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This is a different Mizzou Hoops team

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Mizzou News for Friday, December 4

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This Ain’t Last Year’s Tigers

Raise your hand if you think last year’s team would have won the game Wednesday night? I’ll wait.

Look. I am a DIE-HARD Mizzou Hoops fan. Always have been. I went to plenty of games during the KA years (shudders) and cheered emphatically, so I clearly will always be a fan. But even I have to admit, as I watched the game Weds night way too loudly (sorry, neighbors), I was worried when Oregon started inching closer that somehow, some way, we were going to give it away. Call it PTSD from the Xavier game. As much as I hope for a different outcome, let’s face it, it has not typically worked out well for the Tigers in close, late game situations in the past. This time, though... it was different. I feel so many emotions about this year’s team, and all of them are positive. I asked on Twitter, pretty early on in the game, if we are (gulp).. good? I was afraid to type it. I had several people tell me to “shhh” and not jinx it, and Rock M’s very own BK wouldn’t bite TWICE (even after Mr. Rock M himself, Sam Snelling, said it), and this is coming from the guy who penned a love letter to Derek Dooley! So rude.

Souichi Terada of the KC Star examined the new-look Tigers in his new piece, which you should all read, as he is a friend of the site and a great writer. He asked, what makes the Tigers different this time? From the story:

“Like everybody keeps saying, we’re an older team,” Pickett said. “We’ve got guys that have been here before. Just going out there, playing our game. Not changing anything. Going out there doing our best and just playing hard.”

Where Mizzou showcased its new-look self was when Oregon brought it down to a five-point game with less than a minute remaining. There was no shriveling up; the Tigers didn’t blink. They made their free throws, never letting the Ducks fully complete their comeback attempt.

They really didn’t bat an eye in the face of pressure. Bring it on, they said (or they probably said in some way). I’ll share one more thing, before I remind you again to READ THE ARTICLE.

This, which X said in the postgame last night, really resonated with me:

“This win, for me, the whole team, it was just kind of history,” Pinson said. “We just deserved it. Our fans deserved it even though they can’t be here with us right now. I feel like the whole organization deserved this win. We just all laid it out on the line and did what we had to to get the win.”

This win, first in what we hope will be a lot of wins this year, gave me hope. I felt relief that we’d gotten over this hump finally, that this might just be THE year after all of the struggles. For the team, its coaches and staff, and the fans, I feel hope. And I am so excited to watch this team going forward.

As CJ Moore said, in his (always) excellent, but far too little coverage for my liking, on Mizzou Hoops for The Athletic ($$), said:

It’s entirely way too early to say this group has achieved anything, but the possibilities are real and Wednesday was the first opportunity for Martin to have his moment where he could puff his chest and say, See that! I’ve been trying to tell y’all.

This article, y’all, is worth the subscription alone. There were a few quotes in there that actually made me tear up. What can I say... I’m a softie, and CJ is a hellluva writer.

Moving on to some sweet, sweet social media stuff from Mizzou Hoops (AKA RJ Layton, who I interviewed this week— that will be coming shortly).

I am also pumped that this could be the X-Man we get all year. You love to see it.

And the bigs! The bigs!

On to the Links! We have a football game tomorrow. Go Tigers! Time for some bacon!


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

  • Excellent news for St. Louis native and Mizzou commit, Mekhi Wingo!

Hoops News

  • Tilly is now in the Top 10 All-Time for BLOCKS.
  • Out of sight but not out of mind, EIGHT players made their Tiger debuts in Mizzou’s win last week.

Other Mizzou Sports

  • Mizzou Gymnastics is set for their Black and Gold exhibition practice, according to MUTigers.com. The Tigers will run through their lineups and routines on all four events beginning on vault and rotating to bars, beam and floor. It will also be streamed live on Facebook Live.
  • TigerStyle is reminiscing about the last time the Tigers wrestled at Hearnes. Can’t wait for them to get started up again!
  • D1 Baseball has got good things to say about Spencer Miles.
  • Wow! Volleyball’s Dariana Hollingsworth is... good.

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