of the production.

study hall 2020 losses

So for 16 games (more than half the season) Pinson was basically brutal. His Floor percentage dipped to 31%. Pickett’s was even worse at 27%.

But again look at the difference with the production between the front court and the back court. Scoring on the front court was really only negatively impacted by Mitchell Smith. Both Nikko and Tilmon were above 40% with expected usage. Parker Braun was productive too (and hey get em Axel).

Meanwhile everyone who launched a shot from beyond a few feet out just looks pretty bad. Dru Smiths numbers aren’t great, but they weren’t awful either.

We know the issues with this team, but they were exasperated in the losses like they were on steroids. When Missouri was playing well, they were able to generate some offense with their guards. Otherwise there was no offense.

The plan in the offseason is to flip about six of those losses into wins with more consistent offense. But I think they also need to shore up the defense too.

Next week we’ll dive deeper down the bad rabbit hole before clawing our way out. Maybe by the time we’re reading good things again Missouri will have a little more roster clarity to go with it.


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The Ultimate Mizzou Football Player Bracket – Rivals.com

The Ultimate Mizzou Football Player Bracket  Rivals.com

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PowerMizzou Fan Features: jeffreydennis – Rivals.com

PowerMizzou Fan Features: jeffreydennis  Rivals.com

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PowerMizzou Fan Features: jeffreydennis – Rivals.com

PowerMizzou Fan Features: jeffreydennis  Rivals.com

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The “Mizzou Movie” Box Set Draft

Josh Matejka

We created our own movie box sets using films with Mizzou connections because, hey, what else are we going to do?

Whether or not you’re working at home or in the office during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s one thing that we all share in common — we’re all spending way more time indoors that usual. The added couch potato time has likely fed a lot of our interest browsing habits and (if you’re like me) has provided added opportunity to watch movies, movies and more movies.

Believe it or not, the University of Missouri has a pretty decent connection with the Hollywood community. It helps that one of the biggest movie stars of the past 30 years is one credit away from graduating (just get it done, Brad!), but it’s not on his strength alone. Mizzou actually boasts two more Oscar-winning actors as alumni (George C. Scott, who won for Patton in 1971 and Chris Cooper, who won for Adaptation, 2003) as well as a host of familiar faces like Jon Hamm, Kate Capshaw, Brent Briscoe, Robert Loggia and many others. You may not know these names by heart, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen many of their films.

So we, in our perpetual fight against boredom, decided that we might as well pick which of these films could make up the best box set of movies with Mizzou connections. We’re pleased to present the fruits of that exercise: The “Mizzou Movie” Box Set Draft!

Here are the rules!

  1. Each pick must have at least one connection to Mizzou through an actor, director, writer, etc. The only exception we’ll make is producers — production credits do not count!
  2. You cannot pick the same actor more than once unless the movie you’re choosing also has another tie to Mizzou. No loading up on Brad Pitt movies!
  3. Once a movie is picked, it’s off the board — no doubling up!
  4. The draft will operate like most fantasy drafts — snake-style. So the last person to pick in Round One will be the first to pick in Round Two. This will continue for five rounds.

Let’s get to it! First on the board is Nate Edwards.

Round One

Nate Edwards: Snatch (Brad Pitt). I understand that this is the “Eric Fisher to the Chiefs” level of Round 1 Pick 1 thought, but just like the Chiefs, I’m not drafting for you, I’m drafting for me. I understand that if you think, “Brad Pitt in an ensemble heist movie,” and you think the Ocean’s trilogy but Brad isn’t all that great, or prominent, in those films. Which is more Brad Pitt to you: suave criminal who eats all the time or unintelligible drunk who is a knock-out king in the boxing ring? Give me Snatch every day of the week and let the pikey ramblings lead you to sweet criminal bliss.

Josh Matejka: I have to hand it to Nate for sticking to his guns, but I really, really, really did not see Snatch going first in this draft — I didn’t even have it on my list! But I’ll gladly accept Nate’s choice because it leaves me with what should be one of maybe two or three unquestionable first round picks — Ocean’s 11 (Brad Pitt). Steven Soderbergh’s casino heist is a perfect movie, blending the suave drama of Rat Pack heist films with slick Hollywood meta-comedy. It’s also one of Brad Pitt’s best performances, making this endlessly rewatchable film a perfect header for my box set.

Karen Steger: I may have muttered an obscenity or two when Josh took my Brad Pitt pick (I JUST rewatched that movie!), but it all turned out okay because it meant that Anchorman (David Koechner) was still available! Koechner plays an asinine misogynistic sports reporter, Champ Kind (all-time name), and what more can you say about the guy who says things like, “It is an anchor MAN, not anchor LADY, and that is a scientific fact” or to Ron after he’s been spending too much time with his lady, “I need you. I’m a mess without you. I miss being with you. I miss being NEAR you. I miss your laugh! I miss your scent. I miss your musk. We should get an apartment.” I mean... that’s just absurd and hilarious.

Anchorman has all the makings of a great rewatchable— insane characters, fantastic comedic ensemble, action, infinitely quotable lines, and it’s just plain weird... and clearly worthy of a first round pick. Enough said.

Ryan Herrera: Major League (Tom Berenger) — This has to be the most rewatchable of all sports movies. Watching Rick Vaughn come to the mound with “Wild Thing” blaring on the speakers really gets the juices flowing — probably my favorite part of any scene of any sports movie. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, and pretty much every one in this movie turned in some memorable performances, and holy cow was Bob Uecker just incredible as the Indians’ broadcaster. At over 30 years old, it’s one that definitely stands the test of time.

Round Two

Ryan Herrera: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Kate Capshaw) — While not quite as beloved as the original Indiana Jones film, Temple of Doom still marks a high point in one of the top movie franchises in history. Harrison Ford’s franchises are the ones you can watch consistently and keep coming back for more. And come on, who will ever forget Short Round’s best line: “Okeedokee Dr. Jones, hold onto your potatoes!” Though this was Capshaw’s only role in the Indiana Jones films, and she even called her character, “not much more than a dumb screaming blonde,” this is still an easy movie to plop down on the couch and watch when you’re in a binge-watching mood.

Karen Steger: For Round 2, I went with another comedy with a fantastic cast and is perhaps the best female comedy of the decade (prove me wrong)— Bridesmaids, starring Mr. Jon Hamm). Hamm doesn’t do much in the movie aside from play a semi-villainous philanderer, Ted, but for someone who — up to this point in his career — was really only playing dramatic roles, it was great to see him play a complete idiot. At one point, Kristen Wiig’s Annie says to Ted, “I would rather get murdered out here than spend the next half an hour with you,” which really just goes to show that the movie isn’t about him. It’s clearly about the rest of the cast who really shines in this one, with awesome comedic performers Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, and Rose Byrne (who’s comedy shtick always surprises me). Another endlessly rewatchable film for me, and no— I’m not picking all comedies.

Josh Matejka: No one has tapped Chris Cooper — possibly the best actor to come out of Mizzou — as of yet, and one of his biggest box office hits is still on the board — The Bourne Identity. The Bourne films capitalized on the Mission: Impossible wave by turning secret agent thrillers into grittier, more violent action flicks, and Chris Cooper was the perfect villain for the first entry. It also adds to the rewatchability of my set.

Nate Edwards: The Patriot (Chris Cooper). Is it good? No. Is it historically accurate? Absolutely not. Is it cringe-worthingly playing America as the good guy and creating mini Hitlers out of the British? You bet! But even the least ardent patriots of this country can’t help but chant “U-S-A! U-S-A!” as Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger create family bonding moments by axe-murdering an entire company of His Majesty’s Royal Grenadiers.

As for Mr. Cooper, he plays Col. Harry Burwell (a Nathanael Greene replacement), the overwhelmed American rebel commander of the southern theater. Cooper is always great as “guy who wants to do good but is incapable of doing so and at the end of his rope” and of course nails it here. He’s like a parent taking care of a toddler on his own who can only get the kid to be still by watching Frozen but...just...can’t...stand to watch that damn movie even one more time...

...not that I’m pulling from personal experience or anything...

Round Three

Nate Edwards: Scarface (Robert Loggia). Robert Loggia is great in Scarface. “Robert Loggia played a Cuban drug lord?” Yes, dear reader, the 1980s were a simpler time.

But really, I’m picking a Robert Loggia film only so I can shoehorn in the greatest commercial of all time. Behold:

Only one man in the world can turn a “sneak out of the house after a night of vigorous love-making before the rest of the family wakes up” escape into a seamlessly smooth lesson to young Billy about the values of consuming sugar water with orange with your daily breakfast. And look at the way the mom looks at our dear Bob...she remembers last night. Oh, she remembers. M-I-Z. Enjoy your breakfast. (Editor’s note: Did you pick a movie or are you just here to talk about a commercial, Nate?)

Josh Matejka: I’ve got another movie that I’d rather have, but I think it’ll fall to round four. So I’m going to take a risk and go with Inception (Tom Berenger). It’s probably the best film by Christopher Nolan, and the one that has culturally endured the most outside of The Dark Knight. It’s not as rewatchable as either of my first two choices, but it’s definitely the most cinematically polished. Best of all, it’s not pretentious — the dream within a dream within a dream stuff is mind-bending, but not so much that it’s a turnoff to more casual viewers.

Karen Steger: I’m appealing to the Rock M commentariat with this one, as I know y’all were just talking about this in the comments the other day. Next up, I pivot from comedy to the complete opposite with Training Day, a police crime thriller featuring Tom Berenger, Ethan Hawke, and a BAD DUDE played by Denzel Washington. Berenger’s part in this film is pretty small— he’s plays one of the higher ranking, seriously corrupt LAPD police officers they call the Three Wise Men— leaving the door open for the true stars of this movie. Washington, in his first role playing a bad guy, and Ethan Hawke both earned Academy Award noms (Denzel won) and definitely deserved it. As Washington’s Alonzo said, “King Kong ain’t got s— on me.” Mic drop.

Ryan Herrera: Fight Club (Brad Pitt) — Maybe not as rewatchable as my first two movies, but I’ll admit I was one of those people eager to watch it just because of the massive controversy around it. People either loved it or hated it. It seems like there’s really no in between. It really is more of a cult classic, not one that’ll go down as one of Pitt’s more glamorous roles but one that got the American public talking. Pitt was praised for his performance, rightfully so, and that twist on Tyler Durden’s identity is that cherry on top of this movie that should really get you thinking.

