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Rock M Roundtable!

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Atch warned me that he might not be around today, but I'll include him anyway...just in case...and I'd put this off till tomorrow, but we have something relatively timely to talk about...

1 - On a scale of 1 - 10, how much do you like Anderson's move to suspend the 4 (technically 5, including Hannah) players for tonight's game (and maybe more)?  And on a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = "This is totally Anderson's ship now", 10 = Bryan Burwell's "This is all Quin's fault"), how much should lay at the feet of Anderson when these players are not all "his" players?

2 - To the same extent, how much of a chance does Mizzou have tonight?  I think we can agree that, if all the players are still suspended, there's a 0.1% of victory against KSU this weekend (though if you disagree, feel free to state that).

3 - Let's distract ourselves from the Mizzou drama: give me your All-Big 12 team to date.

4 - On a happier subject, for those who follow football recruiting like it's a sport in and of itself, how do you feel about how your team's recruiting class is finishing up?

5 - Lots of predictions.  First, NU @ MU.  Second, KU @ KSU.  Third, the weekend games.  BU @ UT, OSU @ Tech, KU @ CU, ISU @ NU, and OU @ ATM.  No point in putting KSU @ MU on the board since we have no clue who will be playing for MU.

Click 'Full Story' for answers...and as always, leave your own in the comments...

mizzourobot: 1 - Well, in terms of liking it, I'm giving it a 10. Anywhere you fall on the "who's players are they?" question, it shows leadership and decisiveness. Honestly, I wish we were up against a tougher opponent to illustrate the point further. There's got to be responsibility for players' actions, and there's got to be a precedent set.  I could not be more proud of the man.  I guess on the scale referenced, I'd probably be a 5.  Not trying to wuss out, but I think that to a certain degree, every coach has to bring in "their" players.  At the same time, he's the coach, and they need to listen to what he says. But I do think it says something of the rift between the old regime and the new.  I keep begging people to be patient. We cannot be reactionary when trying to rebuild a program from what Quinn left it in.

2 - We're screwed. Anderson won't change the scheme, he doesn't have time.  And we physically don't have the personnel to win.  I give us about 30% tonight and about 10% this weekend.  But if we do...

3 - Can I just put Beasley in at 4 positions and have DJ Augustin run point?

4 - Don't EVEN care about losing Tattoo Kid.  Nothing but big ups for the recruiting so far.

5 - NU 78 MU 74 (we hang!); KU 80 KSU 77; BU 78 UT 77; OSU 68 Tech 60, KU 84 CU 68, ISU 66 NU 70, OU 70 ATM 78.

The Beef: 1 - On a scale of 1 - 10, how much do you like Anderson's move to suspend the 4 (technically 5, including Hannah) players for tonight's game (and maybe more)?  And on a scale of 1 - 10 (1 = "This is totally Anderson's ship now", 10 = Bryan Burwell's "This is all Quin's fault"), how much should lay at the feet of Anderson when these players are not all "his" players?

For the first scale, I am at an 8.  I like the move, it is a move he had to make given the language he used after the Carroll incident of "zero tolerance" and all the news seems to be in line with all the rumblings that have been coming out of Columbia for the better part of the season.  The only reason this is not a 10 for me is the ambiguity remaining with Butterfield and Hannah.  I would prefer Butterfield be removed, and while it would certainly be salt in the wound of someone who might have had benevolent intentions, the same happen to Hannah.  I think the strongest statement needs to be made, not only to the current team (and those that will remain after this year and the mass exodus we will see), but to the recruits and parents of those recruits, to say that ZERO tolerance means just that in matters like this.  I know I am to one end of the spectrum here on this, but that is where I would like to see this go.

