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Poor Brett Rau

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

A moment of silence for Brett Rau, please. When Cullen VanLeer went down, Cuonzo Martin was almost going to have no choice but to play the walk-on senior for a few minutes per game in CVL’s absence. And then Michael Porter Jr. pulled a Jimmy Chitwood. Pretty sure we know who’s getting CVL’s minutes now.

So about MPJ ... Vahe’s got words.

The announcement delivers something else significant for MU: clarity after weeks and weeks of conjecture about him that came to dominate the thoughts of fans and media and clearly grew tiresome for a team whose achievements almost were being overlooked in the process.

It’s testimony to Martin’s coaching acumen, character and grip on his team that he was able to fend off the noise and stay cognizant of his team’s needs to concentrate on the tasks at hand and his own obligation not to pressure Porter in any way.

“I got to lock in on what’s in front of me,” he said. “That’s what helps me. I just assumed he wasn’t coming back.”

Even amid all the buzz.

Scouts have words, too. Differing words.

“Risky timing,” one scout said, adding that Porter’s return for the postseason is so late that it could potentially hurt his stock. He thought Porter was in a better position to shut down any idea of a return.

But another scout disagreed.

“The upside outweighs the downside,” he said. Scouts aren’t allowed to publicly discuss the players they are evaluating.

Wait. Scouts aren’t allowed to publicly discuss the players they are evaluating? That’s a thing? Anyway.

So yeah. Signing a program-changing recruiting class ... guiding the team through MPJ’s injury ... ending what felt like a decades-long road losing streak ... multiplying last year’s conference win total by five ... Cuonzo Martin has pushed many, many right buttons this year, huh?

At game’s end, after Missouri likely secured its first March Madness berth since 2013, Martin walked past the room in which he first addressed his team and sat down for his postgame presser.

He had a message to convey, and it could not wait.

“I never understood the emotional fatigue or letdown when you struggle in a program,” Martin said, referencing his change in approach to show more compassion.

He believed when no one else did, and now the tide has turned.

Pardon me while I run through a brick wall.

Yesterday at Rock M

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