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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - So what's the ceiling for Mizzou right now?  I'd ask the same about KU, but the ceiling for them is pretty obvious.  And what did you gather about these two teams from last week's games?

2 - In answering a "Who's better right now: Memphis or Kansas?" question Monday night, Digger Phelps answered it by saying (as far as I could tell) that Memphis is better because they scheduled Gonzaga and Tennessee during conference play.  That was literally all the logic I could glean from his 3-minute ramble.  Neither Rece Davis nor Stacey Dales had ANY idea how to respond.  So I'm tempted to ask a question like "Should ESPN make a 'No former Notre Dame coaches do analysis FOR ANY SPORT' rule?" or "On a scale of 1 to Lou Holtz, how senile is Digger at this point?", but instead I'll simply ask this: who's your favorite basketball commentator?  And you're not allowed to say Jon Sundvold or Norm Stewart.  NATIONAL commentator.

3 - I love the work Gabe Dearmond does, and I will continue to be a PowerMizzou subscriber till I die, I'm sure...and I realize this crosses the "above the fray" line that we usually try to intrinsically follow here, but...how close are the PowerMizzou boards to becoming Tigerboard #2?  Did we already cross that line with the initial Blaine Gabbert saga?  Actually, scratch that...I'll just ask this instead: are you as ready as I am for Signing Day to come so we can all move on with our lives for a bit?

4 - Mizzou baseball was just ranked Preseason #6 by Baseball America.  Don't worry, Dave, I won't ask a baseball-specific question here, but...with spring sports on the horizon, what's your favorite spring sport?

5 - Predictions!  First, MU @ TT.  Second, this weekend's games: NU @ KU (how are they already playing again??), MU @ CU, OU @ BU, ISU @ KSU, ATM @ OSU, Tech @ UT.

Click 'Full Story' for answers...

ZouDave: 1 - We're a middle of the road Big XII team, somewhere between 5th and 8th I think.  We're tough to beat at home, but on the road we're just not a very good team.  Too reliant on streaky shooting, no rebounding, no go-to scorer.  I like Mike Anderson, I think given enough time he can make us into a consistent Top 25 team with a pretty consistent run of appearances in the NCAA Tournament but I just can't really see contending with kansas on a regular basis right now (which is what everyone in the Big XII needs to try to do in basketball, because it's just obvious they're the best in the conference and it really isn't close).  I'm very hopeful for Mizzou's basketball program, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

2 - Honestly, I can't really answer this question intelligently.  Ok, I can't answer a lot of questions intelligently.  Or at least I don't.  I'll say I'm not capable of answering this honestly, because I just so rarely pay attention to the announcers in most sporting events I'm watching and basketball seems to be the one where I'm paying attention to them the least.  I'd be hard pressed to name a national commentator off the top of my head that isn't Dick Vitale.  I could probably recognize names, but not come up with them on my own.

3 - Definitely ready for signing day, and I know Gabe is as well.  I think the Blaine Gabbert saga was bad, but the Will Compton saga is way worse.  But I think Gabe is finding now what Nick found about 5 years ago:  you can't keep idiots away forever, and their money spends just as well as any.  PowerMizzou.com has seen very rapid growth over the past 18 months, and that's great for Gabe and Rivals.com and even Brian Freeman.  It's really great, actually.  But there's only so many message board users that aren't retarded.  You can hope to have growth of nothing but intelligent users but seriously half of the people on this planet are of below average intelligence.  The numbers dictate that as you get more registered users, the chances of people like Thunder, Bopper, bluesox, etc. showing up just increase exponentially.  I laugh quietly to myself every single time Tigerboard gets insulted while I'm reading PowerMizzou's message board.  It's the same group of fans.  Tigerboard isn't the problem, it's the nature of message boards (probably most especially sports message boards) that is the problem.  Sure, Nick could have done (and still could do) some things differently to get better results but in the end if you have a message board on the internet, eventually it will be overrun with idiots.  Over a long enough timeline, the survival rate for anything becomes 0.  It's like leaving a sandwich on the counter.  Eventually, my dog will eat it.