For the second scale, wow...I will say a 4.  I think 5 is not enough, and 2 is just a hair too much.  To me, I have a REALLY hard time believing this was a suddenly isolated incident with some of these players, and the coach needs to be in charge at all times.  I realize this stance can and might likely (quickly) move to a discussion about running off the "Quin" players, and I don’t want to participate in that discussion.  A new coach needs to get the buy-in from his players.  The staff was not ENTIRELY new (Watkins) so the staff needed to work as hard as it would take to make the players understand the expectations.  Clearly, the players did not, and in a group, it seems regardless of who was here with Quin and who came on after his departure.  So I put a little more on the current coach than I do on the old one.

2 - To the same extent, how much of a chance does Mizzou have tonight?  I think we can agree that, if all the players are still suspended, there's a 0.1% of victory against KSU this weekend (though if you disagree, feel free to state that).

I think Mizzou has no chance, only because of Maric.  Maric has killed us when we were healthy and at full throat in previous games...and I just do not see anyone on our team able to defend him without fouling much of the time.  Maric will go double-double and NU will control the tempo and the game.  As long as they are able to get the ball into the front court, they will be OK.  If they take any 3’s in the first half, they are dumb...pound it inside until we are forced to double and triple team him.  And against K-state...as my people might say, "Oy veh"

3 - Let's distract ourselves from the Mizzou drama: give me your All-Big 12 team to date.

Wow...not sure I know enough about people and positions....will just give a top 5 I guess.  Beasley from K-state, the kid from OU, Augustine from UT, Rush from kU and...um...that beast from aTm.

4 - On a happier subject, for those who follow football recruiting like it's a sport in and of itself, how do you feel about how your team's recruiting class is finishing up?

The Malbrough commitment came out of nowhere, so while I assume we will not hear anything again on recruiting until a week from today, I guess it could happen.  I figure we have one spot left, and I guess there are three people being mainly spoken about (Boyd, Hall and the other RB).  I think if I had to lay odds, the best odds are that we get none of those and perhaps no one at all or someone we still have not heard about.  Considering two of these young men plan to announce pretty much on signing day (something we really have not experience since Dedrick Harrington’s decision between us and ND back in the day), and the other is already committed somewhere else, the odds are pretty good we will just miss on all three.  However, the more positive news is that we seem to have almost a full house of MO kids coming in for Junior Day this weekend (everyone except Ball I believe, which is too bad, only because he is the only one I have actually seen play in person)

5 - Lots of predictions.  First, NU @ MU.  Second, KU @ KSU.  Third, the weekend games.  BU @ UT, OSU @ Tech, KU @ CU, ISU @ NU, and OU @ ATM.  No point in putting KSU @ MU on the board since we have no clue who will be playing for MU.

NU by 10 in the end...I think we will be gutty for awhile and then just run out of steam.  kU in a good one over kSU.  UT over Baylor, Tech over OSU at home, kU of course to win. I will take NU at home over ISU, but I don’t feel good about that....screw it....ISU on the road.  And OU will keep aTm in something of free fall with a big road win.

Doug: 1 - I'll go with a "3".  Yes, part of the team still qualifies as not "his", but Anderson is doing his level-headed best to put his stamp on the team.  Next season it will totally be "his" team, now whether that translates into style of play, we'll have to wait and see.

2 - Let's face it, MU is going up against one of the most skilled big men in the Big 12 not named Michael Beasley.  They're best hope was to get Maric into foul trouble and to stay out of it themselves.  Now, Anderson has what, maybe 10 fouls he can realistically throw at Maric?  Bill, you're right, MU will have to play an incredibly soft zone against the Huskers just to keep enough warm bodies on the floor for the 40 minutes.  However, Anderson is a good coach, so I'll say there's a 25% chance MU can win, especially since they're at home.  Oh, and if this "indefinite" suspension does carry on through the weekend and Monday night, then it will show me that Anderson is really serious about instilling discipline in his team.

