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A mixed bag for Missouri basketball and looking forward to Black Friday

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

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Mizzou basketball split Monday night outings

Both the men and the women were in action Monday night — the men, going for a Paradise Jam championship; the women, trying to move past a dreadful home loss to Green Bay.

One succeeded. The other didn’t.

Let’s start with the positive — the women were able to shake off their disappointing performance last week to stifle SIUE’s offense while getting strong performances from stars Sophie Cunningham (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Amber Smith (10, 5). They’re also starting to get more consistent outings from freshmen like Grace Berg (10, 2) and Akira Levy (7, 2.)

Monday’s win also marked a big moment for Robin Pingeton’s time in Columbia.

Congrats Coach RP! Here’s to many more!

To the Virgin Islands — after a nice win against Oregon State on Sunday, Mizzou started well against their former Big XII rivals before letting up a 13-point run before the end of the first half. They never recovered, falling 82-67 behind a 24-point effort from Jordan Geist.

Sam will have more on the championship game later and I’ll have a tournament takeaway piece up later today. But as Alex Schiffer points out, Missouri still had an overall positive experience.

Going into the weekend, a 2-1 performance with an encouraging performance against KSU would have been seen as a good trip for Martin’s squad. The Tigers achieved that 2-1 mark and go into their next game, against Temple, feeling good about themselves. They should be able to give the Owls a game.

The Tigers now get 8 days to rest before Temple comes to town next week.

Looking toward Black Friday

We could spend much of Thanksgiving Day arguing whether or not the Mizzou-Arkansas rivalry has lived up to the billing the SEC has tried to give it over the past few years. Personally, I feel more animosity toward teams like South Carolina and Tennessee, but Arkansas is definitely my least favorite team in the SEC West? So that’s something.

However, the Battle Line rivalry means a lot more to the players — specifically, one of Mizzou’s star running backs.

“With the all the storylines with that one, he [junior Damarea Crockett] wants to play,” Odom said. “I think he’s going to be ready to go do that. I hate it for him to get banged up the other day because he was playing so well. We needed the other guys to step up and they did a nice job. D.C.’s done a great job leading. He’s played really well the last couple weeks. It’s been what I wanted to see out of him.”

Crockett, who hails from Little Rock, has missed the game against his home school the past two years — once for a marijuana-related suspension and the next time with an injury. Crockett has stepped up in a leadership role this year after seeing his snaps split with 2017 breakout Larry Rountree and true freshman Tyler Badie, and he’s been especially excellent in his last few games. It would be nice to see him get a chance to show out for friends and family who may be watching.

As for the rest of the team? They’re looking for other ways to stay motivated.

Following that game [Missouri’s 28-24 win in 2016], Lock had gone to eat at Chris McD’s and ran into some Razorback fans who had partaken in some beverages during the day.

“One of them was like, ‘have fun at your bowl game this year,’” Lock said. “Obviously we weren’t going to a bowl game, but we won and that was the only comeback they had that day. That still resonates in my head that we do have the bowl game bragging rights, but that’s nothing compared to winning the actual game.”

Sounds like it the game may matter more than some fans are willing to admit...

Other football notes:

  • Arkansas is already over-matched on defense... but they’ll be even more so after Chad Morris suspended two of his starting defensive backs for flirting with Mississippi State cheerleaders. When your team is bad, you have to find something else to take up your time, I guess.
  • Also in Gabe’s PowerMizzou notebook, he covers the latest on injuries to Richaud Floyd and Albert Okwuegbunam. You can also check the site to catch Barry Odom and the coordinators thoughts on Tennessee and Arkansas.
  • Alex Schiffer points out in his Five Things to Know piece that Kelly Bryant might have a close eye on the outcome of Friday’s game.
  • A few more individual honors for Drew Lock and Albert O:

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Kansas is too high on its own Miles High Supply to let Bevo XV make an on-field appearance, making it the second time in 73 years the majestic steer will miss Thanksgiving action. Do better.
  • Out of all the problems with college sports, yesterday the Big XII bravely stood up and addressed one of its most pressing issues — players saying minimally offensive things in jest to their rivals. UT’s Breckyn Hager was publicly reprimanded by the conference by saying Oklahoma, “still sucks,” after its poor defensive performance against Kansas. He was also forced to publicly apologize.

Let’s all take a moment today — right now, if you’ve got the time — to honor the steadfast commitment to sportsmanship and fair play the Big XII tirelessly shows. Bravo.