Monday Musings - The MLK Day Edition

Okay, so I missed out on the Monday Musings, the Tuesday Tidings, the Wednesday Wonderings, the Thursday Thoughts and the Friday Fancies.  What can I say...the week got away from me.  So...LOTS of stuff to get caught up on the past two weeks, as pretty much all the winter sports are now in action as school starts again tomorrow.  More meat than musing today...so let's get to it.

Men's Basketball:

Two weeks ago I got a little fired up about how the Tigers would need to take the momentum of the Georgia road win.  So, as we all know, we came home and dispatched with Coppin State before starting Big XII play in Lincoln.  And so while painting two rooms and a hallway in my house, I listened to the Tigers certainly not start the game when the ball was tipped, and...well...we know the rest.  The last two games have been slaughters of weak links in the north.  In fact, Mizzou is winning their home games this season (I believe) by just over THIRTY points a game.

I was in attendance at the game on Saturday and have rarely seen a shooting performance like I saw in the 2nd half.  I will say I am a little disappointed we did not feed the ball inside some more, but when you hit that many 3 pointers...why bother I suppose.  I still am not too sure as to why Bowers did not play more (though it is entirely possible I missed it in my being out of town), but I could not be more pleased with the defensive effort and intensity.  So...now we are back to a game and a week which would really elevate this team, with the road game against Okie State and home game against the Wildcats, who were pretty much had it handed to them by the Huskers (thanks to 25 turnovers from the Wildcats).

Hold serve (lose to Okie State and win at home), and the Tigers are still treading water.  Win out this week and you negate the effect on the record the NU game had.  I will disagree a tad with The Boy who said this past game washed away the taste of the NU game.  A road win would do that for me, and considering how this team has played their last two (and OSU just suffering a tough, road, OT loss to Baylor), I am ready for them (once again attempt to) take the next step.

Football:

I suppose it is worth touching on football just a bit, as this might has been our one big recruiting weekend.  As The Boy covered below, Mizzou took home four commits, the biggest of which was likely Kendial Lawrence, a mighty little RB from Texas.  This puts the Tigers at 23 committments at this point for the 2009 season.  I imagine they can probably take about 3-4 more people, meaning they are holding spots for people like Wingo or Hawthorne, while also probably supplementing some new names as well as the "season" winds down.  They have been pretty pretty good across the board in terms of position players taken, as I would like to see the rest of these spots go to the offense (I will be happy to count Wingo towards that, though I dont believe he ends up there).

Women's Basketball:

Last we checked in with the ladies, they were just getting finished with beating Duquesne for their 7th straight win.  They, like the men, would finish their out of conference season with a win, their 8th straight.  After defeating Chicago State, they would face down what might be the best team in the conference to open their season.  Last Saturday, the ladies put on a very solid effort against aTm, getting the game all the way back to a four-point deficit after trailing by 17 in the 2nd half.  However, the would still fall 62-56. 

The middle of the week took them to Lawrence for the first half of their border battle with kU. Mizzou was tied at 21 with the Hawks before kU used a 15-8 run to end the half, and then pulled away in the 2nd half to seal off a 75-58 loss for Mizzou.  Shakara Jones once again led the team in scoring with 14 points along with Alyssa Hollins.  This put them 0-2 in conference before their matchup on Saturday evening against the Huskers.  The Tigers would get out to a seven-point lead late in the 1st half, but the Huskers would tie it before all was said and done.  In the 2nd half, the Tigers would get out to a six-point lead before they and the Huskers would start trading leads back and forth.  In the end, the Tigers would regain their seven-point lead with four minutes to go and then hung on for a one-point win, 67-66.  Shakara Jones had her third straight conference game in double figures, and the Tigers were led with 18 points from Jessra Johnson.

Next up for the ladies will be a trip up to Ames to take on the 1-2, 13-4 Cyclones.  After the Wednesday game, the Tigers will return home for a weekend tilt against the 0-3, 8-7 Buffaloes.  The Tigers are currently 1-2 and 10-6

Women's Gymnastics:

The season got off to a great start for the #19 Tigers last weekend, as they traveled up to Ames to start their season.  The ladies put forth a VERY solid effort, defeating the Cyclones and putting up a score of over 195 points, which is very good at the start of the season.

I suppose some quick information on scoring:

  • 4 events (uneven bars, floor, beam and vault). 
  • 6 competitors per discipline
  • low score on each apparatus is thrown out, leaving the top five.  A solid team event score is 49.
  • All performances have a starting value (so it is not always possible to get a 10.0 if the difficulty to start is only 9.9)
  • Perfect team score is 200.  Team scores of the top teams are typically around 197.
  • A few competitors (usually two or three) will compete in all events, making them eligible to win the All-Around competition.

Alright, with that out of the way...Sarah Shire repeated her smoking start to the season from last year by winning the all-around title with a VERY good score of 39.350 (Adrienne Perry won the Big XII all-around title last year with a 39.375) as the Tigers won 195.050 to 193.175.  The junior would win the vault and the beam, while senior Adrienne Perry would take the floor and senior Alicia Hatcher would win the uneven bars. Shire was honored as the Big XII Gymnast of the Week.