3 - Just first team?  I know position isn't normally included in deciding the All-Big 12 Team, but I'll pick the five I would think make the most well rounded team.
F - Michael Beasley KSU (Also POY)
F - Aleks Maric NU
G - Damion James UT
G - DJ Augustine UT
G - Mario Chalmers KU

4 - I just read an article today reminding me KU has only 22/23 scholarships for this year because of self-imposed restrictions.  I'm not quite fanatic about recruiting for football, just because of the odds of guys actually seeing the field, but I think KU has done a nice job addressing areas of need with a couple of JuCos and stock-piling some decent high-school talent, including some highly ranked kids within the state of Kansas.  That to me is the big thing, seven or eight years ago, if a Kansas kid were a highly ranked prospect, no way was he going anywhere else in the state but K-State and you can see that changing now in KU's favor.

5 - Like I said, there's a 25% chance for MU tonight, but I'll stick pick Nebraska.  And, I'll also go KU.  For the weekend, I'm throwing darts and caution to the wind... Baylor, OSU, KU, NU and OU.

ZouDave: 1 - This is a 1 to me, maybe a 1.5 at the most.  Regardless of any fault Quin Snyder might have had here (which is as close to 0 as you can get, but even if it wasn't) this is Mike Anderson's team and it's Mike Anderson's job to fix it.  I think Anderson would find an unbelievable amount of support from Mizzou fans if he suspended these players for the remainder of the season and just went down in a blaze of glory for the rest of the year.  I think that's the kind of guy Missouri fans would just LOVE to identify with.  We know we're not in a position to compete with kansas right now, but we still want a reason to love this team.  Anderson could do that.  He's already doing it to a lesser extent just with this action.

2 - Well, fortunately Nebraska isn't very good.  If we were going to pick a team to be playing in this situation, it'd be Colorado...but Nebraska would probably be 2nd on that list.  Whatever leadership is left on this team, it's going to step up tonight and show through.  These guys have an opportunity to show themselves, their teammates and their coach what they can do in a very unattractive situation, and that many times brings the absolute best out in an athlete.  I think back to a basketball game I played in 8th grade (cue Bruce Springsteen's Glory Days), when we only had an 8-man team to begin with (most teams had 10, but for whatever reason we only had 8).  Three of our players didn't show up for a game (all were sick) including our starting center (I was our starting power forward).  That left me as the only player on the team that night above 5'6".  We had no subs, we knew nobody could foul out or we'd have to forfeit, and I averaged 4.5 fouls per game for the season.  But I saw this as an opportunity to show what we could do, so during our pre-game warmups I was just going nuts and firing up the other guys.  So we went out and played absolutely as hard as we could from tip-off to final buzzer.  I made sure every single rebound was mine, we pressed the entire night (we figured if we were going to be tired anyway we might as well make the most of it) and one of our guards basically decided he wasn't going to miss a shot all night.  And we lost by 2.  Actually, that story sucks.  So, apparently my point is that we have no chance to win but we might be able to play really hard.

3 -
F - Beasley, KSU
F - Griffin, OU
C - Maric, NU
G - Augustin, UT
G - Chalmers, ku

4 - Hard to be unhappy with Mizzou's recruiting class.  Top 25, our first ever 5-star player (and he's a QB) and a lot of other really nice players.  I think we have a VERY balanced class, and in a couple of years this class is going to absolutely litter the 2-deep.  I think we need to land Aaron Boyd, though, to make this class as good as it can be.  Aside from that, I think Pinkel got just about everyone he wanted.  And Will Compton is going to regret this decision for the rest of his life, whereas Missouri fans will forget his name before he's out of school.  Honestly, would any of you been swayed by some guy getting your named temporarily tattooed on his arm?  That would have creeped me out, and I know it would have made my dad just freak.

5 - Nebraska wins, by 2.  My story proves that.
And I'm going KSU over ku.  This is the time, this is the place.
Texas over Baylor, Tech over OSU, kansas DESTROYS Colorado by at least 40, Nebraska over ISU, Oklahoma over aTm.  And I'll go on record as saying it wouldn't matter if Mizzou was at full strength, KSU would beat us anyway.