4 - What, am I the resident baseball hater here?  Or am I just the resident "I only care about football and sometimes basketball guy"?  Wait...yes on both.  Favorite Spring Sport.  Hmm.  Does the Black and Gold game count?  Because it should.  I ran track in high school.....as a freshman.  After that I made sure I had a job in the Spring or I was involved with cheerleader tryouts (a great way to spend an evening, btw).  So I guess I'll have to say Track and Field, as long as there are absolutely no follow-up questions of any kind.  Is women's volleyball a Spring sport?  If so then that's my choice.  Tall chicks in spandex, baby...what's not to like?

5 - TT over Mizzou, but probably another close game (we lose by less than 10).  ku over NU by a lot.  Mizzou over CU (we will get a road win somewhere).  OU over Baylor (hunch).  KSU big over ISU.  aTm over OSU (the Aggies will put it together eventually).  Texas over Tech (they've already had their road stumble).

I've never been more useless in a roundtable than this.  It's going to get worse before it gets better, I fear.

Michael Atchison: 1 - As inconsistent as the Tigers are, it’s tough to say what their ceiling is.  Probaby 9-7 in the league at the max.  Maybe an NIT bid.  What we learned about the Tigers last week is that, even if you play great defense, you still have to make (some) shots.  Finish around the rim.  Shoot 25% from the arc.  You know, something.  As for Kansas, we learned that they can play their B-minus game in a hostile environment and still win.

2 - Bill Raftery, easily.  The perfect blend of analysis and entertainment.  "Send it in Jerome!"

3 - I stopped following this stuff on a daily basis, and it has increased my enjoyment substantially.  When grown men hang on not just the words of seventeen year old boys, but also on what color shirts they wear, what they do or don’t say to people who may or may not be their friends, etc., it’s not healthy.  Gary Pinkel gets paid to worry about that so I don’t have to.  And then Signing Day comes and it’s like Christmas morning.  "Look, kids, a defensive end!"

4 - Um, what are my choices?

5 - I suspect that Tech wins, but they’re more inconsistent than the Tigers by a factor of ten, so who knows?  This weekend’s winners:  Mizzou, Baylor, K-State, A&M, Horns.

The Beef: 1 - I think because of lack of anyone else stepping up and taking claim, we are in the middle of the pack in the Big XII.  I still put at least 5 teams ahead of us, though OU is a little iffy without their frosh.  I certainly put kU, UT, aTm and kSU in front of us...oh yeah...and Baylor...wow...never thought I would say that.  So yeah...with a healthy kid at OU (is it Griffin or Griffith?), I think we are 7th I guess.  I gathered from the team the same thing I had gathered previously...we don’t have a tried and true scorer, and without one, we will not be able to overcome our other deficiencies, no matter how well we might play.  As for our ceiling...I think we will be right at our around .500...one up would surprise me a little, one down would not surprise me as much.  However, if Hannah’s moment of lucidity about effort after the kU game sticks with the team, I think 9-7 is doable, but no NCAA Tourney without a Big XII tourney win.

2 - Commentator...hmmmm.....I am with Atch in liking Raftery.  I really do not mind Bilas most of the time, though he is of course ACC-centric.  Sundvold was always a great match with Harlan back in the day.  And through all the show and glitz, very few people really know as much and love the sport as much as Vitale, I will always give him credit for that.  If we were talking announcers, OH MY GOD!!! I WOULD HAVE TO SAY GUS JOHNSON!!  FOR THE WIN!!! YES!!!!

3 - I like Atch’s take on signing day, and I wish I could get myself to that point.  For me, Compton (if and/or when he does commit here) would be more symbolic than anything to me about our place as a program and in the state.  I have already shared my thoughts on how Gabe might be able to clean some of that behavior up a little with The Boy, but I agree with Dave...I think at this point it is just going to be a losing battle because of the amount of access people now have to the net and the amount of access people now demand to Mizzou.

4 - I will go with baseball for the spring sport, as their program building has been extremely excited.  I am hoping to get in this spring for a weekend series, and potentially back if we are fortunate enough to host again (would have loved to have gone last year, but was on my honeymoon.)  I will take an interest in track this summer, but more US Track to see if Cantwell can qualify for the Olympics like he should have last time around in 2004.  Softball continues to build, though I believe we lost some decent talent from the squad last year.  Golf should be interesting to watch come Big XII and NCAA Qualifying time.  Tennis...well...I think we are slowly getting better and able to recruit a better caliber athlete with our facilities upgrade.

And no Dave, on college level, women’s volleyball is not a spring sport.

