Missouri. Good at Basketball.
Missouri Men. Good at basketball. Our merry band of mid-major & JuCo misfits, including, but not limited to: D’Moi Hodge, Tre Gomillion, Dree Gholston, Sean East II, Noah Carter. Good at basketball. ACC transfer Nicky Buckets (Honor). Good at basketball. Dennis Gates & Co. F&*$%#$ great at coaching basketball. Kobe Brown. Phenomenal at basketball, especially these past two games.
Before we chat, we should probably re-live that unbelievable night, shall we?
Chills. Planning that rewatch already.
People are talking. About the team. About Kobe. And you just love, love, LOVE, L-O-V-E-E-E-E-E-E to see it. Let’s dig in.
The Post Dispatch’s Benjamin Hochman wrote about how Mizzou matters again, thanks to the unflappable Kobe Brown.
Few things are cooler to witness than an athlete rising to the moment of a big game. And there was Kobe Brown on Wednesday, performing at a level seldom seen by men wearing black-and-gold here.
He’s right. Not in a while have we witnessed this sort of ascension, this sort of greatness. We all expected it when Michael Porter, Jr. signed, but that damn back of his had other plans. And he was a star already, don’t forget. Kobe was a three-star prospect out of Huntsville, Ala.. This is different. And this is wonderful.
Further on in the piece…
Asked to describe what impressed him about Brown, teammate Sean East II flashed a smile as wide as the lane and said: “Everything.”
Then pressed for perhaps a couple specifics, East said: “He’s patient. … Even in the game tonight, he should’ve had 50. He was passing it off. But he takes what the defense gives him, catch-and-shoot 3s, drives, still tries to find his teammates when he should go score. … He just plays the game the right way.”
He does all of it the right way. School. Leadership. Community involvement. Supports other Mizzou sports. His interactions with fans and the media. So polite. So polished. So impressive. I’ve chatted with him a bit on IG because he’s looking for a graphic designer to make him some merch, and I said as much as I’d like to help, I felt my aesthetics fall a bit more on the girly-ish side, but perhaps podcast producer Levi, who makes our Rock M graphics, could help. Well, he misplaced the message I gave him with Levi’s contact info, and so he reached out on Christmas Eve, nice as can be, “Hey, Ms. Steger, Happy Holidays!” before asking for his info again. Just… the nicest. Also, please call me Karen. LOL.
From Gabe DeArmond’s commentary at PowerMizzou on Wednesday night. We don’t normally share a lot of PM content over here with it being a subscriber site (but aren’t they all these days?), but this is simply too good not to.
Memo: This team is scared of nothing now… The Tigers will lose some games. They are far from perfect. But they’ll back down from absolutely nothing.
Statements like this are why I often refer to this group as a ragtag bunch, mid-major misfits, or members of the Island of Misfit Toys (holiday-themed). It’s absolutely not a slight AT ALL. It’s to show that this group, made up of a whole lotta different guys from all over, is unique. What they’re doing… is special. It doesn’t always work this way. Ask Cuonzo Martin. It worked for Kash and Dru, but not for some of the others. But somehow, IT WORKS here. And they will fight you so hard. They don’t give a shit who you are. Oscar is no different than some random player to them. Just ask Aidan Shaw, who didn’t even score but had my favorite play (and Gabe’s) of the night:
With 5:53 to go in the first half and Mizzou leading 27-16, defending national player of the year Oscar Tschiebwe grabbed an offensive rebound. This was not unremarkable as Tschiebwe finished with 19 boards, nine of them on the offensive end.
But Tiger freshman Aidan Shaw came flying in, wrapped both hands around the ball and refused to let go. Tschiebwe wrestled and Shaw hung on. The whistle blew and Shaw hung on. The duo spun toward the Mizzou bench and Shaw hung on. Eventually, the wiry freshman came out with the ball even though the possession arrow had long ago dictated it would belong to Kentucky. A standing ovation from the sellout crowd for Shaw immediately turned into a chorus of 15,000 boos for the possession arrow.
