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Rock M Round Table: The Preseason Edition

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It's October and that means basketball season is almost upon us! The Knights of the Rock M Round Table got together and discussed the state of the Mizzou's program since August and shared some Hearnes memories...

With it being October, the time where we celebrate round orange objects, and the 2014 - 2015 Mizzou basketball season kicking (bouncing?) off a mere 22 days from now, we thought it would be a good idea to put together another round table since there have been a few changes since last we spoke at length about Mizzou basketball as a group.  With all that said, here are the questions that were discussed:

1. Did Mizzou Madness (our version of Midnight Madness) exist when you were at Mizzou?  Do you think it provides a benefit for the student athletes and the students in general? Would you like to see it return?

2. When the phrase "playing the right way" is used with regard to this team and this program, what does it mean to you?  Is the use of this phrase productive or can it have a deleterious effect for the fanbase?

3. Since we last spoke, Mizzou has lost two more of its player who we expected to provide solid minutes (Torren Jones and Cameron Biedscheid), how does this affect your outlook on the program and your expectations for the season?

4. In this time two freshmen (Allen and Gant) were suspended for an off the court incident, does this cause you any worry, or is this just something we should shrug off as boys being boys?

5. We play William Jewell in our first exhibition game, give me your predicted final score and leading scorer for Mizzou.

6. Since the exhibition game is being played at Hearnes, take a minute to think back on the building and share with us your favorite Hearnes memory.

Sam Snelling (fka trent)

1) As a non-Mizzou grad, I think the whole midnight madness is hugely overrated. It's easy for traditional powerhouse programs to do these things because they'll fill the gym. It's much tougher at a school like Mizzou where they're not sure where they'll be from year to year. I'll contend that this year it would be a bad idea, next year if they land a bunch of hot recruits maybe... they year after? If they've got Tatum, there will be a buzz, and it should be a must.

2) "The right way" is code for letting old people be comfortable with it. It reminds me of "traditional beliefs" except even more vague. The actual right way to play is to win. There are 534 different ways to do that part.

3) I'll say that losing Cam changed my outlook WAY more than Torren. I had a hard time imagining Torren Jones as being anything more than a solid player. I felt this season could be bumpy, and I'd rather have Gant and Williams playing more minutes than Jones. Cam on the other hand is an elite scorer, one thing that Mizzou desperately needs considering the percentage of points returning from last year. I feel like any defensive deficiencies could have been made up for, plus he would have been the age of a junior on a team with almost no experience. So I don't know that's its changed my outlook that much other than I think the floor of the season has maybe fallen by a game or two, and the ceiling has stayed about the same.

4) I don't think Gant and Allen is something you outright ignore, because it's a disciplinary issue. But to me it's no different than any other disciplinary issue at this point. Neither player, to our knowledge, has had trouble in the past. So you take it as a one off.

5) Oof, Um, How about 67-56 for the final. Leading scorer... Keanau Post with 16. It'll be a weird game.

6) My favorite Hearnes memory is in 1996 when my high school team played there and won the State Championship. BEAT THAT!


1. Not a Mizzou grad, and I went to a D3 school, so my experience with "Midnight Madness" is pretty much nonexistent.  However, it seems to me to be more for getting the fanbase excited than anything else.  I'm neutral on it.

2. For me, it means playing well as a team, avoiding technical fouls, fundamentally sound, that sort of thing.  Under this definition, it's harmless, but meaningless.  Who doesn't want to see their team play that way?  If it's used to wax nostalgic for a style of basketball and players that, frankly, doesn't exist anymore, it becomes more harmful, both to the athletes who can't live up to those standards and fans getting annoyed that they aren't.

3. Bad news: those are a guy who were expected to supply a significant amount of offensive production, and a (more) experienced player who provided a spark last season.  The early games might be pretty rough while the young guns figure out how to play at the D1 level.  I'm already cringing when I look at that Arizona game.  Good news: this eases some of the playing time worries that I had the last time we talked.  Much more likely that a guy who deserves time won't be seething on the bench and thinking of transferring.  Big picture, the program will be fine, these things happen.

4. I'm not particularly happy about it, especially if the rumors are true and this was their reaction to someone talking trash.  You have to just shake that off and move on.  Escalating to violence just makes things worse.  That said, teenagers gonna teenager.  As long as it's an isolated incident, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones.

5. 84-68 Mizzou.  J3 scores 23.

6. Um, yeah, you win, Sam.  I never actually attended a game there, but the Corey Tate game was my favorite that happened there.  Also, we need to bring back the Missouri outline at halfcourt.

Fullback U

1) Absolutely.

I wasn't in school when Mizzou last did Mizzou Madness (October 8th, 2012 under Frank Haith), but it seems like we had a pretty good time at it.

6 people!!!

And it looks like we did it once during Mike Anderson's tenure (October 12, 2007).

I think it provides a benefit to the student athletes because:

  • it gives Players a chance to practice and engage with the fans,
  • I think it benefits the Students and fans because it lets them get closer with the players which can be particularly useful during a change in coaching staff or overhaul in players,
  • and I think it benefits the coaches who can use it for recruiting, as we're seeing it being used against us this year.

Maybe YOU won't attend a Mizzou/Midnight Madness, but it's a safe bet fans around Columbia would if given the opportunity. We spent a good chunk of the last two years talking about how there was no connection between the fanbase and the team, I think more public events that aren't games would do that.

