Hello! I'm back from a 2,900-mile family road trip (with work in the middle)! Nobody killed each other!
Big thanks to Jack for manning the Links while I was gone (and doing a pretty fantastic job with them).
Mizzou is undefeated in Italy
Guard Frankie Hughes and forward Willie Jackson both dropped 18 points to lead their new squad in scoring. Besides combining for 36 points, Hughes (4) and Jackson (7) also totaled 11 rebounds together.
"Obviously, it's very exciting to see our younger players step up immediately," Anderson said. "The competition level we've had in practice this summer has been extremely high, which is something I think the whole team has taken to heart. You have to compete every day in order to get better. Our tour in Italy is off to a great start, and I know our guys have seen and learned a lot so far."
Sophomore guard K.J. Walton (Indianapolis, Ind.) joined Hughes and Jackson in double digits with 10 points, all from a strong opening half of play. Walton also pulled down four rebounds. Leading the way on the boards for the Tigers was sophomore guard Terrence Phillips (Orange County, Calif.), who recorded eight rebounds.
That's one way to set pretty high expectations.
Touring the Vatican with the guys this morning and I can promise you nobody is going to mess with this guy pic.twitter.com/dDI3sgetZN— Kevin Puryear II (@CallMe_KP24) August 8, 2016
Oscar and company are kicking butt at the practice reports so far, and we've got more practice-related content going up later today. Here are a few pieces from others.
The passing game
Lock and Heupel dedicated long video sessions to identifying defenses. Heupel would flash one up on a screen, and the quarterback would shout out the name of the defense — and explain the defensive scheme.
"A lot of grind, a lot of late nights, a lot of struggles, a lot of frustrating moments," Lock said. "But we got through it."
And now, Lock said, "It’s coming out smooth," in regard to picking out defenses. And so, in regard to picking apart defenses, he said, "I notice a difference already in camp, lining up and knowing what that guy is going to do, instead of thinking — hopefully they’re playing (this particular) defense."
So that’s something, right?
The scholarship was the latest twist in a journey that has seen Laurent go from walk-on quarterback to special-teams contributor to appearing in four games as a wide receiver last season, when he was named Missouri’s walk-on player of the year. Laurent’s first move after going on scholarship was to call his parents, Jeff and Norma-Jean.
"This is the culmination of everything he had ever dreamed of attaining," said Norma-Jean, who got choked up Saturday while recalling that phone conversation. "The fact that when that call came and he reached it, I’m still emotional today thinking that this is what he really wanted, to call us and say, ‘Mom, Dad, I did it.’ "
An interim chat
Q: I guess it could be tough, because you don’t know how long you’re going to be in this role. But what are some things that you’re looking to achieve?
A: The biggest thing for me is to try to just keep helping everybody who’s doing their jobs, whether that’s coaches or other staff members, just trying to support them in any way I can in doing all the work that they’re doing on a daily basis all the time, things that never stop no matter what’s going on in various leadership positions. I think that’s really Job 1. I think the other thing is not to get bogged down and come to a standstill. I think you’ve got to be careful and not overstep or make decisions that may put a new leader in a difficult position, but you want to be very prepared to advise that new leader and to have information and recommendations ready to go from people that have been here and have that in-depth knowledge of the place.