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Mizzou Links, 11-18-13: Crazy 8s, a 20-year legacy, and a Wake Forest walk-on

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Missouri moves up a spot in the BCS rankings, Tim Fuller was discovered by Tim Duncan in a pick-up game, and the 1993-94 hoops team maintains a connection to the Mizzou fanbase.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1. More bye-week chit chat

KC Star: After wild night, SEC East is still Missouri’s for the taking

2. Poll watch

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri ranked No. 8 in BCS, AP and USA Today rankings
Post-Dispatch: Crazy eights for idle Mizzou
KC Star: Mizzou moves up to No. 8 in AP Top 25 college football poll

3. Hoops

Post-Dispatch: From humble beginnings, Fuller's time arrives at Mizzou

Years later, Fuller learned that Duncan convinced Wake coach Dave Odom and assistant Ricky Stokes to let Fuller join the Demon Deacons as a walk-on.

Fuller played sparingly but by his senior year was voted a team captain.

"Being a walk-on is a lot of times is a thankless job," said Stokes, now the Mid-American Conference’s associate commissioner for basketball. "But at Wake Forest, you were never treated any differently than anyone else. I never really thought of Tim as a walk-on because he did everything everyone else did and worked extremely hard."

After Fuller’s freshman year, Duncan became the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and Stokes left for Virginia.

Odom added an assistant from Texas A&M to his staff. Haith and Fuller quickly struck up a close relationship.

"There were times I wanted to quit," Fuller said, "but (Haith) would come to me and say, ‘Hey, it’s going to pay dividends down the stretch. Stick with it.’ I didn’t quite see it at the time but I trusted him."

Fuller attended church with Haith and his wife Pam and quickly grew close to both.

"They were like his family away from family," Elaine said.

The Maneater: Tony Criswell is back, conditionally

Namon Wright Mizzou Basketball Signs Four-Star Shooting Guard Namon Wright
The Trib: Missouri announces Wright's signing
KC Star: LA guard Namon Wright signs with Missouri
PowerMizzou: Mizzou signs second four-star
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou adds Los Angeles shooting guard
Mizzou Network: SIGNING DAY: Frank Haith Interview - YouTube

1993-94 Revisited
PowerMizzou: Perfection: The Legacy
PowerMizzou: Powered Up: Perfection Reflection

"I was the youngest one and I was like the younger brother. I remember when I came on a visit it just felt right that I had to choose Missouri. Everybody got along no matter where they came from, skin color anything like that. To this day we still act the same. That's what was so special because everybody was all for one, one for all and nobody had any egos. It was like everybody didn't think that we can play. Missouri, everyone was doubting us and didn't think we were that good. Every night we had to prove it and that's the type of players we had. From day one in practice we just go out and compete. We had to go out there and earn everything that we got." --Freshman forward Kelly Thames

"I just think people connected with that team. Missouri has great fans and I was around it for a long time. There was always that connection but I thought that team was a special team. For some reason it bonded even more so with the community and the students. I think people just attached themselves to that team. Going 14-0 and all the stuff that they did, I don't know, I think there was a camaraderie with everybody with that team." --Kim Anderson

"That team really embodied, I think, what is the culture of the state of Missouri. It's relatively a blue collar state. It's a state that when you look at things probably has to overachieve to get recognition. That team did that...It was to me just one of those special collections that comes around only so often and you really just kind of cherish the time that you're around them and the relationships that are built through it. I'm still close with those guys. I talk to Lamont, I text with Melvin, I see Chip and Jed quite a bit, Jed and I still try to play golf together when schedules allow. Invariably we go back and we talk about the 93-94 season. It's just something I'll always remember for the rest of my life because I was just so honored to be a part of it." --Mizzou radio play-by-play man Mike Kelly

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The Missourian: Missouri cross country runner advances to NCAA Championships

Mizzou Network: Mizzou Gymnastics: Championship Culture