I mean, HOW COOL IS THAT?!? My guy Aidan, only a freshman, is not afraid of anyone let alone the reigning SEC & National Player of the Year. So, as Gabe says in his piece, you should probably go ahead and get your tickets now, you guys. Because this team is fun is HELL and good too. It may soon be a hard ticket to come by.
Time for more props to the Tigers/Kobe.
Thanks, Seth Greenberg.
Kobe Brown is a matchup problem. A matchup NIGHTMARE. He does not settle vs smaller defenders and takes bigs away and both stretches them or attacks them off the bounce. @MizzouHoops— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) December 29, 2022
Thanks, Other Seth (Davis).
There will be plenty to say about how awful Kentucky looks tonight but give tons of credit to what Dennis Gates is doing in his first season. A new era has dawned in Columbia.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) December 29, 2022
Thanks, Dickie V! (PTP is Prime time Player, btw). Vitale actually had a whole string of tweets about the Tigers and Wildcats matchup. Good stuff. I’ve linked to it below in a wrap up of them in STL Today.
My VBDI TEAM OF THE NIGHT @MizzouHoops who routed @KentuckyMBB as Coach DENNIS GATES is a rising star.PTPer of the night-Tigers KOBE BROWN with 30 pts vs Cats.Also a TIP of the HAT to @LSUBasketball with W over # 9 @RazorbackMBB as DEREK FOUNTAIN WITH 14-10 vital to @SEC Win.— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) December 29, 2022
This is just astonishing given the behemoth that is Kentucky Wildcats basketball. Wow.
How prolific is Mizzou's attack this year?— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) December 29, 2022
With 89 points last night, the Tigers just scored the most points ever by an SEC school against a John Calipari-coached Kentucky! #MIZ pic.twitter.com/ZO7x3tXpVL
And finally on the men’s hoops front, a new day means new NET rankings. Dave Matter reminds us that Mizzou opponent Illinois is 41 on this list after he inadvertently left them off. Pretty, pretty good, fellas.
SEC teams and other Mizzou opponents in the NCAA's updated NET rankings:— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 29, 2022
39. Miss St.
88. Ole Miss
274. South Carolina
33. Iowa St
112. Wichita St
Missouri women. Also pretty good at basketball. It was NOT pretty — my god, soooo many turnovers — but a win is a win is an SEC Opener Dub for the second year in a row as Robin Pingeton’s Tigers (12-2, 1-0) tipped off their SEC season on Thursday night (also) against the Kentucky Wildcats (8-5, 0-1). I like this team, y’all. They are a scrappy bunch, and their chemistry, as Coach P often reminds us, really is off the charts.
Sadly, the Tigers without the services of Mama Dembele on Thursday night, as she was stuck in Spain, but… it didn’t matter. I mean, it might have cut down on some of those aforementioned TOs, but really… the ladies done GOOD, you guys. The Tigers stepped up big time, despite some [cough cough] questionable officiating at times going against them. It was so bad that after one call, you could clearly see Lauren Hansen say, “This is f’ing bullshit.” We agree, Lo. We all agree. But alas, no officials could ruin this for them.
Here’s the stat lines, courtesy of MUTigers.com & ESPN:
- Frankie: 20pts, 6-6 FT, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
- Lo “Money” Hansen: 18pts, 3-7 3PT, 3-4 FT, 6 REB, 2 STL, 1 AST, 1 BLK
- Ashton “the Microwave” Judd: 12pts, 5-6 FT, 3-6 FG, 3 REB
- Haley “How long has she been in school?” Troup: 8pts, 6 AST, 5 REB, 2 STL
- Kate “Gilly” Gilbert: 7pts, 4 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL, 2 BLK
- Rosie “the Australian Flash”: 5pts, 7 REB, 2 AST
Overall: 24-53 FG (45.3%), 7-17 3PT (41.2%), 19-25 FT (76%), 41 REB (22 Def), 16 AST, 9 STL, 5 BLK, [redacted] TO
Check out Ashton Judd. The freshman, much like Aidan Shaw on Wednesday night, was NOT afraid of the ‘Cats. Her free throws helped to ice the game.
Check out Sara-Rose Smith, who was traveling but DID make it back, thank god. This is crafty AF.
Rosie puttin' it on display pic.twitter.com/JLV0ql8kto— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) December 30, 2022
Check out Hayley Frank. Ice in her veins. Right as the shot clock expired.
