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Missouri opens its 2016-17 basketball campaign with an exhibition against Kim Anderson's former team

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Just like last year, Missouri opted for only one public exhibition game and played a closed scrimmage against Creighton to count for its other preseason game. The Tigers faced the Big East team Sunday in Omaha, Neb., where they played two separately scored 20-minute halves. The Tigers and Bluejays finished the first half even at 41-41. Creighton outscored Anderson’s team 45-31 in the second half. [...]

Anderson knows a tight game against his former team would only intensity the pressure he already faces this season. ... "I don’t know how smart I am for scheduling this game," said Anderson, whose team tips off regular-season play Nov. 13 against Alabama A&M. "But I’m excited that Mizzou can help them out financially for one game. We’ve done it with other schools in the state. I always try to keep (exhibition games) within the state. That’s important."

-- Post-Dispatch: MU coach Anderson reunites with Mules in exhibition game

With sophomore point guard Jordan Geist — a transfer from Ranger College, a two-year school in Texas — sidelined with an injured pinky, VanLeer is working as Mizzou’s backup point guard.

It’s a role he’s familiar with having played primarily with the ball in his hands during high school.

"I’m going to step in and do whatever I can to help the team …," said VanLeer, who led the Tigers in scoring at 13.8 points during August’s international tour in Italy. "I’m not going to make the flashy play necessarily or get in the lane and throw some crazy pass, but I’m going to make the right play and move the ball and get our team in the offense."

-- KC Star: Cullen VanLeer fills pivotal roles as Mizzou opens exhibition slate

I really do think this will be a pretty fun team to watch this year, especially once Geist's pinky is healed and Jordan Barnett is eligible. I'm not slapping a win expectation on the board here (and Jim Sterk probably isn't either), but a coach's third year is typically when his culture has complete set, and I think we'll finally get a chance to see what an actual Kim Anderson team is supposed to look like. And we'll see if that's enough for him to keep his job. I still lean toward no, but he's going to give himself a chance.

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A busy day in the operating room

Michael Scherer and Terry Beckner Jr. both had their surgeries yesterday, as did redshirting freshman tight end Brendan Scales, who had a foot injury.

Post-Dispatch: Three Mizzou players set for surgery Thursday

Well that's good to know

Ballard's non-qualification and Nate Brown's injury deprived Missouri of a couple of bigger bodies in the receiving corps, but it also offered growth opportunities for guys like Dimetrios Mason, Emanuel Hall, etc. I guess that's a fair trade-off if Mizzou then gets Brown and Ballard back down the line...

This is a good (and tough) read

KC Star: Mizzou athletes mourn death of barber James Carter, founder of JT’s Cutz

An expensive win...

...please let that be a win.

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