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Mizzou Links, 4-4-08

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First off, thanks to everyone who voted in the Mizzou 25 finals...500 votes is a nice way to send the tournament out...even if a large, large majority were for one competitor.  Askren deserves it.

Practice reports!  The usual suspects have 'em--Matter, Gabe, Graham.  Quite a bit of speculation about what it means that Tyler Crane was playing with the 4th string yesterday.  Sending a message to wake him up?  Getting ready to use his redshirt year?  Moving to LB because he's not working out at DE?

A non-practice blurb in Matter's post:

Every program in the country deals with attrition, but Missouri’s 2005 recruiting class has done some serious downsizing. The class that produced Daniel, Coffman, Brock Christopher and Ziggy Hood lost its ninth player this week when junior linebacker Connell Davis left the team. The rest — Matt Casaday, Tarell Corby, Chris Hudgins, Chad Marhsall, Herman King, Matt Russell, James Stigall, Chad Washington — either left for various reasons or were dismissed.

The 2006 class already has six defections: Quran Barge, Marquis Booker, Jesse Hernandez, Brant Scott, John Stull and J.P. Tillman.

If you think this is rare, think again. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported this week that Iowa has lost the same number (15) from its 2005 and ’06 classes. The bigger matter could be if, down the road, the attrition affects scores for the NCAA’s academic progress report. The latest APR figures are expected to be released in May.

I guess I understand why that's part of a performance report issue, but at the same time it should count if they go to some other school for playing time and graduate once they're there.  But that's just me.

Good story about Mizzou's two young DTs, Terrell Resonno and Dominique Hamilton.  Good times ahead with them, it seems.  (Feels like I've linked to this story already, but I guess not.  Weird.)

Another day, another walk-on story.  This time it's the Missourian writing about a local boy, Harrisburg's Chad Collard.

So I guess Mizzou Softball isn't quite satisfied with it's dominant mid-week performances this week.  That's a good thing.

Stuck in the thick of the Big 12 conference slate, a good team like Missouri can have trouble finding its rhythm against a lesser team like Drake (14-16). Last week, the Tigers dropped a game against Texas-San Antonio. But Drake caught the force of a focused Missouri team that dropped two games to Texas A&M last weekend and didn’t want to overlook another midweek opponent.

"It’s hard to get them up for these midweek games," Missouri Coach Ehren Earleywine said. "We’re playing teams that if we play well we’ll beat, but if we don’t show up we won’t. It’s been a real challenge for me, trying to make sure they understand the importance of these games."

Missouri must have taken Earleywine’s message to heart yesterday, because the Tigers never let up, not even after their first-round knockout in the first game.

Meanwhile, Mizzou Baseball is just feeling plain old relief after finally coming through with a bunch of runs late against Lincoln on Wednesday.  You don't want to head into a huge conference weekend series having lost to both Western Illinois and Lincoln.

I'm kinda surprised nobody had written this story yet--the Missourian checks in on Linas Kleiza.

From the Sarunas Marciulionis basketball school in Lithuania to the Mile-High City, Kleiza has surprised. This season, Kleiza is finally silencing the doubters that he has had at every point on his journey. The doubters who said he would never be an impact player on an NBA team. The doubters who said he was crazy for going to the United States to pursue his dream of playing in the best basketball league in the world.

For the season, Kleiza is averaging 10.8 points, 4.2 boards, and 1.2 assists per game, and is shooting a decent 35% from 3-point range.

Finally, Mizzou's doing a pretty cool thing for something called 'National Student-Athlete Day'...they're collecting old tennis shoes to be sent to Nike for recycling and then reusing.