Monday, October 25, 2010

2010-2011 Missouri Basketball Preview.

The number eleven Missouri football team just knocked off the number one team in the country, Oklahoma on Saturday night. Missouri gained some respect and are now up to number six with a HUGE game this weekend with number fourteen Nebraska in Lincoln. Big things are heating up in Columbia while it's starting to cool off outside and feeling a bit more like Basketball season.

The shoes are squeaking, the water is being begged for, and the players and fans around Missouri is anxious. Anxious for what could be a very exciting year for Missouri basketball. Missouri is ranked in the final and official College Pre-Season basketball polls at number 14. Behind fellow Big 12 members Kansas State, Kansas, and Baylor. Missouri is also picked 5Th in the Big 12 pre-season poll. But first, there are some fact that have got to be toled about this years team.

-In 2008-2009 Missouri made the Elite Eight and recorded a school high wins with no player ranked in the top 100.
-In 2010-2011 Missouri has a player ranked in the top 30 named Phil Pressey and a kid in the Top 15 who is trying to make his way second semester, Tony Mitchell.

So if you thought the 08-09 season was big, you could be in for an even bigger surprise.

Mike Anderson is entering his 5Th season as the Missouri Basketball head coach and he has a very stout group of guys. But the question is, can anybody replace J.T Tiller, Zaire Taylor, and Keith Ramsey?

One player that a lot are ready to see is Matt Pressey. Big Pressey has very good hands and is a down right defender. Through Junior College and Open scrimmages, fans and coaches have compared him a lot to J.T Tiller, he will also see significant minutes.

Junior College transfer Ricardo Ratliffe could be the missing piece that Missouri has been waiting for since Arthur Johnson left. He has the height and weight to bang in the paint. He's the key to replace Ramsey. He has a body like Former Texas center Dexter Pittman.

The guards- Freshman stud Phil Pressey is ready to roll. Very quick and has very nice hops for a 5'10 Point. Ask him to dunk with one hand and he will leave you in shock. Very nice release on his shot. A lot Will reply on Junior Marcus Denmon to run the floor as well, when Missouri is in need Denmon can be the go to guy for a quick score or a hand in the face defender. Speed man Mike Dixon is back looking for a bigger season than his freshman season. He shocked a lot last year and is getting a lot better at driving to the basket. Former walk-on Jarret Sutton is working hard to get productive minutes in the line-up. Very good release and can shoot outside the perimeter.

Forwards- Justin Safford is back and stronger than ever. He is the key to this years team. He has everything that a fan would want out of a leading senior. Missouri can go a long way and erase some question about Tony Mithell until he arrives, if Saffrod can play up to his true potential. Junior Laurence Bowers is the provide man on this years team, he is there to knock down fifteen footers and to provide more body inside the key. Steve Moore could be the more improved player. He gained some weight back but can still bang and help Ratliffe defend on the inside. Sophomore John Underwood will also be looking for productive minutes to help on the defense. Junior Kimmie English, last years leading scorer must be ready to lead this team. Gym rat off and on the court must be ready to make buckets when the team calls on his name. Freshman Ricky Kreklow has an outstanding release and could possibly be the best 3 point man on the team, but don't let the kid fool you. He can also drive the ball. If Freshman Kadeem Green can stay healthy, he will also fight for a starting role later in the season.

This is no line up to mess with. Mike Anderson once again has depth and every time Missouri brings back Anderson there going to be even better year after year and can always be the most dangerous and sneakiest team in the country.

Now lets take a look at the roster and our predicted starting line up.
G. Mike Dixon
G. Marcus Denmon
F. Kimmie English
F. Justin Safford
C. Ricardo Ratliffe

First In's.
G. Phil Pressey
G. Matt Pressey
F. Laurence Bowers
F. Kadeem Green
C. Steve Moore

Last Tier.
G. Jarret Sutton
F. Ricky Kreklow
F. John Underwood

Missouri Basketball final overview and outlook- Missouri realistically could win every game on the schedule if they can play up to their potential and ware down others as seen before. Missouri has some tough key games before going in to conference play. #15 Illinois in Saint Louis, #21 Georgetown in Kansas City, Vanderbilt and at Oregon. Midwest Best has Missouri finishing 25-5 (12-4) Finishing fourth in the Big 12 and making an Elite Eight run.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big Ten, Here comes Missouri! Or not?