5 - I thought going into the ISU game that our experience in non-con on the road would help us, and clearly it really did not.  I like TTech only because I believe Knight can get his guys to slow us down and into a half court game, something which we still struggle mightily in.  I will take Tech tonight and CU on Saturday, much for the same reasons.  I will take BU over OU at home and without their guy, kSU at home, aTm on the road and UT at home over Tech...oh yeah...and kU again

rptgwb: 1 - Mizzou's ceiling is that team that we saw in the second half against Texas, but that half of shooting was simply too ridiculous to believe. If every single problem - rebounding, foul trouble, inside presence, shot selection, offensive issues in clutch situations - was to somehow get cured instantly, this team could win a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament and make a push in the second round. But this squad is far too inconsistent for me to put my faith in that happening.

What we learned from the KU game is that Mizzou can find some major energy from two factors: 1) playing tough teams and 2) playing at home. I thought the defense, especially in the half court, was extremely solid against Kansas. That lack of offensive rhythm just kills Missouri though.

2 - Can I just go on record and say that the basketball edition of "College Gameday" makes me want to cry? Is crying allowed if ESPN is trying to ruin my childhood by taking my college football memories, forcing them into a gym, and letting Digger Phelps and Hubert Davis destroy them? Sickening.

On the play-by-play front, you have to love Gus Johnson for the sheer entertainment of hearing a man's voice box explode on live TV. For analysts, I'm partial to Jay Bilas, but I know as much about the intricacies of basketball as Lou Holtz knows about public speaking, so my opinion may not be worth much here.

3 - Getting away from the Tigerboard BS is what makes the PowerMizzou board so attractive, and most of the time, there's actually genuine discussion at PM. The recruiting thing has gotten somewhat ridiculous - I remember no less than hundreds of TB posts laughing at Gabbert for getting hurt and proclaiming that Gabbert was a no-talent waste of space who we were happy to pawn off on Nebraska. At this point, with the way everything has gone down over the last week or so, I don't know if I'd blame Compton for leaving. I'm more thrilled about the Zaviar Gooden signing anyway...

Am I ready for signing day? Hell yes. Is it because I'm sick of the recruiting drama? Not really - I just want this class to be official and I want the peace of mind of knowing the next era of Mizzou football is ready to go.

4 - Baseball, hands down. I'm not a huge fan of professional baseball (I grew up a Texas Rangers fan - it colors your perspective), but having worked several summers for wooden bat collegiate leagues, I absolutely love the game when played by college athletes. I'm hoping to make a trip to the College World Series at some point in the near future, and I'd love nothing more than to have the pleasure of seeing our Missouri Tigers there.

5 - Predictions:

MU < TT (Tech tough at home)
NU <KU <br>MU > CU
OU <BU <br>ISU <KSU <br>ATM > OSU
TT <UT</p>

"Or am I just the resident "I only care about football and sometimes basketball guy"?  Wait...yes on both."

If Dave's the resident, you might consider me the intern.

ZouDave: THERE'S NO CRYING!  THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASKETBALL!

The Boy: 1 - 9-7 sounds about right for a ceiling.  I guess technically 10-6 could still be attained by winning out at home and picking off three road wins, but that's unlikely.  As I said in my Sunday post, this team has been very clearly defined right now, and I just don't see them improving beyond a team that is really tough to beat when shots are falling and really easy to beat otherwise.  And yes...KU played in a hostile environment and never did establish an offensive rhythm, but their defense was strong enough for them to rely on it for long stretches of time.  Their defense has to make them pretty optimistic when it comes to the NCAA tourney.

2 - I didn't start my response fast enough, and my two picks have already been taken: Raftery and Gus Johnson.  Raftery for his uncanny ability to be entertaining while not actually trying to be entertaining (it really is like he is just talking to whoever the play-by-play guy is instead of talking to an audience--and nobody else can say more by just saying the word "Onions!"), Johnson for his uncanny ability to make any event the greatest event in the history of organized sports.  And no, you may not cry.

3 - I really do think last night might have been worse than anything that happened in the Gabbert saga because it wasn't even news that set people off--it was the hint of possible news.  That's all it takes now.  When Gabe hinted that today's news might not be good (and I guess we'll know the Compton news before the Roundtable 'goes to print', so to speak), I assumed there would be some level of "We didn't want him anyway" backlash...and it went 30 steps beyond that.  Impressive, considering there wasn't actually any news--they were reacting violently to a one-off comment that Gabe made.

