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Mizzou Links, 2-10-08

Not many links today...The Beef is in town, and we're hitting brunch at The 'Berg..

Texas A&M 77, Mizzou 69.  Most misleading 8-point loss of all-time.  Here's the box score.  Thoughts...

  • Do not mistake Leo Lyons' 24 points as evidence that Good Leo showed up.  Pretty sure all 19 of his second-half points came in the last 6 minutes, when were down big.  He did absolutely nothing when this was actually a ballgame.  There's a reason I look at "close game" data when I'm running my Beyond the Box Score football pieces...if there were an easy way to do it for b-ball too, I would.
  • Mark Turgeon's halftime speech: "Men...not only are we more talented than they are, we're twice their size.  Do something."
  • Matt Lawrence: 0 three-point attempts.  I really, really, really, really hope Kim English can both create his own shot and occasionally make it.
  • On that note, I really like our mid-range game--Keon, Tiller, Safford, and others can all shoot a decent pull-up jumper.  But that will only take us so far if we have no size and no reliable 3-point shooting (yes, we were 4-for-11 from 3-point wasn't a good 3-for-11).
  • JT Tiller: 3 shots in 27 minutes.  I don't know who was primarily guarding him, but kudos.  You know Tiller would have taken more if he could have.
  • Poor Justin Safford.  His first two shots of the second half rimmed all the way in and out...and he lost all confidence and momentum.  But I was glad he got that late putback to get him into double digits.  Now he just needs to work on the pouting.
  • If you'd have told me that Joseph Jones and DeAndre Jordan would only combine for 15 points and 14 boards, I'd have liked our chance.  I very much didn't bank on Donald Sloan and Bryan Davis combining for 35 points and 16 boards.

Game stories!  Frantic finish can't save Mizzou (KC Star), Tigers collapse in second half (Trib), Tigers suffer energy shortage (Post-Dispatch), MU men's basketball team overtaken in second half (Missourian), Hannah yet to return to team (Missourian), Sloan's career day sends Aggies past Missouri (Bryan/College Station Eagle), Second helping: 15-0 2nd-half run propels Aggies (Dallas Morning News).

And in a nice change of subject, Inside Mizzou's Jeff Ermann has a nice (free) piece on Mizzou's budding DeSmet pipeline.  "Mizzou's budding DeSmet pipeline"...I never thought I'd have a reason to type those words.  Also, Dave Matter empties the recruiting notebook...which is usually good for some fun blurbs.  Here's a good one on Zaviar Gooden.

The staff wasn’t sure about Zaviar Gooden’s college position either — until watching him run. Yost said the 6-2, 210-pound Pflugerville, Texas, product compares favorably to Gilbert Moye, last year’s prized recruit who became a safety when he arrived last summer.

"When you see him the first thing you’ll think is, ‘He looks like a linebacker.’ We thought the same thing," Yost said. "He was at the TCU Nike camp last year. We had seven coaches there, and Coach Jones said, ‘We’ve got to watch this Gooden guy. He’s a safety.’ I looked at him and said, ‘He’s a linebacker, coach, look how big he is.’ Then he started doing drills, and by the time he was done, we were all like, ‘OK, he’s a safety.’

"He’s a big athlete. He’s in the mold of a William Moore size-wise. I’m not going to say he’s William Moore, but he’s a big, big athlete as opposed to what a lot of safeties are, like Pig Brown, who was a smaller safety."

And one on Michael Egnew...this does nothing but further the internet legend...

Tight end Andrew Jones of Smithville has gotten significant attention, but Yost raved about the other addition at that position, Michael Egnew of Plainview, Texas, perhaps the most unheralded player in Missouri’s class with the greatest upside to produce.

"You need to watch his video, because I tell you, this guy is a PLAYER," Yost said. "We have him down at 6-5, and he might be taller than that. He’s all of 210 now. As a junior he caught like eight passes, but they only threw it about 14 times. He’s by far their No. 1 guy. He played wide receiver and they put him at tight end at time, but he made plays. He’s lean a good running athlete. He’s kind of an in-between of what Rucker and" Chase "Coffman were in high school. He didn’t have a lot of opportunities.

"Also, Plainview is not on the beaten path. I think it’s 45 miles north of Lubbock, so you’ve got to be going there to get there."

Seriously, read the whole thing.  Lots of exciting stuff in there.  And when you're done, go to The 'Berg for brunch.

UPDATE, 10:49am: Bryan Burwell offers Mike Anderson some suggestions.

Let the groundwork for next season begin right now. The future is now. I'm not saying wipe out all the minutes for every senior on the team, but it no longer makes sense to give senior big men Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield or Vaidotas Volkus major minutes at the expense of junior forward Leo Lyons or the rapidly improving freshman Justin Safford.

For all his perplexing inconsistency, on his worst day Lyons provides more of an offensive threat than Brown or Butterfield on their best days. If he's going to have a critical role on this team as a go-to man, let it begin sooner, not later. And the more playing time the 6-foot-8 Safford gets, the more intriguing he becomes, because he is the one man on the roster who has the size, the shooting touch, the athleticism and the on-court instincts to make the handful of NBA scouts in the building Saturday scramble for their stat books to figure out why they didn't have him on their radar.

I'm not making this up. I was sitting next to these scouts and talked to them, too. No one's saying he's a lottery guy, but his 15 minutes on the floor intrigued them. With a stroke like he has, and the ability to put it on the floor and create his shot in traffic, Safford is a guy who deserves increased minutes and more than a few plays that are designed to get the rock in his hands.