Round Four

Ryan Herrera: Snakes on a Plane (David Koechner) — I think by far the most underrated movie you’ll see on this list, so criminally underrated that I almost forgot about it myself! The plot seems so implausible but it’s a fun thrill ride nonetheless. It’s not a movie you should really be worried about critiquing — the name of the movie is Snakes on a Plane for crying out loud — but just to sit back and watch Samuel L. Jackson work his magic. Koechner plays a secondary character as the co-pilot, but that’s not a bad thing. He is at his best in supporting roles, be it in this movie or others like Anchorman, Talladega Knights, Semi-Pro or Get Smart. It’s just one big, fun movie that’ll have you ready for action the moment Jackson utters his most famous NSFW line...

Karen Steger: Round 4 and I’ve yet to select a Brad Pitt role... Perhaps an odd choice on my part, but stay with me. With my 4th pick, I select the tearjerker and inspirational true story, Undefeated, winner of the 2012 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, directed by Dan Lindsay. This film is about Manassas High School’s FOOTBALL (I’m using buzzwords to grab your football-starved attention) team in North Memphis, who, as of 2009, in its 110-year history, had never won a playoff game. The story centers around white head coach, Bill Courtney (Big Daddy Snowflake), who was brought in in 2004 to help the team, made up entirely of black athletes, reverse their fortunes, and the standout play and the lengths the coaching staff went to to help out OC Brown, a 315 pound 16-year old quiet kid who could bulldoze right through defenders, but had a heartbreaking home life. Sounds like another Blind Side, right? Kind-of, but even better. The human element to this documentary, and watching the team work through different life struggles individually is what makes it more than just a sports movie.

Dan Lindsay, as well as his co-director TJ Martin actually moved to Memphis to make the film, acting as both directors and editors, cutting some 500 hours of footage to 113 minutes. Living alongside their ‘characters’ in Memphis for so long led the film to have a familial quality to it. For the diverse film watcher, this documentary is a necessary part of my boxed set of awesomeness.

(side note: Dan Lindsay and I actually overlapped for several years at Mizzou, and I met him on a number of occasions — probably at Harpo’s — through a mutual friend).

Josh Matejka: My pick fell! I have to say thanks to you all for ignoring Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (George C. Scott) for this long. By adding this Kubrickian satire, I’m both diversifying my genres and eras and nabbing a film from one of the best directors of all time. Maybe I’m leaning too much into my love of film and not appealing to everyone, but if you leave a masterpiece on the table, I’m going to snatch it up.

Nate Edwards: Waiting (David Koechner). If you’ve never worked in food service you should absolutely see this movie. If you have worked in food service you’ve probably already seen this movie. No single piece of research or art has before, or since, come as close as Waiting did to display the trials and tribulations of your hourly food service worker. And just as Gary Cole nailed the middle manager of a cube farm, David Koechner consumes and amplifies the spirit of the restaurant manager: the community college degree, the power tripping, the inability to connect with his work force, the creepy usage of his power over the younger women, and the absolutely awful positive gimmicks paired with an inability to do the job of his employees. Everyone is excellent here, but Koechner is over-the-top elite.

Round Five

Nate Edwards: Baby Driver (Jon Hamm). As a movie Baby Driver, the best movie with the worst name, works so well as an ensemble piece. But of the entire cast no one nails their role more than Jon Hamm does. It helps that he was involved in writing the character, sure, but Hamm’s performance is one of my favorites in an all-time awesome movie.

Josh Matejka: Honestly, this pick will probably lose me the draft because I only know three people who have ever watched Mulholland Drive (Brent Briscoe) and enjoyed it. But I couldn’t help myself — I love David Lynch and his bizarre stylings. If Dr. Strangelove wasn’t enough to appeal to the cinephiles out there, this should definitely help me snag the rest. Thank you to Brent Briscoe for appearing in this movie just so I could talk about it on Rock M Nation dot com one day.

Karen Steger: For my final pick, I had to go with my guy, Brad Pitt in the marvelously twisty-turny Quentin Tarantino-directed film, Inglorious Basterds. In what might be the best of Tarantino’s films, Basterds is part everything: WW2 film, short story, fantasy, drama, comedy, all while adding in that token QT gratuitous violence. It’s divided into 5 chapters, almost like a fairy tale, each one as awesome as the next... the fact that it happens to gloriously end with a great bit of revisionist history surrounding Hitler’s death makes it all the better. No one is claiming this is historically accurate, folks.

Pitt plays the leader of the Nazi hunters, Lt. Aldo Raine, complete with an over-the-top southern accent, and he is a delight. Pitt’s supporting cast is phenomenal too, led by the amazingly talented Christoph Waltz, playing a seriously sociopathic villain, and has great performances by Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, and Zachary Quinto, among others. It’s a perfectly crazy and enjoyable film to round out my wide-reaching boxed set.

(Side note: I almost picked my favorite Brad Pitt movie ever here, but I was thinking no one would remember — or has seen — the 1996 movie Sleepers despite its all-start cast, and it is also super depressing)

Ryan Herrera: The Dark Knight Rises (Brent Briscoe) — As a fanatic of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises had to take this spot. The imaginative side of me loves the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I know that the truly great movies are the ones that feel like they could actually happen. Nolan’s trilogy is the most realistic of any superhero franchise out there, which makes these movies stand out among the rest. And The Dark Knight Rises was just the perfect way to end this era of Batman movies. Briscoe was a minor character here but even played that part well, being the veteran cop foil to Peter Foley’s smug attitude as Commissioner Gordon’s second-in-command. Just an incredible production from Nolan and Co. all around which came oh-so-close to matching the perfection that was The Dark Knight.


So here are the final box sets, y’all:

Nate Edwards: Snatch; The Patriot; Scarface; Waiting; Baby Driver

Josh Matejka: Ocean’s Eleven; The Bourne Identity; Inception; Dr. Strangelove or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb; Mulholland Drive

Karen Steger: Anchorman; Bridesmaids; Training Day; Undefeated; Inglorious Basterds

Ryan Herrera: Major League; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; Fight Club; Snakes on a Plane; The Dark Knight Rises

From here, we leave it up to you: Who built the best box set of Mizzou-connected movies?


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The Last Dance: George Mason lives out of their Final Four shadow in 2011 – NBCSports.com

The Last Dance: George Mason lives out of their Final Four shadow in 2011  NBCSports.com

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Sterling Lane is a top player in the 2022 class – 247Sports

Sterling Lane is a top player in the 2022 class  247Sports

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Sterling Lane is a top player in the 2022 class – 247Sports

Sterling Lane is a top player in the 2022 class  247Sports

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Former Missouri offensive lineman McGovern ready to step into role with Jets – FOXSports.com

Former Missouri offensive lineman McGovern ready to step into role with Jets  FOXSports.com

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Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Sports – Rheaheraldnews

Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Sports  Rheaheraldnews

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Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Missouri – The Albany Herald

Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Missouri  The Albany Herald

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Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Missouri – The Albany Herald

Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Missouri  The Albany Herald

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FanPulse March Madness: the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Men’s Championship - Elite Eight - Duke v Gonzaga Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You’re never going to believe who the voters picked...

We’re back after a chalky round one to see what happens in the round of 32 of our FanPulse NCAA Tournament.

Last week’s voting favored the higher seed by a lot, with only five total upsets. Three of those upsets happened in the West Region, and three were also 9 seed upsets of an 8 seed. So hardly an upset. Surely with a new round of picks there’d be a little more madness to our March, right?

Let’s see who we picked in the SWEET 16!!!

South Region

1. ** REDACTED ** (69% - nice) def. 4. Seton Hall (31%)

3. Maryland (60%) def. 2. Kentucky (30%)

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall fared about as well as the FBI and NCAA have in fighting ** REDACTED ** who continue their march (pun entirely intended) in the tournament. Maryland takes out Kentucky in the first upset of the tournament (not exactly — but close to it). To pit a big battle against the deep rooted evil of that team from the state just to the west of Missouri. Go Terps!

West Region

1. Gonzaga (73%) def. 4. Oregon (27%)

3. Duke (50.43%) def. 2. San Diego State (49.57%)

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Another upset! It really is March when you see an underdog like the (checks notes) Duke Blue Devils take out the favored powerhouse (checks more notes) San Diego State Aztecs. Huh.

The Aztecs get sent home with their first loss of the CBB season (this is funny if you listen to the Eye on College Basketball Podcast), and Duke moves on to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who easily dispatched of the Oregon Ducks.

Midwest Region

1. Baylor (63%) def. 4. Wisconsin (37%)

2. Florida State (52%) def. 3. Villanova (48%)

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

I actually really want to watch this FSU-Villanova game, but the people picked the Seminoles, giving Leonard Hamilton his second Elite 8 in three years. Meanwhile, Scott Drew led Baylor to a 38-35 win over the Wisconsin Badgers in a game which featured approximately 28 possessions.

East Region

1. Dayton (68%) def. 4. Louisville (32%)

3. Michigan State (65%) def. 2. Creighton (35%)

NCAA Basketball: Davidson at Dayton David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Obi Toppin dunks all over Louisville, and we get ANOTHER 3 seed taking down a 2 seed. Michigan State carries some late season momentum into the Elite Eight, taking down the hot shooting Creighton Blue Jays.

So what about the Elite Eight?!?!

1. ** REDACTED ** (61%) def. 3. Maryland (39%)

1. Gonzaga (67%) def. 3. Duke (33%)

2. Florida State (58%) def. 1. Baylor (42%)

3. Michigan State (51%) def. 1. Dayton (49%)

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

We have your final four as not even the hot shot Terps, the FBI, the NCAA, nor a global pandemic can prevent the corrupt sinister maniacal fake birds from mystically making a made up Final Four in the SB Nation Fan Pulse. It makes you really question if there is good in the world.

So we call become Zags/Seminoles/Spartans fans in a Final Four which features the preseason #1 overall team, the top ranked team in the AP poll at the end of the season, the 2nd ranked KenPom and AP team (and 31 game winner in the regular season), and the ACC regular season conference champion.

March Madness everyone!

REMEMBER: FanPulse submission applications are always open. If you want to vote in the poll you can still sign up: Click HERE to sign up!


