It's been suggested we have a Play-In Game among the third-place finishers in the polls of the last few days, and since I really like that idea, let's do it right now! Winner of this poll between Devin West, Rickey Paulding, Kelly Thames and Dave Silvestri moves on to the Harold "Spider" Burke Regional. (I'm including Thames as well because both he and Paulding have now surpassed Jason Sutherland in the vote totals below.) Here are their blurbs again:
Devin West (1995-98): Part of a four-headed rushing monster in the Mizzou backfield (along with Corby Jones, Brock Olivo, and Ernest Blackwell RIP), West was one step away from returning a kickoff for TD about 16 different times...but then came his senior season. All I really need to say about 1998: 32 carries, 319 yards.
Rickey Paulding (2000-04) - Went from "ridiculous athlete" as a freshman to "go-to guy" as a junior and senior. When everybody was wondering who would shoot and score without Kareem and Clarence around, Paulding stepped up, averaging 17.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 0.8 SPG as a junior and outplaying Dwayne Wade in the 2003 NCAA tournament. Put up similar numbers in the disappointing 2003-04 season. Finisher of the greatest alley-oop in Mizzou history (against Iowa at the Hearnes Center in late-2001).
Kelly Thames (1993-98) - Oh what could have been. As a freshman, Thames was a 12&7 presence and instant starter for the '93-'94 team before tearing up his knee preparing for his sophomore year. The knee injury took away a lot of his athleticism, but Thames developed into a reliable post presence on offense, averaging 14.4 PPG and 6.0 RPG his senior season for an offensively-challenged team.
Dave Silvestri (Baseball, 1986-88): A Mizzou Hall of Famer, Silvestri is 1st on Mizzou's career list in triples (18), 2nd in total bases (432), 2nd in slugging percentage (.660), 4th in batting average (.379), 4th in hits (248), 5th in runs scored (206), 5th in on-base percentage (.465), 5th in stolen bases (47), and 7th in RBIs (167). Not bad for a 3-year career. The Beef feels he should have been on the 'definites' list instead of Scherzer who wasn't as dominant for as long. You make the call.
Vote below...and if you feel like writing something about why you're voting the way you are in comments, we'll probably use it.