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Mizzou Links, 11-14-08

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We start the Links with our boy Ross's Mizzou Basketball preview from the Maneater.

If you didn't know better, talk out of the Missouri basketball program heading into this season might pass for a transcript of a Barack Obama speech.

"This is a new year," senior forward DeMarre Carroll said. "It's time for a change."

The change comes as a result of seven newcomers on the roster, including five freshmen and two transfers. The task of finding the right balance of new and returning players doesn't seem to faze coach Mike Anderson at all.

"As a coach you look forward to the challenge of blending the old with the new," Anderson said.

Anderson enters his third season as Missouri's coach with a 34-28 record in his tenure at MU, but Missouri's inability to qualify for the postseason under Anderson has colored the numbers.

During Anderson's first two seasons in his previous coaching positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, his teams advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

But win totals and postseason appearances aren't the only things hanging over Anderson this season. The entire program is looking to resolve a public image crisis after multiple player arrests last season, including the notorious Athena Night Club incident last January.

And while I'm sure Ross's piece fit all your preview needs, The Trib has a nice Basketball Bonus section as well.  And The Missourian talks about the new 3-point line and its impact on Missouri.

Meanwhile, it appears that both Mizzou commitments have signed their LOIs--PowerMizzou is reporting that Keith DeWitt did indeed sign.  PM also has a nice article on signee Mike Dixon and why he's a perfect fit for Mizzou  (The Trib talks Dixon as well).  Also: 5-star UAB commit (and former Mizzou target) DeMarcus Cousins has not signed his UAB LOI yet, as it appears he hasn't gotten assurance of his release if Mike Davis leaves UAB.  If UAB does not give him that assurance, he may reopen his recruitment, which may or may not have anything to do with Mizzou, but it's interesting.

And if you're more of a wrestling guy, check out THAT sport's Mizzou preview from The Trib...

Iowa State Links!  You mean somebody's still talking football?

Any story about Tommy Saunders is probably a good story...same goes, apparently, for Tommy Saunders' hair...

Finally, here's the official release for tonight's Mizzou-Evansville NCAA Soccer Tourney matchup.  And The Trib has a lovely summary of the four teams playing in Columbia.  If you're thinking about going tonight, you should.  And whatever you do, don't look at tonight's forecast.  I said don't look!