All along we knew that the Big twelve was coming down in flames. We knew where some teams were going or maybe heading. But who started this whole mess and talk? Nebraska and Missouri. First, it started out with rumors. Than the talk began to progress into something special and something fishy.

Late in the 2009 football season, the talk of moving to the big ten was back at it again. It is not the first time. Missouri and fans claimed that they wanted a change in sports due to the lack of respect the committee has shown. For example: In 2007, The Kansas Jayhawks were selected to go on and play in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech when Missouri beat them head to head in the last game of the season and went on to play Oklahoma in the Big twelve Championship. Another example Missouri fans were discussed with was in 2008 when the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4) was selected to play Arizona State in the Holiday bowl over Missouri (9-4) who beat Nebraska head to head in the regular season and went onto once again play Oklahoma in the Big twelve championship game. Things like that you must consider.

Another reason might for a change is for the academics. Statistics shows that no team in the Big Ten has recently failed a grade to be ineligible. Climbing in at one of the best academic conferences. Where in the Big Twelve you have Iowa State, and Colorado who just got thrown on probation for having low grades over the year.

Well things went on, Rumors went on. Until last week the Big Twelve gave Missouri and Nebraska till June, 11Th to make their decision on weather they're going to the Big Ten or staying in the Big Twelve. On Wednesday, Nebraska became the first volunteer and accepted the invite from the Big Ten.

The next process and talk everybody was waiting for was if Missouri would follow and join. However on Thursday, The Big Ten told reports that they had never gave Missouri an invitation to join the Big 10. Had if Missouri was just fooling all along? A writer in the Kansas City Star said Missouri told everybody that they had an invite an was talking about going was to get attention and scare the Big Twelve.

So what will happen to the mighty tigers if the Big Twelve really does go down to the bottom? With Nebraska in the Big Ten. Colorado who bolted to the PAC Ten on Thursday. Also the PAC Ten wants six other Big Twelve schools. According to ESPN, Kansas might be getting an offer from the ACC or Big East and Kansas State could be getting an offer from The Big East. Other talk has been maybe should the pieces that's left of the Big Twelve try adding on? If so could we see BYU, Houston, Memphis join? If not where would the tigers go? Would they go independent or join a conference? According to Gary Forsee who is the presidents, he wouldn't mid seeing Missouri stay. Gary Forsee president of the University of Missouri education system, stated forcefully late Thursday afternoon that he feels no need to pledge that Missouri will not leave the Big 12 Conference.

Also in a press conference earlier today Dan Beebe, the Big Twelve commissioner was quoted as saying "working tirelessly to retain the viability of the Big 12". So as it looks, Missouri may either be staying in a to hope rebuilding conference or try to find an open conference. Time will only tell.

After recent news, rumors are swaying that perhaps Missouri may get an invite to play in the Missouri Valley Conference or the Conference USA.

No matter where the tigers head, it will still be worth it. They will still be the team they were in the Big Twelve. The same athletic hostile and an even smarter university.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The boys from back than are back!

Missouri, Kansas State, Baylor are three teams you need to know. The tree teams have gained so much love and respect in the latest College Basketball Associate pre-season polls.

In the ESPN.Com latest Pre-Season top 25. The Baylor Bears are ranked number four followed by Kansas State at five, and The Missouri Tigers coming in at number 14! And to think where these three teams were before? Your about to learn.

The Baylor Bears, Congrats! The Bears are running wild in Waco. In the early 2000 season, the Baylor Bear mens basketball teams were very close to not having a mens basketball team. The men's basketball program was troubled by scandal in 2003. Patrick Dennehy a player for the team, was murdered by a former player teammate when then coach Dave Bliss was forced to resign amidst allegations that he had made improper financial payments to players and planned to cover his actions by characterizing Dennehy as a drug dealer. The school placed itself on probation, limited itself to 7 scholarships for two years and imposed a post-season ban for one year. Additionally, the NCAA further punished the team by inforcing a non-conference ban for the 2005-2006 season and extending the probationary period during which the school would have limited recruiting privileges. After that had all occured, fans thought baylor was doomed. But not untill Coach Scott Drew took over. Drew took over a program left in a shambles as a result of the scandal. Besides losing most of its top players, the program was put on probation until 2010, and had paid scholarships and paid recruiting visits reduced until 2007. Post season play was also cancelled for the 2003-2004 season, and only conference games were permitted for the 2005-2006 season. With these handicaps, Drew led the Bears to an 8-21 record in the 2003-2004 season, 9-19 in the 2004-2005 season, and 4-13 in the conference-only 2005-2006 season. After thier third straight 20 win season Drew in currently a hero in Waco. Now going into his 8th season as the Bears coach, he is looking up and should be named one of the best coaches in this decade for what he's done. Now the bears are locked into a top 4 ranking and ready to roll.

