Yeah...so these are a little late. What? I need to get up early to finish these on my day off? Anyway...a fairly full docket from this past week, as Football, Volleyball, Soccer and X-Country all got it going this past week and weekend, along with men's Basketball (yes...men's basketbal) getting some time on the floor up in Canada. As we have quite a few new members since about this time last year (as well as a new site since I dont think we came over here until Nebraska week last year), I will run down each Mizzou sport which was in action in this column. I aim to provide as much information about each sport as I can, but much of the time I am simply putting a little easier spin on results from MUTigers.com. So...let's get to it and see how the Tigers did on this first real full sports week/weekend.
I will certainly leave all the wonderful statistical goodness to The Boy and other thoughts as so eloquently stated by RPT, but here is what I gleamed from this past weekend.
- I was VERY impressed by Derrick Washington, though was hoping to see more of him getting some touches in the air.
- Speaking of which, a "decent" game by Daniel, but some throws which were behind the receivers, and the WR's did have some drops (I recall two from Maclin in the 1st half)
- Offensive line was a good bit ahead of where I thought they might be.
- Defensive secondary was way behind where I thought they would be.
- I know that Jones/Egnew/Jackson all played, but we really are in need of ONE more WR (or TE) to step up and take some heat off of Saunders/Perry/Maclin/Coffman and at least give them more of an effective breather.
- WOW does Illinois struggle with our TE's. Gave up 17 for about 130 last year to Rucker/Coffman and another 10 for 132 this time with Coffman/Jones. Some TD's in both games as well.
- Playcalling was a little suspect coming down the stretch, I thought we could have relied on running the ball a bit more and I did not get the Chase Daniel keeper on the short yardage situation in the 4th.
So what does it all mean? Pretty much nothing very likely in the grand scheme of things. The way our schedule works out, it is almost like the NFL starting the season with week 1, then sending everyone back to training camp for four weeks. I guess that is something of a slight against our next three opponents, but oh well I suppose. The Tigers now have time to tighten things a bit in the passing game and a bunch in the pass defense game. Will they make more mistakes in these coming games? Absolutley...but you just hope the defense slowly ramps up (as they did some extent last season, getting slightly better each week before really getting going against Nebraska) as they head towards conference season.
My hope for the coming game is that Daniel plays three quarters and that Patton is healthy enough to play the 4th. I want to see Jackson and Egnew catch their 1st balls of their career and see Jones get more than one look (though he made a perfectly good play with his one chance). I want to see Maclin in street clothes (even though I know he probably COULD go) and resting for the long haul. And I want to see a home opener where 60,000 Mizzou fans are in the house (though I do expect a decent turn out from the SEMO folks)
The young spikers had a pretty decent weekend out in Utah, as they defeated a strong Tulane squad who is predicted to win their conference, took out Utah St. and went a full five against #20 BYU before falling. The Tigers had their bumps in the road throughout the weekend, but 2-1 is about where you would want to be heading into another wekeend of action out in College Park, MD for three against the Terps, Wildcats of Kentucky and the St. John's Redmen (screw you, I will not call them the Red Storm or whatever they are now).
Impressive on the weekend was most certainly Wendy Wang, the sophomore middle blocker. She was big in each match, putting up double digit kills in all three matches and really controlling the action against Tulane at times in match #1. Sophomore Julianna Klein was also named to the all-tournament team, and she showed decently in her first action back since her devasting injury last year. She put up good kill numbers, and the Tigers did not shy away from setting her, and as her hitting percentage increases, the Tigers will be even better.
A pretty pleasant surprise came from the defense the Tigers put up, as not only sophomore Caitlyn Vann came up big all weekend, but so too did freshmen Priscilla Armendariz and Annie Lopez with double digit dig efforts. Amanda Hantouli was OK, and freshman Brittany Brimmage showed some strong moments (especially against Tulane) and along with Megan Wilson do show the decent depth the team has, especially as none of them are seniors.
The Tigers were able to get back on the winning track this past week after taking down the Auburn Tigers on Friday night, winning 1-0. The (Mizzou) Tigers dominated the action for most of the game, outshooting the (Auburn) Tigers 23-11. Only the (Auburn) Tiger keeper, Allison Whitworth kept the visitors in the action after saving 7 shots in a first half where the (Mizzou) Tigers outshot her squad 16-3. It was not until the 72nd minute when sophomore M/F Kari Adam put in the remains of a cross from junior Meghan Pfeiffer and senior Mo Redmond and the Tigers had their 1-0 lead and win.
