Crap, it's Wednesday!
1 - Alright, the season is over for your team (whether we're talking about Mizzou or Kansas). If you'd been told at the beginning of the season how things would play out, how satisfied would you have been compared to preseason expectations?
2 - Mizzou: better or worse in 2010-11?
3 - Kansas: better or worse in 2010-11?
4 - Now that basketball is over for your team, what distracts you for the next week until Opening Day (if that even distracts you at all)?
ZouDave: holy crap, it IS Wednesday! Even I forgot, so don't feel too bad.
1 - This is probably about as good as we could have expected out of Mizzou. Maybe we could have done better in overall record by not dropping a couple of the really close games, but a 2nd round exit against a #2 seed seemed pretty reasonable and logical. I just can't see how calling this season anything but a success for Mizzou is fair. Was it a great season? Not really. But it showed that even though we lost incredible production and leadership, we wouldn't just be dead in the water. We lose 3 more seniors this year in Tiller, Taylor and Ramsey. We're probably going to be expected to have a better season next year than we had this year.
2 - Hmm...guess I already answered that. We should be better. Tiller and Taylor, very much glue guys and very much leaders, will be hard to replace but not impossible. Their leadership is what will be missing the most, but every year you're going to need new leaders. I can see Safford and English being our leaders next season. Returning so many players with so much experience (Bowers, English, Denmon, Dixon) that are still only going to be juniors seems to point to a very, very good season. If our recruiting class is everything it's cracked up to be, and especially if we're able to add JUCO Ratliffe I think Mizzou will definitely compete for the Big XII title next year.
3 - Worse, but not worse to the point of worry. I wouldn't expect them to go 32-2 prior to the NCAA tourney, I wouldn't expect them to be the overall #1 seed, hell I wouldn't even expect them to be a #1 seed. But should they expect a Big XII title? Well they've only won 6 in a row...not sure how you set your sights anywhere below that. So really they'll be in a pretty familiar spot at the end of next year's regular season. They'll be sitting atop the Big XII, maybe 2nd if things go well for another team, maybe *gasp* THIRD if things go well for 2 teams and go really poorly for kansas. They'll be absolutely no worse than a 3 seed in the NCAA tourney.
4 - Couldn't possibly care less about baseball at this point. The Royals have killed this sport for me. I basically only care about Greinke and Billy Butler. I will casually pay attention to see what they do. My distraction until football season starts will be the final few weeks of the English Premier League and the World Cup. When the World Cup is over, NCAA Football 11 will come out for the 360 and that basically marks the beginning of football season. Can't wait. Really looking forward to the Spring game this year.
Doug: 1 - If I were told at the beginning of the season how it would play out, wouldn't that become my pre-season expectation? Obviously, losing on the first Saturday of the tournament to a MVC 9 seed is not where anyone thought KU's season would end. When you come into the season ranked #1, spend most of the season ranked #1, are the pick in 80, 85, 90% of brackets to win the whole damn thing, then anything less is a disappointment. How big of a disappointment is relative to where the season actually ends, and this ending is pretty high up on the scale.
2 - I'll guess better. I don't know too much about Anderson's recruits, but you have to figure Safford will be back at near full strength, the guards will continue to mature, etc, etc. I think the only issue the Tigers will have, is if they don't have a deep rotation again, like they did the latter part of this season. I think we saw how devastating the 40 minutes can be in 2009, when you have a rotation that goes 10 guys deep, not to mention two solid post players. But this year, especially after Safford went down, Missouri's rotation was only 8 players against West Virginia and 4 guys played 30 minutes or more. Better depth, better conditioning and better health makes the Tigers a top half of the Big 12 pick next season.
3 - KU is coming back down to earth next year. However, they'll still be fairly strong. The Morris twins will be one of the better inside-outside post tandems in the conference, Withey should provide minutes in the post, and Robinson will continue to develop as an energy off the bench, at least initially. Aldrich's defense will be impossible to replace, but honestly, I think KU's perimeter defense will improve next year (it can't get any worse). The biggest hole to fill will be leadership, not talent, but I don't know who will step up and take those reins next year. I think KU will still be picked in the top half of the conference, but K-State will be the top pick to win, followed by A&M, and then a hodgepodge of Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma State all in the 3 to 6 range.
4 - I downloaded the Masters iPhone app. I don't know if that'll distract me, but it is something to look forward to.
User submitted question:
Obviously, there's still time for coaches to get the can, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen this year, so in order of who goes first next season, rank 'em: Sadler (NU), McDermott (ISU), Knight (TT), and just for the hell of it, Caple (OU).
My rankings: McDermott (could be gone in the middle of the season), Sadler (NU doesn't care about basketball, but he'll really need to show something next year to keep his job after March, if not before), Knight and Caple are a toss-up, I think the NIT bid help secure Pat Knight another 2 seasons, but I think Jeff Caple could just leave OU of his own volition, because who wants that headache?
Michael Atchison: 1 - This season met my expectations almost exactly. I always thought this team would be good; I never thought it would be as good as last year’s team. I thought they’d finish in the top half of the league, make the tournament, and have a puncher’s chance to win a game or two once they got there. But as I look back, I’m not sure how they ended up being as good as they were. This team really struggled offensively, and there were nights when they simply couldn’t run any offense through their interior players. But they’re really, really hard to play against. They make everyone (except Kansas) work so hard to get what they can get. I first saw that during Mike Anderson’s first season when midway through the second half, the body language of all the players on the visiting Arkansas team said "I’ve had enough of this &^%!*."
