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Sophie Cunningham opts to stay in Phoenix during WNBA free agency

Mizzou Links for February 1, 2022.

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The Mayor of Columbia Phoenix is back

Soon after, Cunningham confirmed the news in very Cunningham-like fashion.

It’s a big deal for Cunningham, who was an unrestricted free agent after the Mercury declined her rookie contract option. Cunningham would have been a nice pick up for any team, especially contenders looking for impact bench players. Ultimately though, the GOAT will return to Phoenix, where she played a vital role in the Mercury’s run to the WNBA finals. It’s where she’s grown up as a professional and where she’s seen marked improvement in her first three seasons.

Though the terms of the deal have yet to be reported, the move comes following arguably the best season of Cunningham’s professional career. She averaged 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists during the regular season for Mercury. But the biggest improvement, by far, was her shooting numbers; she shot 43.7% from the field and 41% from beyond the three-point arc in 2021 after averaging marks of less than 38% and 31% in those respective categories in her prior two years in the league.

Phoenix is still plenty talented and will return much of its team from last year’s finals squad. Here’s to hoping this next phase of Sophie’s career sees her continue to get more minutes and bigger paychecks!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • This feels like a significant add to the Mizzou Football coaching staff...

Olivia Ohlsen will be Mizzou’s new Director of On-Campus Recruiting, a position she previously held at LSU under Ed Orgeron. And while Orgeron and his staff certainly deserve a good share of credit for the successes of that era, let’s not underplay what a vital role Ohlsen had coordinating those on-campus visits.

Let’s see how LSU fared nationally in the recruiting cycles when Ohlsen was involved with campus recruiting services (by the 247 team rankings:)

2017: 7th

2018: 15th

2019: 5th

2020: 4th

2021: 3rd

Think that’s pretty good?

  • Did you want to relive Mizzou’s Sunday afternoon roasting of Alabama in Tuscaloosa? Of course you did.
  • Tyler Badie: Future NFLer, Tiger great, enjoyer of Reese’s?

Badie will play in the bowl game this week, which is usually just an excuse for outgoing college football players to workout for scouts and coaches over the course of the previous week. Hopefully he’ll take home a mountain of Reese’s goodies and send them all to us here at Rock M Nation. I promise I’ll share some with you, commenters.

  • Softball is almost back at the softball school, y’all! Mizzou enters the year ranked No. 12 in the country... but is being picked fifth in the SEC by preseason polls.

The Tigers finished fourth in the regular season during the 2021 season after being picked to finish eighth. During Head Coach Larissa Anderson’s tenure, Mizzou has finished higher than its preseason prediction in each year. In 2019, Mizzou was picked last in the conference before finishing in a tie for sixth place during the regular season. The 2020 season was cut short, but the Tigers swept their only SEC opponent of the season after being picked 10th.

By that pattern, we’re looking at a possible top two or three finish? Sounds good to me!

  • Baseball pictures?

College baseball is going to come in handy in the early spring when MLB owners are still locking out their players because their profit margins aren’t going up as fast as they’d like.

  • Oh shoot, we’re double-dipping on baseball content!

That’s a cold glove, man.

Incidentally, “snow day” is basically an outdated term for what is now a virtual commitment to keep working even on days when the weather is telling us, “you can’t work, dammit, it’s too [insert extreme weather condition] outside.”

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