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Mizzou Links, 5-9-08

Leo Lyons has announced that he is returning to Mizzou for his senior season.  That's good news, but I have no idea why he decided that already.  I didn't think many of the camps/scrimmages/whatever they're called had taken place yet?  Then again, I guess you don't have to play in many pickup games for the "play like you did the last few games of last season all of the time next season, and you'll be in good shape...but we're not sure you have that in you" message to sink in.  Steve Walentik has more, while PowerMizzou takes a look at how next year's roster is taking shape.

[A]dvantage Mizzou. Lyons is back and it would certainly be expected DeMarre Carroll will follow some time in the near future. That means without a doubt that the roster for next season can now pretty much take shape.

Assuming Carroll returns, the Tigers will have 13 players on scholarship next season, the maximum number allowed by the NCAA. It may seem like no big deal. However, this will be the first time in four seasons that the Tigers have been dealing with a full deck. In November of 2004, the NCAA put the Tigers on probation, stripping the program of three scholarships over the next two seasons. In each of Mike Anderson's first two years, the Tigers featured a transfer who was sitting out and ineligible to play. With the addition of Zaire Taylor and a six-man recruiting class, Missouri has 13 scholarship bodies available for the first time since that 2004-05 season.

So...chances are, however Mizzou Softball does in the upcoming postseason will likely be dictated by how well their catalyst, uhh, catalyzes.  The Missourian has a nice piece on freshman base thief Rhea Taylor and how she never thought she'd end up at Mizzou.

Taylor said [Mizzou] was like "nothing that I’ve ever seen before, really."

It turns out Missouri softball has never seen a player like her, really.

"Every offense has that igniter or they hope to have that igniter, and Rhea’s definitely ours," Earleywine said. "Statistically it’s apparent that when Rhea starts off the game with a hit, or when she leads off an inning with a hit, we kind of follow in suit."

Taylor has compiled some impressive statistics from the Tigers’ leadoff spot this season. The freshman led the Big 12 Conference in five offensive categories: batting average (.408), hits (80), runs (60), triples (tied with five players with four) and stolen bases (52).

In addition to more than doubling the total of her nearest competitor, Taylor’s 52 stolen bases also set a new Big 12 season record.

And for that matter, the KC Star writes basically the same story.

It was linebacker day on PowerMizzou yesterday, as PM checked in on two Mizzou targets.  First up was relatively unknown Gus Jones, from Wagoner, OK.  Being from a rival 4A Oklahoma school, I say...WAGONER SUCKS!  Yeah!  Anyway, next up was Rivals250 (and therefore 4-star) LB Chris Williams, from Abilene.  Both are high on Mizzou.  I must say, it's entertaining following Mizzou recruiting for this very reason--watching the staff alternate between the more and more numerous blue-chip kids on the list and the small-town rough diamonds is fun.

And yes, I'm hoping "rough diamonds" catches on.  It's shorter to type than "diamonds in the rough".

Finally, I laughed myself to tears watching this yesterday...for those of you who don't watch Inside the NBA, well, I don't know what to tell you.  It's the best sports show on television.