Doug: Oh, and I also add that I left off the first scale only because I don't think anyone cares how much I "like" the idea of the Missouri head coach single-handedly gutting his team to prove a point.  But, I do agree it was something he had to do.

The Beef: Alright...I know it is early, and I know we may not hear from Atch today, but since The Boy just left for a meeting, anyone want to throw out the topic which will hijack this before he gets back?

ZouDave: Super Bowl predictions?

The Beef: Fair enough...here is my sob Super Bowl story.

Joined a pool at work...pretty standard stuff...pick it all the way through.  So...thinking that most would pick the Patriots, I decided my best chance would be to pick someone else and hope for the upset (since I clearly did not think enough of my picking ability).  So I take the Packers.  

Problem has become that I picked more than anyone else did correctly up until now...and lead for the winner take all prize.  However, as it turns out, had I picked the Patriots like most others did, I would have won already...now I have to hope for a pretty monumental upset.

What gives me solace is that the Patriots don’t blow anyone out in the Super Bowl.  What does not give me hope was how they won last week, just grinding it out because they could.  I think they win, I don’t think they cover (whatever the spread is, I don’t know, but imagine it is probably more than a TD) and I lose out because I am a dunce.

ZouDave: well I'm getting ready to step in to a meeting myself, but all I will add right now is that I watched maybe 10 NFL games this year and probably 6 of those were Chiefs games.  I just couldn't bring myself to care about the NFL this year.

All I know is, I hate teams from Boston and New York because of ESPN.  I can't root for either team.  I'm trying to put together a 10-hour poker game for Sunday to give me something else to do so I won't watch the Super Bowl.  I'm going to fail.  I'm going to watch.  And against my own mind, I'm going to end up rooting for the Patriots.  I don't even know why.

mizzourobot: The best thing about sports is the unpredictability of it all, how anything can happen, how unlikely teams win.  

The Patriots are KILLING that.

The Beef: True...but with a precision and cold-hearted’ness you almost have to admire...

mizzourobot: I can admire a killer shark but I don't want the damn thing in my pool.

The Beef: That is true...so...with ZD and The Boy out...Atch likely absent and rpt probably in class or something...you and I can discuss what it will take and when will the Pats run end.  I mean, from all account, I cannot see how they don’t win the next few given the team they have and the fact they are going to add the #7 pick in the draft, probably to the D-backfield I would guess.

Michael Atchison: I found a few minutes to sneak in here (sorry, I haven’t read the other responses yet).

1 - I’m going to hedge a little because the facts surrounding the event are hazy at best, but I’ll give it a 9.5 because Mike Anderson has to shock the culture of this basketball program back into something that’s acceptable, and when your seniors – who should be leading by example – are the primary culprits, you’ve got to do something to get the entire team’s attention.  The Coach gets the extra half-point if he dismisses Butterfield from the team.  Love the effort on the court, Big D, but you got another shot off the court and blew it.  See ya.

As for it being all Coach Anderson’s ship now, it’s a 1.  This is absolutely his ship.  A CEO can’t go into a company, look at the previous regime’s mess, and say "these aren’t my problems."  Mike Anderson was brought in to fix Quin Snyder’s problems.  As long as he keeps guys who were recruited by Snyder, they’re his guys.  And you simply can’t ignore the fact that two of the biggest problems – Butterfield and Hannah – are 100% Anderson’s guys.

2 - They’ll always have a puncher’s chance with the Lawrence twins on the floor, because on the right night, those guys can shoot you to victory.  But they’ll have to play a lot of junk defenses.  I can’t imagine how they’d handle Beasley without the full roster of bodies this weekend.  I won’t say it’s as little as a 0.1% chance of victory against the Cats.  I think the chances may be as high as 0.4%.

3 - If I had to put five on the floor together, the lineup would be D.J. Augustin, Mario Chalmers, Damion James, Michael Beasley and Darnell Jackson.  Brandon Rush is the first guy off the bench.