Frankie beats the clock pic.twitter.com/fs7s8YJ8ze— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) December 30, 2022
I don’t have the screen grab, but Gilly (Kate Gilbert) blocking Robyn Benton’s game-tying three point attempt?!? COLD BLOODED. (Side note: maybe it’s in the highlights below?)
Let’s just get right to the highlights, shall we? Oh, and read the MUTigers recap. And Adeen’s recap (linked below).
So, so long, Kentucky and Big Blue Nation. Mizzou sends you out of the state winless.
ON TO THE LINKS!!!
Happy One Year Anniversary of THE South Carolina game. You know…. This one. I was there… it was beautiful… Best lost voice and headache from excessive screaming ever [wipes tear]
Yesterday at Rock M
- Adeen recapped the women’s win: Mizzou WBB capitalizes in the clutch to take down Kentucky in a 74-71 thriller while Lauren provided the morning preview: Tigers kick off SEC play against Kentucky
- Parker filled us in on the Cook news, adding some good insight: Missouri quarterback Brady Cook underwent surgery for torn labrum, set to miss spring ball
- Josh’s revue takes on a holiday classic in The Revue, a movie which he apparently despises (and this must be why I despise Josh? I kid….) Mizzou commits violence against Illinois and it’s good, actually.
- Sam had an exciting new Study Hall: Mizzou 89, Kentucky 75. I’m glad his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day ended with something amazing.
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Read Matt Harris’ piece on Mizzou’s defensive scheme, and check out the new The Verdict: Illini Edition. Both are just AWESOME.
- PowerMizzou: Stats that stood out against Kentucky (Drew King) | Commentary: The time is now; Mizzou hoops is fun again (Gabe DeArmond)
- Columbia Tribune: Missouri basketball showing no fear with upset wins over Kentucky and Illinois (Matt Stahl) | Kwiecinski: We’re getting a glimpse of what Mizzou’s best basketball looks like, and it’s a beautiful chaos
- KC Star: Mizzou didn’t blink vs. Kentucky. That’s major growth from last year ... and two weeks ago (Sam McDowell)
- Columbia Missourian: Tigers overcome sluggish start, survive late rally to knock off Kentucky (Payton Havermann)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ten Hochman: Takeaways from Mizzou’s breathtaking win over Kentucky | ESPN’s Dick Vitale heaps praise on Dennis Gates, Mizzou basketball for Kentucky win (Erik Hall) |
- Whiteboard Wednesday is back, though it’s Thursday (we forgive you, Coach. You had a big game that night)
We call this drill “No Paint”. We are working on keeping the ball out of the paint by either the dribble or pass. We do this drill with three teams of 4. You can score the game by paint touches to get a winner or loser & make it competitive. #MIZ #WhiteboardWednesday pic.twitter.com/48IadAmkfm— Dennis Gates (@coachdgates) December 29, 2022
- Another Linthacum!
- Columbia Missourian: Cook undergoes shoulder surgery, will miss spring practice ( Wendell Shepherd, Jr)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mizzou quarterback Brady Cook undergoes shoulder surgery, will miss spring practices (Dave Matter) | Public memorial announced for Demetrious Johnson, former NFL player and philanthropist (Nassim Benchaabane) | Read Matter’s (subscriber) chat
- PowerMizzou/Rivals: Mizzou QB Brady Cook to miss spring football after shoulder surgery (Jarod Hamilton)
- Columbia Tribune: Brady Cook undergoes shoulder surgery, will miss spring practice (Chris Kwiecinski)
- Kansas City Star: Mizzou QB Brady Cook undergoes surgery after playing injured for most of 2022 season (Blair Kerkhoff)
- GP, The Legend himself, congratulating Coach Gates on the W
- Tyler Badie! Joining Connor McGovern in Denver. Congrats, good sir.