The Missouri tigers, like the bears have also came a long way. After Back to Back to Back NCAA tournament appearances in the early 2000's. Missouri recruited a kid by the name of Ricky Clemons. After one year in a Missouri uniform, Clemons was put into jail for assulting his girlfriend and recieving money while attending the Unniversity of Missouri and later put on probation until June 12, 2005, after pleading guilty to charges of false imprisonment and third-degree domestic assault in a January 2003 incident involving former girlfriend, Jessica Bunge. She accused Clemons of choking her and holding her against her will at his apartment in Columbia. In 2005 Snyder resigned as the Missouris mens basketball coach. His resignation led to a prolonged controversy over the actions of Athletic Director Mike Alden's handling of the dismissal due to giving money to other players. Than Missouri fans didnt know if they would be a program again. Untill Mike Anderson was hired at Missouri. After two years of a rough Missouri coaching career, Anderson showed Missouri fans exactly what he promised. Taking Missouri to a 31-7 years, winning the Big 12 tournament title and reaching the NCAA Elite Eight. Now with the tigers impressive 2010 recruiting the tigers have reached their way up to #14 in the ESPN pre-season polls. The best in 10 years.

Kansas State has also came a ways. After the program damage the former coach Jim woolridge left, Kansas State fans were left in fright. Wondering who would come a long and turn this prgram around? Than came Bob Huggins, who left after one year of taking the Kansas State mens basketball team to their first NCAA tournament in 5 years. Than came the wild man of Frnak Martin and it did not take him long to establish the Kansas State program. After one year of leading the wildcat team to the NIT, Martin took the cats back to the tournament, except this time it would not be a let down. The NCAA Tourmament where the cats were knocked out in the Elite Eight. After pulling in one of the top classes, Kansas State is back into the Top 5 in a long time.

Big 12 fans should be glad to see Baylor basketball turned back around from what it use to be. The bears are running wild in Waco. To see Missouri as well, when they use to be in so much pain. Seeing these two teams improve from where they were is good to see. Along with what Martin is doing at Kansas State. Its neat to see Kansas State, Baylor, Missouri all back in the top 25. Instead of the same ole Kansas, Texas,Oklahoma State, Texas A&M. Seeing new teams in their is a great eye and hope that they excite some Big 12 Basketball this year, which I belive they will!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oregon came calling. Anderson stayed home.

Hey man, have you heard about Mike Anderson and Oregon? Oh no, whats happening? I guess Oregon is attacking him and Anderson is listening. No way!

It's true. Thursday night the University of Missouri gave Oregon permission to have contact with Missouri coach Mike Anderson in El Paso, Texas at a Nolan Richardson Golf invitational.

The Oregon Ducks offered Mike Anderson a $3 Million a year contract to become the next Oregon University Ducks coach. Thats more than what Missouri is paying him. Anderson like before turned down the job to stay in Columbia to coach with the tigers.

For the second year in a row since Missouri won their first Big 12 Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight Mike Anderson had declined big time money from big time programs. Starting from Memphis, Georgia, Alabama, and now Oregon. This, my friend means Anderson wants to be a tiger. He doesnt care about the money right at the moment. There is only one thing Mike Anderson is shooting for at Missouri and thats exactly what he said when he got hired at the press conferance. "I will bring home a National Title, before i'm said and done with Mizzou"

Just a while back their were talks about Mike Anderson leaving Missouri for Arkansas but later on were discoverd there werent any contact between the two schools.

Some Missouri fans have even been caught being mad at Mike Anderson for such a little phase in listening to Oregon. But seriously, what coach in College Baskateball from Roy Williams, Bill Self, and among other greats would not listen to a program who are offering big bucks? I know I would, if I were a coach.

