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Michael Porter Jr.'s latest diary entry suggests that Missouri is still in play and OU might lead

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

We got an update on the new softball stadium yesterday.

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The Trib: Construction on new softball stadium to begin Monday

Still having it done by 2017 sounds ... optimistic. But we'll see. I guess there's not a ton of actual building that needs to take place.

Next up on the diamond(s): #12 @MizzouSoftball Heads West For Mary Nutter Classic @MizzouBaseball Continues Florida Road Trip at FIU Wednesday @MizzouBaseball Visits Golisano Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers

Mizzou Tigers pennant Another not completely awful performance!

The progress continues! And so does the epic road losing streak! @MizzouHoops Falls on the Road at Ole Miss, 85-76

The Trib: Missouri can't withstand Ole Miss' second-half surge, drops 25th straight road game

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou falters in second half at Ole Miss

Meanwhile, Michael Porter Jr...

USA Today High School Sports (The Michael Porter Jr. Blog): State title in sight, teaming up with Trae Young, 4.0 GPA and more

As far as my recruitment things are going pretty good. I’ve been staying in touch with Oklahoma a lot more now that Trae (Young) has been talking to me more about them. They’re recruiting him too and, of course, I’ve told y’all before that we want to play together in college.

Right now I’d put that chance at about 80 percent. We really want to do it, but it’s gotta be right for both of us and we both understand that. Some schools I’d only go to if he was going and some schools he may not want to go to, but we’re taking our time with it and we’re trying to make it work. [...]

Other than Oklahoma, I’ve been in touch with Kansas, Missouri and Washington a lot recently, but the other schools are definitely still in the mix too.

For obvious reasons, it seems like Young, a guard from Norman, is becoming pretty enamored with the Sooners. Unlike Missouri, the Sooners' recent rise has come with good timing from a local recruiting perspective. If you wanted to, you could read that "80 percent" figure as "80 percent chance I join Young at OU." But Porter's still his own cat, and I figure this recruitment might still have another interesting plot twist or two left.

And at least we've got Sophie Sophie Cunningham Earns Fifth SEC Freshman of the Week Honor

Mizzou Tigers pennant From strength coach to vice chancellor

Pat Ivey's career has been nothing if not unique.

The Trib: MU hires Pat Ivey as assistant vice chancellor

Post-Dispatch: MU hires Ivey as assistant vice chancellor

"His job is to improve attendance, retention and graduation rates at all grade levels (pre-K through college) for students from all backgrounds," [university spokesman Christian] Basi wrote in an email. "In the coming months, Ivey will produce an inventory of programs that Mizzou offers to students of all backgrounds and ages – such as outreach science or career exploration programs aimed at elementary and high school students – to motivate them to attend college and, once here, work hard to advance and graduate.

"Once the inventory is complete, the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity will establish partnerships with schools so that students, their parents and teachers can best utilize existing programs and establish new ones. The intent is to focus on making sure students of all backgrounds have the resources necessary to motivate them to seek higher education opportunities."

Dr. Ivey could have gotten any number of strength jobs this offseason, but he chose to stay at Missouri and follow his heart into a new line of work. Nothing but respect for that.

Spring approaches

The Trib (David Morrison): Position Primer: Quarterbacks

The big question for Lock heading into this year -- and for the rest of his Missouri career, one would assume -- is if the damage inflicted to his person and his psyche as a freshman is irreparable. You know the skill set is there. Good, strong arm. Even demeanor. Admirable poise. Ability to read and pick apart a secondary if given time. But has all of that already been beaten out of him? And how well will all that fit into what Heupel is trying to do?

Conventional wisdom on, oh, about Jan. 24 held that Zanders may be the Missouri quarterback with the longest odds of sticking on. But then Eddie Printz transferred, Mauk was dismissed and, all of a sudden, it was just Lock and Zanders left in the stable. Even if Mauk and Printz were still around, it would have been smart for Zanders to stick around for the spring and see what happened.

Mizzou Tigers pennant A gymnastics legacy

Mizzou Tigers pennant Time for more self-promotion!

Fox's Bruce Feldman joined Godfrey and me on PAPN yesterday. It was the first of multiple podcasts this week as part of what Godfrey is calling PAPN Pledge Week. It's basically an attempt at promoting my Kickstarter because I'm only so good at it myself. My wife and now podcast wife each tell me I stink at it.