12/28 vs GSW (L 112-107): 34 min | 22pts on 8-14 FG (3-8 3PT) | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 TO | 2 PF | -5
12/26 vs SPURS (L 126-122): 34 min | 25pts on 8-19 FG (2-6 3PT) | 7 REB | 4 AST | 3 TO | 1 PF | -8
12/22 vs WASH (W 120-112): 30 min | 23pts on 7-17 FG (4-7 3PT) | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 TO | +6
UP NEXT: 12/30 vs SAC @ 10pm | 12/31 vs NUGGS at 9pm | 1/3 vs SAC @9pm | 1/5 vs HOU @8pm
12/28 vs SAC (L 127-126): 35 min | 19pts on 6-12 FG (4-8 3PT) | 7 REB | 1 AST | 3 BLK | 4 TO | 2 PF | +0
12/25 vs PHX (W 128-125 OT): 35 min | 7pts on 3-11 FG (0-5 3PT) | 8 REB | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 PF | +11
12/23 vs PORT (W 120-107): 27 min | 18pts on 7-13 FG (2-6 3PT) | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 TO | 2 PF | +1
UP NEXT: 12/30 vs MIA at 9pm | 1/1 vs BOS @8pm | 1/2 vs MIN @8pm | 1/5 vs LAC @10pm on TNT
- Dru Smith & Sioux Falls SkyForce (0-1):
12/27 vs BLUE (L 112-108): 38 min | 18pts on 5-13 FG (1-5 3PT) | 6 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 2 TO | 2 PF | -8
UP NEXT: 12/31 vs Clippers @8pm | 1/1 vs Clippers @4pm | 1/3 vs Legends @7:30pm on ESPN+
- Jontay Porter & Wisconsin Herd (0-0):
No recent games (regular season tipping off)
UP NEXT: 12/31 vs GOLD @8pm | 1/4 vs Skyhawks @7pm on ESPN+
Former Tiger Hodgepodge Season Averages (as of 12/29)
**NOTE: Arrows indicate better (or worse) performance over last week’s shared data. I didn’t list the best recent game if there wasn’t a good/better one. (In the case of PF & TO, a ⇧ indicates they’re doing better/ ⇩ is worse)
- Javon Pickett (SLU): In 13 games, Pickett is averaging 25.2mpg (=) and 10.8ppg (⇩). He’s got a 50 FG% (⇩), 36.4 3PT% (⇩), and 83.9% FT% (⇧), to go with 6.2rpg (⇩), 1.5apg (⇧), and 0.5 steals (⇩). He’s also averaging 2.6PF (⇩) and only 1.1 TO (=).
Best recent game (12/17 vs Drake): 20 min | 15pts | 6 REB | 1 AST
- Sean Durugordon (Austin Peay): In 13 games, Sean is averaging 26.5mpg (⇧) and 11.9ppg (⇧). He’s got a 38.5FG% (⇩) and 27.6 3PT% (⇩) and 82.9 FT% (⇧), to go with 5.3rpg (=), 1.2apg (⇩), and 0.7 steals (⇩).
Best recent game (12/21 vs Tenn): 30 min | 11 PTS | 6 REB | 1 AST
- Boogie Coleman (Ball State): In 13 games, Boogie is averaging 32.9mpg (⇧) and 13.3ppg (⇧). He’s got a 37 FG% (⇩), 35.9 3PT% (⇩), and 83.8 FT% (⇩). He’s averaging 5rpg (⇩), 0.7 blocks (=), 3.5apg (⇧).
Best recent game (12/28 vs CHI St.): 38 min | 40% FG | 16 pts | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 BLK | 1 STL (his last 4 games: 16, 12, 16, 15. Wow, Boog!)
- DaJuan Gordon (NM State): In 12 games, DaJuan is averaging 26.9mpg (⇧) and 10.2ppg (⇧), to go with 5.7rpg (⇩), 1.7 steals (⇩) and 1.2 apg (⇧). He’s shooting 36.9 FG% (⇩) and 30.6 3PT% (⇩).
Best recent game (12/21 vs Kent St): 36 min | 15 pts | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 41.7% FG. DaJuan has 5 consecutive games now of double digits (10, 15, 13, 10 x2). YAY!
- Xavier Pinson (NM State): In 13 games, X is averaging 30.8mpg (⇩) and 12.8ppg (⇧), to go with 4.5 APG (⇩), 3.3rpg (⇩), 0.2 blocks (=), 1.2 steals (⇧), and 2.6 TO (=). He’s shooting 39.3 FG% (⇧) and 33.3PT% (⇧).
