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Mizzou Hoops goes 1-1 in inaugural ACC-SEC Challenge, Volleyball prepares for a fight with some Hens

Women’s Hoops loses OT battle with Virginia, Volleyball confident and ready for matchup with Delaware | Mizzou Links for Friday, December 1

Heartbreak.

I thought they were gonna get this one, you guys. To be clear, Virginia is a good basketball team. Coming into the game, they had only two losses to ranked teams, #25 Oklahoma and #7 LSU, the latter of whom they lost by only 3 just last week. Missouri played by far its best half of basketball in the first half, then a sloppy third quarter put them behind by 8. But man, they came back with a vengeance on the gutsy play of Hayley Frank and the FRESHMEN, Abbey Schreacke and Grace Slaughter. It was really, really cool to watch. Watching Frankie, with ice in her veins, hit three foul shots to tie the game 75-75 at the end of regulation and for the Tigers to force an empty possession to seal the deal was incredible.

Here’s the stats stuff.

via ESPN.com

Now, were there things Mizzou could have done better in this game to get the W? Of course. When Angie went out with the wrist injury, the Tigers seemingly lost their size advantage in the paint, which allowed UVA to grab so many offensive boards (16 to Mizzou’s 9). Defensively, Mizzou actually led the Cavs in rebounding 32-28, and the Tigers were really scrappy, fighting over every loose ball, oftentimes on the ground.

It seemed like a lot of the 18 — ew! — turnovers were due to the Tigers’ slippery fingers (especially in the second half), and it appeared that many a pass just couldn’t be held onto as it went out of bounds... or into the hands of the Cavs. Mama had been the main culprit of turnovers thus far on the season, but she only had 2 in this one. Surprisingly, Frank had 6 at game’s end; I honestly don’t even know how that happened. Looking at the game sheet provided by Mizzou’s SID, it looks like those aforementioned turnovers led to 21 UVA points, so yeah... that’s not good. Per the stat sheet, Mizzou had 3 in the 1st frame (UVA had 1), 5 in the 2nd (UVA had 2), 8 in the 3rd— OMG! (UVA had 3), 0— ZERO!— in the 4th (UVA had 3), and 2 in OT (UVA had 1).

Overtime wasn’t great for the Tigers, as it resulted in many a foul called and many an empty possession, and the offense really seemed to stagnate out on the perimeter (they only managed 8 points in OT vs. UVA’s 12). But still, they kept coming back. The final score, 87-81, was not really indicative of how close this game was. No, there are no moral victories. But it was their first foray into P5 competition, and they didn’t break.

Anyway, so what did this game tell us about this team?

  1. They are decidedly NOT garbage, and if you’re calling for Robin’s firing after this game, you clearly didn’t watch this one. There will be others I’m sure that will validate your feelings about the direction of this program— Kent State was a bad one, for example. They shot the ball 50% or better in the first (57.1% FG & 75% 3PT), third (50% FG), and fourth quarters (50% FG, 50% 3PT).
  2. I'm going to defer to Adeen on this one, who sent me a Slack message during the game that I wholeheartedly agree with. “If we had like, a good big, this team would be undefeated.” Angie tries super hard and provides a nice spark for this team, but she misses a lot of easy buckets and has so much trouble holding on to the ball. I have noticed her fingers are all taped up, and I wonder if that’s part of the problem.
  3. This group is made up of fighters. I was ready to call it a game at several points as early as the third quarter when the Cavs went on an 11-2 run and went up 8 (Adeen too, per our Slack convo). But they kept clawing and scratching their way back into it, and that will win them some games if they can cut down on some of the extraneous stuff.
  4. Virginia is a good basketball team, and if the Tigers can go toe-to-toe with them, then they may surprise some teams in SEC play.
  5. Abbey Schreacke & Grace Slaughter are super solid freshmen additions to this team. Coming in, I think people expected a lot from Grace being the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, but the expectations for Abbey weren’t as high. I LOVE this duo’s style of play and their confidence. Schreacke had the highest +/- for the Tigers at +10.
  6. I have not been super impressed with Abby Feit (Evansville) thus far. I’m guessing the staff hasn’t been overly impressed either as she played only 7 minutes. Hopefully she will get going, as she did some good things in Evansville that led fans to believe this was a good pickup.
  7. Thank (Mizzou) God for Hayley Frank. She didn’t even shoot that well (6-14 FG, 2-9 3PT), but her intensity (7 REB, 2 BLK) kept the Tigers in this game.

As for the Mizzou team that won their part of the ACC-SEC Challenge, here’s the game film from Mizzou’s quad 1 victory at Pitt. Side note: I love the city of Pittsburgh. It’s really cool and PNC is one of my all-time favorite MLB stadiums.

Moving on.

It’s VOLLEYBALL DAY!

Let’s hear from the woman in charge, co-SEC Coach of the Year, Dawn Sullivan!

The Trib’s Chris Kwiecinski wrote about Jordan Iliff’s decision to stick with Mizzou after the (welcome) firing of Joshua Taylor, and her progression this season into a confident woman. Oh yeah, and a really damn good volleyball player— she made All-SEC, after all.

No matter what happens in the NCAA Tournament, Iliff’s goal to be a confident woman has helped change the Missouri volleyball program. She’s set an example for the kind of confident woman who can thrive in Sullivan’s program and take the Tigers to new heights.

I just love this, as it goes along with what Sullivan said in the video above. Iliff is just the kind of player she wants in the program.

