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Looking back at Missouri’s stellar 2010 recruiting class

What can that class tell us about how Missouri should be recruiting?

It’s been nine years since Missouri signed its highest-rated class in the recruiting-service era, The 2010 class contained stars on both sides of the ball and provided the backbone of the best two-year stretch in Missouri football history, going 23-5 in 2013-2014 and winning two SEC East championships.

The Tigers haven’t been able to ascend back to those heights, either on the recruiting trail or on the field, since, but the 2010 class is a great example of why, on a macro level, recruiting rankings do matter and why, on a micro level, recruiting rankings don’t matter.

Here was that 2010 signing class, which ranked 21st nationally per Rivals.com:

What can we learn from this class that could apply to Missouri even now? A few things.

Arkansas v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Bud Sasser as one of the multitude of 3-star players that had 4-star careers at Missouri.

1. It’s a volume game with the three-star recruits.

Four of the seven four-star recruits Missouri signed in the 2010 class went on to become key contributors; the other three effectively had zero impact on Missouri’s on-the-field results. Even of those four that became key contributors, probably only one had a without-a-doubt four-star career (James Franklin), although Ealy, Lucas and Hunt all had their one stand-out season each.

But what Missouri did in this class was hit on just about every three-star recruit. Including Kenronte Walker — a multi-year starter — Missouri hit on 11 of the 16 three-star recruits, and even some that weren’t starters became solid contributors (like Darvin Ruise, for instance). More importantly, five of those three-stars ended up having four-star careers: EJ Gaines, Marcus Murphy, Mitch Morse, Bud Sasser and Henry Josey.

2. It needs players that won’t transfer too soon.

This class was a bit of a rarity in that it saw only two defections prior the signees’ second year on campus. Tyler Gabbert (transferred) and Tristen Holt (dismissed) were both gone following spring football 2011, prior to their second season at Missouri. All the other transfers/defections happened following the 2013 season.

I think this is a key part in Missouri’s success in 2013 and 2014. Beyond the fact that this class was loaded with talent, it also consisted of players that stayed in the system for at least three years, giving the team depth and stability while also not forcing them to plug holes with younger, inexperienced players. Missouri was deep with veteran contributors in 2013 and 2014; a bit reason for that was because the hit rate in this class in terms of talent and depth was so high.

3. Missouri recruiting is cyclical, but a boon year needs to be bouyed by difference makers at key positions in the surrounding classes.

The 2009 and 2011 recruiting classes don’t get much attention in terms of national ranking, but successes with a few “projects” complimented the 2010 class extremely well. In 2009, three of the biggest projects were L’Damian Washington, Michael Sam and Justin Britt — all two-star recruits. In 2011, one of the biggest “projects” was Connor McGovern. But Missouri hit big on all four of those players. and those filled in the gaps of the talented 2010 class to give Missouri three eventual NFL offensive linemen (four, of course, when you throw in 2012 signee Evan Boehm) and a receiver and defensive lineman that, after developing, made Misosuri among the nation’s deepest at those position groups.

With all that being said, Missouri may have just accomplished something similar with the 2019 class. It’s still too early to know for sure, but early returns on the 2018 class are that Missouri hit on a big volume of three-star recruits (Tyler Badie, Jalen Knox, Dominic Gicinto, Kam Scott, and even players we haven’t seen on the field yet like Messiah Swinson). When you throw in the projected immediate-impact players in the 2019 class, they all come at positions that were among Missouri’s biggest question marks: Quarterback (Kelly Bryant now, Shawn Robinson and Connor Bazelak later), safety (Jalani Williams) and defensive end (Sci Martin).

Now, throw in the fact that Missouri’s 2019 recruiting class as a whole — which saw an improved national ranking, without factoring in the transfers — and Missouri could see a similar uptick in wins over the next two to three seasons. This isn’t to say the Tigers will win the SEC East, as that is dependent on external factors as much as it is on Missouri itself.

But, on paper, it looks like the building blocks are there to take a big step forward on the field.


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Looking back at Missouri’s stellar 2010 recruiting class – Rock M Nation

Looking back at Missouri’s stellar 2010 recruiting class  Rock M Nation

It's been nine years since Missouri signed its highest-rated class in the recruiting-*service* era, The 2010 class contained stars on both sides of the ball and ...


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So close and yet still far away

The Mizzou Hoops roster was patched over last year, but maybe that delayed the extent of the rebuild.

Mizzou is close to being pretty good this year.

If only Jontay Porter had not injured his knee Mizzou would be better and possibly in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid.

If only Evansville had cooperated and allowed Dru Smith to be eligible Mizzou's depth and experience at guard would have been enough to get them over the hump this season.

If only Mark Smith hadn’t injured his ankle and lost six games maybe the Tigers can overcome their second half collapses against LSU and Texas A&M which could have given them more momentum into Ole Miss game, they would have won five SEC games prior to the game against the Rebels.

If only they’d have found a way against Temple, get to 15-8 before yesterday and the mood around Columbia is one of rooting excitement.

This is how close they are, dependent on your glass being half full of course. The glass could always be half empty and Missouri finds ways to lose to Kennesaw State, UCF, and Arkansas and they’re 9-15.

After yesterday’s loss to Ole Miss the Tigers sit squarely at .500, with a visit from the Kentucky Wildcats looming.

The Tigers are in the 90’s in KenPom, they turn the ball over, struggle with consistency on offense and do not generate offense from the free throw line. They’re not awful defensively but far from elite. They’re an incredibly flawed team with little depth or experience, and these flaws are being played out in conference play.

Take yesterday against Ole Miss, if you remove Jordan Geist from the game how much of a blowout is it? Where would this season be without Geist, who has willed this young roster as far as he could and without much help on more nights than I’d care to mention.

We don’t yet know what Cuonzo Martin’s ceiling is as a coach, but the advantage of Martin was we pretty much knew his floor also. Martin has spent one season under .500 as a head coach and just three winning less than 20 games. With some semblance of stability in Columbia, Martin opted to forgo the roster patches of grad transfers and work on the foundation by going for freshmen and supplemental transfers. And while it’s mostly backfilled a troubled roster, it’s still left the team bereft of players ready for immediate contributions.

So much so that Cuonzo Martin was able to award Ronnie Suggs a scholarship for the remainder of the year and summer, with a potential for the scholarship to continue into next season.

The roster improves slightly next year with a couple of incoming freshmen joining the ranks and most think Tray Jackson could be severely under-ranked, plus the eligibility of Dru Smith should improve ball handling.

Missouri has two roster spots available if Martin chooses to free up the ‘ship Suggs is currently on. They’re pursuing Myron Gardner, a wing from Spire Academy in Ohio, and Harlond Beverly, a combo guard from Monteverde Academy, to round out their class of 2019. Both are exciting prospects and should add more depth, but considering the contributions of the current freshmen crop it’d be wrong to expect too much from them.

This speaks a bit to the reality of the situation. Slow roster bleed over the course of six or so years, coupled with a disastrous hire of Kim Anderson led us here. Martin was fortunate to blend some great shooters into the roster last year and ride talented freshmen bigs into the NCAA tournament, limping all the way to the finish. This year there was hope Jontay Porter could patch over a lot of the holes in the roster. Without him, reality was exposed.

No matter how the rest of this season plays out, if Mizzou is met with more disappointing losses or maybe a few unexpected wins, the path forward is going to be a bit slower than maybe we’d hoped. If the Tigers can finish this season .500 maybe that’s the big win for the season. But we’re here because as Martin himself said to Ben Fredrickson:

“It’s going to work itself out,” he continued. “When you have a program that is building, let it build. Be a part of that building process. Because when we are cutting nets down, you can say, ‘I was a part of that.’”

Cutting down nets? No, the steam was not going to Martin’s head. He had not forgotten his Tigers are 12-11 headed into Saturday’s road game against Ole Miss. Martin was talking about the big picture. He sees it. He hopes others do, too.

I don’t know if Martin is the answer to the program finally cutting down nets, but I do know the program he was left with needed a huge rebuild of the foundation and I can certainly see where he’s trying to go.


I’ll have a Study Hall for tomorrow. I just feel it’s good to occasionally take stock of where things are. There’s still hope this season and guys to be excited about. There’s the last few games for Jordan Geist and Kevin Puryear, and I think it’s important to send those guys off right. Geist has been an excellent ambassador, and Puryear is still a program guy despite his offensive struggles this year. Both should get big send offs.

BTW, the women play today in a big time home game against Tennessee, trying to extend their hot streak after last Thursday’s HUGE win over Mississippi State. They’re currently in 4th place behind MSU, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. They’ll need a win to keep ahead of Kentucky.

The men’s next game is Tuesday night against Kentucky. They’re retiring Derrick Chievous’ #3 jersey that night. Might be a good time to show up.


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AD Tom Bowen on Memphis football’s declining attendance, fans’ complaints, schedules – The Commercial Appeal

AD Tom Bowen on Memphis football's declining attendance, fans' complaints, schedules  The Commercial Appeal

Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen gave an exclusive interview to The Commercial Appeal.


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Second Half Run Sinks Razorbacks – Arkansas Razorbacks

Second Half Run Sinks Razorbacks  Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas had a cold start to the second half and Mississippi State used a 23-1 run to get a 77-67 win at Bud Walton Arena Saturday night.


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Mizzou falls short on road against Ole Miss 75-65

Geist’s furious effort after halftime wasn’t enough to overcome 25 team turnovers

The return of Mark Smith from an ankle injury was expected to elevate the Tigers’ abilities beyond the arc and on defense. But his first game action in over three weeks brought with it the return of two more old Missouri acquaintances: turnovers and Jeremiah Tilmon foul trouble.

To be fair, the Tigers (12-12, 3-9 SEC) somehow managed to make a game of this. A 27-15 run in the middle of the second half allowed Missouri to sneak back into the picture. But the Tigers tied their season high with 25 turnovers, and it was too large a grave to dig out of in a 75-65 loss to Ole Miss (18-7, 8-4 SEC).

Jordan Geist led the team with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting while coughing the ball up four times. Xavier Pinson was the only other Tiger to crack double-digit scoring with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting. The freshman guard added nine rebounds but had five giveaways as well. K.J. Santos committed four turnovers while only attempting one shot in 19 minutes. Kevin Puryear and Smith each turned the ball over three times.

Bruce Stevens led Ole Miss with 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting. K.J. Buffen and Breein Tyree added an efficient 14 points apiece and Devontae Shuler also cracked double digits with 12 points.

Although the Tigers managed to dominate down low for much of the game, the Rebels were aided by getting to the free throw line twice as often as the Tigers and hitting 87 percent once they got there.

The Tigers trailed 50-35 when Geist took matters into his own hands. Over the course of 5:23, the senior scored 12 straight Missouri points off an assortment of treys and layups to make the score 57-47.

It wasn’t enough. Although a Javon Pickett 3-pointer cut the deficit to nine for the first time since the intermission, a pair of Geist turnovers immediately following his personal run reignited the Rebels’ offense. A minute later, Tilmon fouled out after posting only four points in 15 minutes. The Tigers would climb within seven on a Geist and-1 jumper but couldn’t get any closer in the defeat.

After the Tigers fell behind 27-15, an 11-4 run in their favor, fueled in part by a Smith 3-pointer, brought the Tigers within four with less than two minutes remaining until halftime. But Ole Miss ended the half with four points of their own. At halftime, the Rebels led 35-26 and MU hadn’t hit a field goal since 4:47 remained on the clock. To make matters worse, Smith ended the half hobbling around the court. He took the floor as scheduled in the next half, but he saw just one stint on the floor in the second period and finished the game with 14 minutes played.

Ole Miss picked up where it left off at the start of the second, forcing four more turnovers by the under-16 timeout and hitting shots from different spots all over the floor in a 12-2 run to begin the period. Tilmon committed his third and fourth fouls before the half was four minutes old, sending him right back to the bench.

The Tigers’ offense sputtered well into the first half. They made only four of their first 18 field goal attempts in the game’s opening 11 minutes. In addition, Tilmon had his first true struggles with fouls in weeks, committing his first two within the game’s first eight minutes. Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin pulled the center and reined in his playing time for the rest of the half.

