Ratliffe Watch: The Sudden Spotlight

With Laurence Bowers' injury, all eyes will be on Ricardo Ratliffe to give Mizzou a solid, all-around inside presence.

This coming basketball season, TigerBartender will keep tabs on arguably the most important player on this year's Mizzou basketball team: Ricardo Ratliffe. Here is his introduction.

The eyes of Mizzou Nation were on a Board of Curators’ meeting in St. Louis Missouri when a jolt rocked through the Twitter-verse and the Blog-osphere. During a pickup game, Laurence Bowers had torn his ACL and was thought to be lost to for the season. The Tigers’ frontcourt, already considered undermanned a bit, suddenly became "an issue".

Other names were there on the roster; the rec-spec’ed Steve Moore, the enigmatic redshirt freshman Kadeem Green; but the eyes of most Tigers’ fans turned squarely to Ricardo Ratliffe. As the top-ranked junior college recruit in the nation, ‘Cardo joined the Tigers and posted 10.6 ppg, 6 rpg, and 1.3 bpg in 24 minutes per game under the previous coaching staff’s uptempo, guard-oriented style.

The spotlight will be fully on the big man from Virginia (by way of Ocala, FL) when this season tips off for the Tigers. It appears that new head coach Frank Haith brings a more traditional system of play with him to Columbia, than his predecessor. Tigers’ fans have lots of questions about this team, the staff and their style but this one thing we know for sure: From our first Tornado Relief exhibition in Joplin, Missouri to the final postseason game we play (hopefully on a Monday evening in early April) we will look to #10 and his razor sharp haircuts to patrol the lane and be an (even-more-so-now) integral part of the Tigers’ success this year.

The 2011-12 Missouri Frontcourt:

Ricardo Ratliffe (6'8, 240, Sr. | 2010-11: 24.8 MPG, 10.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.1 APG)

Steve Moore (6'9, 267, Sr. | 2010-11: 11.4 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 0.4 APG)

Kadeem Green (6'8, 210, RSFr. | 2010-11 Exhibition: 2 Games, 5.0 MPG, 5.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG)

Next installment: Ratliffe and Haith: Not just a good law firm name.

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