4 - I don’t follow football recruiting as closely as some of you guys, but Pinkel & Co. are pretty much kicking ass, are they not?

5 - Tonight’s winners:  Nebraska and Kansas.
Weekend:  Texas, Tech, Kansas, Cyclones, Aggies.

mizzourobot: Randy Moss is the x-factor. People can talk about the o-line and the defense and whatever else they want to. The difference between this year and the last few is that whenever they get in a bind, Brady goes, "Screw it. Randy, run hard, that way. Look up. Catch. " and Randy goes "Sweet action, honkey. Let's make me a trillion!" and then he does.  He's impossible to cover without overly committing to zone, which kills you with Welker underneath.  As long as Moss is willing to stay there and isn't unreasonable with money, they're going to be dominant.

The Beef: Thanks for getting in the Atch...and I really am shocked at something (not about your post, but just in posts in general).  Here I was thinking my stance on the Anderson vs. Quin thing was harsher than most....and I probably hedged mine a little subconsciously because of that...

Anyway, is neither here nor there...just shows I am easily swayed and have no backbone.

rptgwb: I'm fighting a major fever and an upper respiratory infection, but that wouldn't keep guys like us from the RMN Roundtable, would it?

1 - I'm going to agree with Atch and give it a 9.5. The program needed something drastic to get through to players that Anderson isn't joking around and prove to fans that all of these problems are being handled swiftly and with the correct severity. It makes Anderson look like a martyr, but it was a move that needed to be made, and sadly, have you seen Mizzou fans be more excited for a game this season than this upcoming one? Seems like a lot of the fan base is excited to see what the 8-man rotation can do and see if they play with any more heart.

I'll go with a 2 or 3 on the "whose fault is it" continuum. Sure, it's well documented what Quin left behind, but the suspensions are a sign that it truly is Anderson's ship now, even if that means throwing those who disobey overboard.

2 - I'll give Mizzou a 5% chance tonight - you never know how these guys will respond, especially with the crowd showing up to honor the football team at half. If they can stay on the floor, you never know who will get hot.

As for KSU? Gimme 0.2% chance, unless the entire Wildcat team gets food poisoning, in which case, I'll bump it up to 0.3%.

3 - All Big 12:
G - D.J. Augustin
G - Mario Chalmers
F - Michael Beasley
F - Darrell Arthur
F - Aleks Maric

4 - I'm absolutely thrilled about the way things have unfolded over the past couple of months for MU's recruiting class. Pinkel is starting to make strides to sealing off the state border, and keeping guys like Gabbert and Kemp home is a big step for the program. Should Matt Hall decide to jump on board, a Hoch-Hall line combination would solidify the line for years to come.

I'm also excited to see what some of Pinkel's customary Texas gems turn into. I'm most interested in seeing what they do with the athleticism of Gahn McGaffie, Jacquies Smith, and Zaviar Gooden.

5 - Big 12 picks:
NU > MU
KU > KSU
BU < UT
OSU <Tech <br>KU > CU
ISU > NU
OU <ATM <br>KSU > MU

Michael Atchison: Beef, I just think that trying to put any part of this on Quin is to adopt a losing mentality.  Let’s say it is his fault.  What does that get you?  He’s not coming back to fix it.

As far as the Pro Football Championship Game (doesn’t the NFL like to sue people who make unauthorized use of the term that rhymes with Trooper Hole?), anyone picking the Giants is either president of the Y.A. Tittle Fan Club or is making a wild stab at glory.  I’m not saying that the NYG have no chance, but all the indicators go the other way.  The rest of the league seems to have the Patriots measured (as a bunch of close games over the past few weeks have shown), but it’s hard not to notice how they’ve taken on all comers and, you know, haven’t lost.

