1. Missouri basketball hangs with Auburn for a half.
And then things went to hell in a heartbeat.
Missouri trailed Auburn by three at halftime, and even cut the deficit to one early in the second half.
Final score? Auburn 92, Missouri 58.
Here are the final stats, if you’re into looking at train crashes:
Not a lot of positives to take home from this one, obviously.
5 of Missouri’s 6 SEC losses by double digits. Losses to Tennessee (24) & Auburn (34) two biggest margins under Martin. Tigers host Vandy on Saturday.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 31, 2019
So, instead of that, let’s take the advice of Jarrett Sutton and look at the rest of the season with an eye on the future:
OPTIMISM: Pinson, Watson, Pickett and Tilmon will get great experience this year. Mark Smith is proven, only going to continue to get better.— Jarrett Sutton (@JarrettTSutton) January 31, 2019
PESSIMISM: Can’t be consumed with wins and losses the rest of the way, has to be about developing the young guys every day. Be patient.
2. Missouri’s athletic department is still in the red, but the red is softening
Alex Schiffer of the Kansas City Star broke down some recent financial records for Missouri’s athletic department and found it’s still operating in the red by $2 million — but that’s down from a deficit of $5 million the year prior.
According to figures included in the Mizzou’s submission to the NCAA Membership Financial Reporting System, the athletic department operated $2 million in the red last year, which is better than the $5 million deficit it ran the year before. Story coming.— Alex Schiffer (@TheSchiffMan) January 30, 2019
Like Schiffer’s article points out, there’s still that deficit even with a substantial bump for basketball on the back (too soon?) of Michael Porter, Jr.’s addition last year. A big reason for that deficit comes down to football and the relatively anemic attendance that’s plagued the program following the 2015 season.
(Let me just point out, though, that while the article talks a lot about the 2018 football season, that didn’t impact the $2 million deficit. That was the 2017-2018 academic year; the most recent football season is 2018-2019.)
Gabe DeArmond pointed out those issues in this Twitter thread:
2015— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) January 30, 2019
That decline is jarring, but let’s put that into context of percentage of stadium filled, based on capacity. Here are the percentages for those years listed:
2012 (71,004 capacity): 95.03%
2013 (67,124 capacity): 94.61%
2014 (71,168 capacity): 91.73%
2015 (71,168 capacity) : 91.50%
2016 (71,168 capacity) : 73.40%
2017 (71,168 capacity): 72.35%
2018 (60,168 capacity): 85.53%
So, yeah, last year was at nearly 86-percent capacity. That’s great! But that still doesn’t change the fact that there’s been a 16,000-ticket average loss since 2012. Percentages aren’t going to write checks; it all comes down to tickets sold. Missouri had 71 THOUSAND fans at the 9-6 UCONN game in 2015.
SEVENTY-ONE THOUSAND! For UCONN!
There are plenty of reasons for the drop-off, but if it were simply about the on-the-field product, you’d expect to see bigger numbers in 2018. Instead, Missouri didn’t sell out any of its games.
Yesterday at Rock M
- One for the Road: Kevin Pendleton goes in-depth on his Missouri career
- Missouri could have first-round picks in NFL, NBA drafts for first time in ten years
- Hoops Preview: Missouri faces a set of cranky cats at Auburn
- Pregame Q&A with Auburn blog College & Magnolia
- Game Thread: Missouri at Auburn
- Pat Ivey — the former Missouri strength-and-conditioning coach — has a new gig. This time, he’s heading to Louisville.
- Looking for ways to watch more Mizzou baseball this season? You’re in luck. Eight games will be given linear coverage on the ESPN Networks.
- I can’t seem to find how Missouri tennis did against Morgan State, but the tennis team suffered its first loss of the season against Old Dominion: