Mizzou Basketball Links
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MUtigers.com: Phil Pressey Leads No. 9 Missouri Past No. 25 Illinois, 78-74
MUtigers.com: Post Game Notes
MUtigers.com: Post Game Quotes
Frank Haith on Marcus Denmon having an off night...
I told the team since Marcus and Ricardo didn't have the best games in the first half and had some foul trouble, and Marcus struggled tonight but we found a way and that was good for us because we had some other guys that showed they could score. Obviously the two little guys, Phil and Mike, were outstanding tonight and every night you can have a off night but you can't take a night off and so we still have to play on both ends of the court.
The Missourian: Missouri overcomes adversity in win over Illinois
KC Star: No. 9 Mizzou holds off Illini for 12th win
KC Star (Sam Mellinger): With its win over Illinois, Missouri sends a message to Big 12
Missouri wins with its guards, of course. Denmon will have more great games than bad ones, and Phil Pressey makes an impact on both ends of the court when he’s at his best. Ratliffe is improved from last year, English’s game is polished, Steve Moore provided a boost in the first half, Dixon plays well in bursts — the list goes on.
If MU’s lack of size holds them back at times, its quickness and NASCAR pace will bury teams at other times.
Both happened against Illinois, but the takeaway here was how fearlessly the Tigers played even in a charged atmosphere and a close game — symbolized by Phil Pressey’s behind-the-back pass in traffic to Ratliffe with less than 3 minutes left.
This isn’t exactly the game Frank Haith wants to define his team. They had defensive failures, a bizarre stretch in the second half where the offense reverted to last year’s chaos, and afterward you got the sense that nobody involved was exactly satisfied, even beating a rival.
Post-Dispatch (Bryan Burwell): Tigers playing together for Haith
When asked why he was so pleased with the way they were playing, rather than with their unbeaten record, Haith flashed a big smile.
"I think the way you asked that question is important," he said. "More so than winning, it's how we're playing. I'm excited about that because when you take over a new club and you're implementing a new style, trying to put in your footprint, and these guys have bought in to it. They bought in to what we're trying to do on the offensive end, and on the defensive end. The reason they've bought in is because we have great leadership. It's because of Kim English and Marcus Denmon."
It's also because of Haith, who also must have the skills of a diplomat to go along with his high basketball IQ. A year ago, the Tigers were sniping at each other behind the scenes, with petty jealousies, complaints about playing time and shots ruining the season.
But all that seems to behind Mizzou now. They are 12-0, rising in the rankings every week and gaining admirers nationwide as they go along.
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Braggin' Rights post-game
The Maneater: Missouri stands tall to earn Braggin' Rights over Illinois
KBIA Sports Extra: "Braggin' Rights" trophy stays with Mizzou
Fox Sports MW: Road to perfection still in sight for Mizzou
CBS Sports: Missouri win more than Braggin' Rights
Yahoo (Pat Forde): Brash Missouri turns back Illinois
Illinois center Meyers Leonard stepped toward Phil Pressey to stop his penetration, so he blithely whipped a behind-the-back pass to Ricardo Ratliffe, who laid it in for a 68-67 lead.
"When you’ve got a 7-1 monster down there like they do, you’ve got to be on your toes," Pressey explained. "I just made the pass when he came up."
Just made the pass? No college player else makes that Globetrotters pass at that crucial moment in that intense game. This was like Bruce Willis in one of the "Die Hard" movies, delivering some absurdly cheeky line in a life-and-death situation.
Except this was real, not Hollywood. And this was Pressey doing what these audacious and athletic Missouri Tigers do, irrespective of time and score, for better or worse.
The Missourian: Steve Moore looms large in Missouri's win against Illinois
Lots of Indy Bowl links after the jump.
Mizzou Football Links
Indy Bowl: Three Days Away
Shreveport Times: 'Excited' Missouri arrives in Shreveport
The Trib (Dave Matter): Behind the Numbers: Heels dig in vs. the run
Stadium Journey: Independence Stadium Reviews, Advocare 100 Independence Bowl
The Missourian: This week's opponent is North Carolina
The Missourian: Jefferson City graduates to meet on the line in Independence Bowl
The Missourian: Your Shreveport travel guide
The Missourian: Bowl season means player gifts
We Are Mizzou: Mizzou Bowl Gifts
The Missourian: Five most memorable moments of the 2011 season
KC Star: Missouri's E.J. Gaines still has big-play ability
Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy Zig
Post-Dispatch: Ziggy Hood makes a mark with Steelers
PowerMizzou: Redshirt Report: Connor McGovern
Recruiting: Florida TE Sean Culkin Commits
PowerMizzou: Culkin talks commitment
The Trib (Dave Matter): Culkin pledge crucial on two fronts
Recruiting: Evan Boehm And Maty Mauk Are Good (And So Is Dorial Green-Beckham)
ESPN.com: ESPNHS Football All-American Team
The Trib: Boehm back on board for MU
Other Football Links
Random, And Kind Of Awesome
Daily Oklahoman: OU football: 1979 photo of Bob Stoops, Billy Sims bridges two eras of Sooner football
Dr. Saturday: LSU shows 'big cat' camaraderie for new SEC comrades in Missouri
SB Nation: 2012 SEC Football Schedule To Be Released After Christmas
SB Nation Atlanta: Georgia Football Schedule 2012: Alabama Game Replaced By Missouri, According To Report
SimmonsField.com: Southern Exposure: SEC Baseball chatter
Other Mizzou Links
The Mizzou-Memphis box score below is fascinating. The teams combined to shoot 39-for-131 from the field -- that's a field goal percentage of 29.8%, and a True Shooting percentage of 35.0% for Mizzou, 25.4% for Memphis. They combined to grab 40 offensive rebounds, a ridiculous total, but because of the number of missed shots, they combined to go only +5 in terms of offensive rebounding (+1 for Mizzou, +4 for Memphis). Not the most ringing of endorsements for women's basketball. But in other news … Mizzou's 9-1!
Mizzou Women's Basketball
MUtigers.com: Tigers Overcome Memphis
MUtigers.com: Post Game Quotes
The Missourian: Missouri women's basketball blocks Memphis
Mizzou Swimming & Diving
The Trib: MU diver Bonuchi wins 1-meter gold at Winter Nationals
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball in the Minors &Majors
SB Nation: Five Laziest Accusations In Sports Commentary, And What They Really Mean
Mostly Great List, Aside From The Inexplicable "Meadows > Radner" Decision
Nerve.com: Ranked: Every Saturday Night Live Cast Member Ever, From Worst To Best
Love You, Andy ... But Really? Miller Lite?
Busted Racquet: Andy Roddick raps 'Humpty Dance' while wearing a Christmas sweater and drinking Miller Lite
Dirty Tackle: declared 'nastiest player in Germany'