♪Oh Braggin’ Rights, oh Braggin’ Rights...♪
Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Sunday was a slow day for Mizzou news, but there was no need for anyone to do anything other than bask in the glow of Braggin’ Rights returning to Columbia.
It took guts. This was no basketball masterpiece. There were airballs and turnovers and passes to nowhere; the stat sheet showed 16 Mizzou turnovers by the end. There were staredowns — including an especially long, nose-to-nose one between Tilmon and Illinois seven-footer Samba Kane — and technical fouls, and barking matches, and clenched fists, and celebrations that ended with snarls. Mizzou won the fight...
A lot of stories were focused on - what else? - but the Illinois connection, specifically that of former signee Javon Pickett, who had a powerhouse performance against the school that forgot him.
“Javon is tough as they come,” [Cuonzo] Martin said. “He competes, he battles, he embraces challenges. The one thing I found out about Mark [Smith] and Javon, they’ll do everything in their power to try to get it right. I’d be shocked if Javon and Mark are not in somebody’s gym tomorrow. So it will work out for guys like that.”
There’s also been a lot of talk about Cuonzo Martin, who was especially candid and openly celebratory after the game.
“I’m happy for our guys and I’m happy for our fans,” Martin said. “Now that we’ve won, I can tell you I had a miserable Christmas last year. This is a tough game. Somebody has to lose and last year we came up short. Our guys did a great job and I thought it was a well-played game. It’s a great win for our program and our fans.”
The Braggin’ Rights fever even caught up to Illinois’ head football coach, Lovie Smith.
"Love it. This is exactly the reason why we should be playing in football."— Illinois on BTN (@IllinoisOnBTN) December 23, 2018
- @LovieSmith, to @TheAndyKatz, on @IlliniMBB-@MizzouHoops atmosphere pic.twitter.com/hkiEZWR6Qi
Only seven years away, Lovie.
Yesterday at Rock M
- The Champaign Room is definitely fine with how things went down on Saturday. Yep. Nothing but cheer from our friends across the river.
- Mizzou Athletics released a touching video on Emanuel Hall’s emotional senior season. Take a few minutes to watch and be thankful we got to watch Hall for the last few years.
"Even with everything he's been through this season, he's picked us up." #Mizzou is always behind you, @emanuelhall #MIZ #ShowMe pic.twitter.com/5Uk1HESDUi— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) December 24, 2018