And now… we wait.
I hate waiting. And I hate endings. In all things. And in the case of Missouri Basketball, with the Tigers getting knocked out of the SEC Tournament by the Cheatin Will Wades on Thursday, Mizzou fans are forced to reckon with both the ending of a pretty disappointing season of basketball and waiting to see what becomes of our team.
Last day of Mizzou basketball season is always a downer, no matter the circumstances. pic.twitter.com/lB8e4ZUsSf— Mizzou Basketball Analysis (@DataMizzou) March 11, 2022
We’ll get some answers sooner rather than later, I’d imagine — Dave Matter tweeted that Desiree Reed-Francois will speak with Cuonzo in the next week — but until then… we wait. We are left to wonder, in the age of Transferportalmania, what next year’s team will look like. Will Javon Pickett take a Covid year, or will my favorite Tiger move on to a successful career after basketball? Will we see Aidan Shaw on campus this summer in the black and gold? Will we find a point guard? (please, God, bring us a point guard) Will Trevon Brazile, a real find by Zo’s staff, put on some weight and be ready to just KILL IT next season? Will Boogie Coleman learn in the offseason to handle a basketball? (I kid… kind of) And finally, will arguably one of the best all-around men in all of college basketball get another chance at Mizzou, or was Thursday the last time we saw Cuonzo Martin animatedly patrol up and down the side of the court as the coach of the Missouri Tigers?
I honestly don’t even know how to form words when thinking about that last part. I feel like I’ve said this before, but I get it — I GET IT — if Missouri decides to move on from Cuonzo Martin after this season. Things have not gone how ANYONE planned. But when/if it happens — I don’t care how silly it sounds to be this invested — I will be devastated. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for this occurrence for the last month or two, but every time I think about it, I tear up. I read Vahe Gregorian’s excellent article last night — here’s the link again if you missed it — and I’m not kidding when I say I was full on crying as I read it. (FTR, both my dad and I are not sure we agree with all of what he says) Even short conversations with Target coworkers or my amazing new boss about the direction of the team have made my eyes well up. When it comes to Mizzou Basketball, and especially Coach Martin, I truly wear my heart on my sleeve. (Sam would be so disappointed, the robot. haha)
Once upon a time, on March 8, 2017, Sam wrote this beautiful and moving piece for Rock M Nation when former coach Kim Anderson found himself coaching his last games in the SEC Tournament, already having his fate sealed by the powers that be. Those three years, we all know, were a mess and it was absolutely the best and necessary thing for Mizzou to move forward without him. But it didn’t make watching those last couple games in the SEC Tourney any less painful. I went to tons of games during his tenure, even if they were, for all intents and purposes, pretty terrible.
And now, just five years and two days later (three when it posts), I’m going to borrow from that piece a bit since it is eerily similar to what’s happening now.
knowdon’t know what the end will be. Next season Missouri willmay have a new basketball coach, but for one more night, this iswas Kim AndersonCuonzo Martin’s team, and his team showed the remarkable fight they’ve shown all season long, despite the longest odds.
This team isn’t good.
Not even close. ThisWednesday was was only their eighthtwelfth win of the year, and loss number 2421 (against LSU on Thursday) was all but certain. But for one more time we got to enjoy basketball again. For one more night we got to watch Kim AndersonCuonzo Martin on the sideline, displaying his unique brand of enthusiasm. Say what you will about this team and this coaching staff, they are made up of a group of great people who have had a lot of bad things happen to them over the course of the last few yearstheir lives.
We’ve seen a group of people band together and fight and scrap and not give up despite all the reasons for them TO give up.
Coach Martin beat cancer. Several members of this team have lost parents and relatives and friends to illness and/or violence. So when Zo says he’ll be fine with whatever happens and he’ll be at peace with it, I believe him. He’s a good man. A great man. A man who, despite all the unsavory-ness that permeates college athletics, has done it the right way.
Before you say Frank’s only saying this because he wants to keep beating Cuonzo …— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 11, 2022
1. Frank doesn’t bullshit. He might be the most candid coach in America.
2. Frank is 3-4 vs. Mizzou last five years https://t.co/ACBDZwjANL
So now we wait. I hate waiting.
ON TO THE LINKS.
By the way, please keep Sam and his wife in your thoughts. They had to put dear, sweet Arturo down yesterday, and he seemed like the BEST pup.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Aaron continued his “One Returner and One Newcomer” series, this time focusing on the specialists.