Ole Miss led 19-10 when Geist spun inside, then pump-faked and twisted to the basket, hitting a layup through Shuler’s foul. Although Geist missed the following free throw, Santos grabbed the rebound and found Puryear open on the perimeter for a trey that cut the deficit to four in the blink of an eye.

However, the turnover issue that plagued Missouri earlier in the season resurfaced during the first period in Oxford. The Tigers coughed the ball up 15 times in the first half alone, in thanks largely to the Rebels’ half court press.

Missouri scored on the game’s first possession via a fourth-chance layup attempt by Puryear. The team didn’t score again for over four minutes, while Ole Miss went on an 8-0 run.

Smith came off the bench during this stretch, his first game action since injuring his ankle in a Jan. 23 game at Arkansas. Smith didn’t hesitate to fire away from 3 like he has so many times this season, but neither of the two he attempted on his first shift found the net.

Missouri’s next game will come at home against the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday.


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Game thread: Mizzou vs Ole Miss

A win against Ole Miss would qualify as the Tigers’ signature victory of the 2018-19 season

After thwarting Arkansas’ second-half comeback attempt — the kind that Missouri has too often succumbed to during SEC play — on the game’s final possession, the Tigers begin their toughest stretch of the season in Oxford on Saturday. This game against Ole Miss will be followed by a home game against No. 5 Kentucky and then a road trip with stops at Florida and Mississippi State. The tough upcoming slate begins just in time for the return of sharpshooting guard Mark Smith, who is expected to return to the lineup Saturday (he joined his teammates on the floor of The Pavilion for warmups). Missouri won’t be favored once during this upcoming quartet, but a victory in any of the four would represent the team’s best result of the season.

The Details

Opponent: Ole Miss Rebels (17-7, 7-4 SEC)

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT

Where: The Pavilion; Oxford, Mississippi

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Nope.

What Does Vegas Say? Ole Miss, -9

ESPN’s Basketball Power Index: Ole Miss, 83.5%

Where To Watch: SEC Network

Radio: Tiger Radio Network

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball


The Review

Recap | Tilmon matches Gafford, spurs Tigers to win in Razorbacks rematch

Study Hall | Mizzou 79, Arkansas 78

Analysis | Freshman guard Xavier Pinson flashes potential


Five Questions

  1. Will Mark Smith finish over or under 11 points?
  2. Which contest in this four-game stretch are the Tigers most likely to win?
  3. Which freshman scores the most points for Mizzou on Saturday?
  4. Predict the score!
  5. Who is your trifecta?


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How to Watch: Arkansas vs Mississippi State – 247Sports

How to Watch: Arkansas vs Mississippi State  247Sports

Arkansas is in the midst of a two game losing skid in conference play, but the Razorbacks have a chance to get back on track against the Mississippi State ...


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Ole Miss Basketball: Rebels Hoops Looking For Win In Oxford – FanSided

Ole Miss Basketball: Rebels Hoops Looking For Win In Oxford  FanSided

Coach Kermit Davis and Ole Miss basketball are coming off their third consecutive win and will hunt their fourth Saturday against Missouri.


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Freshman guard Xavier Pinson has flashed potential as his role grows

The freshman’s campaign is also a timely reminder that we shouldn’t inflate expectations during a season of transition for Missouri.

Last May, divining Xavier Pinson’s future was a futile task. Inside the gym at Arsenal Tech, a stately brick building on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside, the lean point guards drifted through the Prep Ball Stars Midwest Challenge, a ragtag all-star game that unfolded before sparsely filled bleachers.

When the horn sounded, the future Missouri guard had quietly racked up 16 points and five assists in a game where defense was optional. Asked afterward about the opportunity to claim minutes on a roster needy for ball-handlers, Pinson wiped his brow, bit his lip and remained coy.

“It’s up to me to show the coaches I deserve them,” Pinson told me.

Nine months later, Pinson’s stirred optimism with creative flourishes in transition, namely sliding no-look feeds to cutters. While he’s endured the usual ups and downs that come with acclimating to the college game, he’s also capitalized on vacant minutes — along with other freshmen — created by the guard Mark Smith’s injured ankle.

On Tuesday, his 11 points and nine rebounds only seemed to affirm the notion that Pinson, who has averaged 9.0 points, 6.9 rebound and 2.5 assists over the past six games, that he’s poised for a late-season surge. Not bad, either, considering Pinson missed a large chunk of offseason conditioning and individual workouts for personal reasons.

During a transition season, one where MU will have to scrap to finish near .500 overall, there’s a natural inclination to hunt for silver linings. (Even MU coach Cuonzo Martin is calling up scribes while sitting in the sauna to sell the idea of an emerging core in Columbia.) Circumstances make it easy to buy into the idea that Pinson, who is averaging 28 minutes since Smith went down, is quickly scaling a learning curve.

So, let me be blunt: Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

When Pinson committed a year ago, Pinson’s length, athleticism and preternatural vision were his chief selling points. The consensus held that with a little bit of weight he could become a productive lead guard at the high-major level, one reinforced when assistant coach Cornell Mann said Pinson’s passing ability was as good as any he’d seen nearly in 20 years.

Once Pinson took the floor, it was natural the hype would lead to us putting an emphasis on plays that leave jaws slackened. Yet it’s also worth reviewing the profile he’s put together so far.

Of all the numbers that stand out, Pinson’s net rating catches my eye first. Right now, he’s allowing 12.7 more points than he scores over 100 possessions, per Synergy Sports data. That number encapsulates Pinson’s game at the moment, and it ranks 30th among the top-50 point guards in 247Sports’ composite index for the 2018 class.

When you look at the five point guards who play comparable minutes, only Western Kentucky’s Dalano Banton (-16.6) is sporting a lower rating, and Pinson’s well behind Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley (21.1) and TCU’s Kendric Davis (16.9). And among those point guards playing more than 15 minutes per game, he’s sporting the fourth worst defensive rating and third highest turnover rate.

Zooming out helps us see Pinson for what he is: a point guard who occasionally flashes but still struggling to convert around the rim, make sound decisions as a passer and track his man off the ball.

Yet it’s also worth pointing out what Pinson does well. First off, Pinson’s ability to make plays on the break is critical for an offense that selectively pushes the pace and ranks 269th nationally for transition offense. In fact, his first seven assists in SEC play came on the break, and you can easily envision how it could be a vital asset once Martin further revamps his roster.

Meanwhile, Pinson’s shown an improved knack for punishing teams who deploy drop coverage to hem him in during pick-and-rolls. Pinson’s floater is finding the middle of the net with more regularity, and he’s exploiting defenders who go under the screen by using the airspace to loft 3-pointers. He’s also hitting the occasional catch-and-shoot 3-pointer after a ball reversal.

Yet there’s also an irony in how Pinson’s freshmen season played out.

At times, his downhill style hasn’t cleanly translated when MU goes to work against a set defense. While he’s found a smattering of success recently, Pinson’s struggled when the Tigers’ offense asks him to play out of ball screens and score in traffic. During SEC play, he’s only shooting 28 percent within 10 feet of the rim, including just 4 of 12 on shots produced by pick-and-rolls.

During the past five games, opponents haven’t aggressively snuffed out pick-and-rolls. They don’t hard hedge or try to string his dribble out toward the sideline. Instead, Pinson’s defender easily clears the top of the screen with a big hanging back in support.

Often, we pin the blame on the big for setting a mediocre screen, but the onus is Pinson to attack on a tight angle and take his man into the screen. How often do you see his defender getting bumped off course? Once Pinson turns the corner, his acceleration isn’t enough to get separation for a straight-line drive. Finally, you rarely see his penetration force a big to come up the lane or rotate over to give help, creating the chance for Pinson drop the ball off to the short corner.

On top of that, high ball-screens — a staple of MU’s offense — haven’t set him up as a creator, either. Of the 19 assists he’s doled out in conference action, only three came out of those actions. It also largely tracks with average efficiency (0.829 points per possession) for the season.

To be clear: Pinson’s potential is still immense, but cracking defenses in the half court might come after he gets a full season with MU’s conditioning staff, packing on a little bulk and adding some strength. The ability to absorb contact in tight quarters would lift his shooting percentages, but his ticking up his assist rate will come with more seasoning.

Feeding more minutes to Pinson should, in theory, shift Jordan Geist off the ball — a move that’s hard to justify considering Geist’s efficiency passing out pick-and-rolls (1.101 PPP) ranks fifth in the SEC among high-usage guards, per Synergy. Yet Pinson’s spot-up shooting — 18.8 percent in conference play — makes him an inelegant solution in a system predicated on shooters spacing the floor.

How can Pinson shoot 45.5 percent behind the 3-point arc against SEC foes? Well, it helps when you’re hitting 60 percent (6 of 10) on deep jumpers that aren’t the byproduct of spotting up. Reviewing film from recent, Pinson’s often getting quality looks, whether it’s drifting to a weak-side corner or getting a ball reversal after dribble penetration. It’s just a matter of shots not dropping.

There’s little doubt Pinson owns an excellent starter kit of offensive tools, and if his recent averages held up over the course an entire freshmen season, it would be among the better debut campaigns in the SEC. Signs of progress, though, can’t paper over early — and resolvable — blemishes.

What Pinson needs is a game played in transition or a side cleared out in the half court — neither of which fits Martin’s preferred style and pace. Meanwhile, his defense makes him a liability at times in a scheme that puts a premium on positioning and forcing tough shots.

Early in the SEC slate, Pinson banged in enough 3-pointers to paper over the contradiction, but over the past four games his outside shooting has leveled off and has deflated his true-shooting percentage. The new question is whether Pinson’s outing against Arkansas is a harbinger of a more assertive Pinson.

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Standing across the floor from Pinson that day in Indianapolis was another lithe guard: Tyrese Haliburton. The 6-foot-5, 172-pound Wisconsin native had stepped up to fill in for a shorthanded Indiana roster. Having already played in one game, Haliburton mostly floated on the periphery, and when it ended, mingled with fellow Iowa State signees George Conditt and Zion Griffin as they chatted up a handful of Cyclones fans in the gym.

The trio broke away just as Pinson finished blowing through my questions, and everyone disappeared into a hallway winding to the visitors’ locker room. Heading to your car, it’s unlikely you would leave with the impression you just laid eyes on a prospect poised for a breakout.

Today, Haliburton, who was ranked 173rd in 247’s composite, has emerged as a sinewy catalyst for the Cyclones, drilling open catch-and-shoots behind the arc and disrupting opposing offenses with his length. In fact, his net and offensive ratings are tops among guard prospects in his class, ahead of touted prospects such as Devon Dotson, Tre Jones, Kira Lewis Jr. and Ashton Hagans.

Laying Pinson, who checked in at 242nd in the rankings, next to Haliburton isn’t intended to be a not-so-subtle dig at what the 6-foot-3 guard has provided. Instead, it’s an appropriate reminder that growth isn’t linear. When both showed up on campus, even the most optimistic observers wouldn’t have projected that Haliburton’s immediate impact.

If Pinson puts in the legwork this summer, he may meet the expectations some are already foisted on his slender shoulders. Optimism might be outsized right now, but with a little patience, it might be justified a few years from now.


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Mizzou faces Ole Miss with at least a little of a glance towards the future

Whether you’re an avid hoops fan who reads each and every word printed about the Missouri Tigers basketball team, or a casual fan who has trouble remember all the players names, this has unmistakably been a disappointing season. Perhaps it was the six game win streak through December or the immediate turnaround to the NCAA tournament last year but something might’ve tricked our senses into thinking maybe this team could exceed our own meager expectations in year two, as Cuonzo Martin rebuilt the program.

Depending on the results of the last game is usually where the mood of the more vocal side of the fanbase resides on whether the rebuild is going well or not. Regardless of what YOU think personally, Martin seems to think his foundation is pretty solid. And he was quick to go into exactly how he felt with Ben Fredrickson of the Post-Dispatch:

What he wanted to deliver instead was a strong statement for those who have continued to come to Mizzou Arena after Michael Porter Mania gave way to the hard work of rebuilding.

“I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart,” Martin said by phone Thursday during his post-workout routine. “I thank the ones who come back in. When it’s cold outside, when there’s snow out, when it’s bad weather, I appreciate everything they bring to the table. I wish I could shake every one of their hands personally.”

