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Mizzou Links, 1-31-08

Nebraska 66, Mizzou 62.  Here's the box score.  Some thoughts (that I didn't share last night)...

  • One discouraging thing about this loss is, while we were certainly short-handed, I realized last night that the group on the court was (more or less) the non-freshmen we'll have on the roster next year.  Yes, we'll also (in theory) have Leo Lyons (though no Volkus), and yes, at least a couple of the freshmen (and JUCO transfers) should be ready to contribute early, but...there just wasn't a lot of talent out there, and that's disturbing.
  • Keon Lawrence: 6 points on 9 shots.  I did not see that coming...thought he'd take charge a bit more than that.
  • If you'd told me that Aleks Maric was going to only have 13 points, I'd have been convinced that we were going to win.
  • I've never heard of Steve Harley, but he came up big for the Huskers yesterday.
  • J.T. Tiller could make a strong 3rd guard in a 3-guard lineup, but I really don't think he's ever going to be a point guard or primary ballhandler.  That's going to have to be Keon or one of the freshmen next year.

Other game stories: Undermanned Tigers come up short against Huskers (Trib), Shorthanded Tigers lose (Missourian), Missouri’s remaining players show heart (Missourian), Nebraska Knocks Off Missouri (KC Star), Fans Help Keep Undermanned MU Close (KC Star), Tigers make it close against Nebraska (Post-Dispatch), Anderson Takes a Stand (PowerMizzou), Huskers Collect First Big 12 Win (Omaha World-Herald), Huskers Beat Tigers (Lincoln Journal-Star).

A couple more basketball links: Anderson wins deserved respect for his actions (Bryan Burwell)...

As proud as Anderson was of his players, it probably pales in comparison to the pride that others felt about him. As he sat in his office Wednesday afternoon doing his last-minute preparations for Nebraska, the basketball coach got a visit from the football coach.

"I just popped in to see him just to give him my support," Gary Pinkel said as he stood in the bowels of Mizzou Arena at halftime. "I just wanted to let him know that he absolutely did the right thing suspending those players. I've been there, too. When you first come in, sometimes you have kids that don't get the message. You have to make them understand that it's not about them, it's about the program."

Pinkel paused for a moment and flashed a sly grin.

"They're kids, and right now they don't get it," he said. "But when you do something like this, they tend to learn in a hurry."

...and Anderson says discipline is necessary to correct problems (Missourian).

Anderson stepped to the podium, and addressed many of the concerns and questions that have been circling the Missouri program in the past four days.

"My job is more than just to coach," Anderson said. "I also want those kids to come here and get degrees. I also want to teach them, too. I’m trying to teach them about life."

Anderson said multiple times that the players are just kids, and when a kid makes a mistake, he feels that it is necessary to discipline him to correct the problem so that he can become a productive citizen.

"They’re kids and they make mistakes," Anderson said. "We’re grown-ups and we make mistakes. I know that. But I think the most important thing is, can we learn from it? The easiest thing to do is to throw somebody under the bus, and you’ll ruin that kid’s life."

The new Rivals 100 for 2009 is out, and a few Mizzou targets make the cut.  StL's Ronnie Wingo is now #53.  He's the one MO prospect on the list.

And amid all the downbeat links I've had to post recently, I'm going to finish the Links** with this one: Kurtis Gregory loves being a Missouri Tiger.

the bond between Daniel and his small-town Missouri linemen is strong. Does that mean the blockers share a reflected glory when Daniel, a Heisman Trophy finalist, is named all-American and has his picture on the cover of national magazines like Sports Illustrated.

"You bet we do!" declared Gregory, himself an all-Big 12 honorable mention selection. "If he's getting awards, it means we're getting awards, too."

Gregory hopes the honors keep coming, and with 17 starters expected to return next season, there's no reason they shouldn't.

"Amongst ourselves, we thought the sky's the limit last year," he noted. "It's even more so next year."

Whether it works out that way or not, Gregory "couldn't ask for more."

"It's a blast. I love the guys here," he remarked. "We call it the Family Covenant. We're a close bunch of guys."

** - I initially typed "finish the week" here...and then I realized that it wasn't actually Friday, only Thursday.  So even when I was trying to do something uplifting, I was depressing myself.