Best recent game (12/22 vs NC A&T): 35 min | 66.7 FG% | 20 pts | 4 REB | 5 AST. X’s last two games featured 16 & 20 point games, respectively. YAY!
- Amari Davis (Wright State): In 13 games, Amari is averaging 26.2mpg (⇩) and 11.6ppg (⇧), to go with 4.5rpg (⇩), 1.6apg (⇩), and 0.9 steals (⇩). He’s shooting 44.1 FG% (⇩) and 83.3 FT% (⇧).
Best recent game (12/17 vs NWOH): 21 min | 12 pts | 50% FG | 3 REB | 2 AST
- Anton Brookshire (Iona): In 12 games, Anton is averaging 7.5mpg (⇩) and 1.6ppg (⇩), to go with 1rpg (⇩), and 0.4apg (=). He’s shooting just 20 FG% (⇩) to go with a 19% 3PT (=).
- Torrence Watson (Elon): In 10 games, Torrence is averaging 25.4mpg (⇩) and 9.6ppg (⇩), to go with 4.6rpg (⇩), and 1.5apg (⇩). He’s shooting just 28.3 FG% (⇩) and 24.1% 3PT (⇧).
Best recent game (12/15 vs PRESB): 15 min | 7 pts | 3 REB
- Parker Braun (Santa Clara): In 15 games, PB has averaged 31.9mpg (⇩) and 8.1ppg (⇩) to go with 6.1rpg (⇩) 0.9 blocks, 0.5 steals and 2.3apg (⇩). He’s got a 54.3FG% (⇩) and 28.1 3PT% (⇧) to go with 2.7 TO (⇧).
Best recent game (12/18 vs CAL): 34 min | 17 pts | 88.9% FG | 7 REB | 2 AST
- Jordan Wilmore (NW State): In 13 games, Big Jordan is averaging 11.5mpg (⇧) and 0.5ppg (=), to go with 2.2rpg (=), 0.8 blocks (=) and 0.5 steals (=). He’s got a 27.3 FG% (⇧).
Best recent game (12/27 vs TX A&M): 20 min | 2 pts | 100% FG | 3 REB | 1 STL
- LaDazhia Williams (LSU): In 10 games, LDW is averaging 21.2mpg (⇧) and 9.3ppg (⇩), to go with 4.6rpg (⇧), 1 apg (=), 1.4 steals (⇩) and 0.7 blocks (⇩). She’s also got a 64.2 FG% (⇩) but only a 41.2 FT% (⇧).
Best recent game (12/18 vs ORST): 31 min | 10 PTS | 7 REB | 2 STL
- Aijha Blackwell (Baylor): She’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!
In 5 games, AB is averaging 14.4mpg and 11ppg, to go with 5.6rpg, 0.2 steals and 0.2 blocks. She’s shooting 58.8 FG% and 33.3 3PT%, to go with 1.4 TO and 1.6 PF.
Best recent game (12/15 vs TN St.): 9 min | 11 pts | 7 REB \ 2 AST | 1 STL | 60% FG
- Kiya Dorroh (Col State): In 6 games, Kiya is averaging only 4.8mpg (⇩) and 2.2ppg (⇩), to go with 1.3rpg (⇩). She’s also got a 54.5 FG% (⇩).
Best recent game (12/19 vs REG): 6 min | 1 pts | 44.4% FG | 2 REB
- Izzy Higginbottom (Ark St): In 11 games, Izzy is averaging 34mpg (⇩) and 15.8ppg (=), to go with 4.3apg (=), 3rpg (⇩), 2 steals (⇩) and 0.3 blocks (⇧). She’s shooting 35.2FG% (⇩) and 17.2 3PT% (⇩), to go with 2.5 TO (⇩) and 2.2 PF (⇩).
Best recent game (12/15 vs GRAM): 29 min | 19 pts | 44.4% FG | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL
- Yaya Keita (Oklahoma): Has not played since 12/6, when he played 2 min and had a PF.
- Trevon Brazile (Arkansas): out for the season with a torn ACL
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