Mizzou continues to use a LOT of players in their game, and interestingly continue to bring Kristin Andrighetto off of the bench, as she played 48 minutes. The Tigers lineup is pretty balanced, as only 3 defenders and 1 M/F played more than 80 minutes. 11 Tigers played between 28-65 minutes. Andrighetto did get off 3 shots in the game, as 16 of the (Mizzou) Tigers' 23 shots came from players who did not start.
California...here they come. The Tigers head to lovely Berkeley, CA this weekend as they take on Cal on Saturday afternoon, before sneaking in another game with E. Washington on Sunday before heading back. The Tigers are next in home action on Friday the 12th against Vandy.
The Harriers got their season off and...um...running down in Carbondale this past weekend with a head-to-head matchup against SIU-C. Typically, X-Country meets take place with a number of teams and hundreds of runners. This time, a head-to-head meet served as good practice for the squads as they prepare for their home meet of the season which will be in two weekends at the Missour Cross Country Challenge.
For the ladies, a solid run was punctuated by the Tigers taking the top two spots. Winning the 4K by :23 was sophomore Farren Kinsey, who picked right back up from where she left off last season. Coming in 2nd for the Tigers was freshman Laura Roxberg who gave a performance Coach Jared Wilmes was very excited about, as should all Mizzou running fans be. Also finishing strong for the ladies were senior Angela Portrykus, sophomores Layne Moore and Jessica Armstrong and another freshman in Aimee Bonte, giving the Tigers six of the top seven spots, and with considerable youth.
For the men, a great bounce back performance was turned in by senior Michael Barrows, who was the top Tiger finisher of the 6K in 4th place. Senior Brian Graybill finished 6th, while junior Ben Wade and freshmen Aaron Dixon and Stanton Ragland finished out the top 10. RS Jr and NCAA qualifier Dan Hedgecock did not run this past weekend, as a number of other Tigers expected to be a big part of the squad (sr's. Tim Cornell and Garrett Jeffries and soph's Phillip King and Dan Quigley) did not participate as well.
That's right...we have mens hoops to talk about in the month of August (though I guess it is now September, but you know what I mean). Somehow (and I still do not understand how the NCAA allows for these, but then again, I dont understand most of what the NCAA allows and does not allow) the Tigers are able to practice fully with coaches and then play three exhibiition games just over the border in Canada. The third game is probably going on literally as I type this, so I will just review the first two games, where the Tigers have scored 237 points against the Ontario All Stars and the Brock "We Don't Need No Stinkin" Badgers, while only giving up 148. Mizzou has been on fire from the field, shooing 55.8 percent overall, including 47.4 percent from three. Free throw shooting could stand to improve however, as they are only knocking down 61.1 percent.
Demarre Carroll is perhaps showing that he is fully healthy and recovered from last off-season, as he has scored 33 points in probably about 40 or so minutes of play on 15-20 shooting. Leo Lyons is also hitting consistently at 10-15 for the two games, and Matt Lawrence is enjoying the northern air and how it stears his 3-ball...yeah...that was a weird phrase...to the tune of 6-9...ahh..the good ol' days. The top shooting Tiger was even JT Tiller, hitting a whopping 80 percent of his shots on 12-15.
The most consistent new-comer over the two games was probably Miguel Paul, who was not only scoring well on 10-18 shooting, but getting a few boards and some assists as well. Marcus Denmon shrugged off a sub-par first effort to come roaring back in the 2nd game, hitting a team-high 23 points on 8-11, including 4-6 from across the border.
Turnovers are still a bit high, though that is to be expected from both an exhibition game, and likely from this team as well. They have induced a ridiculous 43 steals over two games though, to only 33 turnovers. As mentioned before, the Tigers will be wrapping up today and heading back to campus where I assume they will get back to conditioning sans-coaches until October when the "season" officially opens.
- Half a BILLION dollars for the Batman movie...that is pretty impressive
- Glad to see Hurricane Gustav was downgraded before making landfall. My heart goes out to all those affected by this down in that part of the country, including my LSU/Independence Bowl buddies.
- I believe September might be the best month of the year. April gives it a run with hockey/basketball playoffs starting, along with baseball and the Masters, and always starts nicely with the Final Four. But September has pro and college football starting and baseball finishing...tough call
- Nice to see the Cubs are at least somewhat mortal..of course it came (for me) at a bad time as I would have rathered they not lose to the Phillies. Their (expected) playoff rotation of Harden/Zambrano/Dempster is filthy though.
- Early weather forecast for Saturday is sunny and 80...it really could not get much better than that.