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Mizzou Links: Shamburger's stability, Gant's weight, women's injuries

Keith Shamburger's stability has been huge even in a disappointing season, Jakeenan Gant is trying to pack on the pounds, and despite injuries, the Mizzou women are playing their best basketball of the season.

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Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Mr. Anderson.

Mizzou Tigers pennant The reflections have begun

The Missourian: Missouri will miss Shamburger's stability when he is gone

It’s not in Shamburger’s nature to be a score-first guy. He’s a passing point guard. Missouri’s coaches have to talk him into shooting.

"I’ve been on him about being more aggressive offensively," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. He’s been saying that since the first few weeks of the season. [...]

He’s concerned with efficiency and consistency. He leads the team with 3.9 assists per game and a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. In total, Shamburger has 118 assists this season. Sophomore Wes Clark comes in second place with 71, and the next best on Missouri's roster is freshman Tramaine Isabell with 37.

Hitting the wall twice
The Maneater: Tiger in transition: Jakeenan Gant

Gant was getting muscled off the ball and overpowered for rebounds in the paint, which caught the 2014 "Mr. Basketball" of Georgia and the state’s top recruit by surprise.

"I didn’t know it was going to be this physical –– playing in the post (in college)," Gant said.

It was when this happened, Anderson said, that Gant hit a wall.

"Sometimes you hit the wall once, sometimes you hit the wall twice," Anderson said, referring to Gant’s past struggles. "You hit a wall and you’re trying to find something positive."

To find that something positive, Gant has been working in the weight room more, something his roommate can attest to.

"Jakeenan has been in the weight room every single day trying to get stronger," Williams said. "He’s been working extremely hard."

Mizzou Tigers pennant It's not supposed to snow in the SEC

The Trib: In SEC women's hoops season marked by injuries, Tigers persevered despite theirs

Missouri starters Lianna Doty and Kayla McDowell and reserve Bri Porter suffered season-ending injuries before SEC play began, with Doty going down in the preseason. Additionally, Michelle Hudyn missed the season’s first 10 games with a stress reaction in her shin, and shin stress fractures caused Carrie Shephard to miss 17 games in the middle of the season. [...]

Landers said Missouri successfully reinvented itself. The Tigers enter the SEC Tournament on a four-game winning streak. They’ve won five of their last six.

"I think what has happened at Missouri is their situation of being short-handed finally stabilized itself," Landers said, "and that team has figured out how they can play and be successful together with what they have."

Missouri’s injuries caused some Tigers to adjust their roles.

Sophomore Lindsey Cunningham became MU’s starting point guard after Doty’s injury. Cunningham was Doty’s backup last season but spent the offseason preparing to play an off-guard position.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Owning the MAC (or trying) Missouri takes aim at third straight MAC Championships crown

Additional top seeds for the Tigers include Zach Synon at 133 pounds, No. 1 Drake Houdashelt at 149 pounds, No. 5 Johnny Eblen at 174 pounds and No. 14 Willie Miklus at 184 pounds. Tiger Lavion Mayes is ranked No. 6 nationally and holds the No. 2 seed at the MAC Championships.

"We have been stressing all year how important bonus points are, so going out to these matches in these tournaments and not thinking they are bigger than any other match we have had all year, just go wrestle and do what you do," Smith said. "I think when kids take that approach they wrestle a little more relaxed and get after it."

Three teams, Old Dominion, Central Michigan and Northern Iowa, appear to be Missouri’s closest challengers at the MAC Championships.

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