In-person Media Day Returns and I’m SOOO Happy
The only way I’d be happier was if my invitation to the aforementioned media day was not somehow lost in cyberspace… :(
Anyway, I’m over it. Coach Zo & Co — specifically, Amari Davis, Jarron Coleman, Ronnie DeGray III, DaJuan Gordon, and returning upperclassmen Kobe Brown and Javon Pickett — met in-person with the media on Thursday afternoon and shared some interesting tidbits.
- Joel Boenitz pointed out that the team already seems to have formed a quick bond, even with so many newcomers.
Jarron Coleman shared, “I feel like we’ve been interacting great and I feel like it’s kind of been easier because we’re all new. After that first day, it was like everybody had been here for a couple months, so it’s been cool. We’ve been having fun getting our work in and just trying to make every day a great day.”
“These guys are about business right now,” Martin said. “They want to be good. They spent a lot of time together and have been magnets to each other right away. ... It’s one thing for a guy to come in and put work in on his own, but to gather a teammate (or) two or three guys to do it with you, that’s special. They’ve put the time into it right now — we just hope that’s consistent.”
- Napier (in the same article) also wrote about Javon Pickett’s approach to leadership, which comes to him after spending the last two seasons with the ultimate leader, Dru Smith.
“With Dru, just staying poised, I really got that from him,” Pickett said. “Throughout my three years with him, seeing how poised he was, never really letting anything get over his head, he always did a good job staying calm and bringing everybody together. So that’s really what I’m trying to do, just making sure that I keep good energy.”
- Dave Matter talked about Javon Pickett naming himself the unofficial team social chair. Their first get-together is dinner this evening, and Javon is looking forward to everyone getting closer.
“It’s just making sure that we’re breaking the ice with everybody,” said the Belleville native. “Making sure that everybody feels comfortable. They feel like they can speak with everybody, say what they want, speak their mind whether that’s on the court or off the court. … Just having that laughter, having serious conversations, whether they’re going through something, I feel like that just helps us on the court, having that bond and brotherhood with one another.”
- Also in the article, Kobe pointed out what’s different about this year, despite the fact that they don’t have a traditional center beyond Wilmore, who sparingly played last year.
“Everyone’s running and jumping,” Kobe Brown said. “I saw that the first day. It immediately stuck out to me. Everyone here can dribble, put it on the ground and get to the lane and make plays at the rim. It’s a different team.”
- In a different article by Matter, he wrote about how fans can expect to see a different style of team on the floor**, and they’ll likely only run with a traditional center through the paint when Jordan Wilmore is on the floor.
“One thing you can do is switch five ways (defensively),” Martin said. “We’ve done this some but you can really switch five ways because Yaya can move his feet. But then on the other end if there’s a traditional big (on the floor for the opponent) you’re forcing him to defend you. You space out and play. … I think we have guys that can get to the rim, make plays and finish at the rim. That is tough to guard when you have multiple guys that can do that.”
**This article also points out some little nuggets about the newcomers, so be sure to check it out.
Onto the Links!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Sam and Matthew J Harris were back with a brand new episode of the Dive Cuts pod, looking at recruiting comparisons in Hoops.
- Nate previewed the North Texas Mean Green.
- COMING UP: The “Team Missouri” Offensive Lineman is awarded.
- Dave Matter was back with a new weekly chat at STL Today. Check it out.. if you’re a subscriber.
- Akayleb Evans makes it officially official.
- With the addition of the two Tulsa transfers, College Football Focus says they may need to change their secondary rankings.
- Pure excellence? I love it.
- More from the men’s presser:
Met with the Mizzou men’s basketball team today (in person!) and Cuonzo Martin was high on St. Louis F/C Yaya Keita.— Colin O’Brien (@cpatobrien) June 17, 2021
Martin said coming off a knee injury Keita has been shooting the 3 “at a high level” and is a big that can space out the court on offense for Missouri.
