Xavier Pinson had a long chat with Dave Matter, and it was awesome.
I must confess, when I heard on the latest Eye on the Tigers pod that Dave Matter was putting together a piece about X, I was so excited. And for it to come out on a day when I am responsible for the links the following morning, it was like a wonderful late Christmas gift. My dad and I absolutely LOVE this young man.
X-Man opened up about a lot of things in a lengthy interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and it is well worth your time to read it.
Readers learned a lot about his relationship with his west side Chicago neighborhood and his mom, who he says has challenged him and inspired him like no one else ever in his life. Pinson spent all of his free time on the courts growing up, outdoors during the day, and then moving to the indoor fieldhouse before dark, always calling his mom when he needed to be picked up, because one never knew what could happen on the streets.
When X is out on the court, that’s what he thinks about most often.
“When I lock in for layup lines or the national anthem, I just make sure that I remember where I came from,” he said. “The street that I lived on, the streets around me, the park that I used to walk by every day on the way to my grammar school. I just think about all the things that’s happened around there, the shootings, the killings, the robbings. I put all of that into my anger on the court.
In reference to people worrying he’d take the “Blake Harris route” and transfer when he wasn’t playing enough — I must confess, I was worried about this — this is what he had to say:
“I feel like people nowadays kind of overreact (to getting benched),” he said. “That’s just how this generation is. If something goes wrong, next minute you see them in the transfer portal. . . . I would say I was mad that I wasn’t playing, but I still understood why I wasn’t. It wasn’t like a miscommunication or anything with the coaches. I just was mad. I like playing basketball. Like when I was a kid I (did) the same thing in AAU games. If I was hurt or sitting on the bench, I’d be mad. Mizzou is where I want to be.”
The athleticism and ability you saw from X at the Braggin’ Rights game was not surprising to Coach Martin, who talked in his last media availability about Pinson being “savvy” on the court.
That vision, that drive, the coach credits to Pinson’s background in Chicago.
“He’s aware of his surroundings,” Martin said. “Oftentimes when you’re exposed to a lot coming up, you see things differently.”
Anyway, you can read the awesome story in its entirety here. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it.
On to the links!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Members of the Rock M Masthead continued their journey through the top Mizzou athletes of the 2010s. After sharing our 10-6 selections here and our Mount Rushmore of sorts (top 5) here, the remaining selections with last names A-H were named.
- Coach Bussen wrote his final Film Room column of 2019. Don’t worry, y’all... he’ll be back to provide more excellent film analysis in 2020 offseason.
- Ryan posted a piece about the hire of new strength coach, Zac Woodfin.
- PowerMizzou (free): Mitchell continued his roster reviews, this time focusing on the running backs.
- KC Star: Souichi Terada posted a story on the hiring of Mizzou’s new Director of Athletic Performance, Zac Woodfin, who sounds great, even if he did come from... ahem... kansas.
- Columbia Tribune: Eric Blum published a couple of season reviews: Vanishing offense holds Tigers back in 2019 and Mizzou defense weathers wake-up call, loss of leader.
- The North State Journal (Raleigh, NC) named new Mizzou Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz its 2019 Coach of the Year. Congrats, Coach!
- Welcome, Coach Woodfin, UAB’s All-Time Leading Tackler!
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Gordo’s Tipsheet said that the SEC’s basketball stumbles provide hope for Mizzou.
- ‘Atta boy, Druuuuuuuu!
- Women’s Hoops keeps counting down their top moments of the #CoachPDecade, and they’re at # 6!
#CoachPDecade Top-10 - No. 6️⃣#Mizzou's win over the 5️⃣th-ranked Bulldogs marked the highest ranked road victory in the regular season in program history‼️— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) December 26, 2019
The Highlights ⤵️#MIZ #OurTownOurTeam pic.twitter.com/kRyhe4iRmu
- Coach Nicodemus Christopher and his wife, Fallon Smith, are welcoming a baby boy! Do you think he seems a bit excited?!
Other Mizzou Sports-related news:
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Matter published a Mizzou Decade in Review, a look at the most important sports stories of the 2010s, full of high highs and low (real low) lows. He also held his weekly chat.
- (more) StL P-D: BenFred shared his QuickHits from his Christmas Day chat. A couple football and Braggin’ Rights questions were answered, so check it out.
- The KTRS 550AM Big Sports Show had a Mizzou Year in Review radio show with Brendan Wiese, BenFred, and former Mizzou WR, TJ Moe.
- Columbia Missourian: Missouri’s volunteer wrestling coach, Dom Bradley, won his 125kg weight class at Senior Nationals on Sunday, defeating former two-time national champion from Minnesota, Anthony Nelson.
- MU Wrestling heads to the South Beach Duals for four matchups against Top 25 squads starting December 29. More info at MUTigers.com.
- Softball is sharing some favorite moments:
Mizzou in the Pros news:
- SI.com’s Mile High Huddle: Chad Jensen wrote Lock Answers Whether he’s Done Enough to Prove to Broncos’ Brass That he’s ‘the Guy’
- DenverBroncos.com: Aric DeLalla wrote Von Miller hasn’t exchanged a lot of NFL jerseys in his career (just one other), and after the Broncos’ win over Detroit last week, he made exchanged jerseys with Drew Lock... Excuse me while I go wipe my tears of joy over this awesomeness.
- DenverBroncos.com: Ben Swanson wrote, ‘I’m starting to get a little nervous’: Raiders HC Jon Gruden evaluates Drew Lock’s progress after coaching him at Senior Bowl.
- KUSA 9 News.com: Mike Klis said, Whether slinger or manager, Drew Lock is the Broncos’ guy.
- Way to go, Markus! First NYG linebacker with double-digit sacks since 1990! Also, a stat fix triggered a $1 million bonus for getting to 10 sacks!
- J’den Cox opened up about his mental health struggles by sharing his new tattoo. Love this, and love him.
In my career I have wrestled many matches, won state, national, and world titles. Heck I have even won an Olympic medal. However the matches I wrestle with myself some days are the greatest victories I have ever had. We all have our battles, struggles, hardships, and fears we... pic.twitter.com/hmnxfL6MUj— J'den Cox (@MATrix_8692) December 27, 2019
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