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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Howard football coach Larry Scott on leading his team from home – NBCSports.com

Howard football coach Larry Scott on leading his team from home  NBCSports.com

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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander – Columbia Missourian

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander  Columbia Missourian

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The Last Dance: 2012 Norfolk State beats Missouri in 15 vs. 2 upset – NBCSports.com

The Last Dance: 2012 Norfolk State beats Missouri in 15 vs. 2 upset  NBCSports.com

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The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round IV

Nate, is that.... YOU? | Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Offense, defense, offense....defense holds the pattern in Round IV

Just jumping in? Here are the previous rounds of the Missouri Tigers Football Draft

Round I

Round II

Round III

Welcome, Tiger fans, to #PeakOffseasonContent. Despite a lack of championships, the Missouri Football Tigers have had some excellent players throughout the years, both at the college and professional levels. There have been excellent ambassadors, on and off the field, as well as some that changed the program or revolutionized a position. So what better time than now to draft a hypothetical team of these exquisite athletes?

BK and I will build a team of 22 starters (sorry, specialists!) to craft a team to play against the other. For simplicity’s sake, we’re limiting our selections to guys who played on the 2000 team going forward, including the current roster in 2020. Each Round will alternate who goes first and we’ll provide our reasonings/explanations/defense afterwards.

At the end, you all will be able to vote for who you think has the best team! And of course, we’d love to hear your picks for each round as well and why we are dumdums who don’t know what we’re talking about.

Round IV...Team Nate is on the clock...

Round IV, Pick 7: Nate selects FS William Moore

Ever been to Hayti, MO? If you said yes, I don’t believe you. But Hayti’s (possibly) greatest son doubles as one of Missouri’s greatest safeties. Are you a fan of four-year starters? Moore cracked the starting lineup way back in his freshman year of ‘05. Do you like ball hawkers? Willy Mo grabbed 11 interceptions in his career, setting the school’s single season interceptions record with 8 in that magical ‘07 run. Do you like a physical safety that can play the line? Moore logged 280 tackles, 17 of those for loss and 3 of which were sacks. Do you like Freestyle Fridays? Willy Mo has you covered (ha! football pun).

The safety position is really only noticed when they give up a huge play. William Moore made everyone pay attention and, for that alone, is a legend. And now he’s suiting up in my secondary. Good, good...

Round IV, Pick 8: BK selects DE Aldon Smith

FBC-SDSU-MISSOURI Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

D-Line U began with Justin Smith. But it was made famous by Aldon Smith. The former Raytown standout immediately made his presence felt during his redshirt freshman season with 60 tackles and 11 sacks. He finished that season in 2009 as a first-team freshman All-American, won the Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year award, and was named second-team All-Big 12.

He may not have posted the same numbers as Shane Ray or Michael Sam, but he also didn’t have the same guys along the defensive line as Ray or Sam did. Smith’s dominance shouldn’t go overlooked. For me, he’s the top defensive end on the board.

When you think about the modern defensive end, you should think about Aldon Smith. He’s long, he’s strong and he’s athletic as hell.

Unfortunately, the Aldon Smith story can’t be told without also including the off-field issues. He recently signed with the Cowboys and reportedly has his life back on track. I sincerely hope that’s true. Aldon Smith is one of the most dominant defensive players I’ve seen at Mizzou in my time watching the Tigers. And now he joins Sean Weatherspoon as the cornerstones on my defense.

My picks:

Round 1: QB Chase Daniel

Round 2: LB Sean Weatherspoon

Round 3: WR Jeremy Maclin

Round 4: DE Aldon Smith


category: Uncategorized

The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round IV – Rock M Nation

The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round IV  Rock M Nation

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Farewell, Gentle Giant

Mizzou News for Friday, April 3

Farewell, Gentle Giant.

I promise I’ll end this post up top with something good, but I’ve got a few things hoops-related that filled me with melancholy.

Damn. I really just hate to see him go. Bye, Big Reed. Please click on it to get the full note.

From the Thursday chat at STL Today, Dave Matter elaborated on Pinson’s situation a bit. I want nothing for the best for X, and if that means turning pro, then go sir— get that money. But man, I’d miss him so much.

 STLToday.com

Some nice words from Mitch. Side note- listen to the Dive Cuts pod to hear Sam & Matt talk more about him!

And an excellent way to send you off on a Friday. BLOOPERS!

Onto the links we go. Oh, and Happy Friday.

I mean... it’s a tiger so it works, right?

Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

  • Mizzou picked up a preferred walk on in the the form of wide receiver, Jaden Nash. Welcome aboard!

Assorted Mizzou Sports News

Mizzou in the Pros News

  • This from the Denver Post’s Mike Singer, regarding MPJ’s ankle injury. Mike is back home in Columbia working out in the family basement gym and on a private court.

Interesting/Non-Mizzou News

These are a few of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and the world— Enjoy!

  • Gary Pinkel and his GPMade Foundation teleconferenced with the seniors chosen for their first annual scholarship awards. Love to see this!
  • Great academics. Not great at helping out their athletes. That really sucks for them.

category: Uncategorized

The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft

Nate and BK each draft a team of historical football Tigers and you, YES YOU, get front row seats to the picks and the logic.


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou Memories: 2007 Border War – Rivals.com

Mizzou Memories: 2007 Border War  Rivals.com

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Web Extra: Mizzou AD Jim Sterk answers questions about NCAA eligibility changes – ABC17News.com

Web Extra: Mizzou AD Jim Sterk answers questions about NCAA eligibility changes  ABC17News.com

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LSU lands commitment from graduate transfer, FCS All-American Jabril Cox – Saturday Down South

LSU lands commitment from graduate transfer, FCS All-American Jabril Cox  Saturday Down South

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Mizzou football’s breaking in a new coach and scheme. COVID-19 makes that a challenge – Kansas City Star

Mizzou football’s breaking in a new coach and scheme. COVID-19 makes that a challenge  Kansas City Star

category: Uncategorized

Mizzou football’s breaking in a new coach and scheme. COVID-19 makes that a challenge – Kansas City Star

Mizzou football’s breaking in a new coach and scheme. COVID-19 makes that a challenge  Kansas City Star

category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander – STLtoday.com

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander  STLtoday.com

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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander – STLtoday.com

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander  STLtoday.com

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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander | Sports – KPVI News 6

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 19, Danario Alexander | Sports  KPVI News 6

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PODCAST: Testing the NBA Waters, Transfers, and a Global Pandemic

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Dive Cuts returns to talk Mizzou Hoops and what you might have missed.

Welcome back to another episode of THE Dive Cuts here on Rock M Nation Podcasts. Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time we find ourselves in. Sam and his trusty sidekick Matt return to talk some Mizzou Hoops!

There have been a few happenings as of late. Most notably would be Mitchell Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, and Xavier Pinson submitting their names to the NBA Draft to be evaluated, They touch on that and what it could mean moving forward as well as recruiting AND the Transfer Portal. Mizzou needs to add some talent and the portal is full of players this offseason. Who should Mizzou target and what are their chances? That and much more. Let’s dive in.

Episode Breakdown:

:15 - 5:00: Welcome back to the newest edition of Dive Cuts! Before we jump in, let’s discuss how the staying at home is going for everyone. No one knows what day it is anymore (same guys, same).

5:01 - 24:45: Mizzou Basketball does have some news in this slow time. Three players have decided to submit their names to the NBA to be evaluated. Discuss. Which one(s) are the most surprising names? Can we expect to see all three back at Mizzou next year?

24:46 - 37:40: Justin Turner out of Bowling Green appears to be the main target as far as transfers go for Mizzou. Matt wrote about him, but how would he fit in at Mizzou? While Justin Turner is at the forefront, there are a whole lot of transfers out there.

37:41 - 50:43: The Global Pandemic that is COVID-19 has a lot of things thrown up in the air and a lot of uncertainty. How will this impact Mizzou and other programs moving forward?

50:44 - END: FINAL THOUGHTS and in two weeks, CJ Moore will be on the podcast, so look forward to that! Also, stay safe everyone.

To subscribe to Rock M Radio on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, click HERE!

If you prefer to stream your podcasts, click HERE or check it out below.

Rock M Nation is also on Spotify as well! Click HERE if you like your podcasts on Spotify!

Android User? Find us HERE!

You can follow the members of Today’s show on Twitter @SamTSnelling & @MattJHarris85.

Have a question for one of our podcasts? Leave a 5 star review with your question and that show just might answer it in an upcoming episode!

Do you like Rock M Radio? Drop us a Review and be sure to subscribe to Rock M Radio on your preferred podcasting platform. And be sure to follow @RockMNation on Twitter.


category: Uncategorized

PODCAST: Testing the NBA Waters, Transfers, and a Global Pandemic

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Dive Cuts returns to talk Mizzou Hoops and what you might have missed.

Welcome back to another episode of THE Dive Cuts here on Rock M Nation Podcasts. Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time we find ourselves in. Sam and his trusty sidekick Matt return to talk some Mizzou Hoops!

There have been a few happenings as of late. Most notably would be Mitchell Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, and Xavier Pinson submitting their names to the NBA Draft to be evaluated, They touch on that and what it could mean moving forward as well as recruiting AND the Transfer Portal. Mizzou needs to add some talent and the portal is full of players this offseason. Who should Mizzou target and what are their chances? That and much more. Let’s dive in.

Episode Breakdown:

:15 - 5:00: Welcome back to the newest edition of Dive Cuts! Before we jump in, let’s discuss how the staying at home is going for everyone. No one knows what day it is anymore (same guys, same).

5:01 - 24:45: Mizzou Basketball does have some news in this slow time. Three players have decided to submit their names to the NBA to be evaluated. Discuss. Which one(s) are the most surprising names? Can we expect to see all three back at Mizzou next year?

24:46 - 37:40: Justin Turner out of Bowling Green appears to be the main target as far as transfers go for Mizzou. Matt wrote about him, but how would he fit in at Mizzou? While Justin Turner is at the forefront, there are a whole lot of transfers out there.

37:41 - 50:43: The Global Pandemic that is COVID-19 has a lot of things thrown up in the air and a lot of uncertainty. How will this impact Mizzou and other programs moving forward?

50:44 - END: FINAL THOUGHTS and in two weeks, CJ Moore will be on the podcast, so look forward to that! Also, stay safe everyone.

To subscribe to Rock M Radio on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, click HERE!

If you prefer to stream your podcasts, click HERE or check it out below.

Rock M Nation is also on Spotify as well! Click HERE if you like your podcasts on Spotify!

Android User? Find us HERE!

You can follow the members of Today’s show on Twitter @SamTSnelling & @MattJHarris85.

Have a question for one of our podcasts? Leave a 5 star review with your question and that show just might answer it in an upcoming episode!

