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Happy Hoops Day (and nothing else matters)

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

IT’S HERE.

Basketball is BACK, and we here at Rock M Nation (well, most of us) are so damn excited and our expectations are pretty high. I kicked off my regular season with a visit to Mizzou Arena — my first of three this week — on Tuesday evening to check out the women’s home opener, and wow, I was not expecting it to be so nerve-wracking. The Tigers trailed by 9 as late as the third quarter, and it took until midway through the fourth to regain a (very short-lived) lead. Overtime went better though, and the Tigers stormed back and held off Western Illinois.

It was a wild game — there were 22 lead changes — but the women started their season 1-0, and frankly, that’s all that matters. The Tigers will most definitely have to shore up some things before facing off against Nebraska on Sunday afternoon— the rebounding was pretty abysmal and the defense was severely lacking at times. Aijha Blackwell was in foul trouble from the get-go and virtually a non-factor the entire game, and Hayley Frank fouled out pretty quickly, which was too bad— she had 9 points in limited minutes.

The stat sheet:

My MVPs: Elle Brown was a star again, after having only played 28 minutes TOTAL in her last two years combined (according to the announcers). She set career marks for minutes, points, steals, assists... well, everything. She continues to impress me, and I’m not sure we could have won without her, to be honest. And Amber Smith? WHEW-WEEEEEE. She was on fire, and did exactly what Robin Pingeton asked of her. 27 points and 15 rebounds? That’ll do, Amber. That will do.

Speaking of Amber Smith, Kaylee Schreiner of The Maneater wrote a nice piece about her that I recommend you check out. In it, she talked about the need for the seniors to step up in the wake of Sophie, Lauren and Cierra’s absences. From the piece, which you can read in full here:

This past season, Smith scored 435 points on the season, averaging 12.4 points a game, second in both categories to Cunningham. She led the team in rebounds both offensively and defensively, recording 68 and 175 for the year with a rebounding average of 6.9 per game. Smith is the only player outside of Aldridge and Cunningham who started all 35 games in the 2018-19 season.

“Amber’s had an incredible career so far,” Pingeton said. “To me, what we need from Amber this year is that consistency with the double-double, because she can score the ball again on three different levels.”

Hey, she did just that!

Can you all believe I made it this far into my post and didn’t specifically mention men’s hoops yet?

Now, I know that by the time this posts, it will, in fact, be under 24 hours to game time, but it’s a cool video regardless.

I.CANNOT.WAIT.AND.I.DON’T.KNOW.HOW.I’M.GOING.TO.FUNCTION.ALL.DAY. Is it 7pm yet?!?

Okay... on to the links!


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

Hoops

Former Mizzou Player News