Monday Musings - Fall Semester is Winding Down


Gymnastics took the mat for the first time this season, but otherwise it was a pretty quiet week for the Mizzou Tigers, and it will not be the first.  This week, with finals now underway will be even quieter around Columbia and I will be honest in that I will enjoy a little bit of down time.  However, basketball is still motoring along and we will take a look at that as well as give a little bit of a primer in what to look for from the Gymnastics squad this coming season.

Men's Basketball:

Just the one game this past week after the Cal demolition, as they hosted the Racers of Murray State on Saturday night.  A "bigger" crowd filed into Mizzou Arena and saw the Tigers get out quickly, then the Racers come back to take their first and only lead of the game.  The Tigers would re-extend their lead and looked poised to put the Racers away, but never quite could do it, with Murray State getting it back to a 4 point game somewhat late in the action.  However, good energy at the end allowed the Tigers to prevail and keep their winning streak (both overall, at home and at home against non-conference opponents) alive.

I am starting to really enjoy how the team does share the ball, as there are always a couple of plays during each game which I just marvel at the extra pass for the easy finish.  However, we were clearly plagued on Saturday by a small return of the yips from the FT line, as well as a like of value of the ball.  We will beat a lot of teams when we keep the ratio of turnovers from the opponent to our own turnovers to 2:1 like we have at times this season, but when that ratio is about even, we run the risk of falling because we will not always be even in the rebound category.  I will also say I did not like how we started to settle for the outside shots during Murray's 2nd half run.  While I do like the fact that Leo CAN hit an 18 footer, I still think the offense needs to have him running much closer to the basket, both for better shot selection and rebounding purposes.

In the end, 8-1 is still 8-1and the Tigers will hopefully have a productive week in both the classroom and the practice floor before hitting Mizzou Arena again on Saturday evening.  Consider it the final tune-up before what will become the most important game of the season to date in the Braggin Rights matchup which of course will be the 23rd.  If you had offered 9-1 going into that game, I would have definitely taken it, that is for certain.

Women's Basketball:

Two games this past week for the ladies, and two wins, to bring their current winning streak to four straight games.  Earlier in the week, the ladies took on Bradley and handed them just their second loss, beating them by a solid score of 83-54.  The Tigers got out early and never looked back against the Braves, and put four players in double figures, led by Jessra Johnson and Bekah Mills with 16 each.  Alyssa Hollins would chip in 14 and Raeshara Brown added 11.  Johnson would lead the squad in boards with 7 (and turnovers with 6), and was also among the leaders in assists with 3.

Sunday afternoon had the team in action against Tenn-Martin, who only had one win on the season.  They would not get their second, as the Tigers won by a strange score of 74-23.  Yes...23.  Mizzou was up 44-13 at the half, and the most anyone on the team would play more than 23 minutes.  Junior forward Jessra Johnson had a great game with 7 points, but 5  boards and 8 assists (with zero turnovers).  The Tigers would have 20 assists to 13 turnovers, as compared to the 30 turnovers and TWO assists from Tenn-Martin.  Tenn-Martin only shot 7-48 from the field and 0-9 from 3 point range in one of the worst shooting displays I can remember.  The Tigers did hit 44 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3 (7-16) and 70 percent from the line.  Freshman guard Bailey Gee led the team with 13 points and 7 boards...strange that a guard leads in boards and a forward leads in assists...who knew?

The ladies now sit at 5-4 and will have an entire week off before they will lace them back up down in Fayetteville, AR against the Hogs on Sunday at 2pm.

Gymnastics:

Alright...here is what you need to know about women's gymnastics

Competitions are team-based.  Much of the time it will be just team vs. team, but in some cases it will be 3 or 4 teams with the top score winning.  There are four events: Floor Exercize, uneven bars, balance beam and vault.  Each team will send 6 ladies into each event, with the low score being thrown out.  The max score of each performance is a 10 (though not everyone does a routine which can rate a 10, some will do routines with a starting value of 9.9 and so on).  Therefore, the max team score is 200.

As the season goes on, teams are ranked by their average team score over 3 meets, with one being on the road.  I could go further into it, but it is pretty confusing.  Needless to say, the top teams will score in the 197 range by the end of the season.

On a more individual side, some participants are merely specialist in a particular discipline, while others are all-around'ers.  Mizzou has one of the best all-around'ers in the country in senior Adrienne Perry.  They also have one who is very solid in junior Sarah Shire, as well as freshman Mary Burke.  This past weekend in the black and gold meet, Perry won the all-around with a score of 38.950 (not a great score, but not surprising considering how early it is) and Burke was right behind with a 38.9.  Perry was above a 9.7 in all events; very solid to start the season.

The ladies will next compete next year against Iowa on Friday, Jan 9th.  Of course, they still have the Cat Classic as a home meet, and should be repeating their Beauty and the Beast split meet with the wrestling squad later in the season as well.

Wrestling:

More to come on that with the Wrestling Wrap-Up later on today!

Up Next:

Just the basketball team will be in action later in the week, with the men at home against Stetson Saturday night and the ladies on the road Sunday afternoon down in Arkansas.

Random Thoughts:

  • So...the head coach of ISU goes 2-10 and heads to Auburn...while the head coach of Ball State goes 12-1 and goes to San Diego State?  Really?
  • The Jets..ugh...well...a win is a win.  Quite the late effort after pretty much giving it away to a terrible JP Losman.  But, 9-5 is right in the fray with a trip to 3-11 Seattle up next.
  • Could pro football in Missouri be any worse?  Just when I think they have hit their new low...they completely prove me wrong.  Holy falling apart Batman...not that anyone in STL saw it (and with less than 74 in KC, don't think anyone saw it there either, but I could be wrong)
  • Got to enjoy some good college hockey this weekend on TV...Minnesota vs. Colorado College was solid.
  • The Devils finished off a really nice week with a loss to the Sabres, but were impressive on a number of levels on Friday night by blowing a 4-goal lead to still end up winning by 3 goals.
  • If the Mets sign Derek Lowe, I will be pleased with the off-season tinkering.  They did not give up too much in signing their new closer with a shorter contract, and getting Putz is a nice 8th inning guy and a perfect person for the NY media.  Lowe would fill out the starting rotation nicely for another shot.
  • ESPN2 showed Caddyshack last night...and skipped quite a bit.
  • Don't forget to sign up for the Rock M Nation Bowl Pick 'Em Contest by the way by the end of the week.
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