1 - Zaire Taylor vs Robert Horry. Discuss. (Yes, Doug, I know that their big shots didn't come on quite the same stage. But I asked it anyway. So there.)
2 - Mizzou's offense has been horrendous the last two games. How much of a role has Justin Safford's absence played in that?
3 - Picks!
Kansas State at Kansas (tonight)
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M (tonight)
Texas at Baylor (Saturday)
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (Saturday)
Kansas at Missouri (Saturday)
4 - Somehow I'm withstanding the urge to ask a question about the Oscars ... instead, I'll ask a Twitter question! Conan O'Brien racked up about 240,000 followers in, what, 12 hours or so last week? Give me someone with both the overall celebrity and popularity on the Internet (a.k.a. popularity with the nerds and hipsters) to top that.
RPT: 1. To be fair, Horry's got the record for peeling potatoes.
2. Even when he's not making shots, Safford seems to be the one that drags Mizzou along early and forces the offense to be aggressive. It results in some poor shot selection, but it gets the offense in the right frame of mind. In all honesty though, I think it's primarily a coincidence.
Kansas State < Kansas
Oklahoma State < Texas A&M
Texas < Baylor
Texas A&M > Oklahoma
Kansas > Missouri
Michael Atchison: 1 - Taylor. Horry never did it thrice in one game.
2 - Safford’s absence has played a big role, because even if he didn’t score a lot, defenses at least had to respect him. But they don’t even have to guard Keith Ramsey and Steve Moore in the halfcourt. Those guys can’t score within the offense; all their points come on putbacks and in transition. And Bowers has vanished. His inability to finish around the rim is disconcerting. Safford at least made defenses honor him. He could face up and shoot, or he could spin to the bucket. Now teams just play centerfield and stop penetration by Mizzou’s guards. Going forward (this season and next), they desperately need an interior scoring threat.
3 - Kansas State at Kansas (tonight) Kansas by 12.
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M (tonight) Would love the Pokes to win, but I’ll say the Aggies by 8.
Texas at Baylor (Saturday) Come on Horns. Could you do us a favor? Sadly, no. Baylor by 6.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (Saturday) A&M by 4.
Kansas at Missouri (Saturday). We must protect this house!
4 - Oprah’s toenail clippings could get a quarter million followers. Is there a fetus currently growing within a Kardashian? If so, I’ll take him/her.
ZouDave: 1 - I've never heard of this "Robert Horry", and frankly it sounds made-up, but I know one thing for sure: when they replaced my regular coffee with Zaire Taylor I not only couldn't tell the difference, I had more energy and got everything done in the last minute.
2 - It's pretty easy to read too much into this. The two teams that we've played without Safford are teams we'd already seen earlier in the year. Were we stellar against KSU and ISU the first time we played them with Safford? No, we were not. There's your answer.
3 - Begrudgingly, unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, I pick kansas to win tonight.
aTm beats OSU as OSU has a let-down
Baylor beats Texas, Texas still gets Top 25 votes
OU beats aTm
Missouri beats kansas, simply because there's no way I'm picking it the other way
4 - Steve Jobs. And I couldn't possibly care less about what he has to say about anything. I don't tweet nor follow those that do.
Doug: 1 - I wasn't going to say the stage wasn't the same... I mean, for all we know, Taylor is pulling down a nice paycheck for his work, just like Horry. (Note to interwebs: This is an entirely false statement.)
2 - There's something to be said for losing any player in your offensive scheme, even if Mike Anderson doesn't have anybody playing more than 24 or 25 minutes a game. Ultimately (and this is without looking at any statistics), I think it's hurting the most of the rebounding end for the Tiger, both offensively and defensively, and having few chances at made baskets means fewer chances to employ the press.
3 - Kansas
4 - @CraigyFerg ordered his followers to get Grant Imahara up to 100,000 followers so Grant would build Ferguson a robot sidekick. That's fairly awesome.
Michael Atchison: We saw a wrinkle last night that I think we’ll see more of: When the game was on the line, Mike Anderson put four guards on the floor.
And one of them wasn’t Kim English. He’s terribly out of sync. Even uncontested, last night he was going up diagonally on jump shots, and his ball handling is, um, precarious. They need him to get it together ASAP, because if they play four guards, he at least gives them some size, and he’s a very good rebounder for a perimeter player.
