Monday Musings

Lots of action going on this weekend as seasons overlap one another with the start of baseball, continuation of the start of softball season and basketball and other winter sports just starting to come down the home stretch (some thankfully).  The week and weekend was kind of all over the place, so let's get all over the place and bring it all home to you.

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Men's Basketball:
So I think the last time around in this I think I talked about the back to back home games the Tigers had coming up as games that were coming this week.  Obviously, that was not the case, as Mizzou only played one game this past week, a game Saturday night inconveniently overlapping the pretty damn decent game of Memphis/Tenn (more on that later).  Mizzou came away with a slow, lacksidasical, lazy, methodical, whatever thesaurus word you want for unexciting, win over CU by the score of 60-53.  I could go back through the boxscore, but THANKFULLY Atch has done that for us with the ridiculous statistical anomolies which existed in that one.

Good to see Keon score some nice baskets when we needed them.  Bad to see us needing them when we had an 18 point lead in the 2nd half.  Anyway, Mizzou DOES have two games coming up this week.  First is the 2nd home game I spoke about last week, against a now topical Okie State, coming off of their nice home win in a terrible game against kU.  The 2nd game of the weekend will come on the road against a they-might-be-turning-it-around Baylor, who will be somewhat fresh off of their solid home win against a somewhat tanking K-state team.  Sweep the week, and it is .500...wouldn't that be something?  And really...that's all I got.

Women's Basketball:
Wow...the Mizzou women picked up their 2nd win in conference at home on senior night against kansas on Saturday night...good for them.  I think we had one senior, Nicole Wilson, who we got to use for one semester...so hey, at least we are still a young team, right?  Perhaps a "next coach" can mold us into something more in the not-too-distant future?

Anyway, Mizzou started off the week with a pretty standard loss up at Nebraska 73-57.  I would go over the stats, but you really do not care.  Against kU at home on Saturday, Mizzou won 62-59.  Alyssa Hollings scored 27 points on 21 shots...which is probably the best she has done all season.  Mizzou had a 10 point lead with about 9 minutes to go, and held on for the win.

The win moved the ladies to 9-17 overall and 2-11 in conference, breaking the LONG losing streak.  Mizzou has a home game against Iowa State this week, and then a road weekend tilt against the Wildcats.  And a stat for you....Mizzou has not broken 70 points yet this calendar year, and the last time they did, they lost to Marshall anyway.

Baseball:
It will be interesting to see how the change in the baseball scheduling affects warm weather team vs. cold weather teams this season.  One thing is for certain, it places a premium on pitching and this could be the best year to do that to the Tigers.  They started their season in sunny skies and balmy temps down in Florida, taking care of UCONN 7-1, Michigan State in a wild one 14-9 and then finished their play in Deland, FL by beating the home team Stetson 9-5.  For an opening weekend, 3 wins are 3 wins and that is probably the biggest thing.

Aaron Crow was decent over the weekend, but not to where most Mizzou fans perhaps had him built in our heads.  Rick Zagone struggled a bit on Saturday, with Kyle Gibson perhaps pitching the strongest of the starting staff, fanning 10, but still getting into occassional trouble.  Mizzou had timely hitting, but I think the amount of runs scored was a little misleading.  Each of the big guns hitting-wise for Mizzou (Senne, Calvert, Priday, Coleman, Lollis, Grey) each had some nice at bats but did not dominate over the course of the three days.  Nonetheless, it is always nice to be picky about a team that is 3-0.

Busy week for Mizzou, as they take on Central Florida later today, then they will cross the country later in the week to play 4 out in San Diego.  Two on Friday, with a game a piece the other days.  5 games during the week, certainly placing a premium on pitching.  We can obviously pencil in Crow, Zagone and Gibson, but who starts and pitches in the other two games will be an interesting early sign about who is slated to play a lot in the suddenly more important and increased mid-week games.  Hopefully more on baseball will come trrip if he gets the chance.

Oh yes, congrats to the team on their 2000th program win, the 35th such team across the country to do so.

Softball:
Another so-so weekend for the softball team, the 3rd they have experienced in 3 weekends.  They were out in New Mexico, battling the elements (including the wind) and came away with a four game split.  The Tigers were able to take their first two games of the weekend, topping the Shockers 6-0, then starting a game against Washington they would later lose.  They came back on Saturday to beat Big XII foe Texas Tech (in a non-con game) 10-4.  Their final two games would be losses, one to host New Mexico 6-4 and then the finish to Washington 6-0.

On the season, the Tigers sit at a pretty pedestrian 8-6.  Jen Bruck has finally started some more games for the Tigers, but has not pitched to where the Tigers will need her to really suceed this season.  Of course, they also lost two games last week against UMKC to weather, which could have also helped their record a bit.  They are home this week for 7 games, two against SLU midweek, then two against South Dakota State and three games against Boston University.  A solid week would certainly get the team back on track, but they need to combine the efforts of the pitchers and the hitters in the same games so they dont have to win 10-4 and dont lose 6-4.

Gymnastics:
Another very strong meet for the Tigers, this past Friday night against the highly ranked Sooners from OU.  In the end, Mizzou fell .325 short, losing to OU 196.025 to 195.750.  In looking over the scores for the Tigers, they look like they hit 21 of 24 routines, which is usually enough to give you a win since only 20 are scored (the bottom one in each event are thrown out).  Unfortunately, two of the scores came in the same event, the vault, and Mizzou had to take a 9.600 from Alex Gold.  In point of fact, Mizzou had 3 efforts under a 9.7, and OU had 5, but they did a better job of spreading them out and scoring higher, with 4 events at 9.9 or better to Mizzou's 2.

In better news, Adrienne Perry continued her impressive run, taking the all-around win with a score of 39.375.  Taking 2nd place was Mizzou's Sarah Shire, with a 39.325 and two event wins in vault and balance beam.  All the more impressive was that these efforts came over the #3 ranked All-arounder from OU's Kiara Redmond-Sturns, who also won the other two events (floor and bars).  It will be both interesting and impressive to see where Shire and Perry end up ranked individually in the next rankings.

Up next for Mizzou will be the annual special event, the Cat Classic on Friday night.  The team event will feature #4 Michigan, #20 Ohio State and Cal...you know...I used to remember when all the teams were "cat" mascots, but I guess not anymore.  I also think this used to be two nights, and they would have a the individual competition on Saturday night, but I am either dating myself or just making it up.  Could be both too.

On a note about scoring, Mizzou's ranking score will not change now, as they have competed in 3 road meets, which are used for their Regional Qualifying Score.  I dont really know what that means, other than their RQS wont change again until they compete against Illinois in a few weeks.

Tennis:
I guess in Tennis they rank, like, at least the top 43 teams in the country.  Strange, but eh?  Anyway, Mizzou headed up to Iowa this past weekend and split, losing 6-1 to #43 Iowa and shutting out Drake 7-0.  In reading about the Iowa match, Mizzou took the Hawkeyes to the brink in almost all matches before falling in most.  Chrissy Svetlic won the only match on the day at the #4 singles slot.  Moving on to Drake, Mizzou won most matches in straight set fashion, with Svetlic completing her weekend sweep winning out of the #3 slot.

Moving ahead for the 8-2 Tigers, the ladies will spend another weekend in even colder weather, taking on two more Big 10 teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  They will start conference play in a couple of weeks with a roadie against Colorado.

Track:
Quite the weekend for two Mizzou throwers, though one is no longer competing for the Tigers.  The weekend started for both at the Central Missouri Classic out in Warrensberg, MO.  Junior Chris Rohr broke a record not many thought would likely be broken, one held by all-everything Christian Cantwell.  Rohr peeled out an amazing weight throw, hitting just past 73 feet.  All the more impressive as this was a record for the meet, the building and he did it when he was already leading the competition by a half-way decent margin.  And, he did it in front of Christian Cantwell, who was on hand to compete in the shot put.

About that shot put, Cantwell had what was correctly tabbed by MUTigers.com as perhaps the most impressive sets of six throws, with ALL SIX over 70 feet.  The longest, at 72 feet and 9 inches was his personal best, and beat anyone else in the competition by over 15 feet....an amazing mark.  Cantwell would move on to some real competition in Boston, taking on the best of the best in the US, and winning that as well, on his first throw of the day and then fouling the rest (which unfortunately does seem to happen with him often).

The Missouri All-Comers meet was also this weekend, but there was no news on that at the time I wa writing this.  Next up for Mizzou is the Big XII Indoor Track Championships next weekend.

Golf:
The men started their season out in Puerto Vallarta last week, coming in 10th in their first tournament.  Junior Peter Malnati turned in a top 5 performance over the three rounds, while the rest of the non-senior competing team finished 40th or worse.  Next up for the men will be a trip down to Dade City, FL at the end of this coming week to compete in the Ron Smith/USF Invitational.

For the women, they started their season this weekend as well, teeing it up down in Florida at the Central District Invitational.  The ladies had a nice finish of 6th, with sophomore Julia Potter picking up where she left the fall season off with another top-5 finish, this time a 2nd place finish, her 4th top-5 of the season.  Junior Chelsea Schreiwer had a top 30 finish, with a couple of sophs and the lone senior golfer in Maddie Augustsson rounding out the squad.  Next up for the ladies will be a tourney down in aTm, but in a couple of weeks from now.

Random Thoughts:
  *  Another solid week for the Devils, picking up 4 wins in 4 games, and taking the lead back in the eastern conference.  Martin Brodeur appears to be "well-rested", starting his 22nd consecutive game and winning his league-leading 35th game.

  *  I watched the first 18 holes of the match-play finals on the Golf Channel (in HD), and that was really all the excitement there was for the day.  Tiger got out early and never looked back, winning 8 and 7 over the course of the 36-hole format.  He has made more money in his last 7 events (pretty much all wins) than Jack Nicklaus made...IN HIS CAREER.  That kind of money is insane, but so is the way Tiger is playing right now.

  *  I believe there should be some Spring Training baseball starting this week.  Got to love when that happens on the heels of snow on the ground.

  *  Nice to see another early pick up for Mizzou football...I continue to be enthralled with the depth of the senior-to-be talent in state this coming year.

  *  Two Big XII Conference Championships this coming weekend, with track and swimming.  Some border war points will be up for grabs, as Mizzou holds the smallest of leads (thanks to the women's basketball team) at 9.5-9  2.5 points are up this weekend.

  *  Memphis/Tenn was an entertaining game to watch...certainly not the most skilled action, but I really have to hand it to Bruce Pearl.  He knew Memphis would not beat him shooting 3's, said as much before the game to his team, said as much to Erin Andrews (as he MOLESTED her in an attempt to show her what Memphis was doing to Lofton) and was correct.  Also, the spotty creamsicle orange in the crowd of blue in HD was funny and striking to see.

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