Monday Musings

I was most certainly less busy than last weekend with the National Duals going on, but plenty of things to report upon this week.  Winter seasons are pretty much into full swing so I will try to keep this to less than 2,000 words, but we all know how that usually turns out.  Let's get to it!

Click 'Full Story' for the musings...

Men's Basketball:
So...Mizzou promptly followed up a 2-0 week against UMKC and Texas with an 0-2 week at Iowa State and home vs. kansas.  On result, I can accept the loss to kansas, but not really against Iowa State coming off of a win.  On effort, I can accept the loss against kansas, but not the effort against Iowa State.  The issue I am starting to see is that suddenly, we are not turning teams over.  Against Iowa State, only 10 turnovers...that will not get it done.  And in each game, we had someone shooting us right out of it.  Against Iowa State, Keon Lawrence puts up the 1-10 effort, contributing to the 43 percent effort.  Saturday night, Matt Lawrence and Demarre Carroll go 4-21 to lead Mizzou to 38 percent.
Also, free throw shooting has been terrible, with the Tigers shooting 19-37...just over 50 percent.  Hit 11 more over the last two games (the point difference) and you shoot a solid but not amazing 30-37.

At this point, Demarre Carroll should be instructed that he is not to shoot 3 point shots anymore.  I would be fine with Butterfield being told the same thing.  The reason being, this is almost akin to a turnover (especially with Carroll pulling the trigger.  If Carroll is shooting it, he wont be down under to get the board and the put back, which I am starting to see is going to (unfortunately) account for more and more of his output.  And with a team that has no great scorer, each possession becomes all the more important to not waste.

Two road games this week, against a very pedestrian TTech and an improving but nowhere-near-there-yet Colorado.  Tough to say these are "must-win" this early in the conference season, but the give-away on the road against Iowa State kinda makes them so.

Women's Basketball:
Now under .500 on the season, Mizzou fell both their contests this past week, first to ranked Okie State by 35 points.  Okie State outrebounded Mizzou by 26 boards, a number rarely ever seen in a conference game.  Mizzou shot 25.4 percent for the game, including a staggering 7-36 from INSIDE the three point line.  I suppose a highlight was that Mizzou grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, but only 13 defensive boards.  Against kansas, Mizzou got down early....like 30-14 early.  They did manage to get it back to 64-60 heading to the line for one FT.  But, that was missed and they fouled and that was all she wrote.  For the game, they were able to get their shooting percentage back up to 45.5 percent, which was the same percentage shot from the FT line as well.  Shakara Jones returned to the starting lineup, and put up an 18 point (on 8 shots) and 8 rebound effort.  Alyssa Hollins and Jessra Johnson each with 14 points (on 17 and 12 shot respectively) pitched in.

This week, Mizzou will be at home against 3-0 and 15-1 Baylor on Wednesday before heading south to Austin to take on the 1-2 and 13-4 Longhorns.  Mizzou currently sits at 1-3, and is the only Big XII team not over .500 at 8-9.

Wrestling:
We covered that yesterday in the Wrestling Wrap-Up in case you missed it.

Gymnastics:
Mizzou, having moved up to 12th off of their impressive opening effort last weekend took on the Cyclones from Iowa State, who they had not defeated since 2003.  Well, that streak is over, as Mizzou put together another solid performance and won 194.125 to 192.400.  Mizzou also won each event, plus the all-around title, which went to junior Adrienne Perry, who put up a very good 39.225.  Sophomore Sarah Shire, who impressed last week in taking the all-around title took the vault and floor exercise, while junior Alicia Hatcher took the bars and beam for the Tigers.

Mizzou will likely see their ranking increase just a tad, as it is averaged against their score of 194.100 of last week.  This week, they will head back on the road to take on Nebraska, who will likely be ranked just in front of Mizzou with a score of 194.5 or so.  Their next home meet will be on the 1st of February against UI-Chicago.

Swimming:
I believe last week I reported the men would be headed to Pittsburgh, PA to take on the home Panthers as well as the Terrapins of Maryland.  I swear Penn State and Villanova must have just showed up and asked if they could swim as well because I know they were not on the schedule.  Anyway, the Men swam very well, taking 3 of 4 duals (against Pitt, Maryland and 'Nova) while losing a tough dual to Penn State, who sat 16th in the country.  Mizzou now is #20th in the nation, sitting at 9-2, still 1-0 in the Big XII thanks to their early season win over #18 aTm.  Next up for the men will be a home meet against Iowa.  Also, if you are looking for the most bang for your buck on the men's side, look out for February 15-18, which will be the Missouri Grand Prix.  The amount of world class talent at this 4-day event is really high.

For the women, their trip up to Iowa State brought home some great results, including a sound win over the Cyclones, but also allowed the women to leave their mark on the Clone pool after the breaking of numerous records.  Leading the charge was junior diver Kendra Melnychuk, who not only won both the 1m board and 3m board diving, but set a school and pool record along the way.  Sophomore Colleen Gordon almost set another pool record, coming up just one tenth of a second shy of the 200 meter free record.  Mizzou will also take on the Hawkeyes of Iowa next week on "senior day" (though they do have another home meet later in the season against Nebraska).

Track and Field:
Both the men and the women travelled to Lawrence this past weekend for the kansas Invitational, and it became another showing of Mizzou throwing dominance for both the men and the women.  On the men's side, the shot put went 1-2 for Mizzou with senior Tyler Dailey winning, and junior Chris Rohr was 2nd.  In the weight throw, the Tigers went 1-2-3-4 with Rorh topping Dailey, along with seniors Jason Morris and Nate Englin.  For the women, senior Shermelle Nichols took the shot put over junior Krishna Lee, who earlier had taken first in the weight throw.  Mizzou also placed 4th in both events, along with a third in the weight throw.  Back to the men, sophomore Nick Adcock improved upon his 60m hurdle school record of a week ago, shaving another tenth of a second off.

Up next for the teams will be a trip to Lincoln, NE, where they will compete will other teams in the Big XII against a team of schools from the Mountain West Conference.  That will be next weekend.

Random Thoughts:
 *  Tough week for the Devils who lost back to back home games against the Islanders and the Panthers. before holding on against a bad Toronto team.  They are still tied for 1st right now with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but should try to take advantage of not only their upcoming home stretch, but also of the fact that Sidney Crosby may be out for awhile with an ankle sprain.

 *  Poor Sam Ryan....she looked frozen reporting life from Lambeau at halftime.  Even worse, she was there for CBS who did not have the game, but just sent her anyway to freeze.

 *  The Blues are not playing too well right now, but it was nice to see them have a sell-out on Saturday afternoon, even if it was free food and drink day.

 *  NE vs. SD - You know, I have tried to hate the Patriots...I really have.  Bear in mind my true exposure to them was their first Super Bowl win, which of course had me rooting for them over the Rame.  Since then, I just respect them.  Even the whole cheating-gate or whatever it was, and even with that coming against the team I love, I still do not HATE them.  And today, they just changed gears, went 2 or 3 TE's and just grinded it out against a game San Diego team.

 *  GB vs. NYG - Wow, even the HD on my smaller TV made me cold.  I dont know how Driver outran the dude with the angle still in the first half on the long TD.  But, power to Tynes for shaking off those two misses to kick a boulder from 47 yards.  Less than half the people in the pool I am in had the Giants making it past the FIRST ROUND, and no one had them going any further than that.  Hell, if they win, I end up winning the pool....so go G-Men.

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