“It’s going to work itself out,” he continued. “When you have a program that is building, let it build. Be a part of that building process. Because when we are cutting nets down, you can say, ‘I was a part of that.’”

I suggest reading the piece. Right now few scribes on the Mizzou beat have as direct a link to Martin and his thoughts as BenFred, who covered him briefly in Knoxville. Martin had great things to say about his team, particularly his younger guys. The group he thinks are going to help him cut down nets, a group of sophomores and freshmen who Martin likens to the group a few years behind the roster of the No. 1 team in the country.

There were promising notes, on Dru Smith who continues to be the top guard in practice, and Parker Braun who might be working his way into the rotation next season. But another things is clear, Martin isn’t done fighting with THIS team.

And THIS team takes on Ole Miss today at 2:30

On the surface this looks bad. And well, it could end up that way. But there’s a place where this game could actually go well for Missouri.

For six games Missouri has worked without the presence of their top perimeter threat, Mark Smith. Smith’s 47.5% from 3-point range has been missed as the Tigers haven’t shot above 40% from deep since he played (a mark they hit eight times prior to his injury), so maybe the Tigers are just one game away from a breakout shooting night.

The Rebels, meanwhile, are coming off a three game winning streak which followed a four game losing streak. And while the Rebels have certainly been the surprise team this season they’re still only a season removed from being the worst team in the SEC. So what has gone right?

For one, Breein Tyree. Tyree is hitting on all cylinders right now. He’s shooting over 40% from 3 and 55% from 2, with a low foul rate and a Offensive Rating around 115. He and Terence Davis have formed a very solid and challenging back court for teams to cover. While the back court, along with Devonte Shuler, has been outstanding, the front court can be hit and miss. They can get shooting from Blake Hinson and Bruce Stevens, and defense and rim attacks from K.J. Buffen, a traditional big matchup with Dominik Olejniczak.

If Mizzou can get after their front court, limit Tyree, and shoot the ball well they’ll have a good chance to catch a really tough road win. It would be considered a huge upset, but weirder things have happened. So why not?


Mizzou baseball drops opener to North Florida, 5-4

For a full game story you can read some one name... Jack Parodi, for the ColumbiaMissourian:

The Tigers stranded 10 runners on base throughout the game — five of them on second. To make matters worse, Missouri was 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Tigers’ four runs came by way of a groundout, a sacrifice fly, a double and a round-tripper. That must change if Missouri is to have success this season.

We’ll have pretty good coverage of the baseball team this spring with both Josh Matejka and Ryan Herrera providing news and updates with more frequency.

Meanwhile, Softball notched two wins against Villanova and Troy.

“The game becomes easier when you get pitching performances like we got today,” Coach Anderson said. “It gives our defense confidence, and I think you saw that. Everyone will want to focus on the offense, but I am really proud of how our defense played today. The pitching was great, and the defense behind them was equally impressive.”

Also, Womens Tennis beat Memphis, 4-3, on the back of a big win from Mackenzy Middlebrooks. And Gymnastics notched their second best score of the season and came in third in the Mardi Gras invitational in St. Charles, MO.


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Beck Honored as SEC Legend – Arkansas Razorbacks

Beck Honored as SEC Legend  Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas guard Corey Beck has been named a 2019 Allstate® SEC Basketball Legend, as announced by the league office on Friday. The 21st annual SEC ...


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Beck Honored as SEC Legend – Arkansas Razorbacks

Beck Honored as SEC Legend  Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas guard Corey Beck has been named a 2019 Allstate® SEC Basketball Legend, as announced by the league office on Friday. The 21st annual SEC ...


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Melvin Booker named for next group of SEC Legends

One of my favorite players gets a cool honor.

The memories of Melvin Booker run deep, and he’s getting some additional recognition for his efforts by being named an SEC Legend.

You know, for all those SEC conference games he dominated...

Jokes aside, this is a great honor for Booker who was always one of my favorite players so it’s cool to see him getting honored even if he never played in the SEC. Booker played in 125 games while at Missouri, averaging 13.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 3.9 apg. Many will remember him as the general behind Mizzou’s undefeated Big 8 run in 1994 when he was the Big 8 player of the year and averaged 18.1 ppg and 4.5 apg as Mizzou marched to a #1 seed and made it to the Elite 8.

Hilariously Mizzou played just one SEC team that year. Their opener against Arkansas and it... uh, didn’t go well. In 92-93 the Tigers also lost their only SEC game to Arkansas but did beat SWC opponent and future Big 12 and SEC Rival Texas A&M. Basically Arkansas was the only SEC Mizzou played while Booker was there and even they joined during the 91-92 season (where Mizzou actually did beat them in Anthony Peelers Senior year, when Booker and Jevon Crudup were Sophomores.

Booker joins one player from each team in this years class:

2019 SEC Basketball Legends:

  • ALABAMA - Erwin Dudley; 2000-03
  • ARKANSAS - Corey Beck; 1992-95
  • AUBURN - Mike Mitchell; 1975-78
  • FLORIDA - Livingston Chatman; 1987-91
  • GEORGIA - Jumaine Jones; 1997-99
  • KENTUCKY - Johnny Cox; 1957-59
  • LSU - Wayde Sims; 2016-18
  • OLE MISS - Justin Reed; 2001-04
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE - Lawrence Roberts; 2003-05
  • MISSOURI - Melvin Booker; 1991-94
  • SOUTH CAROLINA - Carlos Powell; 2001-05
  • TENNESSEE - Mike Jackson; 1973-77
  • TEXAS A&M - Antoine Wright; 2002-05
  • VANDERBILT - Derrick Byars; 2005-07

It’s also pretty cool they’re honoring Wayde Sims. If you recall, Sims was tragically shot and killed this past offseason.


category: Uncategorized

Missouri basketball vs. Ole Miss: Time, TV, prediction – Kansas City Star

Missouri basketball vs. Ole Miss: Time, TV, prediction  Kansas City Star

Missouri basketball heads into Oxford, Miss. on Saturday hoping to stop the red-hot Rebels, who have been the surprise of the Southeastern Conference this ...


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Sophie Cunningham goes over 2,000 career points in huge win over No. 5 Mississippi State

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

1. Sophie Cunningham reaches another elite milestone

What a win for the Missouri women on Thursday night, as a largely back-and-forth game at No. 5 Mississippi State ended with a 75-67 victory for the Tigers.

The impact of the win overshadowed a momentous occasion that happened earlier in the game, as Missouri star Sophie Cunningham went over 2,000 career points.

Cunningham finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists to end Mississippi State’s 26 game SEC winning streak.

Missouri moves to 19-7 (8-4 SEC) on the season.

2. Missouri officially files appeal to NCAA sanctions.

This is certainly no secret, but on Thursday, Missouri backed up its talk about appealing the NCAA sanctions by officially filing the appeal.

From Missouri’s release announcing the filing:

“We believe that the Committee on Infractions abused its discretion in applying penalties to the University of Missouri Athletics program, and we look forward to appearing before the Appeals Committee in the future to present our case,” Sterk said. “Mizzou’s case involved an isolated incident within our program, however, the penalties applied are overly harsh, not in line with established precedent and negatively impact student-athletes who chose to attend the University of Missouri and had nothing to do with the actions of one rogue individual.”

The release also notes the timeline for the next steps in the appeals process, adding that the entire process “is expected to take a minimum of six months to complete.” That would bring us directly to the start of football season; as other reporters have pointed out, should the baseball and softball teams find themselves in position to not make the postseason this year, they could simply opt to accept the ban and remove it from the appeal.

In other news of not briefing your social media team on a pretty contentious issue, the official NCAA Baseball account sent out this tweet on Thursday. The replies are fantastic:

3. Huge wrestling weekend in Columbia on deck.

In addition to No. 5 Missouri hosting No. 2 Oklahoma State at the Hearnes Center on Saturday, the MSHSAA Wrestling State Championships will be going on simultaneously at Mizzou Areana.

Oh, and there’s a Mizzou Track & Field meet also going on at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse.

The top-five matchup between the Tigers and Cowboys will surely draw plenty of attention in itself, so the athletic department put together a handy fan primer if you’re planning on attending any of the events.

Here are the projected match-ups between Missouri and Oklahoma State:


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

  • Who’s ready for SEC Media Days?! Well, Barry Odom and the Missouri contingent can start making their travel plans, as the schedule was announced by the league offices on Thursday. Odom will meet with the media on Monday, July 15 — the start of media days — along with Ed Orgeron and Dan Mullen. Here’s the full schedule, although times are not yet known


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou Women upset #5 Mississippi State – Rock M Nation

Mizzou Women upset #5 Mississippi State  Rock M Nation

The women grab a huge road win on a night their captain passed a career landmark.


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou Women upset #5 Mississippi State – Rock M Nation

Mizzou Women upset #5 Mississippi State  Rock M Nation

The women grab a huge road win on a night their captain passed a career landmark.


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou Women upset #5 Mississippi State

The women grab a huge road win on a night their captain passed a career landmark.

The Missouri women's basketball season hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing at times, they’ve largely hovered just outside the top 25, and sitting at 18-7 and 7-4 in league play they probably weren’t in danger of missing the NCAA tournament. Still, nabbing a marquee win on the road against a top five team is always a big story line.

Thursday night the Mizzou women took down one of the premier basketball programs in the Mississippi State Bulldogs 75-67, and they did so on a night when star Senior Sophie Cunningham eclipsed the 2,000 point barrier. I don’t want to understate how big this win is... Mississippi State has played for the National Championship two years in a row and were 22-1 coming into the game. Their lone loss coming on the road to Oregon. They were 10-0 in conference play and were steamrolling the conference. Only Georgia had played them within 10 points and no other team came within 15 with five of those games coming by more than 20.

But not tonight.

Cunningham finished with 24 points and Missouri shot a stellar 42.3% from 3-point range in their upset of the Bulldogs. But it was Missouri’s interior defense which caused MSU fits as they struggled to shoot inside the arc. Teaira McCowan came into the game as the Bulldogs lead scorer at 17.2 ppg and she was clamped down as she struggled to find room and didn’t even attempt a 3FGA.

The win moves Missouri to 19-7 and 8-4 in league play. HUGE win for the ladies. Mizzou returns home for a Sunday game against Tennessee at 4 pm.


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Coach Anderson, Joe and Gafford Previews Mississippi State – Arkansas Razorbacks

Coach Anderson, Joe and Gafford Previews Mississippi State  Arkansas Razorbacks

Head coach Mike Anderson, sophomore Daniel Gafford and freshman Isaiah Joe preview Saturday's Mississippi State game. Tip-off at Bud Walton Arena is 7:30 ...


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Meet NFL Draft Prospect Nikolas Ricks, LB, Central Missouri – NFL Draft Diamonds

Meet NFL Draft Prospect Nikolas Ricks, LB, Central Missouri  NFL Draft Diamonds

Nikolas Ricks the rangy linebacker prospect from Central Missouri recently sat down with us at NFL Draft Diamonds •


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Missouri appeals NCAA sanctions, calling penalties ‘overly harsh’ – ESPN

Missouri appeals NCAA sanctions, calling penalties 'overly harsh'  ESPN

Missouri vowed to fight NCAA penalties against its football, baseball and softball programs, with athletic director Jim Sterk saying the case involved "an isolated ...


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ESPN’s FPI predicts the SEC’s 5 best offenses in 2019 – Saturday Down South

ESPN’s FPI predicts the SEC’s 5 best offenses in 2019  Saturday Down South

The first version of ESPN's 2019 Football Power Index was released Thursday, and Alabama wasn't ranked No. 1. That belonged to defending national ...


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Mizzou officially appeals NCAA’s sanctions on football, baseball and softball programs – FOXSports.com

Mizzou officially appeals NCAA’s sanctions on football, baseball and softball programs  FOXSports.com

The NCAA banned the football, baseball and softball programs from the postseason for a year.


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Missouri Has Filed Its Notice Of Appeal With The NCAA – The Spun

Missouri Has Filed Its Notice Of Appeal With The NCAA  The Spun

Missouri Athletics announced this evening that it has filed its notice of appeals with the NCAA. The Tigers are filing an appeal following the sanctions handed ...


