KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10: Michael Dixon #11 and Laurence Bowers #21 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates with teammates after they defeated the Baylor Bears 90 to 75 to win the championship game of the 2012 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Mizzou Basketball Links
Get On The Bus
The Missourian: Fans gather to support Missouri basketball team
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Fans send-off Tigers to first NCAA game
Mizzou Network: Basketball on the road to Omaha
One More Day
MUtigers.com: Second-Seeded Tigers Open NCAA Tournament Friday
KC Star: VIDEO: Blair Kerkhoff previews MU, KU, KSU games
The Trib: In 11 months, Frank Haith has transformed his image and fixed a team
The win and ensuing celebration meant even more to Haith. He had to step away from a postgame television interview with ESPN reporter Holly Rowe to collect himself.
Like Alden, he had faced plenty of derision. It began immediately after his hiring when the first thing most everybody in Missouri learned about Haith was that he had a 43-69 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play during his seven seasons at Miami. It started again in August, when his name surfaced in a Yahoo! Sports report that alleged he knew about a payoff to a recruit while coaching the Hurricanes.
Haith hadn't let any of it get to him as he went about his job, molding a senior-laden roster he'd inherited from Mike Anderson into the most surprising success story in college basketball. Under his calm and confident leadership, the Tigers overcame a potentially crippling injury to forward Laurence Bowers less than two weeks before the start of practice and the limitations of a short bench and shorter lineup. The Tigers emerged as one of the nation's best teams, setting a school record for regular-season victories.
"This team and our staff, we just stayed true to the course and stayed focused on the task at hand," Haith said, "and I'm just proud to be a part of that."
Post-Dispatch: Stewart likes what he sees in this Mizzou team
"I think a key for Missouri is stay loose and let it rip," said Stewart, whose 24.1 points a game in 1955-56 is still fourth in MU history. "Just shoot it."
Stewart is unconcerned by MU's seven-man rotation, noting, "I think it's better. Everybody knows their role."
And he also shrugged off the idea that Mizzou's average stature — 303rd in the nation according to Sports Illustrated — is problematic.
"Height has always been overrated," he said, joking that the big men on teams usually were only popular because they had cars.
Yes, being 6 foot 8 (or more) is helpful, but that in itself assures nothing.
"The ring is 10 feet, so he's got a starting advantage," Stewart said. "But if he can't jump but 6 inches and it takes him a count or two to get there … It's the guy who's the first to get to that position.
"Then there's the aggressiveness and the natural, the nose (for the ball)."
Which he sees in this team.
Hell Of A Season
The Missourian: INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: Missouri basketball season in review
The Missourian: Phil Pressey serves as starting point for Missouri's offense
Assistant Coach Party Starter
KC Star: Laurence Bowers gives Tigers an assist from the bench
Piston Powered: #Draft Dreams: Ricardo Ratliffe
What is the best thing Ricardo Ratliffe does for his team?
Bill C. writes for Rock M. Nation, which is SB Nation’s Missouri site:
Ricardo Ratliffe might have the best pair of hands in the country. Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel asked Ratliffe to try out for tight end next year because he loved his hands so much. (Ratliffe, I assume, declined because of that whole "pursuing pro basketball" thing). He has served as Phil Pressey’s pick-and-roll muse all season; all Pressey has to do is penetrate and flip a pass anywhere close to Ratliffe, and not only will Ratliffe field the pass, but he will also have a shot up before the defender realizes he has the ball. Ratliffe has been fairly labeled as a "below the rim" player, and it might hold him back in the NBA; his post moves are fine but less than elite, and even when he has the opportunity to dunk, he doesn’t necessarily take advantage of it. But his jumper is solid, and he has strong pick-and-roll potential, and with those hands he should continue to be both a decent offensive rebounder and a candidate for success with a strong penetrating point guard.
Mizzou Football Links
No program in the country uses "indefinitely" in a more mundane (and still frightening) way than Missouri. The prognosis on James Franklin's shoulder was pretty good -- he should be back before the end of spring practice -- but the headlines still read "Franklin out indefinitely." Technically, factually correct. And still frightening.
PowerMizzou: Tiger Mailbag
tommyjay25 asks: I have heard in interviews, Coach Pinkel saying that DGB's decision has led to more immediate successesin recruiting in-state kids for 2013. Is this something that these kids have said to you, and in your opinion, will the decision of DGB be the break-through moment that will allow Mizzou to "lock down the borders" (which I know is impossible) as much as ever before?
DGB's decision definitely has not gone unnoticed by the 2013 crop of recruits. When the No. 1-recruit in the nation picks the in-state school, it validates that school as a "cool" choice, which is big in recruiting. His decision has already helped this year, and some of the top guys, like Nick Ramirez and Ezekiel Elliott, have mentioned it in the past.
But, with recruiting, it's always the "what have you done for me lately" factor. DGB's decision will help this year. By next year, it will wear off a bit. Same for the year after that, and so on. Missouri needs to propel DGB's decision into a big class this year, and continue that momentum to really consider it a break-through movement.
QB No. 1
KC Star: MU starting QB out indefinitely
Post-Dispatch: James Franklin suffers shoulder injury
KBIA Sports Extra: James Franklin "tweaks" shoulder
PowerMizzou: Matt Hoch makes the move inside
Football Study Hall: Adjusted Turnover Margin
Other Football Links
Solid Verbal: Bruce Feldman (3/14)
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Gary Patterson's theory on why the Southeast wins national titles
Mr. SEC: The SEC Is About To Get Even Richer
No wonder Mike Slive is currently holding discussions — or "look-ins" — with the SEC’s television partners. As he recently told The Birmingham News: "They know who we are and what we have. None of our schools will be hurt financially (in 2012-13). But that’s just today. It’s tomorrow that’s the real issue. The discussions are very important. They’re longterm. We’ll leave it at that."
The SEC gets higher ratings for its television partners than any other conference. The league is synonymous with championships. It just added two new "name" brands to its roster of schools and tapped into the cable household-rich states of Missouri and Texas in the process.
Whether the league simply squeezes more cash — a lot more cash — out of CBS and ESPN or creates its very own network — something that we were the first to discuss right here back in the spring of 2010 — the Southeastern Conference is about to set the standard for television revenue again.
Bank on it.
Other Mizzou Links
The Trib: Tiger wrestlers get tough draw in tourney
The Missourian: Missouri wrestlers brace for NCAA Tournament
Post-Dispatch: NCAA wrestling, class by class
MUtigers.com: No. 12 Tigers Shutout Razorbacks, 4-0
KBIA Sports Extra: No. 12 Missouri softball silences Arkansas with 4-0 shutout
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Blows Out North Dakota, 21-5
The Missourian: Missouri trounces North Dakota 21-5
SimmonsField.com: HI NOTES: Schedule Change, Future Foes, Another One That Got Away
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1 with Tim Jamieson
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host High Point This Weekend
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host Arkansas for Senior Night
MUtigers.com: Mary Burke Nominated for AAI Award