Do you like Rock M Radio? Drop us a Review and be sure to subscribe to Rock M Radio on your preferred podcasting platform. And be sure to follow @RockMNation on Twitter.


category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Brett Law’s Historic Day Propels Indiana Over Missouri on September 26th, 1992 – Hoosier Huddle

Brett Law's Historic Day Propels Indiana Over Missouri on September 26th, 1992  Hoosier Huddle

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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Mizzou’s Drinkwitz: It’s wasted energy and effort to predict if there’s football in 2020 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mizzou's Drinkwitz: It's wasted energy and effort to predict if there's football in 2020  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Tennessee comes in at No. 19 in ESPN’s latest college football FBI rankings – Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee comes in at No. 19 in ESPN’s latest college football FBI rankings  Rocky Top Talk

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Mizzou Hoops Player Review: Mark Smith

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri’s sharp-shooting guard battled injuries again in his junior year. How did his season play out when he was on the court?

As we do every year, we’re wrapping up the Mizzou basketball season with Q&As on every one of Missouri’s major contributors. To catch up on our first few posts in this series, see the link below:

Today, we’re diving into the story of Mark Smith, Missouri’s sharp-shooting combo guard who continued to battle injuries in his junior season.

After another injury-riddled campaign and some streaky stretches, Mark Smith seems to have earned a reputation (with some) as a valuable but not quite integral part of Cuonzo Martin’s team. Is this fair to Smith, or are these people missing something?

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Snelling, Site Manager: I think Mark Smith has been difficult to peg down. I don’t think you can question his value on the defensive end at this point. We’ve looked at his steadiness and Cuonzo Martin’s trust in him and it’s been proven. But Smith has never completely set himself out offensively aside from being a spot up shooter, and even that took a dip this past season. Mark is capable, but they need him to be more consistent shooting the ball, and better finishing at the rim. He’s a lot like Tilmon is that he’s good enough to help Missouri take another step forward, but he just has to be healthy and consistent.

Matt Harris, Lead Basketball Writer: Defensively, he’s proved his worth. But I get why some might question Smith’s value. Last season, he only shot 29.4 percent from behind the arc against Tier A and B teams in KenPom, and given how reliant his game is drilling spot-ups, it means he made little dent in games that matter. How much of that was due to the 3-point arc moving back? Can you chalk some of it up to rust? Some, but not all. Combine that inconsistency with his injury history, and you’re left talking about what Smith could be for this roster.

Josh Matejka, Deputy Manager: Obviously labeling someone as, “integral,” is up to subjective mind — but there’s also no ignoring that Mark Smith makes Missouri a better team, especially when he’s playing well (duh.) As one of the team’s better athletes, Smith is often assigned some of the tougher defensive assignments, and the tandem of he and Dru Smith in the backcourt gives Missouri a fierce defensive pair.

What most people will focus on with Smith, though, is his offense. Yes, he’s streaky and tends to not perform as well against better competition. But perhaps he’s not meant to be the go-to guy every night? In his first season as a Tiger, Smith often shared the scoring load with Jordan Geist. In 2019-2020, he didn’t have that luxury, and was often the focal point of the defense. So while his offense suffered this season, it’s still unfair to deny his importance to the team.

Ryan Herrera, Lead Basketball Beat Writer: Mark is actually a very capable defender, which I don’t know he’s ever given enough credit for. Prior to his injury, he was guarding most opponents’ top perimeter players. He’s proven his worth defensively. However, his offensive game is where he’s taken the brunt of the criticism anyway. He wasn’t as efficient this season as the year prior and he hasn’t shown if he can be a real threat to drive the ball. Without his 3-pointer falling like Missouri would like, he moved more into the background offensively. Still, a consistent Smith undoubtedly makes this team better, so I don’t think it’s fair to say he isn’t an integral part of this team.

Many of Smith’s numbers improved across the board, but the junior saw a steep drop in his shooting efficiency. Is it reasonable to expect Smith to shoot ~40 percent from deep again?

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Snelling: I’m not sure they need him to be at or above 40%. For Smith it was more about consistency. He hit one or zero 3s in 10 of the 24 games he played in, as a sophomore there were just three of those games out of 19. For a team so desperately in need of three-point shooting (the Tigers lost five of those 10 games) having your best shooter be a non-issue just isn’t sustainable. Not having a consistent deep threat forces the offense into a lot of offensive lulls. So your best shooter has to come through, and last year Smith just didn’t come through. But if he’s healthy next year, I’d take the odds on him returning to form.

Matt Harris: Going into last season, I didn’t think Smith’s 3-point shooting would clear that bar. And on balance, shooting 37.1 percent is still a solid clip. But there were a lot of empty calories. His best outings came against Northern Kentucky, Wofford and Southern Illinois. And while he went 4 of 8 against Oklahoma, several of those came well after the Sooners had the game in hand. Outside of those four games, he was only a 30 percent shooter. Missouri’s offense doesn’t need Smith to carry the load, but its success hinges on him consistently hitting spot-ups to ward off defenses shrinking the floor. Assuming he’s healthy, I think he might smooth out the distribution of makes next season.

Josh Matejka: Like I said above, I think it depends on how he’s being used in the offense. Is he the primary scoring threat, or is there someone else who draws the attention of the defense? Smith performs well as a spot-up shooter, but he needs more people to distract the opposing teams and give him opportunities to get open. I’d love to see what he can do with a Justin Turner type player on the team. If Missouri can find a primary scorer on the grad transfer market, I think there’s a good chance Smith’s efficiency numbers will rebound.

Ryan Herrera: If he can’t hit the 40% mark, high 30s would still be more than sufficient IF he makes them on a consistent basis from game to game. He has to be a guy Missouri can count on to make at least 2-3 triples per game and to keep that consistency when conference play comes around. In the first six SEC games he played, he made at least two in all of them. In the last five, he only did that once. He doesn’t have to be the primary scorer when guys like Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson can go and get their own buckets, but he’s got to be the reliable shooter he showed he could be two seasons ago.

Other than staying healthy, how does Smith better himself for his final year in black-and-gold?

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Snelling: We kinda touched on it above, but I’d just love for him to find the consistent shooting he had in his sophomore year. The Tigers as a team were really inconsistent and Smith was a key part of that. He’s sound defensively, takes care of the ball well and rebounds. He just needs to shoot the ball with a little more consistency and confidence and I think we’ll see why Smith was and is so valuable to this program.

Matt Harris: Stay healthy, find consistency shooting and remain a lock-down defender. He could improve as a finisher around the rim, but Smith’s game as a driver typically relies on brawn. Go back and watch film of him at Edwardsville, and he just overwhelmed defenders with his size and strength when attacking the paint. That approach doesn’t always translate so smoothly at the collegiate level. That said, there were some situations last season could catch, rip and go. Adding a little diversity to his shot selection would help on nights where his jumper isn’t hitting early.

Josh Matejka: Smith saw a slight dip in his defensive rebounding rate and a bigger one in assist rate this season, so he could obviously bring those back up. More than anything, though, I’d like to see Smith get more comfortable attacking the rim. He’s big enough to draw fouls, and he’s a good enough shooter to be knocking down 75 to 80 percent of his free throws. For whatever reason, Smith has never been much of a driving threat, but that seems counter to his size and athleticism. If he can diversify his offensive game in his senior season, I think there’s a chance he could get some All-SEC love.

Ryan Herrera: I think Smith’s game could really improve if he becomes more of a threat around the rim. I said above that he hasn’t proven to be a driving threat, and his first step might not be quick enough to blow by most defenders, but he’s got the strength to drive through many of them. If he can find a way to get to the rim more often and either draw fouls (he’s a fairly reliable free throw shooter) or finish consistently in traffic, that be a huge improvement for his game.


category: Uncategorized

MPJ to play in NBA 2K20 Tournament and Drinkwitz on Finebaum

Mizzou Links for Thursday, April 2

Missing basketball? Missing sports in general?

Yeah, same here. The college basketball season would be winding down right now as the Final Four in Atlanta would have been played on Saturday. Meanwhile, the NBA Playoffs would have been just right around the corner.

Fortunately, ESPN has decided to air Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” documentary starting on April 19th.

And starting on Friday night, ESPN will be airing the “NBA 2K Players Tournament” with 16 NBA players going head-to-head against each other online in NBA 2K20. According to the Denver Post, Michael Porter Jr. is one of the 16 participants.

With an 81 rating on NBA 2K20, Michael Porter Jr. is the No. 12 seed and will face Melvin Booker’s son, Devin Booker as the No. 5 seed. There’s your Mizzou connection!

Go get em, MPJ!

In other news, Eli Drinkwitz made a guest appearance on SEC Network’s “The Paul Finebaum Show”.

The big topic of discussion was his comments made about Kirk Herbstreit and the uncertainty of the college football season.

Perhaps he didn’t exactly need to, but he later apologized on “The Paul Finebaum Show.”

Here’s more from the interview:

Onto the links!


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

(PowerMizzou)

(STLToday)

(The Athletic -- $$)

(KC Star)

(Columbia Daily Tribune)

(Miscellaneous/Tweets)

  • Aldon Smith has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. Congrats, Aldon!
  • Mizzou has made the Top Five cut for Arkansas graduate transfer Jalen Harris
  • Here’s a throwback highlight of Maty Mauk against Minnesota in the 2015 Citrus Bowl!
  • Take a look back on Mizzou Baseball’s combined no-hitter from March 2nd, 2018!
  • Congrats to Amber Smith on what was a great career at Mizzou!
  • The NCAA has announced that the recruiting dead period has been extended until May 31st
  • Here’s more from Eli Drinkwitz on the Zoom conference (Mizzoom!)
  • The coaching staff continues their CROOTIN’ of Lutheran North’s Travion Ford
  • 2022 Southlake Carroll quarterback Quinn Ewers (same high school as Chase Daniel) has received an offer from Mizzou.