I tell you what, if you would have told me in 2006 the day Missouri hired Mike Anderson that Missouri in two years would make the Elite Eight and win the Big 12 Championship and have the #10 recruiting class in the nation a year later, I would have told you that there is no way it would take Mike Anderson that quick to do that. In fact, after Anderson's first two seasons at Missouri he was put on ESPN'S pre-season hot seat list. But that all turned away after Anderson's Elite Eight run. But at the end Mike Anderson admitted all that did was get him closer to the University of Missouri. He know's where his heart is, and thats at the University of Missouri.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things are getting wild in Columbia!

Wow! What a class that the Missouri Basketball team is getting for the 2011-2012 season? Or shall we say, What a job Mike Anderson is doing?
If you live in Columbia or near by Columbia, be ready to hear a loud roar. A roar that probably hasn't been heard of for a while. Missouri currently ranks #11 in the newest ESPN recruiting rankings. After signing #13 player at his position in the nation Tony Mitchell and a top 50 player in Phil Pressey. Missouri fans were happy and ready for next season already, but hold up!

On Sunday April 11Th, there were two highly recruited players who signed on to play for Missouri. That add consist of the #1 Junior College player in the nation Ricardo Ratliffe, who was also looking to jump to the pros this year, but rather stay in school for better chances. Also added was another sharp shooter in Matt Pressey.

Now Missouri fans have more on the list of an off-season that they just cannot wait to be over! I know as a die-hard Missouri fan I have NEVER seen a class as good as this one since the days of maybe Gilbert and Rush, and that's pushing it. As MU fans we should probably expect to win the Big 12 next year. I think there are two large areas of concern that may/may not derail those expectations.

This team didn't only get 100 percent more talented but also 100 percent more depth. this could be the deepest bench in the Big 12 next year perhaps one of the top in the nation. Our scoring woes from last year are covered. We had the Defense just not the scoring to support it at times. Pressey, Mitchell, Ratliffe could easily add 40 points a game between the three. It will be exciting next year prepare for some high flying dunks and fast break madness.

This is the kind of team that we need to build up for our first ever Final Four. This team can do it! By and large I think we'll be vastly improved offensively. Our three best offensive players all return and are at the career development point that you would expect a large jump in terms of consistency and effectiveness.

Having low post options will only improve them. This will almost surely be our deepest and most talented team under Anderson. The options we have and the waves of talent we'll be able to throw at people is almost frightening. Its a good position to be in. We've been characterized in that past as a sum greater than its parts that is largely successful by sharing the ball and playing harder than the opposition. It will be interesting to see if that dynamic shifts to a degree this season. But like I said I think the Big 12 is ours to lose next year at this point.

I cannot see any team top to bottom more established with experience,depth, and talent in the Big 12 next year. I'm just in shock right now how quickly the Rattliffe transaction took place. Two weeks ago we were asking why Coach Mike Anderson wasn't going after him. Anyone that hasn't seen Ratliffe play are in for a treat. He is like Ramsey but a ton more talent and a natural scorer. Blocks well plays smart and Rebounding machine. Giving up Stone for him is a no brainer.

So Missouri fans should be very excited and impatient for this 2011-2012 season to approach. But first things are first we must all wait but trust me, it will be worth it.

Way to early Big 12 Predictions.
1. Kansas (Until the can be beat, they deserve a #1 spot)
2. Missouri
3. Kansas State
4. Baylor
5. Texas A&M
6. Texas
7. Oklahoma State
8. Colorado
9. Iowa State
10. Nebraska
11. Oklahoma
12. Texas Tech

Monday, February 1, 2010

Missouri continues to improve, Moves into 3rd. Shooting got to imporve.

Texas A&M, you are now on the clock. The Missouri tigers continue to improve but not impressing. Twenty one games in and the tigers are 16-5 (4-2) but dont let the records fool you to much. The tigers who were picked by many to finish 8th-9th in confrence know that the season is not over and to gain their momentume the HAVE to shoot the ball a lot better and play their defense the way its suppose to be played.

The tigers know they can play and win at home. That showed Saturday against Oklahoma State when they probably for the first time this season play a whole 40 minutes of basketball. But on the road they HAVE got to play the full 40 minutes and the players have got to show. Against hatred rivals Kansas, the tigers shot a desperate 19-60 and shot under 30 percent. Thats the worse the tigers have shot all season. Grant Lawrence is very tough to play and not many were predicting a win. Against a bad Oklahoma team in Norman the tigers only shot 23-64. There second worse this season and both were on the road. One main problem for the tigers is getting out rebounded. Their shouldnt be any excuse for that. Both Keith Ramsey and Laurence Bowers are 6'9 and range 3rd-4th biggest men in the confrance. But help is on the way, next season when the tiger fans see the arival on Tony Mitchell.

