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Mizzou Links, 1-27-08

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I got started on this later than I intended because I was watching the Aussie Open final on DVR...can I just say that tennis is getting more and more exciting by the day.  Now, tennis was the only sport at which I was better-than-average in high school, so I maybe enjoy it more than others just from the start.  But since Sampras and Agassi played in that US Open final a few years ago, there has just been almost no US presence in the sport (the men's side, anyway), and obviously that hurts its perception in the states.  But HDTV (it's gorgeous) and a few epic Federer-Nadal matches seem to have gotten the ball rolling in the past year.  And now there are a couple more names on everybody's tongues: Djokavic and Tsonga.  They played an unbelievable final last night.  They were crushing the ball, they were riling up the crowd, there were these shots of ginormous crowds outside the stadium, watching on the jumbotron...people had their bodies painted in support of their guy...it was an insane atmosphere.  I'm not sure how much tennis can catch on in America without an American winning every now and then (Roddick came around at the wrong time...he's just not quite good enough to beat Federer-Nadal-Djokavic consistently), but I think Federer's insane talent has been great for the men's game, as it's spawned a group of young players that are more athletic, stronger, and infinitely more creative in their shot-making.  It's made for some really, really good tennis over the last 12-18 months.  Good stuff.  And now I'm off my tennis soapbox...

Oh, and speaking of good stuff...don't forget to check out Dave's video below this post...

Mizzou 66, Colorado 62.  It sure as hell wasn't pretty, but as a buddy of mine said to me yesterday, cutting me off in the middle of bitching about how horribly we played for the first 25 minutes..."Hey, a conference road win is a conference road win."  Here's the box score.  Thoughts...

  • Mike Anderson's use of Vaidatos Volkus has been entertainingly baffling this year.  Volkus started over Lyons for two straight games, then didn't play even a minute yesterday.  I'm not necessarily complaining--he's not some great secret weapon by any means--it's just been interesting.
  • Butterfield didn't hurt us down the stretch, but his stat line sure doesn't inspire confidence--6 points on 6 shots (bad for a forward), 1 rebound in 21 minutes.  He did have 2 assists, though.
  • I liked what JT Tiller was trying to do on offense when we were behind, but holy crap does he foul a lot.
  • I liked what Keon Lawrence was trying to do on offense when we were behind, but he just couldn't buy a bucket.  We wouldn't have won without Stefhon Hannah down the stretch...but seriously, he looked like he just didn't care about being there until about 8 minutes left.
  • I've never seen a player just exist on the court like Jason Horton does sometimes.  He doesn't do anything well, and he doesn't do anything poorly.  He's just there.  25 minutes, 3 shots, 3 fouls, 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal.
  • I've seen the "Can we bottle Good Leo and save him for when we need him?" comment made a couple times on message boards in the last 24 hours, but...yeah, that was certainly Good Leo yesterday.  If he hadn't gotten called for a horrid third foul in the first half (he tried for a block, missed the ball and the body, and the whistle blew), we might not have fallen behind so much before halftime.  Oh well, I guess.

Game stories: Tigers come roaring back (Trib), Lyons leads comeback in MU victory over Colorado (Missourian), Lyons makes presence known in Missouri road win (KC Star), Lots of Lyons helps propel Tigers to win (Post-Dispatch), CU Collapse Hands Tigers Win (Boulder Daily Camera), Buffs Squander Great Chance (Denver Post).

Other Big 12 games: Oklahoma 77, Baylor 71.  First of all, Blake Griffin's already playing again?  Jeez.  Second, OU sure seemed to play well, but you had to know that Baylor wasn't going to be 100% after that 5OT game.  Kansas 84, Nebraska 49.  This could have been 100-30 if KU wanted it that way.  NU just needs to start forfeiting these games.  Just claim that your bus broke down or something.  Texas 73, Texas Tech 47.  When Tech lays an egg, Tech lays an egg.  Texas A&M 59, OSU 56.  Stillwater's not the place you'd want to break a 3-game losing streak, but the Ags got it done.  Kansas State 82, Iowa State 57.  Zzzzzzzzz...

The Post-Dispatch has a rundown of Mizzou Football's 2008 recruiting class as the last pieces fall into place.

The Trib has a nice story on Mizzou Baseball and how they are trying to take the expanded attention in stride...

Finally, congrats to Dave Christensen, Rivals.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year.