  • If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)

category: Uncategorized

MPJ in NBA 2K20 Tournament and Drinkwitz on Finebaum – Rock M Nation

MPJ in NBA 2K20 Tournament and Drinkwitz on Finebaum  Rock M Nation

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Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Mizzou – STLtoday.com

Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | Mizzou  STLtoday.com

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Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | College Sports | stltoday.com – STLtoday.com

Quick Hits: Matter on Mizzou sports | College Sports | stltoday.com  STLtoday.com

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Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly claps back at Kirk Herbstreit’s opinion – One Foot Down

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly claps back at Kirk Herbstreit’s opinion  One Foot Down

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Former Mizzou, Raytown High star Aldon Smith expected to sign with Dallas Cowboys – Kansas City Star

Former Mizzou, Raytown High star Aldon Smith expected to sign with Dallas Cowboys  Kansas City Star

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Former Mizzou, Raytown High star Aldon Smith expected to sign with Dallas Cowboys – Kansas City Star

Former Mizzou, Raytown High star Aldon Smith expected to sign with Dallas Cowboys  Kansas City Star

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Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock – STLtoday.com

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 20, Drew Lock  STLtoday.com

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Amid pandemic, Drinkwitz focused on Mizzou football, not talk of delay or cancellation – Kansas City Star

Amid pandemic, Drinkwitz focused on Mizzou football, not talk of delay or cancellation  Kansas City Star

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Web Extra: Coach Drinkwitz discusses COVID-19’s impact on the Tigers – ABC17News.com

Web Extra: Coach Drinkwitz discusses COVID-19's impact on the Tigers  ABC17News.com

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Mizzou’s Drinkwitz: It’s wasted energy and effort to predict if there’s football in 2020 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  1. Mizzou's Drinkwitz: It's wasted energy and effort to predict if there's football in 2020  St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  2. Amid pandemic, Drinkwitz focused on Mizzou football, not talk of delay or cancellation  Kansas City Star
  3. Missouri takeaways: Here's what Eliah Drinkwitz's days look like now  The Athletic
  4. Notre Dame's Brian Kelly claps back at Kirk Herbstreit's opinion about "no football" in 2020  One Foot Down
  5. Drinkwitz, Mizzou make best of 'not ideal' situation  Rivals.com
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

category: Uncategorized

Mizzou’s Drinkwitz: It’s wasted energy and effort to predict if there’s football in 2020 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mizzou's Drinkwitz: It's wasted energy and effort to predict if there's football in 2020  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

category: Uncategorized

Why Are LSU’s Colors Purple and Gold? – Fanbuzz

Why Are LSU’s Colors Purple and Gold?  Fanbuzz

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Borgia Graduate Olivo Coping in Italian Capital | Sports – The Missourian

Borgia Graduate Olivo Coping in Italian Capital | Sports  The Missourian

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The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round III – Rock M Nation

The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round III  Rock M Nation

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The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round III

Just jumping in? Here are the previous rounds of the Missouri Tigers Football Draft

Round I

Round II

Welcome, Tiger fans, to #PeakOffseasonContent. Despite a lack of championships, the Missouri Football Tigers have had some excellent players throughout the years, both at the college and professional levels. There have been excellent ambassadors, on and off the field, as well as some that changed the program or revolutionized a position. So what better time than now to draft a hypothetical team of these exquisite athletes?

BK and I will build a team of 22 starters (sorry, specialists!) to craft a team to play against the other. For simplicity’s sake, we’re limiting our selections to guys who played on the 2000 team going forward, including the current roster in 2020. Each Round will alternate who goes first and we’ll provide our reasonings/explanations/defense afterwards.

At the end, you all will be able to vote for who you think has the best team! And of course, we’d love to hear your picks for each round as well and why we are dumdums who don’t know what we’re talking about.

Round III goes back to Team BK!

Round III, Pick 5: BK selects WR Jeremy Maclin

Alamo Bowl Photo by Jim Barcus/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

I feel like I’m just re-creating the 2007 Mizzou football team with Chase Daniel, Sean Weatherspoon and now Maclin, but I suppose that’s not such a bad thing. I considered some other players that I’m sure will come up shortly, but I kept coming back to a simple question: With the game on the line, who would you trust to make the biggest play in the biggest moment?

The answer is J-Mac.

Anything that’s been done at Missouri as a wide receiver, it was probably done by Maclin. He’s the only Tiger to be a two-time first-team All-American. He was the first Mizzou freshman to be named to the All-American team. He broke the MU record for career all-purpose yardage in just two seasons. He scored 16 total touchdowns as a freshman, and he literally one-upped himself the following season with 17 total touchdowns.

Maclin was a threat to score any time he touched the ball from any spot on the field. He could light you up with the dink-and-dunk underneath, and then suddenly he’s burning you deep over the top. Get him out in space on a screen, and look out.

Elusive. Explosive. Exciting.

Those are the words that come to mind when I think of Jeremy Maclin. I couldn’t allow that man to go against me in this draft.

Nate, you’re up!

Round III, Pick 6: Nate selects WR Danario Alexander

Well, if BK is going to get his game breaking wide receiver than I should probably do the same before he fields an unstoppable passing offense.

I’ve watched a lot of football in my day, particularly Missouri football, and I’ve never before, or since, see a receiver so thoroughly dominate the competition like Danario Alexander did in 2009. How do you even pick the marquee moment? The first game of the year when he abused every corner assigned to him for ten catches and 132 yards? The Nevada game where he was, seemingly, the only guy who remembered to show up as he hauled in 9 catches for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns? Outdueling Justin Blackmon in Stillwater? Trying to beat the usurper Baylor by himself?

My personal favorite is the Kansas State game of ‘09: 10 catches, 200 yards, 3 touchdowns...I mean, just look at the bones!

When he was healthy, Alexander was unstoppable. The fact that he didn’t win the Biletnikoff that year is just absolute highway robbery but I will never forget, nor fail to appreciate, the kid from Marlin, TX that turned into a one man offensive nuke.


category: Uncategorized

Three Mizzou players enter NBA draft pool – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Three Mizzou players enter NBA draft pool  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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How would Justin Turner fill Mizzou’s need on the wing?

Bowling Green v Buffalo Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

In high school, Justin Turner’s mid-range game was undervalued by high-major suitors. Today, it’s helped make him a coveted graduate transfer—one Missouri hopes fits its need on the wing.

How Justin Turner ended up at Bowling Green isn’t a tale marked by twists and turns. In the end, it’s centered around pure necessity. Back in April 2016, the combo guard wasn’t one of the nation’s more coveted graduate transfer prospects. Instead, he was an unsigned prospect out of Renaissance High School in Detroit.

Down Interstate 75, though, Bowling Green coach Michael Huger scoured the landscape to fill the void created by a transfer. Sitting in a meeting with his coaching staff, Huger, who fresh off a 16-18 debut at his alma matter, turned to Anthony Stacey. Huger asked a simple question: What ever happened to Justin Turner?

Before joining Huger’s staff, Stacey had been courting Turner for nearby Toledo. And like other recruiters around the Mid-American Conference, he had heard Turner, who averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game as a senior, was locked in a stalemate with high-major programs, waiting to see if any power-conference suitors would jump in with a late offer.

When Stacey told his boss Turner was still on the market, Huger was incredulous. They needed to get on the phone. So, that Monday, they rang up Renaissance coach Vito Jordan, who confirmed Turner’s availability. They also touched base with Turner’s mother.

Initially, Turner, who was on good terms with Stacey, wanted to wait two weeks for a visit. Stacey leveled with him: Huger was eyeing another guard to replace J.D. Tisdale. If that player wanted to commit, Bowling Green would accept. Turner got the message, bumping his visit up to that Friday.

Six days later, he pledged to join Huger’s early-stage rebuild. “It was April, and time was running out,” he said. “We felt we just had to make the best decision possible.”

Today, it’s safe to say it’s panned out for all parties involved.

Over three seasons, Turner averaged 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists, earning All-MAC honors twice and bringing Bowling Green to the cusp of the NCAA tournament last season. In early February 2019, he sank a pair of free throws to cap a win over No. 18 Buffalo, the Falcons’ first victory against a ranked foe since 2008.

By last spring, his productivity made it sensible to test the NBA draft waters. Workouts with the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers underscored how much growth Turner had left. Returning to Bowling Green came with a distinct goal: punch the program’s first ticket to the Big Dance since 1968. And if not for the rapidly spiraling coronavirus pandemic, the Falcons would have started the MAC tournament as the No. 2 seed, prime position to earn a spot in the field of 68.

Now, Mizzou—and five other finalists—are hoping to reap the rewards by wooing Turner. The need in Columbia is also glaring.

Last season, Torrence Watson’s shooting stroke abandoned him, making for a thin case to feed minutes to the sophomore and former four-star prospect. For his part, Javon Pickett offered a steady defense, rebounding and timely scoring off cuts and unguarded spot-ups. Yet the former Belleville East star can’t single-handedly manufacture offense.

Down the stretch, Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson took turns attacking the rim — often late in the shot clock—to help the Tigers’ offense limp along. That formula, however, isn’t sustainable.

Landing Turner would restore the semblance of balance coach Cuonzo Martin hoped would define his offense last season — and potentially lead to an NCAA tournament bid to quell growing grumbling amid the Tigers’ fanbase.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 31 Hartford at Bowling Green Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The mid-range jumper is dead. Or at the very least, it’s slowly going extinct. Today, players, coaches, and front offices are analytics converts praying at the twin altar of dunks and 3-pointers. The logic behind its extinction is well known. Why take a long 2? Step back behind the arbitrary line cutting through the floor and launch a 3-ball. And if you’re hunting for two points, getting to the rim curbs the degree of difficulty.

All of which makes Turner a practitioner of a dying art.

Last season, almost a quarter of his possessions started with a pick-and-roll and ended with a pull-up jumper or a floater, per Synergy. Far from being inefficient, Turner averaged 1.08 points per possession, which trumped the value of a a catch-and-shoot jumper (0.99 PPP) across Division I last season. “It’s just something that I’ve always had,” he added.

Jordan affirmed his former player always had an affinity for making the worst shot in basketball look like sound shot selection. “He excelled at getting in the lane and making those little teardrops, runners,” he said. “That can make you successful instead of trying to finish over a guy who’s 6-10 or 6-11. You’ve got to have something to offset not going in there and trying to dunk on people.”

When Turner arrived at Bowling Green, his skill set meshed easily with the Huger’s stylistic preferences—a fast tempo and a half-court offense build ball-screen actions. During non-conference play, the Falcons relied on lifted ball-screens, a 1-4 flat looks, and or rocket ball-screens. And once MAC play arrived, they would integrate chaser actions and hand-offs in the slot, situations that allowed Turner to make reads as a secondary creator.

Once the screen is set, though, Turner doesn’t turn tight and accelerate toward the rim. Instead, he glides and surveys. Duck under the screener in drop coverage, and he launches from deep. Recover, and he uses a jab step to open up space. What he does with the room he carves out varies.

It can set up a between-the-legs dribble to loft a step-back jumper toward the rim. Or Turner deploys a cross-over to maneuver into the lane and reach into a toolkit of runners and floaters. By last season, only 16.7 percent of his pick-and-roll possessions ended at the rim last season.

“You can contort your body in certain ways and try to go up with trees,” Turner said. “A lot of times, if you can create space, you can get that jumper off against defenders, and if I’m on balance, it’s pretty effective.”

