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Missouri’s Rally For Rhyan win over Arkansas was both a rarity and a refuge

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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.”

Rhyan’s treatment process is far from over.

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.”

The win itself was pretty nice, too, a bright spot for Loos, the team, and Kim Anderson.

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.”

PowerMizzou has a lovely photo gallery.

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