Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time to prove. Missouri Basketball opens practice Friday. Picked 7th in Big 12 again.

Just about a year ago from now the Missouri basketball team was preparing for the 2008-2009 season. Looking at the 2008-2009 preseason Big 12 coaches poll, Mike Anderson and crew stared down at the long list of twelve teams noticing that the team was picked seventh in the conference. Now quite the spot they were wanting to be picked. Also just a year ago, hard to believe now but Mike Anderson was one of the top coaches in the nation on the hot seat. But that all changed when the tigers racked up a school's best record in history with a 31-7 and a Big 12 tournament championship and a trip to the Elite eight. That quickly turned Anderson to one of the hottest coaches in the nation to coach a team. But was last year a fluke of Anderson proving that his system was kicking in and was just the beginning of his great career? Or will he just go back to his usual self and lead this team to the cellur of the Big 12 like he did his first three seasons? What he does this year, is how we will find out. Now is where the story begins.

Walking into the Big 12 media day on Wednesday, he notice something that he has seen before. He heard some of the things that he has heard before. The tigers were ranked by the Big 12 coaches for the second consecutive year to finish seventh in the Big 12. Which is very understandable losing three of there top scorers in Demarie Carroll, Leo Lyons and sharp-shooter Matt Lawrence. But a lot of fans doesn't think that will matter returning stud guards J.T Tiller and Zaire Taylor a long with the heart and soule of the team Kimmie English.

If you look very closely to the box score last season against UCONN in the Elite Eight, the bench came alive sending a message to tiger faithful that they had something coming for this season had if they lost. Justin Safford came off the bench and scored ten points, Keith Ramsey came in and scored nine. Right there gives you nineteen easy points. Than you got Sophomore Kimmi English who scored thirteen off the bench against firs round exit Cornell. This team still has depth and the tigers are not afraid of what the coaches and fans from other schools are saying about them. They are just ready to prove it again.

Forward Kimmie English shows his fearless emotions is the media day conference marking a quote that was once said by the great Derrick Chevious "The table's been set, now lets eat.

As for Anderson, he know's that this team is full of surprises for this season. You can't just be picked seventh in the conference and finish third by luck. That's a four spot huge move. If the tigers finished third last season and is expected to finish seventh, that would make a record for the largest move by a Big 12 team from finishing the season to beginning another season ranked back. I say they finish around fifth.

One thing is true. This tiger team is no 2004-2005, 2005-2006 kind of team. They don't enter the preseason as a nobody or a team that was expected a ten win season at best. Columbia is no longer a town of dead tigers. This is no Quin Snyder team. This is Mike Anderson's zou. After last year's success, everybody knows who Missouri is and every fan of another school will be saying "Oh man, We will be lucky to walk out of Columbia with a win." They are now the Missouri Tigers.

This year, they will have to prove that Missouri and Mike Anderson is here to stay and prove they are not a one and done.

So the final question comes down to be wondered, Were they a one hit wonder? Or are they for real? Its time to prove.

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