Looking at the Big 12 stats as they lay today, the tigers have improved bunch after their win Saturday. The tigers are third in scoring on offense and fourth on scoring defense. Thats real impressive so far. But their shooting is poor ranking eith in the league. The three ball is going so well this season as the tigers rank fifth and one of the tops from letting teams shoot the long ball at first in the league of 3pt defense. If they can continue this hot note and shoot the ball better, the tigers can be very dangerous coming up.

In order for the tigers to win on the road against ranked Baylor, all the things such as shooting, rebounding and the key players like Kimmie English, Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon, and J.T Tiller must show up and play good. The tigers must have their full court defense clicking which again hasnt done much on the road.

The toughest however remains to be at home. Texas and Kansas are very aware of the damage Missouri is doing at home and their big men will be ready. If Missouri can shoot the ball and play defense the way they do at home with a loud crowd, they can escape with a win with no problem, but doing it is the key.

The tigers have a bright future. They should no doubt be a top three prediction for the Big Tweleve next season and a top fifteen team. Mike Anderson is doing his job and the players have to continue paying his job off, but before looking ahead to a what should be exciting year next season, they must continue and go out with a bang this year and show the media what they did wrong picking the tigers 8th-9th in the Big Tweleve!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missouri on the rise.

If you would have told me after Missouri lost at Vanderbilt and than one week later lost at Oral Roberts that the tigers would beat Texas Tech on the or, or even Kansas State at home I would have told you that your nuts. If you would have asked me what I though, I would have told you to hit the road. But you can blaim the winning tigers on a little note like "Mike Anderson does it again"

Rarely do you see the tigers ever get tossed out of a game by more than ten if even that many. Under Mike Anderson, you will never see the tigers not play hard and will refuse to get beat. With their impressive 2-0 start which marks their best confrence start since 2003, I have one serious question for the Big 12 coaches and the national media. Who in the world picked these Missouri tigers to finish 7th or 8th in the confrence? Thats just unbelievable!

Looking at Missouri's next four games, its a clear shot going into Lawrence to play the Jayhawks on Big Monday in two weeks. Next up is at Oklahoma to take on the 10-6 Sooners who havnt hit their hot streak yet. Than Missouri will head back home against Nebraska, who the tigers rarely never loses at home. Than here they go marching into Lawrence. There is no excuse that the tigers should be 17-3 (4-0) in confrence and in the top 20 going into this game. I wouldn't be suprised if the tigers were picked by some to win this game and really did walk out with the win. The jayhawks clearly do not look that strong and doesnt look like a top 15 team right at the moment.

Looking at the rest of the confrence, and call me a joker but this Missouri team if worked hard enough could win it's very first Big 12 regular season title. With both Kansas and Texas struggling and with both haveing to walk into Columbia along with Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, who else is their to worry about? The toughest comes to the Mizzou Arena this year. Yes, Kansas State will be tough to play in Manhatten but, Mike Anderson will have a lot of confrence game in to be able to have his team ready for the purple and white cats.

I got to catch up with a couple tiger fans after their win against Kansas State, and with top five star recruits Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey a lot are very excited for whats coming and said that the motto Anderson gave right after he signed his first contract of "I will bring a national title to Missouri" could come a lot sooner than you think, and I believe it. There is another good thing about that motto he gave, he will be a tiger untill he does that. The tigers are good. This isnt the tiger team to say, well if you want an easy win just play the Missouri Tigers. Them days are over. Teams have to fight in order to beat Missouri. When ESPN play-by-play Jay Dvis done the game against Oregon, Jay Davis repeatedly called the Mizzou Arena the woodchipper and who ever walks in, usually walks out with a few bruises. One thing that the tigers have to remember as the season goes on that, they are no longer the team that enters the contest of a "this could be a win, we should beat the tigers. They might upset us, who knows? Well every team knows who the tigers are now, there is no sneaking up from behind on someone. Now the tigers have to play from the git-go and finish the game with a fire in the rear.