The ladies would hit the road again this past weekend, traveling to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils.  Now ranked at #10 (all-time high for the ladies, as rankings are based solely on team scores, and 195 is very high for this early in the season), the ladies would defeat the tough ASU squad, though they would see their team score slide just a tad in the 194.725-194.475.  Sarah Shire would win her 2nd straight all-around title with yet another 39.350.  She would also take the beam title, and she was the only Tiger to win an event on the night.

The Tigers should expect for their ranking to slip just a tad leading up to their next meet, which will be the annual "Pink Out" Fundraiser against Nebraska on Friday night at the Hearnes.  Nebraska (along with OU) are typically the tops in the conference, so this should be a very solid meet.

Men's and Women's Swimming:

The winter season has started for the #22 and #23 (men and women) swim teams, and it has not been the greatest start.  Last weekend, the men lost a REALLY tough and close meet to #24 Kentucky, while the ladies also lost in close fashion to both Kentucky and #22 Arkansas.  Winning two events on the day for the men were redshirt sophomore Cameron Sellers in the 200 and 500 free, and junior Martin Cernansky in the 100 and 200 breast stroke.  Freshman Jan Konarcewski continued to win events, taking the 200 back once again.  For the ladies, senior captain Lori Halvorson won the only race of the day for the Tigers in the 200 free, while freshman Jordan Morcom won the 3 meter diving.

Coming back this past weekend, the teams went to Indiana where the men took on two top-10 programs in Ohio State and Indiana, while the ladies took on both as well.  The men would get dominated by both schools, as they did not win a race on the day.  The ladies would beat Ohio State, but lose a pretty close meet to Indiana.  Winning for the ladies was junior Colleen Gordon in the 200 free, freshman Lisa Nathanson in the 50 free and senior Lori Halvorson in the 100 free.

Next up for the men will be a trip to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on January 31st.  The ladies will host the Cyclones on the 24th before joining the men the following week.

Men's and Women's Indoor Track:

The Indoor Track season got started as well last weekend, as the Tigers hosted the 22nd annual Missouri Invitational.  The biggest news to come from the competition was from senior Chris Rohr, who enters the season as the leading returning performing in the weight throw in the NCAA winning the event in record-breaking fashion.  His throw of over 70 feet broke the old meet record and provisionally qualified him for the NCAA's already and also earned him Big XII Male Track Athlete of the Week honors.  On the women's side, senior thrower Krishna Lee also took the event and also qualified provisionally for the NCAA's.  Senior Kaela Rorvig also helped the Tigers to a 1-2-3 finish in the long jump, while junior Angela Portykus won the 1-mile run, with junior Garrett Jeffies doing the same on the men's side.

This past weekend, an old tradition was restored.  Mizzou and kU participated in a dual meet, their first (on the men's side) since 1976, and the first ever for the ladies.  The 23rd ranked men beat the Hawks 101-80, winning 11 of 17 events on the day while the ladies won a tighter dual, coming out on top 94-86.  Chris Rohr won again for the men, while Lee and Rorvig each won two events for the ladies.  Both squads won the mile and Andy Oaker helped both squads win both throwing events.

Next up for the Tigers will be a trip to Lincoln to participate in the Big XII/Mountain West Challenge next weekend.  The Tigers will return to Columbia later in February

Tennis:

Wow...had no idea how big the weekend was for the Tigers in terms of teams in action.  Anyway, the ladies were down in Fort Meyers, Fl (lucky) for the Florida Gulf Coast Invite.  The ladies swept Florida Gulf Coast 7-0 and beat Stetson 5-2 before falling to Illinois on the first day of action in singles.  On the 2nd day in doubles, the ladies would beat Southern Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Stetson and Akron.  On the final day, the ladies would split 3-3 with Central Florida, with sophomore Mallory Weber defeating the #1 player for UCF who is currently ranked #70 in the NCAA.

Not entirely sure how the scoring and records play out for the action down in Florida, but the ladies will return to more traditional meets, heading out to the Big 10 with matches at Purdue and Ohio State this coming weekend.  They will next compete at home in two weekends against SEMO.

Wrestling:

Much more to come on their action from this weekend in the Wrestling Wrap-Up...likely coming tomorrow.

Random Thoughts:

  • Seriously, what the hell is the point of instant replay if you cannot replay certain plays?  Just never made any sense to me...and the Cardinals did a great job of making sure it did not come back to bite them in the ass
  • That being said, I had Philly winning it, but go Cards.
  • Wow...REALLY tough roughing the kicker call on Baltimore at the end of the first half.  Of course the Steelers blew it at the end of the half as it was.  And what a block by Sweed in that last minute.
  • Scary hit at the end of the game...just ferocious. 
  • Decent crowd at the hoops game on Saturday afternoon, though certainly not 12,500...hopefully the next one will be with school back in session, especially if we can win down in Stillwater to start the week
  • Love seeing Brendan Shanahan back with the Devils.  If they can get a healthy and rested Brodeur back in March and head into the playoffs healthy, they should have a decent amount more offense than they have brought in years past.
  • Am OK with the Jets taking Ryan.  He was probably the best available at this point and waiting on Grimm from AZ at this point did not make sense.
  • After all the catching up, I am out of random thoughts
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