Missouri Basketball 2013-14: Tigers picked fifth in the SEC

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Haith took his turn at the SEC's basketball Media Days yesterday.

Honestly, I've got no problem with fifth. There are (yet again) so many new pieces here that I figure Mizzou finishes either second/third or seventh/eighth, so hey ... fifth is right in the middle of that.

MUtigers.com: Men Picked to Finish Fifth in SEC
The Missourian: Tigers basketball picked to finish fifth in SEC preseason poll
The Trib (Courtside View): Tigers fifth in preseason SEC media poll
The Trib (Courtside View): Notes from Day 1 of SEC media days
The Trib (Courtside View): Highlights from Frank Haith's visit to SEC media days

On rule changes that aim to have more contact called to improve the offensive flow of the game …

"Every coach will say we’ve heard every year we’re going to clean the physical play up, but I think this is the first time it really has been emphasized that we have to change it, particularly above the free-throw line. I think as coaches we’ve got to adjust. I imagine there will be a lot of whistles early in the year until teams get adjusted to how the game’s being officiated, and you’ll probably see teams get better at it, and hopefully that will be the case and then once we get in conference play we don’t go back to the physical play."

On the improved strength of the SEC after only getting three teams in the NCAA Tournament last season …

"I thought our league last year was in a transitional phase. I think Texas A&M, Missouri new to the league. You had a lot of teams like Vanderbilt who lost a lot of players to the league. It wasn’t just Kentucky. There was a lot of guys leave this league, and it was a young league. You’re looking at from LSU to Alabama, very young, and all those guys got all those guys back, so I anticipate this league having more than four, at least five, maybe six, maybe seven that play in" the NCAA Tournament.

Post-Dispatch: Haith's Tigers picked fifth in SEC
Post-Dispatch: Newcomers change dynamics for Haith's third team

The other most-talked about newcomer was post player Keanau Post, who has dropped from 270 pounds when he arrived on campus this summer to around 255. Post carried a lot of what Haith described as "bad weight."

"He’s got great feet, great hands," Haith said. "He can score the ball. More skilled than Alex (Oriakhi) around the basket. … Keanau is capable of being a high percentage shooter."

"Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding is something that he has to embrace," Earnest Ross added.

Post, a 6-11 transfer from Southwestern Illinois Community College, had eight fouls in 24 minutes during Tuesday’s Black and Gold, mostly a result, Haith said, of bad positioning.

"The game’s faster, even from junior college to major college basketball," Haith said. "The game’s faster. Your reactions got to be quicker. I think he’ll do that, because he’s got great feet."

"He’s just physical," Ross said of Post’s eight-foul performance. "He’ll be fine. He’s very aggressive and active on the glass. That’s what we love about him."

Post-Dispatch: MU expects Ross to become a starter
Mizzou Network: SEC Scout: Basketball SEC Media Day

More from the Black & Gold Game
The Trib: Williams, Rosburg impress in MU's Black & Gold Game
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Black & Gold Game

Oh, and if you saw this on Twitter yesterday and got a little weirded out (like me)...

...here's Morgan Eye's Twitter post right before that one.

So Haith wasn't just randomly playing with Robin Pingeton's hair; he was looking at an odd earring. That's ... good to know.

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