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Tobias Ten: Photos that defined the week (5th edition)

RMN’s staff photographer breaks down his 10 favorites for the week of January 15-21.

Truman the Tiger lies down on the court in grief after a Mizzou student failed the golf-putt challenge in embarrassing fashion.
Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

The Missouri men’s and women’s basketball teams returned this week from road games in much warmer climates to find a campus bereft of warm weather but full of students once again. These loyal students braved extreme cold and walked uphill both ways to make it to Mizzou Arena, where the men and women split two conference games against Florida and Georgia

The men’s team couldn’t overcome Florida, while the women collected an impressive win against Georgia. As Rock M Nation’s staff photographer, here are some of my favorite frames (5 from each game) in this week’s Tobias Ten.

  1. Truman tamed??
Missouri mascot Truman the Tiger lies down on the court during Missouri's Jan. 20 game against Florida after a student missed a golf putt challenge during a timeout in which he could have won a cash prize. Missouri lost to Florida, 79-67. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Everyone loves Truman, so I think we all hate to see him sad. One of Mizzou’s various timeout entertainment gimmicks is a challenge where a contestant putts across the length of the court for a cash prize. This is obviously very difficult, but not only did this student miss, he somehow hit a bouncing shot backwards??? This was clearly too much for our beloved Tiger. After Mizzou lost this game by 12 later that night, I’m sure many fans left the arena feeling like Truman.

2. Himmy Bates

Missouri guard Tamar Bates waits for play to resume during substitutions in the second half of Mizzou's Jan. 20th game against Florida. By this time in the game, Bates had scored 28 of Missouri's 55 points. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Tamar Bates, the lone bright spot of the loss to Florida, played 34 minutes and scored 36 points, scoring more than half of the team’s 67. Sean East II’s uncharacteristically slow night forced Bates to take on the bulk of scoring.

This photo kind of reminded me of one made of Jimmy Butler after Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals— Butler played all but 48 seconds of the game and finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. In Butler’s case, the Heat beat the Lakers, but fell in six games. Bates that night played the Butler role, giving his all only for the team to falter.

3. Guards! Seize him!

Florida basketball coach Todd Golden points at Missouri guard Tamar Bates in the first half of a game on Jan. 20th. Bates would go on to lead the team with 36 total points. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Florida did not have much of an answer for Tamar Bates, who seemingly was able to score from anywhere on the court all night long. Here, Florida head coach Todd Golden points to Bates, as if to say, “Guard this guy, the one right here!” (editor’s note: LOVE Golden’s Jordans)

4. Game Time

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

When a team is trailing late, it’s said that they’re fighting the clock more than they’re fighting against the other team. (What?? Obviously, they’re fighting the other team. That’s how you win the game!!) Nevertheless, here head coach Dennis Gates and assistant Dickey Nutt emphasize the message that apparently, time is running out.

5. Two-Front War

Missouri associate head coach C.Y. Young throws his hands up in disbelief during a game against Florida on Sat. January 20. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Assistant coach C.Y. Young was seen here on the sidelines framed by a referee and a Florida player. I thought it was great because it shows exactly how Young might have felt at the moment— his team was fighting two fights, against referee and Gator alike. (Can we take a second to appreciate C.Y.’s drip? He wins my 2023 “Best Dressed of Mizzou” award.)

6. Blinded By The Lights

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Team introductions at Mizzou have gotten extremely elaborate recently, with laser light shows and animations projected on the court. Here, head coach Robin Pingeton is seen lit by one of the spotlights that precede the intros.

7. Turn Off the Lights

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Turning to the women’s game, this one captured KOMU Sports Director Ben Arnet during the national anthem. The main stadium lights had been turned off, but KOMU’s portable lighting stands stayed on, so Arnet, doing play-by-play for SEC Network that night, was for a second the only bright spot in the arena.

8. Between the Lines

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Following Hayley Frank around with a zoom lens brought me this fun picture, where Frank’s eyes are seen framed by the fingers of Georgia forward Fatima Diakhate. Tough Georgia defense was not enough to stop Frank, who finished with 24 points, four rebounds, and five assists.

9. Say what???

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

One of my favorite things in basketball is when a ref makes a bold call and the entire team acts with such shock as if the referee has five heads (like this one picture I took at a high school game years ago, a picture which I honestly have never surpassed.) Not sure which way the call went, as all players appear at least somewhat dumbfounded.

10. They go high, we go low

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

One of the reasons why women’s basketball can be more interesting than the men’s game is that the size difference causes teams to be much more strategic, especially with passing and setting up plays. Here, Abbey Schreacke employs one of the classic passing moves; countering an in-your-face defense with a low bounce pass. They never see it coming!