Timely, too. Last season, Turner’s polished mid-range repertoire bailed Bowling Green in tight tilts.

Against Ohio, he exploited a switch against Ohio’s Ben Vander Plas, crossing over the forward and working his way to the free-throw line for a step-back jumper to put Bowling Green ahead 62-61 in the waning seconds. At the Paradise Jam, Turner snagged a missed free-throw, weaved through Western Kentucky defenders lofted in a floater for an 87-85 victory. And in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,000 at the Stroh Center, he sank a pair of two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to deliver an 85-83 victory over rival Toledo.

For all the statistics at our disposal, a player’s propensity to thrive in the clutch isn’t entirely quantifiable. What’s evident about Turner is he embraces those moments. Yet it’s not innate. Turner will tell you that it was drilled into him by Jordan at Renaissance.

”He always worked on the game like a pro,” Jordan said. “It was more about developing the intangibles, understanding how he could make other guys better, and how important winning is. You’re not going to leave a mark if you don’t win, and you need to know how to bring other guys along with you.”

NCAA Basketball: MAC Conference Tournament - Buffalo vs Bowling Green Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It might seem hard to believe, but in the summer of 2015, Turner’s pull-up game wasn’t so enticing. That summer, Jordan led Renaissance through a ritual of the offseason: barnstorming college campuses to grind out games at team camps. They stopped at Michigan State, Michigan, Oakland, Xavier, and Dayton, where polo-clad coaches roamed among the courts.

“We went to eight universities in the month of June,” Jordan said. “He would ball out every single time.”

How many scholarship offers came out of that tour?

“None,” Jordan added.

As a sophomore at Renaissance, Turner garnered preliminary interest from the Wolverines and Spartans, but neither made the 6-foot-3 prospect a priority. Instead, they cast their attention on the likes of Cassius Winston and forward Xavier Tillman, who went on to become the backbone of Tom Izzo’s program in East Lansing.

By then, area scouts authored a comprehensive assessment of Turner. No doubt, his pull-up jumper was a weapon, and he showed signs of evolving into a consistent shooter coming off screens. And at the high-school level, his size and length let him bully his way to the rim for finishes over smaller defenders.

Productive as he might be, though, questions persisted about how much of his game would translate at a power-conference school. “He didn’t necessarily have the acceleration, shiftiness, or vision to be a point guard at the next level,” one local scout told Rock M Nation. “He was an average athlete with decent size as a combo guard.”

One topic dominated the conversation when Jordan fielded calls from assistant coaches: What position did Turner play? He didn’t have an easy answer. “I just let him be himself,” Jordan recalled. “If he wanted the ball on a possession, he’s the point guard. If he doesn’t, then he’s running a lane. I couldn’t just pigeonhole him.”

Five years removed, concerns about positional fit seem quaint. Still, coaches are risk-averse by nature. What would one do with Turner if his toolkit didn’t translate? It didn’t help matters that Turner found himself boxed in on the grassroots circuit that same summer — a make-or-break three-month span to sell himself to programs.

Looking to drum up interest, Turner switched teams, leaving the Michigan Mustangs for the Michigan Playmakers. The results were poor. Turner never carved out a niche in the lineup, ultimately deciding to return to his long-time program. Yet the Mustangs had coalesced without him. Again, minutes were hard to find. All the while, recruiters speculated about why he wasn’t getting on the floor.

“There wasn’t any bad blood,” Turner recalled. “It just didn’t work out.”

Soon, Turner was on the move again. Ahead of the July period and his last chance to catch someone’s eye, he hopped onto the roster of 1 Nation. At the time, the calculus made sense. It was the third team in as many months—one backed by Under Armor and featured a pair of future NBA lottery selections in Josh Jackson and Miles Bridges. Latching on with a group with elite prospects and playing a shoe company circuit would put him in the same gym with an army of assistant coaches.

The reality was sobering.

“They already had their team,” Turner said. “We were down to the last several tournaments. Coaches were coming, and I still wasn’t playing. I had nothing to show for them. So, a lot of schools walked away.”

Ultimately, Turner’s senior season was a stalemate. He kept waiting on high-majors to be persuaded, “You know how it can be,” Jordan said. “One Big Ten school offers, and then four more do.” Except none were willing to be the first mover.

This spring, Turner’s case was certainly more compelling.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 02 Buffalo at Bowling Green Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How seamlessly would Turner’s game integrate with Mizzou’s rotation? It’s interesting to ponder. First and foremost, MU is a stark stylistic contrast. Out of 75 high-major programs, the Tigers rank 64th in transition possessions, according to Synergy. They were also 51st in average possession length, per KenPom.

“When I watch them, I notice they space the floor really well,” Turner said. “They’re not taking the ball out of bounds and just throwing it up the floor, but at the same time, they play in transition and make plays. You can tell guys know what’s expected of them.”

Assuming Pinson and Dru Smith return to the fold, it stands to reason they’ll pilot the offense, potentially leaving Turner to play more off the ball. Now, that doesn’t mean MU wouldn’t incorporate some ball-screen situations for or operate, but would the primary source of his mid-range shots change?

“I feel I can blend right into that,” Turner said. “I can be an off-guard and still be a guy that controls the game and keeps everything organized.”

If so, Turner’s ability to drain catch-and-shoot jumpers might be a linchpin. For his career, though, he’s shot 32.8 percent (72 of 219) on those attempts from behind the arc, including 28.6 percent last season, per Synergy. In fact, Turner shoots a higher percentage (37.1) from long range when he’s playing off the bounce.

“If you’re Cuonzo, the hope is that Turner would potentially knock down 3s at a 34 to 36 percent clip, create versus mismatches, attack closeouts and be solid on D,” the Michigan scout said.

Transitioning from the SEC naturally raises another question: how much of Turner’s robust output would carry over? The evidence suggests a reason for optimism. For his career, Turner’s averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists against opponents ranked in the top 100 of KenPom — only a slight dip from his career marks.

In his conversations with Martin, Turner has been heartened by the coach’s transparency. Turner also pointed to Martin’s recent track record of successfully melding transfers into his program, especially Kassius Robertson.

Pegged as a sniper who could space the weak side of the floor, the Canisius transfer evolved into a reliable combo guard for a roster short on ball-handling. The lone season Robertson spent in Columbia is a instructive for Turner, who’s savvy enough to understand concessions—from him and Martin—can happen without abandoning the facets of his game that make attractive in the first place.

“Sometimes, you may see transfers who really don’t look the same if they go to a different school,” Turner said. “I just want to go in and have the opportunity to be myself, play my game and not feel like I’m looking over my shoulder. I don’t want to feel like I’m on a leash.”

Obviously, Turner’s first instinct is to score, but he emphasized he wants his points to come within the flow of the offense. Ideally, the supporting cast around Turner would ease some of the workload, with Jeremiah Tilmon operating on the left block, Mark Smith spotting up and pair of point guards creating off penetration.

“Missouri is a realistic situation,” Turner said. “I can fit in and really just play my game as a scorer and become a leader.”


category: Uncategorized

No time for April Fools.

Mizzou News for Wednesday, April 1

Happy April 1st, a day just like any other day these days.

April Fool’s Day does not exist this year. No funny business.

Also, there is REALLY not much Mizzou news aside from hoops recruiting— everyone is talking about THE Justin Turner, as well as the news that three of Mizzou’s players will be testing the NBA waters while firmly holding onto the life vest that is their eligibility. (Editor’s note: If you can’t comprehend why what they’re doing is a good thing, then kindly reference Ryan’s article— or any of the major Mizzou pubs and/or their twitters)

Cheers to the Tiger Trio! May your feedback be helpful and see ya back in the black & gold. (side note: I love this show- Life in Pieces- it was so funny)

So, let’s just proceed, shall we? I’ve got A LOT of random cool stories at the bottom of the page, and I hope you will consider checking them out. Please?


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

Hoops

  • Hi DeMarre, we miss you too.

Assorted Mizzou Sports News

  • Wrestling did a cool little tribute thread to celebrate their NINE STRAIGHT conference titles, starting with 2011-12 Big 12 Champions. Click on the tweet to see the thread. [starts singing Memories]
  • Coach Anderson did a zoom check-in with her team. How fun!
  • Swimming & Diving thanked 3-time NCAA qualifier, senior Daniel Hein.

Interesting/Non-specific Sports News

These are a few of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and beyond. (Today was mostly sports)


category: Uncategorized

Denver Broncos: Is Drew Lock Really the Franchise Quarterback? – NGSC Sports LLC

Denver Broncos: Is Drew Lock Really the Franchise Quarterback?  NGSC Sports LLC

category: Uncategorized

Tilmon, Smith, Pinson to test NBA Draft waters

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri trio will enter their names into the Draft but will take the steps to maintain college eligibility.

Though the way this year’s NBA Draft will be structured is still unclear, we now know that three Missouri players will be among the names in the draft pool.

On Tuesday, MU revealed Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith and Xavier Pinson would test the draft waters while still maintaining their college eligibility. All three will be able to return to college as long as they withdraw their names from the Draft by the June 3 deadline.

“I’m very supportive of all three of them going through this to receive key information from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee and greatly benefit from the process,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I know they each have goals to pursue professional basketball at the highest levels and this is a significant step in that journey. We’ll help them in any way we can.”

Tilmon is the sole player of the trio who has attempted to enter his name into a past Draft, when a paperwork error prevented him from doing so in 2019. He missed most of SEC play this past season with a foot injury, playing a combined 19 minutes through the first 14 games before returning for the final four games of the season. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 17 games.

Smith had a career year as a redshirt junior, setting career-highs in points (5.1), rebounds (4.0) and minutes (21.9) per game, and he shot 85.4% from the free throw line as he earned a long-term starting role in Martin’s system.

Pinson was the team’s breakout star this past season, also averaging career-highs in points (11.1), assists (2.8), rebounds (2.8) and minutes (24.0) per game. He averaged 13.3 points per game in conference play and scored in double digits 10 times. Beginning with a Feb. 1 loss to South Carolina — in which he took over for an injured Mark Smith in the starting lineup — Pinson averaged 17.3 points over the final 11 games of the season.

The three players will have roughly two months to either stay in the Draft or withdraw his name.


category: Uncategorized

Tilmon, Smith, Pinson to test NBA Draft waters

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri trio will enter their names into the Draft but will take the steps to maintain college eligibility.

Though the way this year’s NBA Draft will be structured is still unclear, we now know that three Missouri players will be among the names in the draft pool.