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A Story of Love & Basketball from 1994 – Arkansas Razorbacks

A Story of Love & Basketball from 1994  Arkansas Razorbacks

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri locked down on the final defensive possession and squeaked by Arkansas 79-78 Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers were ...


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Ole Miss Basketball: Rebels Hoops Pick Up Season Sweep Of Auburn – FanSided

Ole Miss Basketball: Rebels Hoops Pick Up Season Sweep Of Auburn  FanSided

Coach Kermit Davis and Ole Miss basketball were back in action Wednesday night at Auburn where the Rebels were looking for a season sweep.


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How Predictive Are Returning Snaps for Missouri?

It’s a good thing for Missouri that Albert Okwuegbunam is back. For all the obvious reasons plus the fact that he plays in the position group from which returning snaps have been the most correlative predictor of offensive success as a whole.

The Tigers are set to bring back 63.5 percent of their snaps from last year. Is that a good thing?

You know what I love about the fact that I’ve done comprehensive Missouri snap counts for the past six seasons, other than the severe eye strain and accompanying migraines that mysteriously seem to crop up each fall?

I can look back at past years of snap data and see what it has meant for the following season. Namely, for this post in particular, how much does it matter if the Tigers bring back, say, 51 percent of their snaps as they did from 2013-14 as opposed to 72 percent of their snaps, as they did from 2016-17.

Well, as you can see by those two examples, it doesn’t matter all that much. The team that brought back 51 percent went 11-3. The team that brought back 72 percent went 7-6.

Post over!

But, if you look at specific position groups and offensive and defensive performance, it paints a bit of a different picture.

I set the offense, defense and each position group within them as a whole to regression formulas, trying to project overall production the next season based on returning snap percentage, and saw how much the projections deviated from the actuals.

Some groups had basically no correlation. Some had stronger correlations.

Let’s see which groups have mattered the most over the past six years, shall we?

Offense

For every percentage point added in snaps returning, we expect points per game to increase by 0.2, yards per game to increase by 1.45 and yards per play to increase by 0.02.

Fitting those models to the data, points per game had a standard deviation of 8.82, yards per game was 94.5 and yards per play was 0.94.

So, not spectacular.

With 60.6 percent of its offense set to return in 2019, the model would predict Missouri to average 28.9 points per game, 423.0 yards per game and 5.84 yards per play.

Among position groups, the wide receivers and tight ends were most predictive of offensive success.

For every percentage point added in snaps returning among wideouts and tight ends, we expect points per game to increase by 0.32, yards per game to increase by 4.12 and yards per play to increase by 0.04.

Fitting those models to the data, points per game had a standard deviation of 6.73, yards per game was 42.3 and yards per play was 0.54.

Missouri returned around 30-35 percent of its receiver/tight end snaps from both 2013 and 2014, and the offense sputtered both years. Well, at least until 2014 found a run game. The Tigers returned more than 75 percent of their receiver/tight end snaps from 2015 and 2016, and the offense averaged more than 500 yards per game each year.

With a new offensive coordinator. And an emboldened Drew Lock. Yes, there are shiploads of mitigating factors. I’m choosing to ignore them for this thought exercise.

With 67.9 percent of its receiver/tight end snaps set to return in 2019, the model would predict Missouri to average 33.1 points per game, 474.5 yards per game and 6.38 yards per play.

Defense

On defense, over the course of this study, it has actually behooved Missouri to have less coming back. And the correlations are stronger than the offensive side of the ball.

For every percentage point added in snaps returning, we expect points per game to increase by 0.69, yards per game to increase by 9.89 and yards per play to increase by 0.10.

Fitting those models to the data, points per game had a standard deviation of 5.53, yards per game was 38.8 and yards per play was 0.46.

With 66.8 percent of its offense set to return in 2019 (uh ohhhhhhh), the model would predict Missouri to average giving up 31.4 points per game, 475.6 yards per game and 6.18 yards per play.

Among position groups, defensive line actually mirrors the defense as a whole pretty closely in terms of correlation.

For every percentage point added in snaps returning, we expect points per game to increase by 0.16, yards per game to increase by 2.04 and yards per play to increase by 0.02.

Fitting those models to the data, points per game had a standard deviation of 5.51, yards per game was 44.7 and yards per play was 0.49.

With 59.7 percent of its offense set to return in 2019, the model would predict Missouri to average giving up 26.0 points per game, 396.7 yards per game and 5.41 yards per play.

Whole Team

The correlation is not great when we take it out to a super macro level, as I said before.

For every percentage point increase of snaps returning, we expect a decrease of .11 percentage points in win percentage.

That’s .11 percentage points. So it barely moves at all. That results in a bunch of predictions hovering around 52-55 percent over the past six years and a standard deviation of 17.6

So 18 points of leeway on either side. So more than 4 games of difference over a 12-game season. So, taking 2019’s 63.5 percent of snaps returning and 53.4 projected win percentage, anywhere from 35.8 to 71.0.

So anywhere from 4-8 to 9-3.

You’re welcome!

Measuring it by percentage point change in win percentage from the previous season is a little better, but still not great. For every percentage point increase of snaps returning, we expect an increase of 1.63 percentage points in win percentage, with a standard deviation of 16.0.

So that 63.5-percent figure would give us a bump up to an expected 61.7 win percentage, or 7-5 over 12 games (8-5 over 13, if the bowl ban gets lifted). Again, though, with 32 total points of leeway, meaning the expected range dips as low as 45.7 and goes as high as 77.7. Or the difference between 5-7 and 9-3 in a 12-game season.

What do we take from all of this? Look for Missouri to have really good seasons on offense and defense the next time it returns a whole bunch of receivers and not that many defensive linemen.

Work is below, if you want to see:


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Missouri football: Analyzing returning production for 2019 season – Rock M Nation

Missouri football: Analyzing returning production for 2019 season  Rock M Nation

The Tigers are set to bring back 63.5 percent of their snaps from last year. Is that a good thing?


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Clemson Tigers get best of Alabama Crimson Tide again in FPI preseason rankings – ESPN

Clemson Tigers get best of Alabama Crimson Tide again in FPI preseason rankings  ESPN

With an edge on offense, Clemson gets the nod over Alabama in FPI's first ranking of 2019. Where did the rest of the FBS teams land? Check it out.


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Will Drew Lock still fill Joe Flacco’s elite shoes in Denver?

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

1. Joe Flacco trade throws wrench into the oft-projected Drew Lock/Denver marriage? Maybe not.

Just about every mock draft to date has Drew Lock going at No. 10 to Denver — at least, before Kyler Murray put both feet into the NFL pool.

But on Wednesday, word leaked of an impending trade between Denver and Baltimore, sending Joe Flacco to the Mile High City. However, that doesn’t totally rule out Lock heading to the Broncos.

Charles McDonald of SBNation writes:

Flacco is a start. The draft could be the next step. Elway is rumored to like Missouri quarterback Drew Lock this year. Lock is a big, strong-armed quarterback, but he could use some time to sit behind a veteran quarterbackwhile he learns the NFL game. Flacco already endured a similar situation last season in Baltimore with Lamar Jackson — until Flacco’s hip injury put Jackson in the starting role for good.

Flacco’s contract will guarantee him to be on the team for at least one season, but Denver won’t owe him any guaranteed money past this season — which, in theory, would be when the quarterback they drafted should be ready to take the reins.

All in all, this could be a GOOD thing for Lock — if John Elway truly is enamored with the Missouri quarterback, of course. Whether you believe Flacco is elite or not, should Denver also draft Lock, it would take the burden of expectations off the rookie for at least a year, while also giving him a year to sit and learn from a Super Bowl-winning veteran quarterback.

2. Some roster, injury updates for Missouri baseball.

Baseball season is here — can you believe it? The Tigers start their 2019 campaign against North Florida on Friday in a three-game series. Ahead of that, coach Steve Beiser met with the media on Wednesday and provided some key roster and injury updates for the squad.

Via the Columbia Missourian:

MU coach Steve Bieser opted to sit the Tigers’ projected-No. 1 starter, T.J. Sikkema, because of an illness last week that forced the junior to miss one of his pitch-count days, limiting him from adding to his pitch count before the start of the season.

...

Instead, Missouri will start with senior Tyler LaPlante on the bump Friday, followed by a pair of junior transfers in Art Joven and Jacob Cantleberry.

Here are Missouri’s projected position starters via the game notes, although the lineups have not been announced:

In addition, Missouri will be without three players this year because of injury:

According to Theo DeRosa of PowerMizzou.com, Hanna will transfer and Bormet is no longer on the roster.

3. Good 24 hours for Ronnie Suggs.

After helping to guide Missouri to a one-point win over Arkansas on Tuesday, news broke on Wednesday that Ronnie Suggs is also on scholarship at Missouri.

Yes, I know it turns out Suggs has been on scholarship for over a month now — but, still. Good 24 hours for the Bradley transfer.

It’s been a tough year for Mizzou hoops, but these are the kinds of stories that everyone should be focused on as Cuonzo Martin continues to look to improve.

Congratulations, Ronnie.


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:


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UT Vols: Tennessee football, Jeremy Pruitt shouldn’t feel sorry for Missouri, Barry Odom – Knoxville News Sentinel

UT Vols: Tennessee football, Jeremy Pruitt shouldn't feel sorry for Missouri, Barry Odom  Knoxville News Sentinel

You're in fantasy land if you think your fellow SEC members will be sympathetic to your misfortune.


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LOCAL BRIEFS: State wrestling tournament slated to start Thursday – Kokomo Perspective

LOCAL BRIEFS: State wrestling tournament slated to start Thursday  Kokomo Perspective

The Missouri wrestling state championships start at Mizzou Arena on Thursday. For the first time in state history, girls wrestling will be featured at the competition.


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Missouri football coach calls out Tennessee, other SEC schools for recruiting his seniors – News-Daily.com

Missouri football coach calls out Tennessee, other SEC schools for recruiting his seniors  News-Daily.com

Missouri coach Barry Odom said his 19 seniors have been "contacted and bombarded non-stop" by SEC coaches trying to lure them away from the Tigers in ...


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Missouri Football Cuts Season Ticket Prices For 2019 Season – Ticket News

Missouri Football Cuts Season Ticket Prices For 2019 Season  Ticket News

Missouri Tigers fans will see a slight decrease in prices for the 2019-2020 season, along with some changes to the Memorial Stadium.


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POLL! Who was Mike Alden’s best hire as athletic director?

Debate has arisen since Robin Pingeton collected her 500th career victory, so we asked Twitter to weigh in on Alden’s tenure.

This past Sunday, Robin Pingeton earned her 500th career victory when the Tigers downed Vanderbilt 69-46. It was a big cause for celebration as the Tigers head toward their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, an accomplishment only achieved once in the program’s history — Joann Rutherford led the Tigers to five straight appearances from 1981-1986.

After the game, ABC 17’s Andrew Kauffman had the team’s play-by-play man, Brad Tregnago, on his show, and they debated a question that doesn’t usually get talked about.

That tweet — and the victory — triggered some conversation around the Mizzou universe as to who was Alden’s best hire during his time as athletic director. We decided to get in on the action and ask you in the return of our weekly poll!

Editor’s Note: A lot of y’all pointed out that Brian Smith was not hired by Mike Alden. If I — Josh — had dug back into our archives, I would’ve found that Gene McArtor, acting AD between Joe Castiglione and Alden was the one who technically hired him. Thanks for correcting me, and sorry for the mistake.

Almost unanimous winners are always hard to write about, but it’s almost impossible to argue with this choice. Pinkel was not only instrumental in resurrecting the football program, but he was also responsible for putting it on the map in a bigger way. If Pinkel doesn’t get Mizzou to the heights of the 2007-2011 stretch, the school is likely still in the Big 12. He never took the Tigers to the mountaintop, but he got them a lot closer, and there’s no debating that.

I will, however, make a small case for Robin Pingeton (even though I, personally, voted for Pinkel. Pingeton took over for a non-revenue program that was five years removed from its last NCAA Tournament appearance, had gone 52-70 in that stretch and had only reached four tournaments in 20 years. Building a program from that kind of foundation isn’t impossible, but it requires a lot of hard work.

