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Mizzou Links, 1-21-08

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Short Links today as a) I'm on vacation today, b) The Beef already posted his musings, and c) there really aren't that many links out there to post.

Obviously everybody's got their MU-KU stories up, but here are the two best...

The KC Star talks about MU's strong defensive effort...

"Mizzou had us sped up to the point we couldn’t execute very well," KU coach Bill Self said. "I think our guards are as good as any guards out there, but I thought our guards got sped up. We tried to make great plays instead of letting the ball make plays for us. That was credit to Missouri getting after us."

The Tigers, who normally play a full-court brand of defense, hung back more often against the run-happy Jayhawks. KU guard Brandon Rush said it was their mixture of pressure and a 2-3 zone that kept Kansas off-balance for most of the game. The result of MU’s defensive plan was one of the most startling statistics on a night filled with them: KU finished the game with two fast-break points.

Yes, this was far from the 2007 game at Mizzou Arena, when KU ran all over the Tigers and Julian Wright seemingly spent the afternoon dangling from the rim. MU coach Mike Anderson wasn’t going to let that happen again, and neither were his players.

"Missouri is one of the best defensive teams we’ve seen," KU guard Mario Chalmers said. "I think both teams played great defense."

Second, Bryan Burwell asks why Mizzou can't play with effort like that more often...

"Coach asked us in the locker room how we are able to take the best team in the country to the wire, to play with them all night like we did, then play all the non-ranked teams on our schedule with so little energy," Hannah said. "And you know what? He's right. This is what we have to do every single game if we want to make something of our season. It's time for us to focus on the game, not the opponent. Every single night we have to take away the numbers and names on the front and back of the jerseys and just play at this same level all the time."

The message can't get any more clear than that for the 11-7 Tigers, who continue to drift through this up-and-down season showing you just how good they can be one night when the competition is good, and just how unfocused and frustrating they can be on nights when the uniform names and poll rankings fail to excite them.

Now on to football recruiting...

PowerMizzou has plenty of news to tide you over as you await Will Compton's decision tomorrow...Zaviar Gooden has a clear leader...Aaron Boyd has a lot to think about (I do enjoy when kids leave from their visit saying "I didn't expect much, but they impressed me..." an almost-backhanded compliment)...and two recent commits--Wes Kemp and Jerrell Jackson--enjoyed visiting their soon-to-be home.  And if that's not enough, see what you can glean from last night's chat recap.

Finally, three things about yesterday's NFL games: 1) I echo The Beef's sentiments (surprise, surprise) that I just can't hate the Pats, and I absolutely love how they adapt and change their style whenever they need to to win. 2) I was rooting for the Packers, but the Giants have earned this trip to the Super Bowl.  I don't think they'll win, but they match up well with the Pats, and they're obviously battle-tested at this point. 3) No way does Brett Favre retire.