“For me, it’s building a culture,” Sullivan said. “It’s building this strong foundation of strong, confident, independent women that can go out in this world and take it on. And that’s what we look to do every single day.”

In case you missed it earlier, Matthew’s amazing Over the Net series featured an interview with this very Tiger back in early November. You can read his last interviewee at 9:30am CT with SEC Libero of the Year, Maya Sands. He’s also got boots on the ground in Lincoln so there will be plenty of coverage from Rock M this weekend.

Eli Hoff took himself inside the Tigers' preparation in his new piece for the Post-Dispatch. This was a really fun one to read, and I highly recommend it. In it, he describes how the Tigers start their practice by getting their minds right. How do they do they do this? By going around the floor and making “swaggy statements.” Sullivan even got Eli involved. Read the exchange below:

“What are you great at, Eli?” Sullivan asked.

“I’d like to think I’m going to be good at turning this into a story,” I told her, not wanting to over-promise and under-deliver on the words you’re reading right now.

“Great,” Sullivan responded. “So you’re incredible at creating stories, right?”

I nodded at her effort to raise my confidence.

“If you say that over and over and over again, it feels better. It sounds stupid, but it’s what you tell yourself every single day and how you approach every single day,” she said. “So we do that before every practice.”

Y’all, I’m not much for this mindset type of stuff. I don’t have anything against it, and know a lot of people who practice this sort of positive affirmation type of thing on the daily, and after reading this article and listening to Dawn and her players, you can tell it really helped them.

One last quote—

Before the postseason even begins, though, there’s an air of change circling through the Hearnes Center. Iliff noticed it while standing on the court and looking up at the gold banners hanging from one end that list NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Dang, we’re going to be up there,” Iliff said. “It feels super rewarding. It feels like this team has just earned it.”

I agree. It’s been a fun season.

M-I-Z.

On to the Links!

Get your teddies ready for Sunday’s Wichita State game!


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Mizzou in the Pros Stuff

  • It’s KOBE BROWN Time! (Clippers)

11/30 v. GSW L 120-114): 6 min | 0pts on 0-1 FG (0-1 3PT) | 1 REB | 2 PF | -6

11/29 v. SAC (W 131-117): 11 min | 3pts on 1-2 FG (1-2 3PT) | 2 REB | 3 PF | -3

11/27 v. DEN (L 113-104): DNP

  • Dru Smith (Heat) is out for the season after a freak accident around Thanksgiving, in case you missed it. The Spurs’ court is slightly raised, and on a close out, Smith’s foot slipped on a piece of paper under the chair of the opposing team’s bench, and slid right off the edge. Really sad for him, especially considering he just signed his first NBA contract. Good news? He’s guaranteed his 1.8 million contract.
  • Jordan Clarkson (Jazz)

11/30 v. MIN (L 101-90): DNP

11/29 v. MEM (L 105-91): 27 min | 12pts on 4-10 FG (2-5 3PT) | 3 REB | 5 AST | 4 TO | -14

11/27 v. NOP (W 114-112): 32 min | 16pts on 4-16 FG (2-9 3PT) | 4 REB | 10 AST | 1 TO | 1 PF | -3

  • Michael Porter, Jr (Nuggies)

11/29 v. HOU (W 134-124): 34 min | 30pts on 11-17 FG (7-12 3PT) | 10 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 2 PF | +26

11/27 v. LAC (W 113-104): 29 min | 8pts on 3-13 FG (2-7 3PT) | 10 REB | 3 AST | 1 TO | 5 PF | +4

11/26 v. SAS (W 132-120): 33 min | 25pts on 8-14 FG (4-9 3PT) | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PF | +15

  • D’Moi Hodge (Lakers)

11/30 v. OKC (L 133-110): 4 min | 0pts on 0-1 FG (0-1 3PT) | -5

11/29 v. DET (W 133-107): 5 min | 3pts on 1-3 FG (1-2 3PT) | 1 STL | 1 PF | -7

11/27 v. 76ers (L 138-94): 8 min | 3pts on 1-3 FG (1-3 3PT) | 1 AST | 1 PF | =17

  • Jeremiah Tilmon (Greensboro Swarm— CLT G-League):

11/29 v. CPS (L 106-79): 16 min | 6pts on 1-3 FG | 1 BLK | 1 PF | -3

11/25 v. WES (L 109-100): 13 min | 0 pts on 0-1 FG | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 BLK | 2 PF | -6

  • Isiaih Mosley (Greensboro Swarm— CLT G-League):

11/29 v. CPS (L 106-79): DNP

11/25 v. WES (L 109-100): DNP

  • Jontay Porter (Motor City Cruise— DET G-League): Exhibit 10 contract

11/30 v. HERD (W 137-108): 26 min | 19pts on 8-14 FG (0-3 3PT) | 12 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 5 TO | 4 PF | +10

11/28 v. SXF (L 145-127): 22 min | 5pts on 2-7 FG (1-4 3PT) | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PF | -15

Social Media Stuff

  • Tiger Style kicks off conference play this weekend with a ranked matchup.
  • Get to know Jade Zamora!
  • Deep thoughts from Watkins
  • Welcome, Camden!
  • Next week the schedule will be unveiled. We’ll have a Reacts piece, of course
  • Notable
  • I’d love to see it
  • Congrats to MPJ (17.6 ppg) and my favorite tattooed baller, Jordan Clarkson (17.8 ppg) on their very successful NBA careers
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