2 - With the obvious caveat that it depends on which recruits make it to campus, I think they’ll be better. Defensively, they’ll have no one like Tiller, and Taylor and Ramsey were role players exquisitely suited to this style. But the offense keeps getting better. Laurence Bowers has to make another leap; they need him to be a consistent threat to score, including in the halfcourt. And it would be really nice if they could land a juco big man who teams have to honor when he has the ball in his hands and his back to the basket. But the perimeter players who are returning (and joining – nice to meet ya, Mr. Pressey) will make for a more fluid and more explosive offense. It’s a bad idea to read too much into one game, but in the West Virginia game, everyone saw what Mike Dixon can bring to the table. He does things that Tiller can’t do, and that Taylor doesn’t consistently do. And obviously, the wild card is Tony Mitchell. Assuming he makes it to campus, he doesn’t have to be great, but it would sure help if he’s good. It’s a bad idea to pile too many expectations on a freshman, but if he can give them eight points and five boards – and more important, if he can be the guy who finishes around the rim – he’ll help take the team to another level.
3 - It will be hard for them to be better without Collins, Aldrich and Henry, but we don’t know what their recruiting class looks like yet. Still, they’re going to be good. And they could be really good. If Mizzou gets the right guys to campus, and if K-State doesn’t experience any unanticipated attrition, the top half of the Big 12 north could be as ferociously competitive as anything we’ve seen since 1988 or 1989.
4 - Basketball may be over for my team, but basketball isn’t over. Also, I have my knitting.
(One hour later...)
Michael Atchison: Good thing there’s no game this week, because this roundtable has a case of the crickets.
I was at the NAIA final four the past couple of nights, and Oklahoma Baptist (the team that won it all) has an Albert White clone. Nate Brumfield was the NAIA player of the year. He’s a 6’4" interior player with a wiiiiiide body, who is good with the ball in his hands on the perimeter. Dude is a beast. OBU also has Kevin Swinton, who spent two years at Wake Forest before running into some trouble, and AJ Hawkins, who played at St. Bonaventure and Wichita State. A lot of D1 teams would have had their hands full with that club. Still, they nearly lost. They won by one, only because Azusa Pacific’s last shot was released about a tenth of a second after the horn. APU had a 6’3" guard named Dominique Johnson who looked like the kind of diamond in the rough that Mike Anderson is good at finding and developing.
Any of you guys throwing your hat in the ring for the St. John’s job?
ZouDave: I've actually already removed my name from consideration for the St. John's job.
Doug: You and every other truly viable candidate in the country.
"St. John's is pleased to introduce their new head coach of men's basketball: Rich Zvosec!"
Michael Atchison: Zvosec did color on the CBS College Sports broadcast of the NAIA title game. His hair was perfect.
Doug: Shockingly, that's in the top 5 requirements for the next head coach of St. John's. Right after: breathing, gullible and mobile.
Michael Atchison: Because I know you were all watching, I wanted to let you know that it was my hand that reached up from press row and caught the ball that bounced out of bounds with 14:40 to play in the second half.
ghtd36: Michael "Head On A Swivel" Atchison.
ghtd36: "Would you please help me welcome the next coach of St. John's University: this inanimate carbon rod!"
ghtd36: I know a certain CHARISMATIC YOUNG DYNAMO who would be perfect for the job.
ZouDave: Ron Prince is the new assistant offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts
Michael Atchison: Wait till word gets out of the secret contract that he and Bill Polian negotiated.
RPT: Hey, maybe I can take a moment from pre-break exam cramming to answer some questions and, I don't know, actually contribute something to this site.
1. Very, which is how I hope other Missouri fans view it as well. Exact same story it was for football. Hopefully the way things played out during the season didn't devalue the performance against preseason expectations.
2. Um... neither? I refuse to say Mizzou will be better until I see Pressey/Mitchell/Green/Kreklow in action. I think the loss of Tiller and Taylor will hurt a lot more than a lot of people are letting on.
3. I can't imagine another regular season as dominant for KU next year. I think they'll struggle more during next season, but they'll be infinitely better off for it in next year's NCAA Tournament.
4. Sixth Street in Austin, Northgate in College Station, and Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner.
-- McDermott and Capel top my list, followed by Knight, and then way down the list is Sadler.
-- Props to Dave for being quick on the draw with the Rod Tidwell pic.
-- So Atch gets in Sports Illustrated AND on television in two weeks? Touche, sir. The best I had was when I was very nearly decapitated by an errant pass in the Tech/Colorado first round game two weeks ago.
-- Ron Prince AND Ron Turner are now with the Colts. Pre-order your championship T-shirts now. And remember:
Michael Atchison: Notice how I was in Sports Illustrated last week, and I’m still talking to you mooks now? Yeah, my life didn’t change quite the way I expected.
Got to step out for a bit now to go pick up a new backflow device for my sprinkler system. My life didn’t really change at all.
RPT: Side note for the community: If someone posts a 14th FanShot linking to the Gus Johnson soundboard, I might lose it.
/click "Here comes the pain"
ghtd36: Hey, RPT, did you know that there's a Gus Johnson soundboard?
Also, WE LANDED ON THE MOON!
ZouDave: And now, just because I want to, I am bringing back:
(90 minutes later...)
RPT: So, Pearl Harbor starts World War II but effectively ends this Roundtable.
ghtd36: Uhhh....ZouDave's sister?
RPT: Like the squirrel, she's everywhere?
ghtd36: And, like the squirrel, she's got an affinity for nuts.
/RISE AND FIRE COUNT IT AND THE FOUL OH MY WOW ON WOW CAN YOU BELIEVE IT
(90 minutes later...)
ZouDave: for the record:
ZouDave: oh, and for no reason at all: