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Mizzou Links for Wednesday, March 23

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Tuesday was a DAY, y’all….

First of all, those of you that read my sometimes very long writings here know that I am basically the President of the Cuonzo Martin Fan Club. Have been since the start. So when he was let go — yes, I understand why... you have to win — I was devastated. And I hoped that the next leader of Mizzou Hoops would be similar to the type of man we have all known Zo to be, thereby not making me rethink my season tix purchase.

And I know it’s early in his tenure — hell, he literally just got started today (I wrote this Tuesday night) — but it sure seems like we got a good one. I was magically able to attend the press conference in its entirety and I walked away so impressed. True, we’ll have to wait and see how the roster comes together, but I am certainly hopeful.

Moving on to that first order of business — besides hiring a kick ass assistant staff, that is — is talking with the team and convincing some of the guys to stick around.

You likely saw it on this very site, but both Javon Pickett and Trevon Brazile entered their names in the portal. You guys, I know it’s sad, but the important thing to remember here is that this didn’t suddenly happen ON THE DAY HE STARTED WORK. They weren’t like, ‘Screw you, coach. I’m outta here.’ It takes a bit to get it all processed, so these decisions were made before Coach Gates arrived. It also doesn’t mean he can’t talk with recently departed Anton Brookshire or recently released Aidan Shaw and get them back on board. While some are maybe more likely to listen and come back than others (link goes to Ben Arnet tweet), it’s definitely worth a convo. As for what he talked with the current players about as he met them this morning, he said:

“I just allowed them to see who I was as a person, as a man, as a head coach here. It’s sometimes territorial or even tough to look at because I’m a coach who’s coming from somewhere else. We’re in transition. When young people go through transition, you’ve got to protect their hearts. Desiree, you protected their hearts in that transition, and I appreciate that.

“They were receptive. I told them my vision, my plans, the core values that I’ve listed to you guys today, but more importantly, I wanted them to ask me questions. I wanted those guys to be able to control the environment. Because too often as adults, we don’t listen to young people in those traumatic stages. Trauma for anybody, we have to pay attention, too. We have to listen. We have to open our hearts, open our ears, and I just wanted to listen. So I told them my background, where I’m from. I even cracked a joke, and they all laughed. I said, ‘You guys Googled me, didn’t you?’ And they all did. So it was fun and it was exciting.”

Along with current players on the roster, whom he spoke with Tuesday morning, he’ll also undoubtedly touch base with the lone remaining 2022 Mizzou commit, East St Louis Flyer Christan Jones. Here’s some recent stuff on him, by the way.

The expectations are high for a men’s hoops coach at Mizzou, but Coach Gates is ready.

“Guys, I’m gonna be measured. I know the business and profession I’m in. I realize that. I am not running from it. I’m here to tussle with it. I’m here to fight against our opponents. Not just the SEC but in the country. I understand that. I understand expectations, because my success can open doors for other people. I understand that. So the word is not just ‘national championship.’ It’s not just an SEC championship. It’s also to watch our kids walk across the stage. That’s what it’s also about. So a win may not be visible on ESPN, and a sports ticker, but wins come in different ways, opportunities that we get. I want to see kids graduate, walk across the stage. That’s also a win. I want to see our institution be nationally recognized as an athletic department, sport among sport. I’m here because I know it’s possible.”

One last thing, just because I LOVE this line:

“YOU MAY NOT HAVE CHOSEN ME. BUT I CHOOSE YOU.”

Miss the whole event today? You can watch the video here or read the transcript.

On to the links!

Photo courtesy of myself (Karen Steger)

A note from our Slack channel, courtesy of Josh, which made me laugh too hard:

The whole of Mizzou Nation is watching, starry-eyed as Dennis Gates gives his introductory remarks. Meanwhile, Nate Edwards sits in a dark room, refreshing the football roster page, waiting for a depth corner to disappear

LOLOLOL


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links (there’s so, so many):

Football

Men’s Hoops: AKA The Main Event

  • It IS a thing of beauty, Coach Gates!
  • Love this as well. Man is a walking quote. Friend of the Site Blake Lovell was RIGHT, I love this guy!
  • Interesting tweet from Matter here on the status of the SEC coaches:

Women’s Hoops: YIKES

  • And... it’s not over. At about 10pm on Tuesday night, another shoe dropped. This time, it was LaDazhia Williams. The senior will take her Covid year elsewhere. Oh... and we might not be done yet. [sadly sings TSwift’s ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’]
  • Please do keep this in mind. From Rock M’s own Lauren Rosenberg:

Other Mizzou Sports

  • And in case you’ve forgotten how the weekend went...
  • Alex Honnold: Lover of extra base hits. And we love her for it!

Mizzou in the Pros

will be continued in the Friday links this week... there was too much Tuesday news, y’all...

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