There’s no way to avoid it, really. In yesterday’s Study Hall piece on Mizzou’s win over Arkansas, the conversation in comments eventually shifted back toward Kim Anderson, how many wins he would need to perhaps earn a fourth year as head coach, whether that would actually be good, etc. We don’t remain in the present tense for very long as fans — we’re balancing the past, present, and future at the same time.
But I would advise soaking this win in a bit longer, and not only because it was an actual win. It meant a lot to a cool girl and her family.
“I mean, it’s crazy, honestly. It’s one thing for the basketball program to rally behind her and our family and support her, but it’s just taken off,” Jen said. “To see all the different coaches and sports just rally behind her, it’s been amazing. I think a lot of coaches can relate to us because either they have kids her age or they know her. They almost, I think, place themselves in our shoes. She’s just a normal little kid, and we’re just a normal family. Unfortunately this plagued us. I think they can just relate to our family and put themselves in our shoes.”
Sloan Kettering is the only hospital in the world that treats brain-cancer relapses, Jen said, which was fortuitous because Rhyan was receiving treatment there before her own relapse.
“Unfortunately, it’s not something that they can just do the surgery” and say “they got all the tumor and it’s done with,” Jen said. “There’s, obviously, a lot of other treatments that they make sure they get any little cells that are in there that they didn’t see. It’s a long process.”
Even during another tough season, basketball has provided a bit of an outlet and distraction for Brad Loos.
“It’s definitely a release, especially practice,” he said. “This group of guys really helps that. They’ve been so good about showing up every day and working hard every day. I know that’s not easy for them. ... But that’s the best two hours of my day because I get to forget about cancer and I get to forget about real life for a little bit and worry about basketball.”
So here his team was, less than 48 hours after a 39-point humiliation at Florida, and playing in such a desperate way that opposing coach Mike Anderson would note the extra energy it found when it mattered most — like “they were playing for something.”
All of this moved Kim Anderson deeply afterward, from the broad smile he flashed at game’s end for the first time since Dec. 6 to the sudden hitch in his voice during his postgame news conference as he spoke about a team that hasn’t surrendered in any way.
“They’ve come to work every day, every day,” he said, choking up some and adding, “I really can’t ask for anything else.”
- The 2018 recruiting cycle has begun. Rivals.com caught up with two in-state recruits and asked them about Missouri: Trevor Trout and Cameron Brown.
- The winning streak is over. Mizzou Women’s Hoops took on No. 5 Mississippi State and got pushed around in the middle of the game; the Tigers committed 29 turnovers and got outscored 34-19 in the second and third quarter of a 70-53 loss. Sophie and Lindsay Cunningham combined for 27 points and 16 rebounds but also suffered 11 turnovers. More here from The Trib and The Missourian.
- Hoo boy, that was a rout. Mizzou won nine of 10 bouts against NIU on Saturday (five wins resulted in bonus points) and cruised, 38-3. Then on Sunday, two wrestlers won individual titles at the Edinboro Open, including Zach Synon, who became the 26th Mizzou wrestler to win 100 matches. More here from The Trib and The Missourian.
- Okay, that maybe wasn’t what we expected. Pitching ruled in Mizzou Softball’s Black & Gold Game on Saturday. Four pitchers went three innings each — Madi Norman, Danielle Baumgartner, Cheyenne Baxter, and Parker Conrad — and combined to allow just three earned runs. The Tigers are going to take the by-committee approach early in the season.
- A good Mizzou Gynmastics team lost to a great LSU team in Baton Rouge on Friday night.
- Deng Yang, a 17-year Kreklow assistant, has taken the head volleyball coaching job at Stetson.
- Mizzou Network has a nice feature on two Aruban Tiger swimmers, Mikel Schreuders and Jordy Groters.