And while I do still read PM on a daily basis, I actually 'read' less and less by the day...instead just perusing the post titles looking for news.  I 99% stopped posting on message boards during the Quin-Alden-Linker soap opera, when I realized that even my most cynical, sarcastic stab at how Tigerboard or PM would react to something wasn't cynical or sarcastic enough.  It just wasn't worth it, and I do believe my quality of life improved dramatically when I removed myself from it.  Dave's right, though--idiots have credit cards just like everybody else, and they're always a lot louder than people who actually have something worthwhile to say.  So when you attract more viewers, you always attract more idiots too.  Just the way the Net works, I guess.

(And I realize we may be coming across as a little holier than thou here, but it really was amazing watching a bunch of 40-year olds with wives and children coming up with new ways to tear down a 17-year old who's having trouble deciding on a college.  They exceeded my expectations, and that's hard to do.)

4 - Let's see...spring sports...baseball, softball, track & field, golf...those are the major ones.  And if spring football counts, then that's mine as well.  I would say, though, that baseball is the only one of those that I follow closely, and even that is basically just my following the Mizzou results from day to day and occasionally checking a Top 25 poll.  I know most Mizzou players' names by the end of the season, but I know approximately 3-5 non-Mizzou names.  Obviously when Mizzou has a good team, I tend to follow it closer than if they sucked, but that goes with most sports I guess.

5 - Tech > MU by 17 (Tech's VERY tough at home, especially against a team that doesn't win on the road)

KU > NU by 60
CU > MU by 6 (MU never wins when we unanimously think they will...so I'm making it non-unanimous)
BU > OU by 7
KSU > ISU by 13 (too athletic and strong)
OSU > ATM by 2 (ATM sucked this week)
UT > Tech by 8

Michael Atchison: Ross, College Gameday is a central element in your childhood memories?  Way
to make a guy feel old.  How long has it even been on the air?  Seven,
eight, nine years?  I'm guessing you never jumped out of bed at 7:00 a.m. on
Saturday to watch SuperFriends, back in the day before the Wonder Twins.

The Boy: Now all we need is for Ross to make fun of Atch for being so old that he was best friends with Sparky Stalcup in 1st grade, and it's ON!!!!

The Beef: As long as I was up to see the Land of the Lost, it was a good morning....did you know Bill Laimbeer was a sleestak?

The Boy: I admit it--I was a Fraggle Rock kid.  I had nightmares about the Gorgs...

rptgwb: Remember, just because someone's handle is "The Boy" doesn't mean they're the youngest....

And I was never much of a Saturday morning cartoon man, myself. Seeing a seemingly senile ex-coach put on a mascot head was cartoon-y enough for me.

Michael Atchison: Can I just say that I’ve accomplished all I set out to accomplish on Rock M Nation, and that I’ll not participate in future roundtables?

The Beef: Kinda like Matt Blunt and being governor of MO?

Michael Atchison: You’re not supposed to explain the jokes.

The Beef: Hey...I am just glad I GOT the joke this time

ZouDave: instead of being the joke this time?

The Beef: Small steps man...small steps :-)

ZouDave: Like Mike Anderson building the basketball program.

The Boy: And once again, Doug is gonna be ticked that he wasn't around when the Roundtable first went out...

mizzourobot: 1 - I would love to say the Tournament, but honestly, with as inconsistent as we are, I think our limit is being bubbled out. If we break through that, fantastic, we've raised it a bar.  But we're just too all-over-the-place.  I think if we did make it to the tournament, we could do some damage with our system.  But we've got to make it there, first.  And I don't know if we can stay out of a losing slump.  Kansas is good. That's just it. They're just good. Do I think they'll win a championship? No. Because we've seen this little flick before. And you know how it ends? Another disappointing loss in the tournament.

2 - I actually like Doug Gottlieb. Don't know why.

3 - I abandoned the boards once I found Rock M and Mizzourah.net.  Message boards make my brains start to leak out of my ears.

4 - I can't get into baseball, just never could. Part of it is the lingering obsession with the NBA from when I was a kid. I do agree that women's volleyball is hot, though.

