First, a thank you. We got over 3,300 comments on the site yesterday despite the fact that a) it was a Tuesday and b) there was no Missouri game of any sort going on. That's pretty impressive. It was a good time, due at least slightly to the fact that most people got the answer they wanted when the curators finally emerged from their cave.
As we've done from time to time, I want to pause and put the MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ 2011 discussion to the side for a brief moment. There will be a standalone post about it coming very soon, but with an enormous game this Saturday and a devastating injury yesterday, I wanted to make sure that we are still giving attention to everything that warrants it. Right now, that basically boils down to two things: the incredibly significant football game this Saturday and Laurence Bowers' injury.
Mizzou Football Links
This is a really awkward week. Mizzou faces their biggest game of the season, and other than pausing to call it the biggest game of the season, we've barely talked about it. Such is life, I guess. As I mentioned yesterday, the upcoming Mizzou-KSU game (for which you will still get the normal Thursday preview tomorrow) is huge as it pertains to 2011. The MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ 2011 issue is huge as it pertains to the next 50 years. Alas.
The Missourian: Missouri football players spend bye week watching football, recovering, studying
For some, recovery was of a mental nature, not a physical one.
Cornerback Trey Hobson fell into that category after his performance in the team's game against Oklahoma. Hobson was unable to stop several of the Sooners' big pass plays, and he said he spent the bye week attempting to put football aside for a little while.
"I felt pretty bad the whole bye week," Hobson said. "I wish we would have played this Saturday, me personally, so I could have had a chance to redeem myself. Obviously, I wasn't happy with my performance against Oklahoma. I just spent my bye week trying to get my mind off what happened and trying to stay positive and confident." [...]
As Hobson knows, two weeks without a game can give players a lot of time to think. Although, when asked if two straight weeks of prepping for Kansas State could be too much, Missouri players said over-preparation is part of the team's philosophy.
"Coach Pinkel always says it, and I believe it, 'you can never really over-prepare,'"Jackson said. "We're just getting a good feel for them. Seeing what they do repetitively, it just helps. It makes it easy when we go out to practice it. It will help us to be consistent like we need to be."
- PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Pinkel on KSU
Football Study Hall: Study Hall: Kansas State 36, Baylor 35
Watching this game as a Missouri fan whose alma mater will be facing both of these teams on the road in the next few weeks, I was trying to figure out the recipe for beating each. For Kansas State, I think it's pretty simple: don't make many mistakes. (Rocket science!) Aside from Arthur Brown and David Garrett, this is not a defense that is going to hold an athleticism advantage over most of the offenses it faces in the Big 12, but it is feisty and salty enough that players will be in position to take advantage of mistakes. When KSU has the ball, the goal is to weather the pounding you're going to get from huge option quarterback Collin Klein and make sure that when you force them into a passing down, that's the end of the drive. Klein is not a 3rd-and-7 quarterback, and Baylor allowed a few too many passing downs conversions late in the game.
Mizzou Basketball Links
The Trib: Laurence Bowers tears ACL
The Tigers were already thin inside with Bowers, a situation Haith acknowledged in an interview last month.
"It is what it is. Obviously, we’ve got to stay healthy to have the kind of success, but we’ve got to be able to adjust and be able to find ways to take advantage of our quickness down there," Haith said. "If we have to size down, then we’re going to be prepared for that."
The loss of Bowers leaves Ricardo Ratliffe and Steve Moore as the only Tigers taller than 6-6 that played last season. Ratliffe, last year’s Big 12 newcomer of the year, averaged 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in his first season after transferring from Central Florida Community College. Moore averaged 2.0 points and 2.4 rebounds while appearing in 34 games.
Missouri does add the services of 6-8 redshirt freshman Kadeem Green, who sat out last season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Green possesses similar size and athleticism to Bowers but is not nearly as polished offensively.
The Tigers were expected to add Louisville transfer George Goode. The 6-8 forward, who graduated from Louisville this summer, announced on Twitter in June that he’d be playing for the Tigers in what would be his final college season, but Goode never enrolled in classes at Missouri and instead transferred to Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey.
- KC Star: Mizzou confirms: Bowers out for hoops season
Post-Dispatch: MU loses Bowers for season
The Missourian: Bad news can't keep Missouri's Bowers away from read-to-children program
Bowers said he was devastated. He thinks he will recover normally from the injury, and he has a redshirt season available, meaning he can return and play in the 2012-2013 season. But the teammates he has known since first arriving in Columbia three years ago — Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Steve Moore and Jarrett Sutton — will be gone.
The hardest part, he said, was realizing he would not be able to walk on Senior Night with those guys.
English and Sutton were there sitting next to Bowers at the library Tuesday night. They had each come to read a children's book as part of the library's "Get in the Game, Read!" program. Bowers' old and new friends laughed as softball coach Ehren Earleywine read "Bark, George," and Bowers did, too, even though his eyes looked a little tired.
Howard, the library's children and youth services coordinator, had not heard about Bowers' injury until Spencer Kane, a radio host on KFRU and another guest reader, told her before the program. She did not expect Bowers to come and was surprised when the 6-foot-8, 221-pound man limped into the library hunched over his crutches. Howard thought it said something about Bowers that he had come.
And via SleepyFloyd7 on Twitter...
Other Mizzou Links
Mizzou Women's Golf
The Missourian: Missouri honors Johnie Imes' legacy