I’m not much one for the psychology of games – teams play, and the best one usually wins – but past Trooper Holes have clearly shown that there’s something about this stage that can affect players.  I’ve been very impressed by Eli’s poise in the last few games, but I’ll be interested to see if the Pats can put a big old crack in his psyche in the first half.  If the Giants fall behind by 14, we’ll see what kind of stuff Manning is made of.  And we know what kind of stuff the other QB is made of.

Alright, I'm back from my meeting.  Before I get to my answers...

Robot - "Sweet action, honkey," made me cough up the water I was drinking when I was catching up on this e-mail chain.

Rptgwb - Zicam works wonders...though I guess your illness might be a little strong and/or too late for Zicam.  In that case I recommend swallowing a thumbfull of Vicks Vapo Rub.  It worked for my great uncle.

Atch - I agree about Eli.  Once the Pats started blitzing in the second half of their first meeting, the game got away from Eli pretty quickly, and while he's infinitely exceeded my expectations of him in these playoffs, the bright spotlight and a hard blitz might overtake him.

Beef - You were swayed to change your answer, and nobody was even swaying you to change your answer.  I'm very impressed.

Doug - "10 fouls to throw at Maric" is the killer about tonight's game.  I mean, the dude makes a good % of his FT's anyway, so we might be just as well-off by letting him lay the ball in, but...yeah, we have 10 fouls to give him in 40 minutes (maybe 15 if you count all three guys--Carroll, Safford, Volkus), and all three of those guys FOUL ALL THE FREAKING TIME.

Dave - I don't have much to say to you, but I feel I should include you.  So...uhh...boobs.

On to the answers...

1 - I agree with the 9.5 answer.  I'm curious what happens to Butters, though I guess if it's a "three strikes" rule, he still has one more strike.  In all, though, it might murder us this season, but...well...we were playing for the NIT at best anyway. I won't cry if we have a big losing streak, but the coach gets total control of the team in the process.  (My one concern with a big losing streak, however, is that it multiplies the odds that Keon Lawrence would transfer.  Our program will move on with or without him, obviously, but I really really enjoy watching him play--even when the shots aren't falling--and I would be disappointed if he left.)  As for the second 1-10 scale...I'm leaning between 3 and 5.  So I guess that means 4.  Bryan Burwell's "Blame Quin First" column rubbed me wrong yesterday, because it really is a defeatist attitude to take.  But where I stand now, I'm really not willing to lay it all on Anderson...yet.  So we'll say a 4.

2 - As I insinuated above to Doug (and yesterday on RMN), the matchups for tonight's game REALLY do not favor us.  Never mind that we have only one scholarship player on the bench...the ability of Maric to draw fouls, combined with the inability of Carroll/Volkus/Safford to AVOID fouling, is a really, really bad combination.  I think our best strategy is a) Charmin-soft zone on defense, and b) have Tiller drive straight at Maric all night, consequences be damned.  Either Maric ends up with 14 blocks, or he gets into foul trouble and has to sit.  With Maric on the floor for 30 minutes or more, we have no shot.  I say we have a 9% chance of winning...3% on the chance that Matt Lawrence (or Nick Berardini!!!) makes 16 3-pointers, 3% on the home-court advantage, and 3% on the chance that Maric gets into foul trouble.  And Michael Beasley will foul Volkus out in 35 seconds on Saturday.

3 - I really, really like Aleks Maric, but I haven't seen NU play once this year, and at this exact moment I couldn't tell you what his averages are.  I'm flying blind here...so I'm leaving him off for now.  I say Beasley (duh), Augustin (duh), Chalmers, Blake Griffin (who has gotten even better returning early from injury), and...umm...uhh...hmm...screw it, Aleks Maric.

4 - I really do hope that we end up with one of the three remaining 4-star kids on our list.  That would be the cherry on top of the delicious sundae, but...the sundae still looks great without the cherry.  No real weaknesses in this class--at the very least we have a highly regarded 3-star kid at every position.  We have little guys, big guys, and (if Matt Hall comes here) GARGANTUAN guys in the class, and it's really easy to get excited about it.  As long as some of these guys are ready to roll as RSFr's in 2009, then we might only skip a couple beats after possibly the greatest senior class in Mizzou history leaves after '08.