On Tuesday, MU revealed Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith and Xavier Pinson would test the draft waters while still maintaining their college eligibility. All three will be able to return to college as long as they withdraw their names from the Draft by the June 3 deadline.

“I’m very supportive of all three of them going through this to receive key information from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee and greatly benefit from the process,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I know they each have goals to pursue professional basketball at the highest levels and this is a significant step in that journey. We’ll help them in any way we can.”

Tilmon is the sole player of the trio who has attempted to enter his name into a past Draft, when a paperwork error prevented him from doing so in 2019. He missed most of SEC play this past season with a foot injury, playing a combined 19 minutes through the first 14 games before returning for the final four games of the season. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 17 games.

Smith had a career year as a redshirt junior, setting career-highs in points (5.1), rebounds (4.0) and minutes (21.9) per game, and he shot 85.4% from the free throw line as he earned a long-term starting role in Martin’s system.

Pinson was the team’s breakout star this past season, also averaging career-highs in points (11.1), assists (2.8), rebounds (2.8) and minutes (24.0) per game. He averaged 13.3 points per game in conference play and scored in double digits 10 times. Beginning with a Feb. 1 loss to South Carolina — in which he took over for an injured Mark Smith in the starting lineup — Pinson averaged 17.3 points over the final 11 games of the season.

The three players will have roughly two months to either stay in the Draft or withdraw his name.


category: Uncategorized

Key Mizzou players Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith announce 2020 NBA Draft intentions – Saturday Down South

Key Mizzou players Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith announce 2020 NBA Draft intentions  Saturday Down South

category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 21, Markus Golden – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 21, Markus Golden  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Mizzou star Xavier Pinson makes 2020 NBA Draft decision – Saturday Down South

Mizzou star Xavier Pinson makes 2020 NBA Draft decision  Saturday Down South

category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 21, Markus Golden – STLtoday.com

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 21, Markus Golden  STLtoday.com

category: Uncategorized

FanPulse March Madness: Round of 32 votes are in…

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Men’s Championship - Elite Eight - Duke v Gonzaga Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You’re never going to believe who the voters picked...

We’re back after a chalky round one to see what happens in the round of 32 of our FanPulse NCAA Tournament.

Last week’s voting favored the higher seed by a lot, with only five total upsets. Three of those upsets happened in the West Region, and f three were also 9 seed upsets of an 8 seed. So hardly an upset. Surely with a new round of picks there’d be a little more madness to our March, right?

Let’s see who we picked:

South Region

1. ** REDACTED ** (87%) def. 8. Saint Mary’s (13%)

4. Seton Hall (57%) def. 5. Ohio State (43%)

3. Maryland (52%) def. 6. Virginia (48%)

2. Kentucky (78%) def. 7 Providence (22%)

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hmmm, top four seeds move on.

Virginia kept it close, and the FBI couldn’t sideline ** REDACTED ** enough to force a loss. So the top four seeds move on.

West Region

1. Gonzaga (91%) def. 9. Oklahoma (9%)

4. Oregon (52%) def. 5. Iowa (48%)

3. Duke (75%) def. 11. Marquette (25%)

2. San Diego State (66%) def. 10. Texas Tech (34%)

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk.

Honestly, it was easier to see in this region. I was very high on the Zags all year, and Duke and SDSU had been so good all year long. Oregon vs Iowa could get dicey as the Ducks probably would’ve had to devise a solid plan to slow down Iowa’s really good offensive attack. And Luke Garza is very good. I would’ve taken the Hawkeyes.

Midwest Region

1. Baylor (89%) def. 9. Arizona State (11%)

4. Wisconsin (54%) def. 5. Butler (46%)

3. Villanova (65%) def. 6. Penn State (35%)

2. Florida State (77%) def. 7. West Virginia (23%)

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Well, will you look at that? All four top seeds.

East Region

1. Dayton (85%) def. 9. Florida (15%)

4. Louisville (59%) def. 5. Michigan (41%)

3. Michigan State (66%) def. 6. Auburn (34%)

2. Creighton (68%) def. 7. Illinois (32%)

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Creighton Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

So in a season with an incredibly low efficiency margin difference (only 9 EM points separate #2 from #30) it seems unlikely we’d have the top four seeds in all four quadrants move on, but here we are.

Just think, we’ve got four more of these to go.

My advice? Vote the underdogs. Maybe it’ll get interesting and we’ll actually see some upsets.


category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 22, Sarah Shire | National – Bradford Era

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 22, Sarah Shire | National  Bradford Era

category: Uncategorized

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history – NBCSports.com

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history  NBCSports.com

category: Uncategorized

The David Gibbs Experience (TM): does it work? – Rock M Nation

The David Gibbs Experience (TM): does it work?  Rock M Nation

category: Uncategorized

The David Gibbs Experience (TM): does it work?

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

David Gibbs sells himself as the guy who can coach your defense to create more turnovers. Let’s actually put that claim to the test.

I want to start this off by talking about Barry Odom for a moment. Any first time head coach is going to make some mistakes, and if you gave Barry a dose of truth serum and asked him to list his mistakes at Mizzou, the hiring of his staff would probably be up at the top of his list. And that’s okay! The first time you do something is rarely great and learning on the job at the FBS level — and the SEC to boot — is impossibly difficult.

But as good as Odom was at identifying player talent, he was inversely scattershot at identifying coaching talent and crafting a staff. That’s why we had “Chris Wilson: Defensive Line Coach” for less than three months. It’s why he hired a good friend to run a specific defense then throw said friend under the bus when it didn’t work and quietly demote/remove him in less than two years. It’s why he hired Greg Brown (editor’s note: WHO?), a gentleman who has been a coach for 39 years and worked for 21 different teams. And it’s why he took a flyer on a journeyman defensive coordinator named David Gibbs to improve the team’s turnover potential.

David Gibbs is a smart man. I certainly can’t claim any of his day-to-day intelligence, sure, but in terms of football tactics and motivating young men, I’m sure he would outclass just about anyone outside of the coaching circle and probably a good chunk of that fraternity as well. Which is why it drives me absolutely bonkers when he claims that he can create more turnovers with his defensive strategy. Sure you can coach a player to be in the right position to make a play, yes, but the ability to force a fumble does not equal a recovered fumble. And the ability to catch a pass that’s being defended is a random act as well; if intercepting the ball was a coachable skill, then every defender in the secondary would do it every time they were in the vicinity of the ball and not tip it or swat it away. David Gibbs and everyone else on the coaching staff has forgotten more football than I will ever know and I recognize the expertise...but I still think the Gibbs philosophy is wrong, especially when looking at the defenses he’s been a part of.

Read his bio on the school’s website. His approach to creating more turnovers is reviewed extensively, with the word “turnover” used NINE times. Clearly, it’s the thing he pitches to potential hires and the thing he wants to be known for. And I am here to cry, “MALARKEY”. What I want to do today is take a look at every defense he’s been a part and look at his impact on the turnovers of those defenses. This will involve both college and pros, and because he’s been doing this for a long time, I need to go way back in time. The indomitable Sports-Reference.com will be my lexicon for the college game; the NFL keeps great records of raw metrics on its own. To give Gibbs some credit, I’ll count interceptions and fumbles...even though, as a defensive backs coach, we’re really looking at interceptions...but because I’m nice I’ll give him credit for both.

We’ll start at his first gig as a member of the coaching staff, kansas, and go in chronological order as we review the turnover total for the five years before he showed up and then the years he was coaching. Why? Because I know I’m right, dammit, and I want to prove that I’m right!

Kansas Jayhawks - Defensive Backs Coach

  • 1990: 8 interceptions
  • 1991: 10 interceptions
  • 1992: 16 interceptions
  • 1993: 8 interceptions
  • 1994: 8 interceptions
  • 1995: 15 interceptions (<- Gibbs starts here)
  • 1996: 12 interceptions
  • Average before Gibbs: 10
  • Average with Gibbs: 13.5

Unfortunately forced fumble data is not easily found for the 1990s so we’ll just have to settle on interceptions. And, to start, it looks like Coach Gibbs does have an impact on turnovers, at least for the Jayhawks. Before he showed up, Kansas was averaging 10 interceptions per year and over his two years as a DBs coach the average jumped to 13.5. Good for him, bad for my theory. But then he follows head coach Glen Mason to Minnesota.

Minnesota Golden Gophers - Defensive Coordinator

  • 1992: 7 interceptions
  • 1993: 18 interceptions
  • 1994: 11 interceptions
  • 1995: 10 interceptions
  • 1996: 12 interceptions
  • 1997: 9 interceptions [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 1998: 12 interceptions
  • 1999: 8 interceptions
  • 2000: 6 interceptions
  • Average before Gibbs: 11.6
  • Average with Gibbs: 8.75

Aha. See? Before Coach Gibbs took over, the Gophers had a 5-year average of 11.6 interceptions and then Gibbs’ 4-year average shrunk to 8.75, with 1998 being the best year of his tenure. Sure, the Gophers were rebuilding during this time, but they also stunk for that 5-year stretch before he got there and were still cracking double digits on the interception total in four of those years. But after the 2000 season ended, Gibbs jumped to the NFL and coached for the Denver Broncos.

Denver Broncos - Defensive Backs Coach

  • 1996: 32 turnovers - 23 interceptions (4th), 9 fumble recoveries* (26th)
  • 1997: 31 turnovers - 18 interceptions (8th), 13 fumble recoveries (12th)
  • 1998: 30 turnovers - 19 interceptions (10th), 11 fumble recoveries (15th)
  • 1999: 26 turnovers - 15 interceptions (20th), 11 fumble recoveries (18th)
  • 2000: 44 turnovers - 27 interceptions (2nd), 17 fumble recoveries (4th)
  • 2001: 37 turnovers - 22 interceptions (6th), 15 fumble recoveries (6th) [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 2002: 22 turnovers - 9 interceptions (last), 13 fumble recoveries (12th)
  • 2003: 20 turnovers - 9 interceptions (last), 11 fumble recoveries (19th)
  • 2004: 20 turnovers - 12 interceptions (27th), 8 fumble recoveries (28th)
  • Average before Gibbs: 32.6
  • Average with Gibbs: 24.75
*quick side note: the NFL starts tracking forced fumbles in 2001. In fairness. the sample size of these years I didn’t add it but will do so for every data set after

An 8.1 decrease in turnover average! Not great! Regression every year including two years where the Broncos were the worst team at intercepting the ball while fumble recoveries regressed every year. For a guy making his name on increasing turnovers, the Broncos data set is one he probably avoids. After his time in Denver, he had a one year stop on The Plains with Tommy Tubberville.

