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After late-season knee injury, Cullen Van Leer retires from Missouri basketball

Here are today’s Missouri links.

1. Senior guard Cullen Van Leer retires from basketball.

Tough news.

Cullen Van Leer went down with a serious knee injury against Arkansas late last season. About six months later, Van Leer made the decision to retire from basketball, receiving a medical exemption that will allow him to remain on scholarship.

From the release:

“I’m very thankful for the support of Coach Martin and his staff, my teammates, my family and friends, and Mizzou Nation,” VanLeer said. “This was a difficult decision, but one that was best for me, my family and my future quality of life. I’m beyond excited for the season ahead and I’m ready to help lead our team to success in any way I can while I work toward graduation and earning my degree.”

Van Leer also spoke to Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to give more background on his decision.

Van Leer tells Matter:

I’ve been rehabbing like any other time, but it got to the point where it really wasn’t realistic for me to come back and impact the game without sacrificing my overall health. We just felt by retiring it would be best for the team.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone here at Rock M Nation wishes Van Leer nothing but the best.

2. On to Purdue.

3. (Very Coldplay voice) And I saw Sparks... Yeah I saw Sparks.

It’ll be a house divided this Saturday, at least as the Sparks family is concerned. Missouri cornerback Adam Sparks will go head-to-head with brother, and Purdue receiver, Jared Sparks.

Matthew Stevens of has a great look at this brotherly rivalry.

Stevens writes:

Saturday night’s matchup between the two brothers will be witnessed literally by a busload of family members, as Adam Sparks said Tuesday approximately 50 family members will be making the 12- to 13-hour coach bus trip to see the game in West Lafayette. It’ll be one of the few game situations where the brothers will line up across from each other.

Jared Sparks has seven catches for 87 yards this season; he had six catches for 76 yards in Purdue’s season-opening loss to Northwestern.

Adam Sparks has five tackles, one for loss and a quarterback hurry for Missouri this season.

Yesterday at Rock M

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