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Mizzou Links, 1-26-08

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It's The Chamber!  And if that (and the news of Jacquies Smith's commitment) isn't enough recruiting news, Inside Mizzou has a scouting report on Mizzou commit Will Ebner, plus news of a new possible target for 2009.

SI reports on a group of economists who have come up with a formula to predict where recruits will end up.  Apparently they were 72% accurate last year.  I can tell you're impressed.  Here are some of their criteria:

As it turns out the following factors DO significantly impact the decision of high school athletes:

   * Whether the athlete made an "official visit" to a specific college                      
   * Whether the school is in a BCS conference                            
   * The distance from the high school athlete’s hometown to a specific school          
   * Whether the recruit is in the same state as a specific school
   * The final AP Ranking of a specific school in the previous year of competition            
   * The number of conference titles a school has recorded in recent years
   * Whether the school is currently under a "bowl ban" for violating NCAA rules                    
   * The current number of scholarship reductions a school faces for violating NCAA rules            
   * The size of the team’s stadium (measured in terms of seating capacity)
   * Whether the school has an on-campus stadium                      
   * The current age of the team’s stadium                                

So, in a nutshell, high school athletes prefer winning programs that are close to home, are in possession of good physical facilities, and are in good graces with the NCAA.  Interestingly enough however, reduced scholarships increase the likelihood of choosing a particular school, holding all else constant.  This is likely because reduced scholarships imply reduced competition for exposure and playing time in the future.

The Missourian looks ahead to tomorrow's Mizzou-Colorado game.  At some point we should give that whole "winning on the road" thing a shot.

On paper, Colorado should be one of MU’s more winnable road games, but nothing is certain when Tigers are on the road.The team has lost all five road games and two of three games on neutral courts.

It also doesn’t help when the other team is shooting twice as many free throws. In Missouri’s last three games, all losses, opponents have been to the line 37, 45 and 50 times respectively. In those games, Missouri went to the line 15, 22 and 15 times.

"I think when we’re out pressing and getting after them, when they finally break out of the press, the half court set is when we get out of position a little bit or we try to go for steals," Lawrence said "We run the shot clock down, now we need to start making them take bad shots rather then put them on the line."

I'm sure you've heard quite a bit about the "Majerus versus the Archbishop" issue, and I'm sure not going to spend a lot of time talking about it because it would reveal a bit much about my political leanings (and I don't really care to go down that road), but I did find this line from Sportsline's Ray Ratto pretty entertaining:

Why the interviewer thought Majerus was a worthwhile subject for an abortion question escapes me, except he apparently wanted to find out if he was an orthodox Catholic. One must assume he will next ask Gary Pinkel the same thing as part of his ongoing series, "Stuff I Ask People Whose Opinions On The Subject Aren't Really Useful."

Finally, in gymnastics it's #13 Nebraska vs #14 Mizzou in Lincoln this weekend...