And seemingly on cue from The Boy....here they are. Considering how the weekend went for Mizzou, I may spend more time on some things (football and basketball) and less time on some of the other sports, though there were not many this weekend I think. Anyway, I will probably throw some of my own thoughts in on the subjects du jour more than normal, and since I am going to cover wrestling probably tomorrow, it leaves me time and space :-)
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As for the game, yeah, I want to say I am really not surprised but that will likely ring hollow. In all truth, since I did not see the first game, I was kinda picking this one in the dark, especially given that each time I saw OU, they were losing. One thing was certainly clear though, you can tell the difference in recruiting levels right now. And while we are certainly on our way, we are not there yet. As for the coaching, yeah, Bob Stoops gained even more points in my book for his on the field abilities, but I did lose a good deal of respect for him with his off the field antics. Certainly his pre-game comments did a measure of good for his team, but the constant posturing after that was a little much for my taste. And boy howdy did we ever miss Chase Coffman in the redzone...
I was going to write a lot more about this...but the 90th text message or otherwise seeing Mizzou fans complain has beaten it out of me. I am VERY happy about the Cotton Bowl and what it SHOULD mean to our program, more so than I would have been had we gone to the Orange Bowl. If you want the reasons, ask me...if not, I really do not want this to fall into another space where Mizzou fans potentially appeal to the lowest common denominator and say that this is Alden's fault or what-have-you. We all knew the system was flawed and was going to screw us...that's all I am going to say.
Now...here is where I am REALLY concerned. Two games this week, and yes, both on the road against major competition, but wow...we look really mediocre. In those losses, I believe we were totally exposed as having very little to absolutely no half court defense and the accompanying discipline we would need to play it. Too many times were we running around and out of place. And yes, I realize the defense we do run is predicated on movement and tempo and getting in the passing lanes, but at some point, the game is GOING to slow down and we have to be prepared for that and the last two games indicate we are very much not prepared.
On the offensive end, I can say that while we have decent shooters, shots we took for granted last year (Keon from outside and Hannah from inside) are not falling, and yet we are still working too much of our offense for the same looks. And while some of that is fine to try to build back confidence, we are not developing any other potential offensive threats. Lyons has not shown much ability to have consistent performances, and Carroll, while a bull out there, is a bull out there and ends up on the bench for far too much of the game in foul trouble. And yes, there may be some over reaction in all of this, but judging them from week to week, this is how I am seeing them now. Still with some tough OOC games coming up, this team is going to need to make some changes on defense and try to find some more consistent answers on offense, free throw shooting could be one area.
A nice finish for the volleyball tigers, making their 8th straight NCAA tournament, and putting up a tremendous showing against #6 ranked UW-Huskies. Staving off match points and taking the match to five games, Mizzou ended up falling to the Huskies ultimately, and in five games should be seen as absolute irony. Tatum Ailes finished her amazing career with a sick 39 digs...tying all sorts of records. UW put up another sick number with 43 blocks in the match. The season will end, but the Tigers will return a good amount up front (including getting back Klein, who was seen as someone the team was going to lean greatly on this past season). As for the back, replacing Ailes (who was somehow left off of some post-season accolade teams) will be a tough task, but if the Tigers get something serviceable from the back, they should find themselves with plenty of talent to make it back to the NCAA next year and perhaps start taking steps back towards the top.
Mizzou had two games this past week, both at home game against Arkansas and the Texas State...um...fighting Armadillos? At any rate, Mizzou fell to the Razorbacks by 13, 66-53. All you really need to know from this loss was that Mizzou made 11 3-pointers, but only FIVE two-pointers. Shakara Jones was 0-9 from the field....guiding the team to shooting 26.2 percent from the floor. The team came back against Texas State and came out on top 70-61, despite an interestingly bad statistical game. The Tigers only shot 38 percent from the field and only 7-22 from 3 point range. They were outrebounded by the...um...Texas State team by 7 and by 7 on the offensive glass. 7 blocks and only 12 turnovers for the Tigers certainly did the job, as the team did nice work keeping the lead at a nice range in the 2nd half.
Freshman Shakara Jones bounced back to have 20 and 13 to pace the Tigers, Toy Richbow added 10 boards and Alyssa Hollings added 18 points. Mizzou comes back this weekend at home again with Mississippi Valley State fighting...um...damn...these are really getting tough. Oh yeah, they will also play the winner loser of Alcorn State/Stephen F. Austin...and I still don't know what those mascots are either...terrible showing by me I realize.
More to come on this tomorrow in the wrestling wrap-up about the weekend tournament in Las Vegas.
* I guess fewer teams played this past weekend than I thought. Somehow I came through in just under 1,000 words (thanks Vista for the on-going count).
* Good for Brad Smith and Justin Gage on both catching their 2nd TD on the season yesterday.
* While still trying to NOT embark upon the Mizzou fan argument du jour about the BCS, the biggest moron in the process was actually the Rose Bowl (yes Tiger fans, more so than the Orange for passing on us). With the chance to pit a HOT USC team against a HOT UGA team against one another, they passed and did the predictable thing and sent Illinois as a lamb to the slaughter. I honestly believe that the winner of USC/UGA would have gained 1st place votes given how things broke, and that would have potentially made some of the BCS pushback even more sharp.
* The Falcons helped out my Jets today by falling short in their comeback against the Rams, and so there is a nice dead lock towards the bottom with 3-win ATL, STL and NY Jets. Miami has parked the #1 spot in the Darren McFadden Bowl...
* Vista makes my computer run for less time without being plugged in...so I am going to cut this off now. Mizzou fans...if you are down...get over it soon and make sure you get out to Dallas and support this team. Make the decision for the powers that be off the field next year a no-brainer by showing the kind of fan base we are developing.