- Parker handled the LSU game thread, and wrote one last recap.
- COMING UP: Tennessee Softball preview (me), an NFL combine post (BK), an RIP Mizzou Basketball 21-22 post (Sam), a Keegan O’Toole piece (new Matt— we now have three), and a new football pod (Nate/BK)....
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter wrote, Tigers have major holes to fill on the defensive line.
- PowerMizzou started another new NIL-sponsored show for a football player! Be sure to check out Episode 2 of The Touchdown Luther Burden Show!
- The Missourian’s Jack Soble wrote about possible interest from Georgia QB JT Daniels in Mizzou.
- MIZ-LSU Game Recaps/Sidebars: Takeaways from MU Men’s Basketball’s season ending loss to LSU and Pinson, LSU kiss MU men’s basketball goodbye in domination (Anthony Kristensen, Missourian). MU fails to protect basketball against tough LSU defense (Matt Brolley, Missourian). Mizzou Tigers men’s basketball season ends in SEC Tourney loss to LSU (Lila Bromberg, KC Star). Mizzou’s Late Comeback Run Falls Short at SEC Tournament (MUTigers.com). Mizzou faces offseason questions after loss to L SU in the SEC tourney (Chris Kwiecinski, Columbia Tribune). LSU blows Mizzou out of SEC Tournament (Brian Stultz, for PowerMizzou). As Mizzou’s season ends, Cuonzo Martin’s future remains uncertain (Dave Matter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
- For Trib subscribers, Chris wrote about how the 2002 Tigers would like to be remembered.
- Lila also asked, Will Cuonzo Martin coach next season? He’s at peace whatever is decided, she writes.
- Love to see the progress this young man has made in a short time.
Brazile has a career-high/season-high 15 points. He's shown a new level of toughness here in Tampa. He's been MU's best player here the last two days. Fearless inside.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 10, 2022
- My press box friend, the Missourian’s Chris Blake, previewed Missouri Softball’s first SEC series, and you can also check out the MUTigers.com preview.
- OOOOH. Listen to “The Glove” on the new Inside Mizzou Athletics podcast.
This Inside @MizzouAthletics Podcast features @MizzouSoftball OF @casidychaumont - talking about #Mizzou's start to the season, her highlight-reel catches, and learning to drive in the winter (with some help from teammates).— Mizzou Radio (@MizzouRadio) March 10, 2022
Listen / share / subscribe:https://t.co/BN3GSvXOlZ
- Due to this dumb cold/wintry weather stuff going on in these parts, Mizzou Baseball has wisely added on some games in a warmer climate. Bieser’s squad will head to Arizona, and according to MUTigers.com, will take on San Francisco on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, then face Arizona State on Sunday immediately following the conclusion of the Sun Devils’ prior game (around 6pm CST). You can watch on PAC-12 Network+ or stream the radio call on KTGR.com or MUTigers app.
- Look who visited TigerStyle!
Other Mizzou Sports
- Mizzou, we’ve got another Coach Anderson in the mix! The Missourian’s Zack Van Doren wrote a great piece about Anderson embarking on a new world as MU’s new cross country coach. Paraphrasing parts of the article, which you all should read:
Anderson has a super cool story, as she actually dreamed of being a collegiate soccer player but realized that it would be easier to run in college than play soccer. She spent a few years just getting back into the joy of running, and by her senior year, she had refocused, and set a school and NCAA record (since broken) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics and two World Championships (2007, 2009). By the end of her college career, Anderson was a three-time All-American and two-time Big Sky Conference Women’s Athlete MVP, as well as a seven-time Big Sky Conference champion in multiple distance events.
- In the final day of the Zone D Championships in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Nick Noll reported on the Tigers putting together their strongest day. Junior Carlo Lopez had the meet of his life, taking third in the platform, earning a NCAA Championships berth. Lopez also is eligible to compete in the 1-meter and 3-meter. Sophomore Takuto Endo finished 10th and is also eligible to compete at the NCAA’s, along with his bid in the 3-meter. Sarah Rousseau qualified for the second straight season by finishing seventh in platform.
- Love a good screen recording video...
NOTE: I’ll catch you up on NBA/G-League news and stats on Monday when I cover the links for Josh.
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