Pingeton, however, got things turned around in short order. After two losing seasons, Pingeton took the Tigers to three straight WNIT’s and is currently in line to make the program’s fourth straight NCAA appearance. She’s only one appearance away from tying Joann Rutherford’s record of five straight appearances, and with a monster recruiting class next year, it’s not out of the question.

Pingeton has transformed the Tigers from an also-ran into a well-oiled machine, regularly bringing in four and five-star recruits and working with some of the most talented rosters the program has ever seen. Her legacy is also tied with Sophie Cunningham’s, who is undoubtedly the best player in the program’s history. They have a chance to take things to new heights this year by making a deep March run.

So, no, Pingeton isn’t on the level of Pinkel, but I’d argue she has plenty of time to prove herself. The Tigers are built to be a top-tier SEC team for the long run, and Pingeton is responsible.

On to the responses!

We touched on this above, but yes, Pinkel did change the perspective of Missouri football during his tenure. Fans are used to seeing successful Tiger teams, and that’s because Pinkel established a floor of expectations that was arguably higher than ever.

Cheers to the team player.

How about you? Who do you think was Mike Alden’s best hire as Missouri’s athletic director? Make your choice and comment below with your thoughts. We’ve excluded Brian Smith from this poll, but feel free to sing his praises anyway.


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POLL! Who was Mike Alden’s best hire as athletic director? – Rock M Nation

POLL! Who was Mike Alden’s best hire as athletic director?  Rock M Nation

This past Sunday, Robin Pingeton earned her 500th career victory when the Tigers downed Vanderbilt 69-46. It was a big cause for celebration as the Tigers ...


category: Uncategorized

Missouri coach Barry Odom takes shot at UT Vols football, complains about poaching seniors – Knoxville News Sentinel

Missouri coach Barry Odom takes shot at UT Vols football, complains about poaching seniors  Knoxville News Sentinel

SEC schools are trying to poach Missouri's seniors, and Barry Odom isn't happy about it. In particular, the Tigers' football coach has a bone to pick with ...


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Study Hall: Mizzou 79, Arkansas 78

Missouri needed every ounce provided by Jeremiah Tilmon’s return to the lineup.

When Xavier Pinson was called for an offensive foul after pushing off against Jalen Harris, causing the deepest convulsion through Harris’ body, you could feel the fatalism start to take hold in the minds of Missouri fans.

Clinging to a one-point lead after being ahead by 14 with 10 minutes to play, the script seemed to be painfully playing out again before our eyes. After squandering leads late in games to LSU and Texas A&M, it looked like MU was going to fumble away another win in a game it seemingly controlled.

Tuesday night was different, if only because MU had time to formulate a plan and set its defense out of a timeout. Cuonzo Martin deployed Ronnie Suggs’ 6-foot-6 length on the Harris, Jeremiah Tilmon on Daniel Gafford, and went with Kevin Puryear, Jordan Geist, and Javon Pickett to round things out. He leaned on experience and competitiveness.

The result: a stop and a win.

Team Stats

study hall 2019 team stats arkansas2
  • It’s amazing the difference in the game basically comes down to .01 of a PPP: But this was a fairly even offensive game. Mizzou started really hot but cooled significantly in the second half without the support of consistent 3-point shooting. After shooting 40 percent from deep in the first half, MU only went 3 for 11 from long range after the break. What spared the Tigers was the face the Hogs never got cooking from outside, shooting just 25 percent (5 of 20) from behind the arc, and having to manufacture more of their points inside left them just short of a comeback.
  • Arkansas isn’t awful on the road, but the Hogs are still prone to big swings: Anderson’s tweaked his scheme over time, which allows it to travel when the Hogs leave Fayetteville. This season, though, the Hogs abundant youth makes it susceptible to major flips like the ones we saw this season. In the first matchup, Mizzou’s BCI score was 0.48, compared to Arkansas 2.21. So coming out ahead at 1.45 to 1.17 on Tuesday with just a 16-percent turnover rate was critical in overcoming Arkansas’ defense.
  • After getting to the foul line just four times last game, they were able to get back to the line at a more reasonable rate: This specific team isn’t ever going to be one that has a super high free-throw rate, so anytime they can find success going to the line it’s a good thing.
NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Jeremiah Tilmon, Jordan Geist, Kevin Puryear

study hall 2019 gmsc arkansas2

On the season: Jordan Geist 42 points, Mark Smith 25 points, Jeremiah Tilmon 27 points, Javon Pickett 14 points, Kevin Puryear 11 points, Xavier Pinson 8 points, Torrence Watson 6 points, Reed Nikko 2 points.

Have yourself a game Mr. Tilmon: 21 points on 11 shots, and he even missed a couple chip shots he usually doesn’t. Tilmon wasn’t super active on the glass or even defensively, but the game plan seemed willing to trade a few buckets by Gafford around the rim in exchange for Tilmon keeping his foul count low. MU’s 2-point defense can take a hit if it means Tilmon plays 30 minutes and gives them that level of production. Yes, Gafford had 26 points, but the sophomore needed 17 shots and numerous flops to get there. MU’s defense made Gafford work and made him sore, and Tilmon benefitted.

Ronnie Suggs may have had the most impactful six minutes played in his career. He hit two huge shots and was a defensive key on the last possession. Oh and it was his birthday, so... Happy birthday, Ronnie!

While the freshman wings struggled for most of the night, Xavier Pinson had a lot of good moments on the glass and did enough offensively to offset the lack of production from the others. I’m not going to jump fully on the “Pinson was awesome bandwagon,” because he still had far too many poor decisions with the ball resulting in bad shots at the rim or turnovers. But you can really see the outline of a really nice college point guard.

study hall 2019 player% arkansas2

Welcome back to the YAY column for Kevin Puryear. He didn’t take a ton of shots and was passive offensively, but the senior saw some jumpers drop and provided another good night on the glass.

It’s really almost becoming comical how the combo forward spot can be a completely black hole for production. Aside from Puryear's improved play, K.J. Santos played seven minutes and made a free throw, and Mitchell Smith played seven minutes and made a 3-pointer. Any production has been better than what they’ve been getting, but if Puryear hadn’t been struggling with foul trouble he likely takes over more minutes in this game, and maybe the margin is wider.

I’m not sure this changes the season at all. Mizzou is still in rebuilding mode and hoping to get Mark Smith back for the weekend. Maybe they can pull off a huge upset in Oxford. (Who would have typed that sentence in the preseason?) According to KenPom, MU has just one more projected win on the schedule and two games left forecasted to be within a possession. The expectations are there, and the hope is to exceed them the rest of the way. Last night was at least a building block towards the more hopeful finish.


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Barry Odom takes shot at Tennessee for recruiting Mizzou seniors – 247Sports

Barry Odom takes shot at Tennessee for recruiting Mizzou seniors  247Sports

Missouri Tigers football coach Barry Odom is not happy with other coaches around the country reaching out to his senior class after a postseason ban for the ...


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Drew Lock NFL draft profile – The Draft Wire

Drew Lock NFL draft profile  The Draft Wire

Draft Wire's Gavino Borquez breaks down Missouri QB Drew Lock.


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Updated Way-Too-Early Top 25 college football rankings – ESPN

Updated Way-Too-Early Top 25 college football rankings  ESPN

Thanks to the transfer of Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley are moving up in the Way-Too-Early Top 25.


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Missouri football coach calls out Tennessee, other SEC schools for recruiting his seniors – News-Daily.com

  1. Missouri football coach calls out Tennessee, other SEC schools for recruiting his seniors  News-Daily.com
  2. Barry Odom takes shot at Tennessee for recruiting Mizzou seniors  247Sports
  3. Missouri coach Barry Odom takes shot at UT Vols football, complains about poaching seniors  Knoxville News Sentinel
  4. Missouri's Barry Odom is mad at Jeremy Pruitt, but he's probably stretching the truth a bit  atozsportsnashville.com
  5. View full coverage on Google News

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Missouri outlasts Arkansas behind monster performance from Jeremiah Tilmon – Rock M Nation

Missouri outlasts Arkansas behind monster performance from Jeremiah Tilmon  Rock M Nation

Missouri basketball home game. Middling visiting SEC rival. Double-digit lead in the second half. What could possibly go wrong? There's a lede that could've ...


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Missouri outlasts Arkansas behind monster performance from Jeremiah Tilmon

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Tigers falter, but hold on against Arkansas at home

Missouri basketball home game. Middling visiting SEC rival. Double-digit lead in the second half. What could possibly go wrong?

There’s a lede that could’ve been used several times over the course of this season, most recently against Texas A&M this past weekend. Unlike that forgettable outcome, however, Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers were able to hold on against Mike Anderson’s Razorbacks, outlasting Daniel Gafford and Isaiah Joe to win 79-78.

This time, the Tigers buckled but never broke, hanging on to edge the Razorbacks 79-78. Arkansas, down by 14 in both halves, got within a point with 10 seconds left then got another possession after an offensive foul, but all the Razorbacks could manage was a off-balanced shot that Jeremiah Tilmon pulled down for a game-clinching rebound.

Tilmon did more than just pull down the winning rebound too. The sophomore was once again dominant in his return from a wisdom tooth related injury, scoring 21 points on 8-11 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. Jordan Geist added 18 points and five boards, while walk-on Ronnie Suggs scored the five biggest points of his career late in the second half.

With Arkansas trailing by four, walk-on Ronnie Suggs hit a corner three with five minutes left that put MU up 70-63. Gafford continued to keep the Hogs within two possessions, as MU failed to draw his fourth foul and as a result, repeatedly sent him to the free-throw line. Isaiah Joe’s three with three minutes remaining cut Missouri’s lead to two, Pinson and Suggs responded with a pair of floaters.

Sam will have more in Study Hall later.

While it’s encouraging to see Missouri close out a win against a decent team, it’s pretty clear the Tigers miss Mark Smith desperately.

While Missouri has the talent to sometimes make up for Smith’s shooting, the sophomore provides more two-way consistency than anyone else on the roster. Martin continues to be dodgy about when Smith will return, though he was seen without his walking boot before the game. I’m still of the opinion he shouldn’t be rushed, even if that means having to miss another game or two.

Missouri will head to Oxford this weekend to take on Ole Miss, who has won two in a row after a four-game slide. The Rebels are good, but Missouri has to grab a road win if it wants to maintain any hope of reaching the NIT.

Barry Odom puts Tennessee — and other rivals — on blast

One of the major concerns surrounding the recent NCAA sanctions has been the fact that Mizzou’s seniors are now able to transfer wherever they want without penalty. And according to Barry Odom, there are quite a few schools trying to take advantage.

Odom said Tuesday that his 19 seniors are being “contacted and bombarded non-stop” by teams taking advantage of NCAA bylaws that allow rising seniors from programs hit with a postseason bans to transfer without penalty.

This is [braces for impact] actually understandable. Kelly Bryant has reaffirmed his commitment to remain at Missouri, but there are seniors at Missouri who may be inclined to play their final season elsewhere for many other reasons. Maybe they want to play in a bowl or maybe they’re unhappy with their roles on the team now. Whatever it may be, they have until August to make up their minds.

The real kicker of this story came when Odom singled out one of the Tigers’ SEC rivals.

“Everybody is going to have a bad day,” Odom said, expressing his frustration with keeping his players from transferring. “You combine that with somebody that -- who’d we beat 51-17 this year? Tennessee? Yeah, those guys. They are non-stop reaching out daily [saying], ‘Hey, come here.’ The grass is not always greener somewhere else.”

This quote is (a) extremely frustrating (b) also extremely pleasing? Everyone outside the state of Tennessee recognizes that the Volunteers are somewhat of an also-ran at this point, so it would induce severe heartburn to see any players leave for a school who the Tigers have taken to the woodshed two years in a row. Still, I have to admit that it’s pretty sweet to see Jeremy Pruitt desperately trying to poach from Missouri’s talent pool. If you can’t beat them, take their players!

I’ll just sit back and wait for all the Volunteers fans to angrily tweet about their last great recruiting class.


