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Mizzou Links, 1-30-08

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Dave Matter has a nice extended story on Larry Smith.  Had to figure Dave was going to come through with a good one.  I start with this because the next few links aren't exactly uplifting.

I realize it's on a pay board, but I really like the comment Gabe Dearmond made last night about the basketball suspensions, and I'm going to quote it in its entirety here.

The football team credits almost all of its success this year to a great senior class who won't let the team screw up or let up. Look at the suspensions. Four seniors and a junior. Any more questions why the team has struggled on the court? Mike Anderson needs new blood in this program and he needs it FAST.

Here, here.

The Trib, KC Star, Post-Dispatch, and even ESPN (the basketball team has always found creative ways to get to ESPN's front page) have stories on the suspensions.

The Missourian goes into a bit of detail about the newly-created matchup problems with Nebraska.

Nebraska’s Aleks Maric stands 6 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 275 pounds. He was already far larger than MU’s biggest player, who is Lyons at 6 feet 9 inches and 240 pounds. Carroll is the biggest MU player who is allowed to play tonight with Lyons out. He is an inch shorter and 15 pounds lighter than Lyons.

...

Another element to the mass suspensions is Anderson’s basketball philosophy, to press the opposing team and play a fast-paced game to force them into mistakes. MU has relied on its bench this season, playing between nine and 11 players on most nights. Either the Tigers’ game plan will change or the available players for tonight’s game are going to be very tired.

MU has been playing more half-court zone defense in recent games. The combination of not having anybody who matches up size-wise with Maric and that MU will be trying to conserve as much energy as possible with the short bench means the zone-defense trend will likely continue.

Brian Burwell likes Anderson's move and actually thinks it might not be enough.

I want Anderson to go even further. It's one thing to play the role of Judge Dredd when your team is about to face a Big 12 weakling like the Cornhuskers, who arrive in Columbia tonight winless in four conference contests. If there is a team Anderson can afford to gamble going shorthanded against, Nebraska is it. If I know that, so do his knucklehead players, who can't seem to understand — or have flat out chosen to ignore — the head coach's most important non-basketball rules.

Sitting out against Nebraska might feel like convenient symbolism to them.

Extending that suspension to include Saturday's game against 22nd-ranked Kansas State (14-4, 4-0 in the conference) and Monday night's trip to Lawrence against archrival and No. 2-ranked Kansas (20-0, 5-0) will represent far more than symbolism. That speaks of real commitment to discipline. That tells anyone who ever had any doubts that doing the right thing in the Missouri basketball program is far more important than any victory or defeat.

Realistically, there's no way Anderson will be able to compete against the rest of the mighty Big 12 if he extends those suspensions indefinitely. But some things are more important than the almighty W and L columns. When you're trying to alter the disturbing environment that has threatened to ruin your program, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Everybody's also got their takes on Tony Temple's official departure.  The Trib, Missourian, KC Star, Post-Dispatch, and the great MizzouRah ("NCAA, you shit the bed...again.") all get links.

Today's football recruiting links: Mizzou commit Daniel Jenkins enjoyed himself in Columbia last weekend, Marcus Malbrough discusses changing his commitment to Mizzou (I love that he changed his mind after visiting Iowa, where he was previously committed...they just didn't stack up), and Aaron Boyd has a decision to make.

Mizzou Softball: Preseason #21 in the country.  Softball, baseball, football, wrestling, gymnastics...we've got a bunch of teams ranked right now.

Finally, I guess Kevin Love got the Ryan Robertson Treatment (TM) in Eugene last week...always fun.  Note to big-time recruits: if you're not going to attend your home-state school (especially if, in Love's case, the home-state school's fanbase has been viewing you as their program's savior), you might want to just go ahead and leave the conference.