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Mizzou Links, 2-22-08

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The Trib has a nice "Mizzou Baseball reloads now, it doesn't rebuild" article, comparing USC's "Running Back U" run to the string of stout pitchers Mizzou has produced.  On its face that's a stretch, but...Max Scherzer and Aaron Crow are/were as good as college pitchers get...and Kyle Gibson may be there someday.  The Post-Dispatch and KC Star also talks about Mizzou's pitching, only without the interesting analogy.  Though you've got to love this blurb from the Star:

"This probably won’t happen," analyst Jim Callis wrote, "but the Tigers theoretically could have the No. 1 overall picks in 2008 (Aaron Crow), 2009 (Kyle Gibson) and 2010 (Nick Tepesch)."

Seriously...yikes...

Here's your official preview for tomorrow's MU-CU game.

A key Tiger to keep an eye on this weekend is freshman forward Justin Safford ... Safford played just five minutes in the first meeting with Colorado, but is averaging 15.3 minutes per game in the six contest since that Jan. 26 affair ... When Safford plays 16 minutes or more this season (four of his last six games), he is averaging 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game ... Included in that surge is a career high 10 points vs. Texas A&M and nine points in each meeting with Kansas State.

I still think the main reason Safford isn't playing as much as we'd like is maturity.  You can't pout as much as Safford does on the court sometimes, and it's hampering his growth a bit.  I also think this is quite fixable...

The Missourian talks about Mizzou's lack of size and how it likely won't come into play against the Buffs.

The Missourian takes a look at the upcoming Big 12 Wrestling Championships and has a funny blurb about Max Askren and the roll he's on...

Missouri sophomore Max Askren put Iowa State’s David Bertolino in a half-nelson, rolling him on his back and holding him there for a pin.

As the stunned crowd processed what it saw, Askren rose to his feet, lifted his arms up and flexed his sinewy 197-pound body, yelling, "I’m dangerous" for the entire arena to hear.

...

In Big 12 competition, Askren defeated four different ranked opponents, including a shutout of No. 5 Joel Flaggert of Oklahoma. His fourth victory was pinning Iowa State’s Bertolino.

"The silence after the pin was hilarious," Askren said. "Afterwards there was this amazing silence and I felt like I was there by myself. It was fun."

Mizzou softball heads to New Mexico this weekend for the Lobo Invitational.  The lineup--#22 Washington, Wichita State, Texas Tech, New Mexico--is a bit of a step down from the last couple of weekends, so hopefully Mizzou can rack up some wins.  One point of interest: former Mizzou coach Ty Singleton is the New Mexico coach, so a lot of Tigers will be playing against the guy who recruited them to Columbia.

So Will Franklin has added 15 pounds in the offseason while not losing any speed?  Really?  Huh.  Also: Rivals.com has an NFL Combine video feature with Martin Rucker.

It's The Chamber!

Finally, not that you needed any more reason to look forward to next fall, but Statistically Speaking, a GREAT stat-nerd blog, took a look at some Big 12 stats and determines that (duh) Mizzou is the team to beat next year.  Also: Dave Matter's latest blog post is entitled "Spring football around the corner"...tee hee hee...

Here’s how good the Tigers have it at QUARTERBACK: There could be three viable candidates for the backup job this fall, between senior Chase Patton, redshirt sophomore Dominic Grooms and true freshman Blaine Gabbert. (Of course, Pinkel will say all jobs are open for competition, but let’s assume you can pencil in that Heisman finalist as your starter.)

Either way, I can’t imagine a team having a better depth scenario at quarterback, other than having a backup with significant game experience. I’d like to look this up, but I doubt there will be many teams with three Elite 11 QB Camp quarterbacks on their roster this fall. Granted, Patton’s career never took off, but you can’t knock his talent. Even Daniel has told me he’s amazed by Patton’s arm strength. (And in case you’re still wondering about those January rumors that Patton wasn’t coming back for his senior season, he was putting himself through the same torturous drills his teammates grinded through this morning.)