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Mizzou Links, 7-10-09

An interesting set of links today...extremely high in quality, extremely low in quantity...

You know how the senior leadership from DeMarre Carroll, Grey Goose, and Leo Lyons was so strong for last year's Mizzou basketball team?  I'm thinking it's not going to suffer much in 2009-10...not with JT Tiller (and his reconfigured jumper) on the case.

“J.T.’s now captain, and he’ll be the leader of the team next year,” Lyons said that day in Glendale, Ariz. “With somebody that works hard like he does, the rest of the team’s going to follow, so everybody better watch out for Mizzou basketball next year.”

But Tiller, who has started 50 games over the past two seasons, has spent most of the offseason on the mend after undergoing surgery in April to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. Only in the past two weeks has the rising senior guard from Marietta, Ga., been cleared to join his teammates in daily pick-up games — an important opportunity to assert himself as the team’s on-court commander.

“It still feels like my first day back, but it’s getting better, though,” said Tiller, who was elated to start playing again after more than two months on the sidelines. “From the outside looking in, it’s so much fun, but once you get back in there, it’s definitely hard work.”

Want to catch up with how Leo Lyons has done this week on the Pacers' summer league team?  Here you go (PDF).  Thus far, Leo has played about 28 minutes in three games (with the opening DNP) and hit 5-of-9 FGs and 11-of-12 FTs (!) for a 7.0 PPG average.  His 21-points-in-9-FGAs line results in a ridiculously good 2.33 points per shot (anything above about 1.7 is pretty strong).  That's the good news.  The bad news: he's grabbed three rebounds (two offensive) in the aforementioned 28 minutes.  Might want to improve on that.

Be sure to read all of Dave Matter's "Catching up with the Tigers" post to which solidpit linked last night.  The "DISRESPECT" card has been played in a major, major way.  Senior leadership is also discussed in a fashion probably more provocative than intended.

“A lot of guys were for themselves last year,” [Derrick] Washington said. “A lot of guys were for themselves and thinking about the NFL. This year’s team is about the team and we’re going to do what we can.”

Added [Jaron] Baston: “I think this team is a better group of people. I think this team, chemistry-wise, reminds me of that” 2007 “Cotton Bowl year. We have no choice but to be close because we’ve got everybody betting against us.”

You might wince when you read that quote from Washington — and he might, too — but I think he had good intentions when he said it. For one, I’d be surprised if there are many current players who really believed last year’s players were preoccupied with NFL thoughts. But maybe I'm wrong. More than anything, I think he was paying tribute to the developing leadership on this year’s team. Either way, it's not the first summer an MU player made that comment and it probably won't be the last.

Wondering how football recruiting is going (and how it should be going)?  PowerMizzou's Pete Scantlebury sums things up with the 2010 Recruiting Outlook.

On defense, Missouri seems to be most focused on the line and the secondary. The Tigers will only lose three projected starters after this season, so they are just looking to build depth.They already have a pledge from Olathe (KS) DE Lucas Vincent, who will slide into the middle for Missouri. The Tigers have a young and talented crop of defensive ends, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if they don't had a true end in this class. Expect them to go for one more tackle, however.

Being that it's Oklahoma State Week, I feel compelled to pass along this link.

And finally...we just didn't vote enough.  But Ian Kinsler's All-Star hopes aren't done just yet--Dustin Pedroia could be sitting this one out.

And as always...