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Ready or not, Missouri begins SEC basketball play tonight against Georgia

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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Mizzou Tigers pennant Ready or not, here comes SEC Basketball Fever

And it starts early: 5:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

MUtigers.com: SEC Schedule Begins for @MizzouHoops at Georgia on Wednesday

* Junior guard Wes Clark set a new career-high with 22 points vs. Savannah State (Jan. 2) on 9-of-10 shooting. Clark has scored in double-digits in three consecutive games, five time this season and 18 times in his career.

* Clark did not miss a single shot in the first half. Clark was 5-of-5 from the field, including 1-of-1 from beyond the three-point line and 1-of-1 from the free throw line.

* Clark had three steals and two blocks in the game, the third time this season he has reached three steals and the first time in his career he has recorded multiple blocks in a game.

* Clark has led Mizzou in scoring three times this season after doing so in five games during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Trib: SEC Notes: Anderson sees balance among SEC teams at start of league schedule

The question Missouri fans want answered is how the Tigers will measure up — specifically what chance do they have of climbing out of the bottom of the SEC standings, where they were buried last season with a 3-15 league record?

"We haven’t really sat down and said we want to win this many games or that," he said. "I think our goals are to try to continue to improve. Obviously, you want to improve upon how you did last year, try to play well every game, try to avoid a streak like we did.

"But I’m not really going to talk about that much. I think we’re mostly just, ‘OK, let’s see if we can improve every game, see if we can mature as a group, see if we can hang together when there’ll be tough times, see if we can hang together and not let adversity get us down on the court.’"

Post-Dispatch: Preview: Missouri at Georgia

Mark Fox’s seventh season in Athens began ominously with an overtime loss to Chattanooga at home. The Bulldogs have since lost to Seton Hall on the road and Kansas State at home, plus Saturday’s league-opening loss at Florida. Ranked No. 54 by ESPN’s RPI measure, Georgia has played the nation’s ninth-toughest schedule but has just one win over a top-100 RPI team: No. 66 Georgia Tech. … Yante Maten, a role player off the bench last year, has emerged as Fox’s top scoring threat inside. The 6-8 sophomore began the week in the top 10 in several SEC categories: No. 7 with 16.6 points per game, No. 8 with 7.5 rebounds per game, No. 5 at 1.8 blocks per game and No. 2 in shooting at 57.7 percent. … Guards J.J. Frazier, Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann are all capable of scoring in double digits. Mann gets to the free throw line as well as any guard in the SEC with 78 attempts in 11 games.

Post-Dispatch: SEC basketball off to lackluster start

Charity Challenge
MUtigers.com: Help Support Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia, MO in the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge

Mizzou Tigers pennant Recovery time for the Fightin' Pingetons

ESPN.com: Why the Missouri Tigers shouldn't be underestimated

"For Sophie, just to be able to understand the impact that she can have on both ends of the court," Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said, "and in those huddles from a leadership standpoint, that's something we'll continue to talk to her about. And she'll embrace it; that kid's got a motor."

About the only way Cunningham could have been more destined to play for Mizzou is if she'd been born with Tiger stripes. Figuratively, she was: her father (football), mother (track) and aunt (basketball) all were Mizzou athletes, as is her sister, Lindsey, a redshirt junior guard for the Tigers. [...]

So, let's be frank: It's not impossible that the Tigers could start 0-6 in league play -- yet still be a good team. It's a tough haul in the SEC, and when your best player is a freshman -- Sophie Cunningham is averaging a team-best 15.1 points, with Frericks next at 12.5 -- there are going to be growing pains.

The Trib: Tigers see what elite looks like

MUtigers.com: @MizzouWBB’s Cierra Porter Named SEC Freshman of the Week

Mizzou Tigers pennant I wish I had something profound to say about this...

...but I really don't. Tough read. People like to say that when we get to the point of being able to diagnose and read CTE in living people, "it's all over for football," but I think it's going to be necessary for football's survival. As it stands, we make slight tweaks in rules and techniques, and then wait 25 years to see if they worked. That's not a very good model.

Post-Dispatch: Former Mizzou player 'in the prime of life' had a disease 'destroying his brain'

Mizzou Tigers pennant Meanwhile, on the courts...

MUtigers.com: Spring Schedule Starts with Weinman Foundation Invitational in Hawaii for @MizzouTennis
MUtigers.com: @MizzouTennis Doubles Team of Hine and Santos Ranked in ITA Rankings
MUtigers.com: A Sweep in Doubles Play Highlights Day One at Weinman Foundation Invitational for @MizzouTennis