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News & Notes: Mizzou Football and Basketball

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Mizzou News for Friday, October 8

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Overall, Thursday was a pretty quiet news day on the Mizzou Athletics front, so let’s check in with the two major sports and see what local beat writers were talking about.

FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES

In Dave Matter’s recent chat at STL Today, he was asked about the defensive struggles, asking if it was a talent or communication issue. And what about Steve Wilks? His answer?

Drinkwitz has used the word “disconnect” all week to explain the issues along the D-line. He hasn’t really elaborated, only saying the linemen weren’t doing what they were coached to do, which led to Franklin losing his job. Maybe he wasn’t a very good teacher or communicator. It would be nice to talk to the D-linemen but they haven’t been available for interviews for a couple of weeks.

It would have been nice to ask Wilks about the situation, but he didn’t talk to the media this week. Highest paid assistant coach in the history of the university and he can’t talk to reporters for 10 minutes. (And before you blame Wilks, I highly suspect this was the head coach’s call, not Steve’s.) That’s a shame because a lot of fans would like some answers. Mizzou is going to pay Franklin $400,000 to not coach this season - money that comes directly from donations, ticket sales, concessions, etc. - and there’s little explanation other than a “disconnect.”

North Texas has a very experienced offensive line with some pretty good players up front that have been mainstays of the program. The running back that’s leading the way this year is DeAndre Torrey, who’s been around for quite a while at North Texas… He’s just a very good player. He’s the guy that kind of took an interesting path to North Texas. He was a junior college player, who played a year down in Mississippi, and he could have gone back for another year. The Mean Green weren’t planning on taking a running back from the junior-college ranks that year, but they decided that DeAndre was of a high enough quality a player that UNT needed to change course and go ahead and take him as a recruit.

And you look at his career, he decided to come back for his fifth year at North Texas. He came into the year with 23 rushing touchdowns, ranked seventh in career rushing touchdowns in program history, eighth in total touchdowns, No. 12 in career rushing yards. He’s got over 2,000 yards there and all-purpose yards is well over 3,000. And North Texas has come to depend on him even more than you’d even think because they lost their other really good running back in their rotation to a torn ACL before the season began.

BASKETBALL NEWS & NOTES

In Dave Matter’s recent chat, a commenter asked about the vibes around the basketball team. His response?

There’s a different energy around this team. The two veteran holdovers touched on that yesterday. It seems like a good mix of veterans and rookies. The transfers have a lot of experience but they’re hungry to taste success at a high-major level. The freshmen are going to play. Yaya Keita is a beast. I’m not sure how much he’ll play but he’s built like an SEC power forward and plays with a lot of intensity. Good program guy. I’m intrigued by Trevon Brazile. He can really run the floor for a 6-9 guy. Attacks the rim on both ends. Again, probably not polished enough to put up big numbers in the SEC as a freshman, but he brings a dimension this team needs.

And here’s the kicker: If Cuonzo had hair, the last couple years coaching Xavier Pinson would have turned it gray. It wore on him. It’s no secret, Pinson was a headache. Super talented but, to use Eli Drinkwitz’s new word, there was certainly a disconnect there.

From the KC Star’s Lila Bromberg’s recent story on the team’s developing chemistry:

Five to six guys can normally be found in the gym each morning, as opposed to a couple last year. “At first it was like a little weird when everybody else came in,” Pickett said. “But as the time went on and we started practicing every day, competing with one another, you start to get to know other people on the team and you start to build those bonds with people. So you can’t really talked about the team last year; you’ve just got to think a about this team now.”

On to the Links! Happy Homecoming!


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Football

Hoops

  • Big time basketball recruiting target Mark Mitchell is in town for an official visit. Everyone behave and be perfect Mizzou fans during Homecoming, okay?

Other Mizzou Sports

  • Softball is back in action this evening with a double-header as they are a week away from finishing up Fall Ball. According to their schedule, they’ll be facing Crowder College at 5pm and Columbia College at 7:30. Admission is free, and concessions will be open.
  • Swimming is back in the pool this weekend for the SMU Classic, facing off against SMU, Arizona, Louisville, Michigan, Miami (women’s only) and Texas A&M (men’s only). More info at MUTigers.com

Mizzou in the Pros News

  • Game Four of WNBA semis will take place this evening, with Sophie Cunningham’s Phoenix Mercury looking to down the Las Vegas Aces and get into the Finals. Sophie’s calf injury kept her off the floor in the PHX loss on Wednesday night, but hopefully she’ll be back tonight. The game is on 8pm at ESPN2. Can’t wait to wear my new SOPHI3! shirt from BreakingT!
  • The Miami Heat beat the Houston Rockets on Thursday evening, and our guy DRUUUUUU SMITH started the second half. In his 18 minutes, he scored 8 points on 2-6 shooting (0-2 from three), with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 TO… and 5 fouls.
  • On Wednesday night, Jordan Clarkson’s Utah Jazz lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 111-101. JC found himself in the starting lineup, but didn’t shoot all that well. In his 17 minutes, he scored 9 points on 3-11 shooting (2-10 from three), with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 fouls.
  • Former Mizzou golfer Hayden Buckley is doing good things on the PGA Tour at the Shriners Open.

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