5 - TT>MU, MU>CU, BU>OU, KSU>ISU, ATM>OSU, UT>TT

Michael Atchison: I’ll support the nomination of Gottlieb (mainly as a radio guy).  Smart, entertaining, willing to say things others aren’t.

Doug: 1 - I think you have to do a combined look at the ISU and the KU games for MU.  Right now Missouri is a tough team to beat at home, but down right pedestrian on the road.  Now, I do believe if Kansas had not been playing with a stone-cold Brandon Rush, that game would not have been nearly as close.  For this season, MU is probably a border-line NIT team, but I think Mike Anderson will turn the Tigers into a perennial NCAA Tournament team.

2 - Right now, you're insulting Lou Holtz.  I think the proper scale is "one to Digger Phelps".  And, my pick is Hubert Davis.  That guy did a Kansas non-conference game as color announcer with Ron Franklin, he was insightful, intelligent and a real fan of the game.

3 - Wait?  You move on with your lives after Signing Day?  I'm already making my big board for Signing Day in 2009.  Seriously, what the hell are we talking about?

4 - I always enjoyed doing baseball play-by-play.  There's nothing quite like a warm spring day at the ballpark.

5 - Well, it's on the road, and Tech just figured how to play, so I'll pick the Red Raiders.

And, for the weekend, KU (yes, that is a fast turnaround on the NU games), pick the home teams: CU, BU, KSU, OSU and UT.

The Boy: (I already have my Class of 2009 big board as well, but that's besides the point...)

The Beef: And by the way, on this day 31 years ago, "Roots" premiered on ABC-TV

...figured that should ensure TOTAL derailment of this installment of Rock M Roundtable

The Boy: I should see if my wife wants to watch that tonight...I'm gonna get REAL mad if she doesn't...

ZouDave: Has The Boy ever done a What If feature where Ricky Clemons was mauled by that moose he never saw instead of coming to Mizzou?

mizzourobot: By the way, Quin's down here in Austin coaching the Spurs' D-Legue team. Yes, he is as smarmy as ever.  Also, Kareem Rush had 21 the other night. I also found out Travon Bryant is in Greece, playing Euroball.

And trying to explain the Ricky Clemons debacle people takes approximately 13 minutes and 30 seconds.  That's what I've gotten it down to.

The Boy: Down to 13:30?  Damn...what do you leave out then?

ZouDave: please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  please don't say the moose.  

Doug: Probably the jailhouse phone call recordings.

Or, Ricky's time in Alaska.

Oh, and about Quin coaching in Austin, he was coaching Keith Langford for a time, before he signed ten-day contract in the NBA.  Now, that's enough to make your head explode.

ZouDave: What does KLM have to say about that?

mizzourobot: Oh, I keep the moose, and the jailhouse calls. The Alaska bit gets left out. I talk fast. And you start to skip details the more you say it, because your soul dies a little bit each time.

Also, Quinn's coaching Kevin Pittsnogle. I say again, Quinn Snyder is coaching Kevin Pittsnogle.

Doug: Think Quin is giving Kevin grooming advice?

ZouDave: Is he qualified to give advice on any other topic?

Michael Atchison: You haven’t met a challenge until you’ve faced how to handle the summer of 2003 in a book celebrating Mizzou’s basketball history.  See also:  Sports Arena, Paige.

mizzourobot: I hate to say this, but they're actually leading their division. And they have the toughest division. I know, I know, "toughest D-league division" bwwahah, but they've got two other teams that are direct farms for NBA teams which means they get a ton of talent.

I'm thinking of going to a game this weekend, anybody have an idea for a sign I can bring?

Doug: I was going to toss out the obligatory "Quin, I wish I could quit you..."  

But, it's probably too soon.

Michael Atchison: Roy Williams and Bill Self combined couldn’t get Keith Langford to the NBA, but after just part of a season with Quin Snyder . . .

Doug: Yes... it is totally thanks to Quin Snyder.  Add Kareem Rush... and that gives him, what?  Two players?

Michael Atchison: He also has Dooling and Kleiza, who scored 41 a few nights back.

The Boy: Yeah...so there!

Doug: Oh, yes... so 4.  Good job outta Quin.

ZouDave: That's like one for every winning season he had.

mizzourobot: I'm holding out hope for Wesley Stokes.  And really, what does kU have?

Kirk Hinrich
Drew Gooden
Nick Collison
Paul Pierce

Shit.