OK, so here’s the thing about Sunday...
I think we need to walk backward in time a few hours.
Sunday morning saw Mizzou Nation wake up feeling really good. Mizzou was freshly bowl eligible off the backs of yet another Battle Line victory over Arkansas. The future was looking bright at Ole Mizzou. Yet it didn’t take long for that familiar feeling, something of a combination between dread and resignation, to wash over the fan base when a particularly bad bit of news dropped in the afternoon.
The news spread like wildfire and, as you can imagine, fans of every fanbase in America are salivating at the thought of picking off Mizzou’s breakout star. Dave Matter offered some more specifics at STL Today, leaving the most sliver of openings for hope:
Lovett, who ranks third in the Southeastern Conference with 56 catches and 846 yards, met with Mizzou coaches on Saturday and informed them he plans to enter the portal but hasn’t decided if he’ll definitely play elsewhere next season, sources confirmed Sunday.
So I guess there’s a chance Lovett ends up coming back. But...
Panic spread just about as quickly as the news, with multiple other names getting tossed around the speculation train... namely, Mizzou’s up-and-coming star, and one of Lovett’s good friends, Luther Burden III. Fortunately, the news is much better on that front.
On a positive note, spoke with Luther Burden’s dad today. He told me Luther is not leaving Mizzou.— Frank Cusumano (@Frank_Cusumano) November 27, 2022
I feel comfortable enough saying that we’ve heard similar things: Burden isn’t going anywhere. So breathe a sigh of relief there Tiger fans.
However, don’t let that sigh last too long. Mizzou is in the unenviable position of being an underfunded program in college football’s premier showcase conference. Any and all impact players that donned black and gold this season will be contacted by dozens of college programs. And in most cases, Mizzou won’t have the financial ability to keep them home.
Does that mean doom and gloom? Certainly not. Just look at Mizzou’s team this year, which was largely built on the back of a defense led by nifty portal additions like DJ Coleman, Kristian Williams and a guy named Ty’Ron Hopper. Drinkwitz and his staff have the ability to pick their own gems out of the portal. However, they’re likely now going to have to replace at least one of their most talented players on this year’s roster. They can’t afford too many more departures on that level or our expectations for next season will skew quickly.
Stick with us as we’ll have plenty of portal coverage in the week ahead of its official opening on December 5.
Yesterday at Rock M
- In which Sam applauds Mizzou for finishing strong, even if the missed opportunities will still linger
- In which the numbers show that Mizzou is definitively better than Houston Christian
- In which... yeah
- Here’s your weekly “Mizzou in the NFL” recap:
- SEC Mike’s final SEC Power Rankings are pretty strange to look at in the full context of Mizzou’s season.
Championship Week SEC Power Rankings pic.twitter.com/sTHhuDFpFl— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 27, 2022
The Missourian’s Jack Soble points out why.
- Chris Kwiecinski shared his final 10 thoughts from Mizzou’s win over Arkansas on Black Friday, including some individual thoughts on Kristian Williams, Luther Burden and Eli Drinkwitz.
- Changes are coming at Mizzou Volleyball after the school announced on Sunday that Joshua Taylor will not return as the program’s coach.
“We thank Coach Taylor for all he has done the past seven years for the volleyball program and University,” (Athletic Director Desiree) Reed-Francois said. “We wish him, Molly and their family nothing but the best in the future. I believe Mizzou is one of the best volleyball jobs in the country. We will continue to invest in our volleyball program and will work quickly to find the candidate who is the best fit to continue building our championship culture.”
His wife, Molly, was a former volleyball star at Mizzou and had been coaching with him during his tenure.
- It was a big day for former Mizzou basketball players in their respective pro leagues. In Germany, Mark Smith posted 33 points in his team’s win.
And in his first game after getting a two-way contract with the Heat, Dru Smith played 16 minutes, got a bucket and, uh, five fouls in the Heat’s win over the Wizards. Oh, and he followed that up by getting 21 minutes during the Heat’s win on Sunday night and logging a very Dru Smith stat block: 5 points, 3 rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist.
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