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

  • CBS Sports and NFL.com both released new mock drafts yesterday. Both have Drew Lock going in the top half of the first round to different teams.
  • Yesterday Sophie Cunningham was named one of 30 finalists for the Player of the Year. Today, she was named the SEC Player of the Week.
  • Speaking of Mizzou basketball stars, alumnus BreAnna Brock is continuing her esteemed international career in Australia.
  • Hearnes Center got a makeover and she’s looking reeeeeeeeeeal fine.
  • Mizzou is giving away the nameplates from this year’s Mizzou vs. Vanderbilt game to family members of the listed veterans. Cool gesture from the school.


category: Uncategorized

Tilmon matches Gafford, spurs Tigers to win in Razorbacks rematch – Rock M Nation

Tilmon matches Gafford, spurs Tigers to win in Razorbacks rematch  Rock M Nation

Without Mark Smith this time around, Missouri thwarted a late comeback attempt to beat the surging Razorbacks.


category: Uncategorized

Missouri holds on to beat Arkansas

Without Mark Smith this time around, the Tigers found a way to beat a surging Razorbacks squad

Missouri beat Arkansas 79-78 on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena in a rematch of the Tigers’ 72-60 loss in Fayetteville three weeks ago. Even more impressive, the Tigers won without Mark Smith, who is still sidelined by an ankle injury.

Ronnie Suggs committed a loose ball foul with 1:41 remaining, and Jalen Harris hit both free throws to cut the lead to 76-74. Missouri, however, responded when Kevin Puryear lobbed a beautiful touch pass over the head of Daniel Gafford into the hands of Jeremiah Tilmon, who slammed it home with one second remaining on the shot clock. A foul on Xavier Pinson allowed Harris to sink another pair from the stripe, and Jordan Geist could only sink one of two from the line on the other end.

Arkansas ran an alley-oop play for Gafford out of a timeout with 11 seconds left. Suddenly, the lead was down to 79-78. When Pinson committed an offensive foul on the ensuing inbound, it looked like the Tigers had stumbled down the slippery slope to blowing another large lead. But Missouri played strong defense in the final seconds and Harris’ desperate heave, which was either a shot or a pass for Gafford, who was stationed by the basket, came up short and was swatted away by the Tigers as time expired.

The Tigers began the second half by clanking a pair of treys off the rim, but Tilmon collected the second one and put it up through a foul for the old-fashioned 3. Geist followed with a 3 from behind the arc to give Missouri a 52-38 lead. But the team failed to score in the next 3:02 of action, allowing Arkansas to scratch back within 52-43. Three minutes later, a 5-0 Razorbacks run cut the deficit to only five, the first time it had been that low since the game’s sixth minute. Tilmon followed up with an and-1, and Mitchell Smith hit a corner 3 soon after, but a quick 6-0 Arkansas streak cut the lead to just four.

A Suggs trey brought the sleepy Mizzou Arena crowd to its feet for the first time all game. Instead of building on the 70-63 lead, Missouri continued to trade baskets with its opponent.

Missouri handled Arkansas’ frenzied high-pressure defense well ___________. In fact, the Tigers didn’t commit their first turnover until 9:36 had elapsed in the first half. The ball security was crucial for the Tigers as they built a 20-10 lead, capped by a Geist trey off a crafty Pinson assist. Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson called timeout just seven and a half minutes into the game. Twelve seconds later, Mason Jones hit a long jumper to give Arkansas their first points from someone not named Gafford. Pickett and Geist responded with a pair of 3s to stretch the lead to 26-12.

Soon, however, Missouri would go through its only cold stretch of the period, scoring only twice over a period of 4:33. Tilmon and Puryear both missed some easy looks inside during the stretch, and Arkansas took advantage. After a 12-6 Razorbacks run, Cuonzo Martin called timeout while his team nursed a six-point lead.

It took a while for Missouri to get its offensive rhythm back. But the Tigers clamped down on defense, stopping Arkansas from scoring a single point for over three minutes after the timeout and increasing the advantage to 36-24 in the process. The visitors constructed a couple of pushes late in the period, like when they trimmed the deficit to seven shortly following a Tilmon technical foul. Each time, the Tigers pushed back with a response of their own. They took a 46-36 lead into halftime, which represents a season-high in points during the first half.

Gafford and Tilmon began the contest by exchanging a trio of dunks, two of which came from the former. The latter’s teammates soon joined in, as Missouri made its first four shots of the game, including two from Kevin Puryear. A Pinson 3 made it 12-6 early.

Despite the score, Gafford had it working early. The problem is that none of the other Razorbacks managed to contribute — the big man scored his team’s first 10 points and added a vicious block of a Pickett layup attempt that he spiked directly into the ground.


category: Uncategorized

Missouri’s Barry Odom Is Furious with Tennessee and Others for Recruiting His Seniors – The Big Lead

Missouri's Barry Odom Is Furious with Tennessee and Others for Recruiting His Seniors  The Big Lead

Barry Odom is calling out the rest of the SEC for recruiting his players.


category: Uncategorized

Game thread: Missouri looks to avoid third three-game losing streak of SEC play

The Tigers are hoping to improve on their last showing against Arkansas, a 72-60 road loss, despite the likely absence of Mark Smith this time around

Missouri’s postseason hopes are all but dashed (kudos to those believers among us who still think an NIT berth is possible), but that’s to be expected from a team that lost its best player, Jontay Porter, to a season-ending injury before the schedule even started and it’s best 3-point shooter, Mark Smith, to a pesky ankle sprain during the heart of the team’s SEC slate. That doesn’t mean this is a lost season. Jeremiah Tilmon is learning to avoid foul trouble and pass out of double-teams. Smith has emerged as one of the SEC’s premier perimeter threats and one of the Tigers’ best defenders. Freshmen Javon Pickett and Xavier Pinson have become key contributors well ahead of schedule. Their classmate, four-star recruit Torrence Watson, is beginning to adjust to the next level. A youth movement is underway in Columbia, and it will be on display Tuesday (sans Smith) against a surging Arkansas Razorbacks squad coached by former Mizzou head coach Mike Anderson. Let’s play basketball.

The Details

Opponent: Arkansas Razorbacks (14-9, 5-5 SEC)

Time: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena; Columbia, Missouri

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Nope.

What Does Vegas Say? Arkansas, -1.5

ESPN’s Basketball Power Index: Mizzou, 54.4%

Where To Watch: ESPNU

Radio: Tiger Radio Network

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball


The Review

Recap | Tigers offense shoots second-half blanks in 68-59 loss to Aggies

Study Hall | Texas A&M 68, Mizzou 59


Five Questions

  1. When will Mark Smith play again?
  2. Mizzou’s 3-point percentage: over or under 30 percent?
  3. Does Torrence Watson or Xavier Pinson receive the start in Mark Smith’s place?
  4. Predict the score!
  5. Who is your trifecta?


category: Uncategorized

Game thread: Missouri looks to avoid third three-game losing streak of SEC play

The Tigers are hoping to improve on their last showing against Arkansas, a 72-60 road loss, despite the likely absence of Mark Smith this time around

Missouri’s postseason hopes are all but dashed (kudos to those believers among us who still think an NIT berth is possible), but that’s to be expected from a team that lost its best player, Jontay Porter, to a season-ending injury before the schedule even started and it’s best 3-point shooter, Mark Smith, to a pesky ankle sprain during the heart of the team’s SEC slate. That doesn’t mean this is a lost season. Jeremiah Tilmon is learning to avoid foul trouble and pass out of double-teams. Smith has emerged as one of the SEC’s premier perimeter threats and one of the Tigers’ best defenders. Freshmen Javon Pickett and Xavier Pinson have become key contributors well ahead of schedule. Their classmate, four-star recruit Torrence Watson, is beginning to adjust to the next level. A youth movement is underway in Columbia, and it will be on display Tuesday (sans Smith) against a surging Arkansas Razorbacks squad coached by former Mizzou head coach Mike Anderson. Let’s play basketball.

The Details

Opponent: Arkansas Razorbacks (14-9, 5-5 SEC)

Time: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena; Columbia, Missouri

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Nope.

What Does Vegas Say? Arkansas, -1.5

ESPN’s Basketball Power Index: Mizzou, 54.4%

Where To Watch: ESPNU

Radio: Tiger Radio Network

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball


The Review

Recap | Tigers offense shoots second-half blanks in 68-59 loss to Aggies

Study Hall | Texas A&M 68, Mizzou 59


Five Questions

  1. When will Mark Smith play again?
  2. Mizzou’s 3-point percentage: over or under 30 percent?
  3. Does Torrence Watson or Xavier Pinson receive the start in Mark Smith’s place?
  4. Predict the score!
  5. Who is your trifecta?


category: Uncategorized

How to Watch: Arkansas vs. Missouri – 247Sports

How to Watch: Arkansas vs. Missouri  247Sports

A preview of tonight's action and everything Razorback fans need to know to tune in to Tuesday night's game between Arkansas and Missouri from Mizzou ...


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Barry Odom calls out Tennessee for trying to poach Mizzou players after 2019 bowl ban – Saturday Down South

Barry Odom calls out Tennessee for trying to poach Mizzou players after 2019 bowl ban  Saturday Down South

The Missouri Tigers were recently hit with a 2019 postseason ban, and that means that rising seniors can be contacted by other programs about transferring.


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ROCK M RADIO: Opponents Alley with Sam Snelling and guest Kory Keys

Sam is joined by Kory Keys to talk Mizzou, Ole Miss, and SEC Basketball

Welcome back to Rock M Radio! This week, Sam Snelling is joined by Kory Keys in the latest episode of Opponents Alley! They get into Mizzou, Ole Miss, the SEC’s most disappointing team and talk some Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

Programming Note: Matt is out tonight and you find out why at the end of the pod!

Episode Breakdown:

:15 – 17:15: Intro and catching up with Kory Keys and let’s dive right into talking about Ole Miss and what’s happening there so far this season among some other SEC Storylines.

17:16 – 25:50: Let’s talk about what is to come in the Mizzou/Ole Miss game right around the corner and Mizzou this season.

25:51 – 45:44: Which team in the SEC has been the most disappointing this year? Hint: The SEC has been pretty weird this year…

45:45 –END: Final thoughts and some thoughts on Kentucky and Tennessee coming up this weekend!

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

To listen on SoundCloud, click HERE or listen below:

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You can follow members of Today’s show on Twitter @SamTSnelling and @KoryKey.

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 @RockMRadio on Twitter.


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Tennessee basketball: Vols No.1 seed in the South region in the latest bracketology – FanSided

Tennessee basketball: Vols No.1 seed in the South region in the latest bracketology  FanSided

The Tennessee basketball team still on the top seed lines in the latest bracketology from Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm.


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Missouri lowers ticket prices, details #MakeItRight campaign

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Missouri’s AD clarifies campaign against NCAA, including ticket price changes

This weekend, Missouri officially launched its campaign to fight the NCAA’s recent sanctions — #MakeItRight or #WinItRight, which are (in this writer’s humble opinion) both clearly inferior to Pete’s unofficial suggestion of #BurnItDown. Part of Jim Sterk’s plea to fans was to ramp up support of the affected programs, though apart from that plea, there appeared to be no tangible way for fans to get involved.

That changed on Monday, as Missouri announced major changes to ticket pricing as the 2018-2019 school year rounds into its final stretch.

Missouri’s student all-sports pass will cost just $150, down from $260. The price decrease comes at a slight location cost, as students will be relocated to the northeast and southeast corners of the stadium after being directly behind the opposing bench in 2018.

Athletic director Jim Stern said the decision came after talking with fans (both students and non-students), though those conversations were likely prompted by falling attendance at last year’s football games. The need for public support following the sanctions provided the perfect opportunity to make the announcement, though again, it was likely in the offing before the athletic department knew of the severity of the NCAA’s punishments.

After the changes were announced, Sterk and Andy Humes, associate athletic director for compliance, met up with local media to explain both the changes and the appeal. There’s a lot of great stuff in this interview, but I picked out this nugget.

PowerMizzou: There’s the penalty matrix that has been talked about. Is it any more difficult to overturn something that’s within that matrix?

Humes: “I think that’s part of the appeal. Not just the actual penalties, but the classification of the case. I think you heard Dave Roberts, who’s the chair of the committee, in his press conference after very much pointed to the matrix and if it’s within it. While that’s true, the committee does have the ability, there’s a bylaw, 19.9.6 I think, that allows you under special circumstances to give penalties above or below the matrix. It’s not that their hands are totally tied. There are other options and other cases, especially cases that have exemplary cooperation, often times, the bylaw is used to provide less penalties than what’s in the matrix.

