Nebraska 61, Mizzou 56. I had to go to ESPN for the box score, as mutigers is always slow after losses like this. Thoughts...
- I still refuse to draw a conclusion on how much of our late-game faltering is the players (which will change at least a little next year) and how much is the coaching (which won't). I liked the play we drew up for Keon with about 2 minutes left, but it was perfectly defended, and Keon still almost made a tough shot. Honestly, I missed our final possession, as I had flipped over to Louisville-Pitt for a moment then thought, "Oh crap, that was only a 30-second timeout, wasn't it..." and flipped back over in time to watch us walking to the FT line with 8 seconds left. The announcers said it was a bad possession, and I'll take their word for it.
- Justin Safford has severely regressed over the past couple of weeks. Whether that's the reason for his decreased PT, or his decreased PT has hurt his confidence, we'll see...
- JT Tiller has been as quiet as quiet can be offensively over the past month or so. It's been a while since had a nice, free offensive game. Guess he had to have a few good games before he could have an official sophomore slump.
- Maric really did play well...he lulled me to sleep with our two earlier meetings, but he was a man last night.
- One thing that got hammered home last night is this (and I don't know what to think about this): the offense we run gets open shots at certain spots on the floor...but we can't make shots from those spots on the floor. Case in point--whenever Lyons would post up on Maric and get the ball, he'd be able to make a short pass to his power-forward for about an 8-footer from just off the block. Only...whoever it was taking this shot--Carroll, Volkus, whoever--missed it everytime. Now, part of coaching is knowing who can make shots from where, but...these aren't hard shots. The talent on this team is severely lacking. How much that will change next year, we have yet to see...I hope it changes a lot, of course, but I'm obviously far from convinced. Anyhoo...
- Bottom line is, I haven't really cared about this season for the past 5-6 game--I put on my "next year" blinders a while back, so I just haven't taken anything that's happened too seriously. (This is mostly addressed to The Beef, who is a lot more worried about Mike Anderson's coaching than I am...all my questions will be answered next year, and my distrust of the overall talent level of these players, plus the dislike of so many of these players--mostly seniors--have colored my impressions of the coaching.)
Game stories: Tigers' season ends in familiar fashion (Trib), Nebraska spoils Missouri's hopes at Big 12 men's basketball tournament (Missourian), Loss means disappointing postseason outlook for Tigers (Missourian), Missouri falls to Nebraska in first round of Big 12 tournament (KC Star), Tigers shoot 31.6 percent in opening-round defeat (Post-Dispatch), Tiger season ends in Kansas City (PowerMizzou), Victory puts Huskers in line for possible NIT berth (Omaha World-Herald).
Leo Lyons will throw his name into the hat for the NBA Draft, but won't sign with an agent. That's actually relatively smart. The only shaky part is, sometimes players put blinders on when they hear things like "You won't be drafted" or "You're a late second-rounder at best" and decide to take the plunge anyway. Judgment hasn't proven to be Leo's strong suit, but I'm going to assume he makes the right decision here.
Other Big 12 games: OSU 76, Tech 72. OSU's certainly finished the season pretty well overall. CU 91, Baylor 84. Okay, I think BU's still safe for the NCAA tourney, but this is a really bad loss. We'll see what the numbers tell me later in the day. Really bad loss. Baylor really can beat or lose to any team in the country at any time. A&M 60, ISU 47. ATM wins its second Big 12 tourney game ever!! Congrats! (And they, I assume, locked up an NCAA bid in the process.)
Screw basketball! Time for spring practice notes! Here are the usual suspects--Dave Matter, PowerMizzou. The biggest news in them is probably that Warren Buffett is a Mizzou fan. That, and Dave Matter talks about all the reasons #4 is a good number for Mizzou (even though Chase Daniel isn't changing his number to that).