2) Playing the right way usually means hustling and rebounding on defense and then walking up the court on offense before using the entire shot clock to find an open jump shot or a post bucket. It is also important to run plays that fans can recognize, like the good old fashioned pick and roll. Also, any time a player goes one on one and doesn't score, that's playing the wrong way. Using mismatches to your advantage ignores the other players on the court and reeks of the NBA, which is awful for this reason.

Playing the right way is a boring statement that I usually don't hear too much in my circles - but they played college basketball so the arguments are naturally a bit more nuanced, often times leaving me out of my element. I see no reason why an educated fanbase can't discuss why Mizzou lacked a zone-busting shooter or needs to fix their secondary fastbreak or how J3 is a better help-defender than one on one.

3) The loss of Torren Jones doesn't bother me as much as that of Cameron Biedscheid, but the way both left does concern me a bit. The rumors were Torren Jones had some major burglary arrest and Biedscheid didn't buy into playing the style of basketball (read: emphasis on defense first) that Kim Anderson wanted.

Jones was never going to be more than a hustle guy, but the departure of Cameron Biedscheid means we'll probably hurt for scoring this season. However, I think if that's what it takes for Kim Anderson to put his stamp on the program than so be it, Anderson wasn't indebted to Biedscheid as he was other players (we'll talk about them in a minute) so if they weren't willing to buy in they were better off checking out now than at the end of the season.

4) It's more than "Boys will be boys" because A) They're large athletes getting into a fight and B) They're athletes who represent Mizzou locally and nationally. However, I keep coming back to the fact no charges were pressed and the story really didn't hang together very well for me. I'll come right out and say I think it was a college fight where the losers called the cops because they wanted to get back at the winners knowing who they were. That's petty and at the same time Gant and Allen shouldn't have been in that situation, but they're very young and both new to Columbia so I hope this is the wake up call they need to realize they have to surround themselves with the right people.

I heard a lot of people saying Anderson needed to kick both off the team and that the suspensions wouldn't be enough, but I think a large part of that reaction was because of Zach Price, Torren Jones and in part Dorial Green-Beckham. I said it elsewhere but I think the fact they were suspended and unable to play, while also starting off on Anderson's bad side, will be enough to keep them on the straight and narrow, and if not, then they'll be gone by this time next year anyway.

5) Montaque Gill-Caeser will have 21 and 10 in a breakout performance and we'll realize that he's the best freshman to come through Mizzou in years.
Fullback didn't provide a final score so I'm guessing he would have said Mizzou 250 - William Jewell 2 because KIM ANDERSON KNOWS DEFENSE!

6) Uh - I was there with my wife and Jschooltiger when Volleyball won Mizzou's first SEC Championship. That was pretty awesome and brought a tear to my eye.

HHKB Chris

1) It certainly did!  And it was usually homecoming weekend which was a fun thing to add to the festivities of the weekend.  I can see both sides of the argument both for and against it.  On the one hand it helps the fans get to meet the freshmen and see some great aerial displays by the dunkers, plus, basketball!  
On the other hand I recall Frank saying he'd rather have that practice time with his players to work on real things, which I guess turns out to be not defense and resume writing.  Overall, I say use it, we loved when Keion Bell dunked on everyone and it's a chance for a team with an iffy reputation right now to make some fans and for Kim Anderson to get a nice welcome home so we can just knock that out right now and not have to live it as a thing in November.

2) This reads as code to me when used by old timers to talk about playing a four corners, five passes before a shot and no hot dogging or showboating style of basketball that just doesn't exist anymore.  But if it were to mean solid d, good rebounding, taking good shots and winning, I'm all for that, though that's not what I think it means in the sense it was used last week.

I do not think it's a good idea to wax poetic for the "good old days" in the way that phrase makes one thing and I think that's why many of us had a concern with the hiring  of KA.  That this hire was a way to make the old money side of the alumni base happy, giving them the true son they yearned for that had a connection to Norm Stewart. But I think that concern has been washed away in the first 6 months KA hsa had on the job.

3) This is tough to answer since Cam never played a minute for Mizzou and we never got to see anything from him in the black and gold.  
As such, I would say the Torrenado loss is harder to swallow just because I loved his energy and hustle and joy he brought to the court even if he had no idea what he was doing out there.  The skill set Cam was to bring, scoring, will be lacking, but I think the guys will pick up his slack.  It may not be pretty at first, but someone or someones will score and if turns out to be Teki (as all reports seem to indicate) then all the better.

4) I hope it's just boys will be boys and nothing more, but this continues a trend of Mizzou players doing dumb things off the court.  And that's got to stop.  The more trouble they get in, the more difficult it becomes to cheer them on whilst on the court.  I think that's part of the reason Tony Criswell became so unliked, he seemed to sulk and then kept doing stupid things off the court as opposed to the Denmons, LBos, Englishs, etc who played hard and we're really easy to root for.  I think we're all hoping KA can change the perception and culture that this team is a bunch of knuckleheads, so getting rid of the bad apples is a good start, but his message is still not sunk all the way through it seems.

5) It's gonna be Wes Clark, dropping 16, with 11 assists and we win running away 75 - 50 or something along those lines.  the fanbase that actually watches the game likes the show and as a result at the next team breakfast the team gets to wear hats if they so choose.

6) My favorite memory is easy, the game against kU that went to double OT and was sealed by Corey Tate.  As a freshman it was a great way to get that rivalry kick started for a new kid from DC.

With all that being said, thanks to the participants, but what do you think Rock M Nation?  Give us your thoughts in the comments below.