One of the potential road blocks to the NCAA overturning the penalties — specifically the bowl ban — is the fact that Missouri has admitted to committing infractions. Fortunately, it seems that Missouri’s team recognizes this and is looking for cases where the NCAA has been more lenient. There’s no saying if it will work, but it’s a reason for hope.


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

  • Gabe DeArmond ranked Mike Alden’s hires in his Monday Morning Thoughts, and he has some controversial picks at three and four ($$).
  • Cameron Teague at the Columbia Daily Tribune examined Javon Pickett’s season and how he’s stepping up during Mark Smith’s absence.
  • Anne Rogers at the St. Louis Post Dispatch took a closer look at junior Jordan Roundtree and how she’s chipping in on a team desperate for more options.
  • Sophie Cunningham’s bid for Player of the Year continues after she was named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team.
  • Famous alumnus John Anderson is making a push for #TigerStyle as it gears up for a big dual with Oklahoma State this weekend.


category: Uncategorized

Missouri lowers ticket prices, details #MakeItRight campaign – Rock M Nation

Missouri lowers ticket prices, details #MakeItRight campaign  Rock M Nation

This weekend, Missouri officially launched its campaign to fight the NCAA's recent sanctions — #MakeItRight or #WinItRight, which are (in this writer's humble ...


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou struggling without sharpshooter Mark Smith – STLtoday.com

Mizzou struggling without sharpshooter Mark Smith  STLtoday.com

Mizzou hasn't been the same team offensively since Mark Smith went down with an ankle injury last month.


category: Uncategorized

Missouri to drop or maintain football ticket prices for 2019 season, move student section – Kansas City Star

Missouri to drop or maintain football ticket prices for 2019 season, move student section  Kansas City Star

Missouri's athletic department announced on Monday that football tickets for the 2019 season will be reduced or stay the same. The price cut will effect 85 ...


category: Uncategorized

Mizzou holds on for 79-78 win over Arkansas after 13-point lead disappears – Kansas City Star

Mizzou holds on for 79-78 win over Arkansas after 13-point lead disappears  Kansas City Star

Just like on Saturday against Texas A&M, Missouri blew a 13-point lead in the second half at home against a Southeastern Conference opponent. But Mizzou ...


category: Uncategorized

What has Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk optimistic about the Tigers’ NCAA appeal? – Kansas City Star

What has Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk optimistic about the Tigers’ NCAA appeal?  Kansas City Star

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk discussed the NCAA's ruling on academic fraud at length on Monday and discussed why the department has a chance at the ...


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Stadium’s Pre-Spring College Football Top 25: #25-21 – Stadium

Stadium’s Pre-Spring College Football Top 25: #25-21  Stadium

With the 2019 college football season only 194 days away – and counting – it's never too early to start projecting next fall's Top 25 teams. My rankings probably ...


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Tennessee football: Vols top 25 S&P+ ranking more exciting than you think – FanSided

Tennessee football: Vols top 25 S&P+ ranking more exciting than you think  FanSided

Tennessee football's Top 25 S&P+ projection for 2019 is more exciting for the Volunteers than that data even shows. Here's a look at why.


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When Gafford struggles on road, so do Razorbacks – 247Sports

When Gafford struggles on road, so do Razorbacks  247Sports

Daniel Gafford is the focal point of the Razorbacks' offense, and when he struggles on the road the team has been losing.


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Looking closer at Missouri’s 2019 S&P+ projections

Bill C. released the 2019 S&P+ projections this week. Here’s where Missouri stands by the numbers.

On Monday morning, barely one month removed from the end of the 2018 college football season, our esteemed Manager Emeritus kicked off the first round of internet slap fights for the coming season by unleashing his 2019 S&P+ projections on the world.

It’s a big day for Bill (as you can see by the furious storm of activity on his Twitter page), but it’s also a big day for us here at Rock M Nation, as we look to fill your feeds with that sweet, delicious offseason content.

So, just for grins, let’s take a closer look at Missouri’s projections, and what they say about the coming year.

Overall Ranking: 16th

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri slots in at No. 16 in the country, sandwiched between two Pac-12 teams (Washington and Utah). Here’s what Bill had to say about the Tigers:

It thinks more highly of LSU (fourth versus a consensus of about ninth), and it doesn’t punish Auburn for always having a ridiculous schedule — the Tigers are projected eighth as opposed to the Way Too Early consensus of something around 23rd. It values another set of SEC Tigers (Missouri) more highly, too, and it’s more bullish on a couple of Big Ten teams as well (Wisconsin and Michigan State).

Missouri has consistently come in around the bottom — or “just-missed” — parts of Way Too Early Top 25 lists, and these rankings back up the claim that the Tigers are a Top 25 team. Last year’s rankings had Missouri even higher; they were No. 12, just ahead of CFP participant Notre Dame. This bears out the idea that the Tigers were a much more talented team than their record and fell victim to bad luck more often than not, particularly in losses to Kentucky and South Carolina.

Being a Top 25 team, however, doesn’t automatically mean you’re considered a contender in the SEC. Missouri is eighth — EIGHTH! — in the conference and third in the SEC East. Here’s where No. 16 would put them if they were in each of the other Power Five conferences.

ACC: 2nd (Clemson, 3)

Big 12: 2nd (Oklahoma, 5)

Big 10: 5th (Ohio State, 7; Michigan, 9; Wisconsin, 11; Penn State, 14)

Pac-12: 2nd (Washington, 15)

Having an elite team doesn’t mean much in the SEC. It’ll always be an uphill battle to the top.

Recruiting Impact: 38th

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For recruiting, I create a rating based on these weighted four-year recruiting rankings. The weighting (67 percent this year’s class, 15 percent last year’s, 15 percent the year before that, three percent the year before that) is based on what makes the ratings most predictive

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Missouri’s recruiting standing in the SEC. Missouri checks in at thirteenth in conference by this measure, only leading Vanderbilt.

I’ll be interested, though, to see if Missouri gets a boost by next year. The 2019 freshmen and sophomores have a chance to show out on the two-deep, and there should be some producers among the underclassmen (ex: Daniel Parker, Tyler Badie, Jalen Knox, Anthony Watkins, Jalani Williams, Jack Buford, etc.)

If Barry Odom can round up another strong class in 2020, the Tigers could see their recruiting star continue to rise.

Returning production: 12th

NCAA Football: Missouri at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

For returning production, I take each team’s returning offensive and defensive production(which are on different scales) and apply projected changes to last year’s ratings. The ranking you see below is not where they rank in returning production but where they would rank after the projected changes are applied to last year’s S&P+ averages. This piece makes up a vast majority of the overall S&P+ projections.

Here’s where things get a little complicated. As you can tell from Bill’s blurb, Missouri doesn’t actually rank 12th in returning production. Rather, this deals more with quality of returning production than quantity. In reality, Missouri ranks 81st in returning production — 94th on offense, 57th on defense.

Now before you go typing away about, “BUT KELLY BRYANT,” keep in mind that this is where transfers factor in, and the process of accounting for them isn’t always easy.

From Bill’s piece of calculating returning production:

I used categories like the ones above, weighted for largest effect — so returning quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive backs carry more heft — to create numbers for offense and defense. I have updated 2018’s rosters for 2019, accounting for NFL declarations and, as much as possible (since it’s impossible to keep up with all of them), transfers.

Projections are, in and of themselves, a more comprehensive and defined guessing game, and transfers can get even murkier. There’s no way to accurately account for how players like Kelly Bryant or Jonathan Nance will perform in new environments, so it’s always probably safest to underrate them.

In any case, it’s hard to be upset about what Missouri is returning on both sides of the ball. Even S&P+ agrees that while the Tigers aren’t returning a lot of bodies, they’re getting back a lot of production.

Final Thoughts

NCAA Football: Georgia at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s how Missouri’s schedule breaks down by the S&P+ projections. Bold denotes a home game.

Wyoming (92); West Virginia (38); SEMO (N/A); South Carolina (18); Troy (69); Ole Miss (39); Vanderbilt (53); Kentucky (37); Georgia (2); Florida (6); Tennessee (21); Arkansas (48)

Like we’ve mentioned, the 2019 schedule lines up nicely for Missouri to reach nine or ten wins. If you chalk up Georgia and Florida as losses (which isn’t a guarantee by any means) and count Kentucky on the road as another, you’re still sitting at a record of 9-3. If you win all the games you should win by S&P+ rankings, you’re 10-2. Get a little lucky and 11-1 or (knock on wood) 12-0 aren’t off the table.

Ultimately, the S&P+ rankings are more valuable than things like Way Too Early Top 25 lists. They’re based in data and proven production. So Tiger fans can take some hope away from this list.

However, until the Tigers take the field at War Memorial Stadium in Wyoming this August, none of it really matters. It’s really just another feather to put in your cap when looking ahead to the 2019 season.

But the S&P+ projections do bear out the major narrative of the coming season — that this has the potential to be Barry Odom’s best team, both in advanced statistics and on-field production. Nobody remembers that the Tigers were 12th in the 2018 S&P+ (except maybe Bill), but everyone remembers that they went 8-5 and lost a tough bowl game.

With some injury luck, a successful NCAA appeal and more good bounces, we could be discussing one of the better seasons in recent Tiger football history by this time next year.


category: Uncategorized

Looking closer at Missouri’s 2019 S&P+ projections – Rock M Nation

Looking closer at Missouri’s 2019 S&P+ projections  Rock M Nation

Bill C. released the 2019 S&P+ projections this week. Here's where Missouri stands by the numbers.


category: Uncategorized

Texas A&M Football: Aggies eye Mizzou linebacker transfer – Saturday Blitz

Texas A&M Football: Aggies eye Mizzou linebacker transfer  Saturday Blitz

Texas A&M football will be thin at the linebacker position in 2019, making them a prime contender to land Cale Garrett, a potential transfer from Mizzou.


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Mizzou celebrates Robin Pingeton’s 500th victory, steps up the fight against the NCAA

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Robin Pingeton earns 500th career win

This season has been disappointing at times for Robin Pingeton’s squad as they seek to make their first Sweet 16 since 2001. However, Sunday offered an opportunity for celebration as the Tigers trounced Vanderbilt 69-46, marking the 500th win of Robin Pingeton’s career.

In a night where the outcome was never in doubt, it was poetic justice that the one leading the way was Pingeton’s best player.

With 27 points and eight rebounds, Cunningham continued her recent dominance. She now has scored 20+ points 11 times this season. Cunningham also tied a career-high in three-pointers as she drilled seven shots from beyond the arc.

Pingeton’s niece, Cierra Porter, also chipped in with her best game since the mid-season return, tallying 15 points and seven rebounds. The strength of Cunningham and Porter’s performances helped offset a slow game from Amber Smith (three points on four shots in 23 minutes), but the mood afterward wasn’t one of analysis as much as it was somber reflection on Pingeton’s successful (and still young) career.

Pingeton also thanked the crowd afterward, remembering the student athletes who helped her reach the landmark achievement.

“This is about a lot of people, this isn’t just about me. Are you kidding me?” Pingeton said. “I’ve coached some great players, I’ve had some great assistant coaches. I’ve had some great administration, great fan bases. This is so much bigger than one person.”

Congrats to Coach Pingeton! Here’s to another 500 in black and gold!

Mizzou Athletics launches #MakeItRight campaign

Since the NCAA’s harsh sanctions were passed down on Missouri, the school has been vowing to fight hard in its appeal. On Sunday, the public got a closer — and university-sanctioned — look at how they plan to do so.

The webpage offers an extensive look at all facets of the sanctions and the appeal, including...

  • A breakdown of the sanctions
  • Timelines for the appeal process
  • Explanations of Mizzou’s penalties, including mitigating and aggravating factors

The page also aggregated statements from all three program coaches and several others.

As Sam, Pete and I discussed on Rock M Radio, Missouri’s best chance at reeling in the majority of these penalties — and hopefully some of the harsher ones — is to dictate and draw out the narrative. This page is a good start. Now it’s up to fans to back the school up with financial support.


