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For Missouri basketball, ticket sales — and expectations — are rising quickly

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

So you may have heard that Mizzou is hosting another five-star wing this weekend. If Cuonzo Martin is able to reel in All-American Kevin Knox, one only knows what kind of cumulative effect that might have on ticket sales for this coming season. Because landing Michael Porter Jr. certainly had an immediate impact.

As of Friday afternoon, 1,503 season tickets have been purchased, renewed or requested since Martin was announced as the team’s new coach March 15, said Nick Joos, MU’s senior associate athletic director for strategic communications. [...]

This is the earliest Mizzou has ever put tickets on sale for the next season or allowed season ticket holders to renew, Joos said.

The reasons are obvious. [...] With fans expected to flock to Mizzou Arena to catch a glimpse of Porter, a projected lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft, Missouri will not raise prices for next year’s season ticket packages. A seat at Mizzou Arena ranges from $275 to $650, with the most expensive club-level seats requiring a $2,500 donation to the Tiger Scholarship Fund.

Not raising prices: a hell of an idea.

After the last few years, there’s almost nowhere to go but up from a sales (or, well, performance) perspective.

The school sold 12,448 season tickets in 2012-13, a figure that held relatively steady in 2013-14 (12,444) and 2014-15 (12,146).

Mizzou reported 11,042 season tickets in 2015-16, but that number dropped precipitously to 8,876 last season, a decline of 28.7 percent in five years.

Buoyed by the hiring of Martin and the return of the Porter family, expect those slumping sales to rebound now that hopes again springs eternal for Tigers hoops.

The KC Star’s Sam Mellinger, meanwhile, wrote a nice piece about the expectations facing not only Michael Porter Jr., but also Cuonzo Martin and Michael Sr. It’s a big year ahead.

Martin has never had a player as talented as Porter Jr., who has never played a season as challenging both physically and mentally as he should expect in the SEC with much of the college basketball world focused on him.

But this isn’t as simple as it may look on the surface. Porter Jr. is doing more than going back to the place he calls home. He’s going to a place that in some ways is uniquely positioned to draw out his best, give him a platform to prepare for the NBA, and hopefully provide a boost of excitement that can last after he’s gone.

Mellinger brought up Ben Simmons’ one-season struggle at LSU, and it’s fair considering that, even if Kevin Knox comes aboard, Mizzou still probably won’t be particularly good at 3-point shooting next year and won’t have just a ton of natural bulk in the post. This team will still have obvious weaknesses that meed to be overcome, even if it has all the wing scorers you could possibly want.

More Links

  • TRANSITIVE NATIONAL TITLE for Mizzou Women’s Basketball.
  • Mizzou Baseball is quickly going from “regression to the mean” territory to “regression right on past the mean to the other side.” The Tigers’ 20-game win streak included seven one-run wins ... and now they have lost five games in a row, all by one run. That’s nuts. They just got swept at home by Florida with a total run differential of minus-3, losing on Friday by one, then Saturday by one, then Sunday by one. Really hard to do. The Trib, Missourian, and Post-Dispatch have more.