Auburn Tigers - Defensive Coordinator

  • 2000: 17 turnovers (16 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery)*
  • 2001: 15 turnovers (15 interceptions, 0 fumble recoveries)
  • 2002: 22 turnovers (21 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery)
  • 2003: 11 turnovers (11 interceptions, 0 fumble recoveries)
  • 2004: 17 turnovers (16 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery)
  • 2005: 9 turnovers (8 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery) [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • Average before Gibbs: 16.4
  • Average with Gibbs: 9
*just in case its not obvious to you, I’m skeptical of the fumble numbers here, but at least they are consistent (forced fumbles started to be tracked in ‘05)

One year isn’t much time for influence, sure, but it’s yet another instance of Gibbs taking over and the defensive turnovers regressing. But what about his stint as DBs coach with the Chiefs?

Kansas City Chiefs - Defensive Backs Coach

  • 2001: 26 turnovers - 13 interceptions (25th), 13 fumble recoveries/23 forced (21st)
  • 2002: 31 turnovers - 18 interceptions (12th), 13 fumble recoveries/19 forced (27th)
  • 2003: 37 turnovers - 25 interceptions (3rd), 12 fumble recoveries/21 forced (25th)
  • 2004: 20 turnovers - 13 interceptions (24th), 7 fumble recoveries/23 forced (17th)
  • 2005: 31 turnovers - 16 interceptions (14th), 15 fumble recoveries/33 forced (2nd)
  • 2006: 30 turnovers - 15 interceptions (20th), 15 fumble recoveries/29 forced (4th) [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 2007: 22 turnovers - 14 interceptions (23rd), 8 fumble recoveries/14 forced (22nd)
  • 2008: 29 turnovers - 13 interceptions (17th), 16 fumble recoveries/20 forced (8th)
  • Average before Gibbs: 29
  • Average with Gibbs: 27

Two fewer turnovers per year on average isn’t much but considering the Chiefs were churning out 30+ turnover season per year before he got there and then only matched that once isn’t ideal.

Houston Texans - Defensive Backs

  • 2004: 30 turnovers - 22 interceptions (5th), 8 fumble recoveries/22 forced (18th)
  • 2005: 16 turnovers - 7 interceptions (31st), 9 fumble recoveries/24 forced (17th)
  • 2006: 22 turnovers - 11 interceptions (28th), 11 fumble recoveries/15 forced (27th)
  • 2007: 25 turnovers - 11 interceptions (30th), 14 fumble recoveries/18 forced (12th)
  • 2008: 22 turnovers - 12 interceptions (21st), 10 fumble recoveries/15 forced (14th)
  • 2009: 27 turnovers - 14 interceptions (20th), 13 fumble recoveries/13 forced (22nd) [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 2010: 18 turnovers - 13 interceptions (23rd), 5 fumble recoveries/11 forced (27th)
  • Average before Gibbs: 23
  • Average with Gibbs: 22.5

Feast or famine with the Texans! The average was basically the same before Gibbs got there and during his tenure. But 27 turnovers followed up by 18 the next really highlights the randomness that turnovers are capitalized on.

Houston Cougars - Defensive Coordinator

  • 2008: 14 turnovers - 13 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery/13 forced
  • 2009: 11 turnovers - 11 interceptions, 0 fumble recoveries/10 forced
  • 2010: 18 turnovers - 13 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries/9 forced
  • 2011: 31 turnovers - 21 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries/13 forced
  • 2012: 19 turnovers - 19 interceptions, 0 fumble recoveries/3 forced
  • 2013: 43 turnovers - 25 interceptions, 18 fumble recoveries/14 forced [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 2014: 30 turnovers - 19 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries/14 forced
  • Average before Gibbs: 18.6
  • Average with Gibbs: 36.5

His stint with the Cougars is where Gibbs started making the distinction of “I will make your defense better at turnovers”. And you can see why: 43 turnovers in the first year, 30 in the second, doubling the average the Cougars experienced in the five years before he got there. That 2013 season, by the way, was insane: the Cougars recovered 63% of all fumbles (50% is the national average), 31% of the passes they defended were interceptions (22% is the national average), and 11% of their opponents’ passes defensed were interceptions (again, 22% is the average). That is EXTREME random turnover luck. And there was regression in 2014 across the board; if it was a coachable skill you’d see those numbers stay mostly the same, not 13 fewer in a single year.

Texas Tech Red Raiders - Defensive Coordinator

  • 2010: 15 turnovers - 15 interceptions, 0 fumble recoveries/6 forced
  • 2011: 14 turnovers - 5 interceptions, 9 fumble recoveries/16 forced
  • 2012: 9 turnovers - 8 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery/2 forced
  • 2013: 11 turnovers - 8 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries/15 forced
  • 2014: 7 turnovers - 6 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery/9 forced
  • 2015: 19 turnovers - 15 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries/13 forced [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • 2016: 17 turnovers - 5 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries/9 forced
  • 2017: 29 turnovers - 14 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries/16 forced
  • 2018: 18 turnovers - 12 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries/9 forced
  • Average before Gibbs: 11.2
  • Average with Gibbs: 20.75

Before Gibbs got to Lubbock, the Red Raiders were just awful at generating turnovers, easily the worst turnover defense he inherited (besides his first stop at kU). In his first year, he got the Raiders back to a national average level of turnovers and had a huge jump in 2017 thanks to a huge jump in forced fumbles and in fumble recovery luck. Once again, after a hug jump in a single year, the follow year regressed to the median, which is typically how college teams work with turnovers.

Missouri Tigers - Cornerbacks

  • 2014: 25 turnovers - 12 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries/19 forced
  • 2015: 13 turnovers - 9 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries/10 forced
  • 2016: 19 turnovers - 15 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries/7 forced
  • 2017: 17 turnovers - 12 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries/6 forced
  • 2018: 16 turnovers - 10 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries/7 forced
  • 2019: 14 turnovers - 8 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries/6 forced [<- Gibbs starts here]
  • Average before Gibbs: 18
  • Average with Gibbs: 14

And now we get to his current gig. In one year, Gibbs failed to get the Tigers to the national average, barely edging out the disaster 2015 season. What’s worse is that, of the eight interceptions the 2019 defense had, a whopping SIX were done by linebackers: Cale Garrett (3), Nick Bolton (2), and Cameron Wilkins (1) out-intercepted the entire Tiger secondary (Ronnell Perkins had 2).

Conclusion

In the past two years Gibbs’ claim has been accurate: he has improved two teams’ ability to cause a turnover. That relied on incredible luck at Houston and a historically bad defense at Tech. But, yes, he did improve both teams’ turnovers.

Being a defensive coordinator tied to a fast-paced spread team sucks: if you’re going to experience 4-5 more possessions on average per game because your offense goes so fast then you’re going to give up more yards in return because of the possessions and fatigue of being on the field so often. So you might as well “break serve” and stop the offense by separating them from the ball instead of hoping to force a punt. But trying to rip the ball out of a runner’s hands and trying to confuse quarterbacks does not equate to recovering a turnover. It definitely creates more opportunities, but in the long run, your fumble recovery rate will hover around 50% and - at some point - your interception ratio will shrink as well; if this exercise does anything, I hope it showed how 5+ years of turnovers can have any team regress to the mean, regardless of coach.

What’s more, last year Gibbs was paired with a moderate-tempo offense. He wasn’t calling the plays, sure, but hiring him means he has his unit (in this case, the secondary) focus on ripping the ball out and playing for an interception; it would have made more sense to just have an experienced secondary play to merely stop the ball carrier. And given the number of pass interference penalties called on the secondary, I can imagine you all would also like the secondary to just play to limit the yards after catch (or merely tip the ball away).

I don’t know what Gibbs will do this year or in the following years, but with the inexperience in the secondary this year, it would be great if his “I can improve your turnover output” claim comes true.


category: Uncategorized

Q&A with Daniel Hawthorne: The long snapper immersed in Mizzou recruiting – The Athletic

Q&A with Daniel Hawthorne: The long snapper immersed in Mizzou recruiting  The Athletic

category: Uncategorized

Spring sports athletes will get another year of eligibility after NCAA vote

Mizzou Links for Tuesday, March 31

One more year! One more year! One more year!

After weeks of public petition and athlete insistence, the NCAA followed through on a plan that many of us saw coming — the organization will grant all spring sports athletes an extra year of eligibility. This doesn’t just apply to seniors, either. It’s all of them.

You can debate the pros and cons of this decision in the comments. We made some of our thoughts known a few weeks ago in the Editorial Bored.

I did think this tidbit was pretty interesting though:

The Council left some important questions unanswered that schools will have to address on an individual basis when it comes to building rosters and distributing scholarships. The ruling also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more athletes on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and seniors who choose to return for another year of eligibility. As part of Monday’s ruling, if seniors decide to return for another season, their schools will not be required to give them the same level of financial aid they received for the 2019-20 academic year.

It should also be noted that winter sports athletes will not be included here. So pour one out for Big ‘Sota when you get the chance.

More Mizzou Links:

  • Pete Grathoff at the Kansas City Star was a big fan of the Tiger King mashup video from yesterday’s links, and he wrote about why.
  • The Mizzou football staff is still fishing for 2021 tight ends: they offered another out of Iowa on Monday.

Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Generally this is where we deposit the Missouri-related links that don’t fit with the bigger theme. HOWEVER, there are only so many of those to go around these days.

So as long as I’m doing links (Mondays and Tuesdays!) I’ll be posting stuff that’s getting me through this craziness.

  • ESPN ran a piece on every MLB team’s biggest one-hit wonder (season) ever, and I found it to be eye-opening. Remember Mike Morse? Chris Coghlan? Kent Bottenfield?
  • In addition to their piece above, The Athletic decided to rank the Top 100 sports movies ever. As with any list where sports writers dive into pop culture, there are some truly bizarre choices here.
  • Speaking of great sports movies... If you’re in for some reading, here’s Spike Lee dropping a script for an unproduced Jackie Robinson biopic.
  • Somehow I found myself watching this compilation of March Madness buzzer beaters and upsets. Other than the 10-second knife to the gut of Norfolk State, it’s a pretty satisfactory video that scratched my March Madness itch.
  • If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)

category: Uncategorized

Matter’s Best of Mizzou: No. 22, Sarah Shire | Sports – KPVI News 6

Matter's Best of Mizzou: No. 22, Sarah Shire | Sports  KPVI News 6

category: Uncategorized
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