Also said Javon and Kobe have been shooting well, and this, which I found interesting:— Colin O’Brien (@cpatobrien) June 17, 2021
"Spent a lot of time talking to, studying NBA teams. ... There's a margin for error, teams with 75 possessions and 64 possessions. The efficiency has to be the same but it's a big difference."
Martin also said that the one scholarship opening that #Mizzou has on its roster should expect to be filled. No word on if it’ll be a specific position/type of player.— Briar Napier (@BriarNapier) June 17, 2021
“We’re not done yet, but we’re still working.”
Other Mizzou Sports
- Mizzou volleyball is primed for their upcoming season with a fresh roster of only FIVE returnees, according to the Trib’s Eric Blum.
“We do have some experience there,” Taylor said. “And I think with the new ones we’re bringing in, the talent that they have is just through the roof. And if given the choice between talent and experience, I’m going to take talent every time because anyone can gain experience. But talent is something that you can actually build off of. So the talent we’ve got on this roster is pretty awesome.”
- Track and Field has landed THREE transfers, according to a new article by the Missourian’s Anthony Kristensen. Welcome to Columbia University’s Owen Bishop, McNeese State’s Matthew Harding, and Washington State’s Jacob Nicholson!
- Mizzou Softball posted a lovely thank you video on You Tube. (wipes away tears)
Mizzou Athletes in the Pros/Olympic Trials
- The Tribune’s Eric Blum touched base with former Tiger swimmer, Micah Slaton, who is swimming the 100 Butterfly in today’s Trials. Micah has been training in CoMo while coaching for Macher’s Team Triumph, but knows it’s a long shot to make the team with Olympian (and former Florida Gator) Caleb Dressel in the mix.
“There’s a bunch of great guys in the event,” Slaton said. “So it would take 2 1/2, three seconds (off my time) for me to make the team, which in a 100-mtr race is a lifetime in swimming. But it’s one of those meets where there’s so many nerves and so much pressure for everyone involved and the times are so close, mostly, that if you’ve got a lane, you’ve got a chance. Anything can happen on the day.”
- Keeping on the Olympic Swim Trials theme, Blum also wrote about former Tiger swimmer Nick Alexander earlier in the week, as he got ready to compete in four events at the Trials: 100 & 200 backstroke, 200 IM and the 100 fly.
“I trained for it my whole life. So I should be able to handle it, even though I’m getting a little bit older,” Alexander said. “... If you’re going to Wave II, you need to be going and expecting to, or at least trying to, make the Olympic team because if you’re not, then I think that would just be a waste of mental game and all that… I think that I should be able to have a good shot at qualifying for the national team again (top 6 in each event), hopefully. And then I want to make a couple finals, so get some top-eight finishes. One thing that I learned this past year is that anything can happen.”
- MUTigers.com identified some track and field Tigers past and present who are participating in the Olympic Trials in Eugene. This includes the American Record Holder in the indoor 3,000m, Karissa Schweizer. (she also broke the previous AR in the outdoor 10,000m, but was beaten out by her teammate in the end). The six-time NCAA champion will be joined by two-time SEC Champion Gabi Jacobs in the discus, who ranks in the top-10 in both the indoor and outdoor shotput. Avery Carter, who ranks third all-time in program history in the hammer throw, will also compete. Current Tigers competing are All-American freshman Skylar Ciccolini in javelin, RS-freshman and SEC Co-Newcomer of the Year Mitch Weber in the discus, senior Jordan McClendon in the hammer throw, and junior Arianna Fisher in the triple jump. GOOD LUCK, Y’ALL!
- Former Mizzou golfer Hayden Buckley is doing good things at the US Open.. like, Top FIVE good.
Buckley pars 18 to post a 2 under 69 to leave him at T5. This was a wonderful start to a hopeful long weekend. We will be back tomorrow morning! pic.twitter.com/bLY9KDUcHj— Hayden Buckley Update (@BuckleyUpdate) June 18, 2021
- Looking good, Larry!
- I think I heard once or twice (or 500 times) that Drew Lock knew how to play hoops pretty well?
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