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Mizzou Links, 12-16-08

Another day, another "Gabbert's figuring it out" article...this one from Dave Matter.

As the team’s No. 3 quarterback, Gabbert saw the field in five games this season and attempted just 13 passes - including only two throws during Big 12 Conference play - leading some to question whether it was worthwhile to sacrifice a season of eligibility for MU’s highest-profile recruit in years.

Daniel staunchly defends Missouri’s decision to play his protégé this season. As Daniel explained it Saturday, the prep work Gabbert put in Sundays through Fridays defines his rookie experience more than his participation on Saturdays.

"The mental part of it is something people don’t understand," Daniel said. "People say, ‘I wish he would have redshirted,’ but, well, it’s great to have that year back but except for one day of the week, he’s preparing like he’s the starter. He’s going to be just fine."

Monday meant weekly features...Like Father, Unlike Son and Dave Matter's Big 12 football notes Steve Walentik's Big 12 basketball notes (and accompanying Top 25 ballot).

Matt Lawrence's shot still isn't tremendously consistent, but one thing's for certain--he's playing better this year.  And apparently he's having some fun as well.

And speaking of having fun, there's a reason why everybody in the program (including fans) are enjoying this year more: new blood.  And after the, uhh, experiences of the last few seasons, you have to love this quote from Kimmie English:

"We know we have to represent this team 24-7, every single day, like we're always being looked at," said English, adding, "What's that saying, with great responsibility … ?

"I represent my family, my city, my state, myself, and I don't ever want to put shame on my family name or on this program."

Clearly we still need to recruit some more size to be successful in the future, but I've gotta say...after both seeing and hearing these freshmen, I'm more optimistic about Mizzou Basketball right now than I have been for a long time.  I'll let you know when I get all the way back up to "Luol Deng and Ricky Clemons"-level optimism.

Finally, this is completely Mizzou unrelated, but just in case you didn't see the ending of last night's Cleveland State/Syracuse game...holy moly...