Bill C.: "Ultimately (and this is without looking at any statistics), I think it's hurting the most of the rebounding end for the Tiger, both offensively and defensively..."
Doug: Like I said, I did as much research as Bill Simmons ever does.
Bill C.: You mean Muhammad Ali wasn't universally loved when he came back to boxing?
(Yeah, that was an INSANELY bad "I know this, and you don't" moment from him in his chat last week.)
Doug: Unfortunately, and I think is true of anyone who writes an insane amount of words, Simmons has long since run out of original shtick and everything is just a slight variation on everything else.
That, and he relies on "Memory Research" a lot more than you would think ESPN would ever allow. Then you remember that John Kruk also works for ESPN.
ghtd36: Sorry I'm late. I was sketching out more stupid Zaire Taylor Microsoft Paint jobs. That dude has singlehandedly kept that program relevant.
1- I'll go with Zaire only because of a problem I've had with calling Robert Horry "Big Shot Bob." HIS NAME IS ROBERT. HE DOESN'T GO BY BOB. You can't force these memes, world. They've got to just happen organically. And I should know: I might have majored in journalism, but I minored in "Comparing Delaware Guards To Quotes From Relatively Obscure Alec Baldwin Quotes."
2- Honestly, I don't think his absence has played a major role in the struggles on the offensive end. If we want to start lobbing blame for the offensive woes, how about Laurence Bowers? In the two games since Safford's injury, he's a cool 3-for-17. 17.6 percent from the field. That's not to say it's all on the Party Starter -- Kim English's 8-for-23 isn't doing Missouri any favors -- but I think it's lazy to say "Justin Safford out = bad offense."
3- Let's go with POWERCAT in the upset (as it continues its rise toward a No. 1 seed), Tradition University, Nightmare Bear, Frank Alexander, and America.
4- You mean besides me (FOLLOW ME @TEPPER FOLLOW ME @TEPPER FOLLOW ME @TEPPER)? What about @WilliamShatner?
Also, I'd like to take an opportunity to lavish praise on the genius that is @FakeBrianBrooks. As someone who has had a number of nice conversations with the man (he really is a good dude), that is unmitigated brilliance.
Michael Atchison: By the way, CBS RPI has Mizzou at 31 this morning. I would have taken that at the beginning of the year. The Tigers look terrible at times, but they’re surprisingly effective.
RPT: "Also, I'd like to take an opportunity to lavish praise on the genius that is @FakeBrianBrooks. As someone who has had a number of nice conversations with the man (he really is a good dude), that is unmitigated brilliance."
The J-School professors have come up with a bounty (including, I think a set of partially deflated balloons) for whoever can unmask @FakeBrianBrooks. Yet another reason why I love this university more than I ever thought possible.
(Two hours later...)
ghtd36: PEOPLE, THIS IS HATE WEEK. DO NOT LET THE MASSES DOWN WITH A SORRY ROUNDTABLE ON HATE WEEK.
Know what smell I inexplicably hate? Chlorine. And when you swim, you can never get that smell off you, no matter how hot of water you shower in. It's like the spot on Lady MacBeth.
RPT: New plan to improve our shooting percentage: Only take the following shot.
ghtd36: Ah, Vince Carter: the NBA's Jason Conley.
RPT: Who is the NBA's Jason Horton?
ghtd36: Let's see: the criterion for being the NBA's Jason Horton is, as I view it:
-Gets in fights
-Shoot around 30 percent from the field
-Think he's much better than he actually is
Well holy crap, I think we have a winner.
RPT: Jason Horton: Skip to the Zou?
RPT: So... Is a 1 p.m. tip too early for Brady Morningstar to play with a buzz on?
/desperately trying to turn up hate week to 11
ghtd36: Tony LaRussa thinks that dude has a problem.
RPT: Rod Blagojevich thinks Bill Self looks shady.
Doug: Thanks to Blago's appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, your dig is both devastating and topical.
ghtd36: Joseph Merrick thinks Cole Aldrich is weird-lookin'.
RPT: R Kelly sees a lot of himself in Sherron Collins.
ghtd36: Elton John thinks a red and blue chicken a little over-the-top.
RPT: Jeff Withey reminds the world that he does in fact exist.
ZouDave: These seems appropriate for hate week...