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These Tigers didn’t go down without a fight

Mizzou News for Friday,March 11

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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.

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.

We know don’t know what the end will be. Next season Missouri will may have a new basketball coach, but for one more night, this is was Kim Anderson Cuonzo 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. This Wednesday was was only their eighth twelfth win of the year, and loss number 24 21 (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 Anderson Cuonzo 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 years their 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.


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

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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.

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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