5 - NU > MU by 14 (I can see us staying close for 35 minutes or so, but I cannot even imagine what our lineup will be in the last few minutes of the game)

KSU > KU by 6 (why not?)

UT > BU by 9
Tech > OSU by 6 (home court rules in this series)
KU > CU by eleventy billion
NU > ISU by 1
OU > ATM by 2 (I love jinxing OU, and I'm great at it)

The Beef: Told you I was spineless...

Michael Atchison: One other thing about the Nebraska game.  The best way to defend Maric may be to harass the hell out of Nebraska's guards.  The big Aussie will be much less effective if his perimeter guys can't get him the ball.  The Huskers' point guard is Cookie Miller, a 5'7" freshman.  If I were Mike Anderson, I'd tell J.T. Tiller to set up shop in that guy's jock and wear him out.  Don't worry about your offense at all - leave that to Carroll and the Lawrences.  Tiller is big and athletic enough to give Miller fits if he can stay out of foul trouble.  I'd also tell Mike Jr. and Nick the Quick to be prepared to play like mad men for two minutes at a time.  When I was a kid, I lived in Charleston, IL, home of Eastern Illinois University, which was a D-2 hoops power at the time.  One season, they had a gimmick where five guys on the bench wore construction helmets and were called the Demo Five.  They weren't that skilled, but two or three times a game, they'd go in as a unit for short spurts and play harder than you'd think was possible.  If you can get anything like that out of the walk-ons tonight, it's a bonus.

Offensively, I'd spread it out a lot and bring Maric out of his comfort zone on the block.  All three of our "bigs" tonight - Carroll, Volkus, and Safford - can at least hold their own with him if he's forced to defend out on the edges.

The Boy: I'm very impressed that we manage to prescribe almost a 180-degree different strategy for tonight's game...though I love the Demo Five idea.  When we actually have enough players to field a second five, I say we try it...even if that second five is Tiller, Safford, Berardini, Anderson, and Volkus.

Michael Atchison: The Boy says that Maric "makes a good % of his FT’s."  While "good" is subjective, I’ll note for the record that big Aleks makes them 60.2% of the time.

The Beef: Good then must equal better than Carroll.

Michael Atchison: I think there’s also a symbolic importance to tonight’s game.  This program was already in a precarious position with the fans, and is beginning to flirt with apathy, which is a very dangerous place to be.  I think the guys really have to play with some spine tonight to regain some trust from the fans.  A Missouri crowd wants to believe in basketball players with guts, and the guys on the floor tonight better show some.

The Beef: Yeah...if anything the fact that the football team is getting honored tonight (and hopefully driving SOME attendance) will give us the chance to do that...but I think you are dead on about the precariousness of our position.

The Boy: For a center, that's still not bad...though I had in my head that he was more in the 70-75% range.  Internets are blocked for me at work, so I wasn't able to look that up.

And yes, I would LOVE it if Demarre Carroll were capable of making 60% of his FT's.

Michael Atchison: Actually, believe it or not, Carroll is shooting an identical 60.2%.  Ergo, if Maric is making a good percentage of his free throws, so is Carroll.

The Beef: Oh good lord...I never would have guessed that, but I do recall a game where he somehow went 6-6 from the line...

The Boy: Hmm...he must make 100% of them when I'm not watching, then.  Actually, to quote Bill Simmons, the lesson here, as always, is I'm an idiot.

Doug: Also, the big man is hungry.  He was held scoreless against Kansas, despite taking 6 shots from the field and having a few trips to the free throw line.

I do have to say, for anyone in KC, The Program on 810 had a great line about the MU defense today, referring to it as "The Chase Defense" or "40 Minutes of 'Hey Get Back Here'".  So, the zone defense is almost certainly the way to go tonight.