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

  • Dave Matter quoted Tom Crean in his thoughts on an undermanned Missouri team that is now back to .500 on the season.
  • Alex Schiffer was more positive about Saturday’s loss, pointing to the contributions of the true freshman trio.
  • Ben Hochman re-examined Joni Davis’ scoring record, her life beyond basketball and how Sophie Cunningham is on the cusp of Missouri history.
  • Over at PowerMizzou, Sean Williams talked to 4-star 2020 DE Kevon Billingsley about his recent visit to Columbia ($$).
  • Also for premium subscribers, Mitchell Forde talked to basketball commit Mario McKinney about the recent Vashon-CBC game that caught a lot of attention in St. Louis.
  • Larissa Anderson kicked off her tenure as head softball coach by mercy ruling the No. 12 team in the country and beating that one team to the west for a 3-2 start to the season. Not bad!
  • In tangential Missouri sports news: if you haven’t seen this buzzer beater at the end of Sunday’s Missouri State game, take a look.


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Mizzou celebrates Robin Pingeton’s 500th victory, steps up the fight against the NCAA – Rock M Nation

Mizzou celebrates Robin Pingeton’s 500th victory, steps up the fight against the NCAA  Rock M Nation

This season has been disappointing at times for Robin Pingeton's squad as they seek to make their first Sweet 16 since 2001. However, Sunday offered an ...


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Projecting the top 10 offenses of 2019 – 247Sports

Projecting the top 10 offenses of 2019  247Sports

Which offenses will be the most explosive in 2019?


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Texas Football: 2020 4-star LB Brennon Scott puts Horns among top 11 – Hook ‘Em Headlines

Texas Football: 2020 4-star LB Brennon Scott puts Horns among top 11  Hook 'Em Headlines

The 2020 recruiting class for Texas football could get off to a nice start with defensive commits if it continues to win over 4-star LB Brennon Scott.


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GoVols247 Podcast: No. 1 Tennessee still chasing history – 247Sports

GoVols247 Podcast: No. 1 Tennessee still chasing history  247Sports

Looking for a recap of another unbeaten week for the top-ranked Tennessee basketball team, and a look at the Vols' stretch run? There's a GoVols247 Podcast ...


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Study Hall: Texas A&M 68, Mizzou 59

For 63 minutes against A&M this season the Tigers were dominant. For the final 17 on Saturday night, they were dominated.

I realize this is disappointing. After Torrence Watson knocked down a 3-pointer, Missouri held a 12-point lead over Texas A&M and seemed to have countered an initial flurry from the Aggies after halftime. Instead, it all went south in a game where the Tigers couldn’t overcome the absence of Jontay Porter, Mark Smith, and Jeremiah Tilmon. The Aggies shortened their bench, while Mizzou’s slow shooting night resulted in a train wreck of a second half for the Tigers.

Over the last 17:15 seconds of the game, the Aggies scored as many points as they in teams’ first meeting last month in College Station. For one half, MU’s defense smacked the Aggies around, but it went missing, letting A&M escape Columbia a series split for the season.

The end result crowded out another quality outing from Watson, whose shooting stroke remains cool but productive enough to match his improved play on the defensive end. Fellow freshman. Javon Pickett had another excellent game as well.

But missing Mark Smith for a fifth consecutive game and the lack of Tilmon, who was sitting after emergency dental surgery, crippled the Tigers’ offensively.

Team Stats

study hall tamu2 2019 team stats
  • Free-throw defense remains elite, but the Tigers can’t get to the line: The Tigers are in a bit of a weird situation. They are awful at drawing fouls but tend to foul a lot defensively. MU’s team defense can hold its own, coach Cuonzo Martin’s group gives opponents plenty of chances to pile up free points. While at the same time they don’t generate free points for themselves. On the offensive end, though, MU ranks 332nd in Division for scoring around the rim on non-post-up plays and creating free throws on those rim attacks, according to Synergy Sports. Only Rutgers and Oklahoma State are worse in this category among high-major programs.

While A&M was on their run, Mizzou lacked answers offensively because their available options haven’t had much seasoning. A&M zeroed in on MIzzou’s biggest threat, Jordan Geist, and limited the damage he was able to cause. Without Geist, Tilmon or Smith as threats, the Tigers offense relied a little too much on Watson and Pickett. Just take a look at the chart below.

Over 13:20, the Tigers only hit five shots and didn’t attempt a free throw.

  • Missouri won the BCI battle — just not in the second half: Ball handling has been an issue for Mizzou all year, and they were at 1.62 for the game. That’s not bad for this group, but the real story is what happened after the break. MU’s second-half BCI was just 0.89, while A&M sported a 1.5 mark. Neither is great, but the Tigers were in no position to give away possessions.
  • Tilmon’s absence was also acute defensively in the second half: The Aggies scored the same number of points (29) on dunks, layups and free throws as Mizzou tallied as a team after the break. They also posted a plus-8 rebound margin, choking off MU from getting extra possessions or easy points on the offensive glass. Finally, Texas A&M finished the game shooting 76.5 percent (13 of 17) at the rim.

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Jordan Geist, Javon Pickett, Xavier Pinson

study hall tamu2 2019 gmsc

Mizzou probably needed a bigger performance from Geist and didn’t get it. On a typical night with more pieces around him, the senior’s handiwork would have helped propel MU to a comfortable win. Instead, A&M hounded him from the start. Wendell Mitchell and T.J.Starks tracked him closely most of the night, with Aggies coach Billy Kennedy daring the rest of Mizzou’s roster to beat them. The Tigers couldn’t pull it off.

Now, we’ve seen freshmen step up at times to take on the mantle of leading MU for stretches of games, but it’s still unreasonable to expect Pickett, Watson, and Pinson to bail MU on a night like Saturday. The trio logged for 89 minutes and launched 32 shots, posting a respectable 31.1 game score in the process.

But as Martin noted in his postgame comments, the Tigers needed something from their frontcourt, which was a bit of a black hole. Reed Nikko buoyed the effort in the first half, but he struggled against Christian Mekowulu’s athleticism once the Aggies big man stayed out of foul trouble. Again, K.J. Santos and Mitchell Smith were ghosts in the box score, going scoreless and only mustering 12 points. (The Tigers were also minus-12 with Smith playing at combo forward.) Kevin Puryear turned in a solid outing — seven points and seven rebounds — but it was the 10th straight game posted a solid line of seven points and seven rebounds, but this was the 10th consecutive game where the senior failed to hit double figures in points for a team that struggles to score.

study hall tamu2 2019 player%

It’s rare for me where I can look at this specific chart and easily see a loss. Mostly I’ve carried on Study Hall using Bill’s format and tried to insert my own thoughts. Yet I didn’t know before the season how I wanted to present some of the items listed here or change it up. I can say this with certainty, though: having just two players with a floor percentage north of 40.0 and only two drawing fouls won’t cut it.

While all of it ended badly, and I get the frustration, I think we need a bit of centering after the loss.

Texas A&M’s best five were just better than what MU could put on the floor last night. Both teams were limited, with A&M down to only six scholarship players and Missouri at just eight. Under those conditions, you can’t have a pair of scholarship players — Smith and Santos — give you performances reminiscent of walk-ons.

If A&M didn’t have Mekowulu, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Nikko might have been enough to nurse MU through. Mitchell was better than anyone on Mizzou’s roster with 20 points in 32 minutes. After a sluggish start, Starks rebounded to finish with 15 points, and Savion Flagg added in 12. That’s 62 points. Brandon Mahan completed the scoring for A&M with six points. That’s their scoring all right there. Five of the Aggies six scholarship players gave them what they needed, and those five were already in the Aggies top-seven producers, including the three leading options in its rotation.

Mizzou couldn’t say the same. The Tigers only got production from six players, and they were missing their most talented perimeter and interior threats. The math isn’t hard. Yet watching a double-digit lead evaporate naturally produces some anxiety and frustration. MU had the lead in the second half and couldn’t find get a defensive stop or easy bucket to halt A&M’s run. But back in October, it this how you’d envision your shooting attempts would go while A&M was making a run?

Assuming Tilmon returns on Tuesday, Missouri should have a shot to beat Arkansas, but they had Mark Smith against the Hogs last go around and couldn’t get it done. So with or without Smith, the Tigers are gonna have their work cut out for them. At least being at home maybe a few extra jumpers fall early and often enough to carry them.


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Sports in brief – Bend Bulletin

Sports in brief  Bend Bulletin

SoftballOregon stays hot in Kajikawa Classic — The Oregon Ducks continued to roll on day two of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, defeating the ...


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Tigers offense shoots blanks in Second Half in loss to Aggies 68-59

Saturday’s loss was a tale of two halves. Let’s try our best to focus on some positives.

Cuonzo Martin was faced with a bit of a dilemma coming into Saturday’s matchup with a lowly Texas A&M squad, as star center Jeremiah Tilmon was scratched due to an emergency wisdom teeth surgery.

But it’s not like the Missouri head coach hasn’t had to deal with injuries to important players before.

Just this season, Martin had NBA prospect and by far the team’s best player in Jontay Porter go down for the year with a knee injury. As if that wasn’t enough, an emerging stud and the team’s second leading scorer, sophomore Mark Smith, injured his ankle and hasn’t suited up for the past five games.

So in retrospect, this really wasn’t something to stress out on too much.

Martin opted for a different-looking lineup Saturday, replacing Tilmon with Reed Nikko and starting Torrence Watson over Xavier Pinson at shooting guard. Some fans questioned these moves, as Nikko isn’t a flashy player and Pinson woos the crowd with his shifty passes, but there’s a reason they’re in the stands and Martin is on the bench coaching.

Nikko got into a bit of foul trouble, notching three just around five minutes into the second half and fouling out with five minutes to go in the game. But when he was on the floor, he was as productive as it gets. The big-man from Minnesota that some call “Big ‘Sota” was all effort Saturday night.

One of the highlights of the game came just under five minutes into the first half. Nikko caught a pass down on the left block, back to the basket. He turned around over his right shoulder and shredded the twine with a silky-smooth jumper. His offensive skillset was on display Saturday, both as a scorer and a grinder. He cleaned up mistakes, grabbed offensive boards and gave the Tigers multiple extra possessions throughout.

Nikko ended the game with eight points, three rebounds (all offensive) and a pair of blocks blocks in just 19 minutes of action. His career-high in points came on Dec. 16, 2017 when he scored 12 points against North Florida. And while he didn’t get quite to that total, he tied his previous SEC career-high in points (8 against Mississippi on Feb. 25, 2017). If Nikko managed to foul a bit less, there’s no telling what he would have ended up with.

The other newly-inserted starter in Saturday’s contest in Watson continued to fill up the bucket as of late. The freshman sharpshooter had at least one made three-pointer in each of Missouri’s past three games and scored double-digit points in two of the past three, but had a rocky start to this one. After missing his first five attempts from beyond the arc, it felt like Watson was forcing it too much.

But back-to-back triples in the second half got him going again, and just like that he had 10 points and yet another double-digit scoring game — his third in four games and fifth of the season. Watson ended the game with 12 points.

Another freshman in Javon Pickett continued to impress this season, racking up an efficient 15 points on just nine shots, including a trio of long-balls. His development into one of the better all-around offensive players for the Tigers has been exciting to watch.

And while I’m trying to focus on positives here for Missouri, I can’t not mention how abysmal their offense was in the second half. They were outscored 47-29 by a team that shot 37.5 percent in the first half and couldn’t get anything going. Twenty-nine points in a half against a team that’s five games below .500 and only has one win in conference is just simply not going to cut it.

I understand Martin was out two of the team’s three top scorers in Smith and Tilmon, but he has to be able to adjust mid-game and come up with a different scheme if the offense isn’t putting up points. Time and time again it seems he’s ineffective at doing so, which could be real concerning for Missouri. Now, I’m not saying Martin is a bad coach by any means — I think he’s excellent. It’s just his offensive mindset and in-game adjustments seem to lack at times, and in Saturday’s embarrassing loss, it showed.

The Tigers will stay at home for their next contest against Arkansas at 8 p.m. Tuesday.


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GAME THREAD: Missouri vs. Texas A&M – Rock M Nation

GAME THREAD: Missouri vs. Texas A&M  Rock M Nation

The Tigers are coming off a well-played loss to No. 1 Tennessee Tuesday and host the lowly Aggies to try to get back on track. Missouri beat Texas A&M by 23 ...


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