Mizzou basketball

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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:35 am

Perhaps the most encouraging thing about Sunday was MP Jr's response to the loss. Several columnists have talked about his demeanor in the postgame news conference...his sincere disappointment in losing the game, taking the blame, talking about how much better he could have played. Would have been very easy for him to discount it as no big deal...I'll be fine...we played tough...etc. As BenFred said is his P-D column this morning...Porter's response was maybe a little 'over the top' for an exhibition game, but when your best player takes losing personally, and also seems to be the hardest worker on the team, that can only be a good thing...especially for a program that has become accustomed to 'we tried hard but came up short'.

Add that to the comments Cardsfan talks about above, re: Barnett's defensive effort, and you've got a potentially tough team developing. If this group really 'buys in' to Martin's system...and to his demanding style that requires all-out effort, especially defensively, they really could be something special.
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:23 am

Here we go!!! What a weekend in COMO! Mizzou Arena should be packed and rocking tonight and Faurot Field should be as exciting a place to be tomorrow as it has all season!!!

Amazing thing for me, this morning -- it took me almost an hour to peruse my normal sports pages and read all the Mizzou basketball content. Five good articles on the P-D website alone this morning!

Anybody making the trip?? Cardsfan? Bueller?
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby cardsfan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:51 pm

I did make the trip and it was great. Just so great to finally have full arena and enthusiasm back for Mizzou basketball. Seems like a long time since we really cared. I'm excited enough I'll drive back down tonight for Wagner. Lotta trips to Columbia lately.

My thoughts on the team:
--Obviously, disappointing that MPJr didn't play much. Sure do hope that isn't an injury that will linger for long. But the team didn't really seem to miss a beat.
--I struggle to remember a Mizzou team with more depth in the front court. Man, they have got length. Iowa State not a great team and they were lacking 2 of their bigger players so they were just overmatched for size. But I just don't know that I've ever seen a Mizzou team with this much size.
--Tilmon looks legit. Physically imposing. Played hard the whole game. Both ends of the floor. The story I'd heard on him was he'd be a factor defense and boards but not much of a scorer. I know he was playing against guys 3" shorter than he was but he sure looks like he's got skills to score to me. Really cute little left-hand half hook. His footwork in the post looked great. Just a really nice looking player to me.
--Puryear and Barnett looked great. Tilmon and maybe Jontay will allow those guys to play where they should play and for one game at least it seemed to really help them. I have thought that Puryear would surprise people this season when he wouldn't be asked to guard other team's post player and wouldn't be drawing the other team's best defensive big man.
--Overall, I thought team defense was very solid. We gave up some penetration from ISU guards....who appeared to be real quick. That's the downside of playing so much size......guys like Puryear and Barnett will be asked to guard quicker players. But with Tilmon and others inside, the ISU guards got shots blocked early and seemed to mostly lose their nerve to try to get to the rim. Sure looked like effort defensively was terrific.
--It's early and I'm sure Coach Martin is still searching for combinations. His substitutions made my head spin at times. I'm sure he'll shorten that rotation and with MPJr on the floor, probably see a bit less. But early in the year, it's good to get everybody some minutes.
--Geist surprised me...I wasn't sure he'd be a guy who would ever see the floor. I've read quite a bit that Martin loves Geist and that he would end up playing some and really I thought he was pretty good. I think he probably needs to take fewer shots but he hit a couple on Friday.
--Point guard looks like the biggest question mark to me. Robertson was ok but he's never played the point and from just watching one game, I really think he's better as a 2 guard....and his reputation is as a great spot-up shooter. I don't expect that ideally Robertson will be the primary point guard but we'll see. Harris just didn't show much, but first game as a freshman so certainly too soon to judge. I think we'll be best if Harris can be the primary point guard. Geist may get some minutes there. I'm curious to see if Phillips will get more minutes than Geist going forward. I assumed he would be ahead but not sure now.
--Martin can put a lot of different looks out on the floor. With Tilmon, Puryear, Barnett, Porter and Porter, you have 5 legit players who are 6'7" and taller and really you can play any 4 of them at the same time with a point guard. All 5 of those guys look to have the ability to go down to the block and post up if they are matched up with a smaller players, which some of them will be definitely against most teams.
--Minor concern #1--(And I'm sure not grumbling about anything at this point) They didn't look good at all trying to run fast break. ISU was quick so we didn't get a lot of opportunities but Robertson looked uncomfortable pushing the ball and we turned the ball over a few times trying to go fast. I think MPJr will make a huge impact on this and I'd hope that Harris will be able to take over that point at some point.
--Minor concern #2--They needed to make a better effort to get the ball to Tilmon on the blocks. ISU simply couldn't guard him when he got the ball down there and he worked is tail off to get position but too often we wouldn't throw him the ball. And they turned the ball over several times trying to force the ball to him from bad angles. Jontay kept trying to throw it to him from the top of the key instead of making quick pass to the angle and then the easy entry from there. I'm sure they'll get that worked out. There were times when Tilmon looked frustrated because he'd just work his tail off to get his man pinned but they didn't throw him the ball.

Overall great fun. Was great to see Norm and 72 former players on the court at half time. Loved Norm's comment, he was thanking all the former players and assistants and staff and thanked the fans..."......we have great fans here....you've been absent for a few years but great to have you back..." LOL
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:18 am

Cardsfan - another impressive night last night without MPJ. Your comments on the depth were 'spot on' last night, as it seemed like there was a whole new 'cast of characters' who showed promise. Tilmon's foul trouble left him out of the flow of the game...so they went with a lot more of Jontay - his energy on the boards was outstanding...one sequence where he spotted up and drained a 3, then the next time down had the same look, but passed it up to get a more open look from Robertson...then a couple trips later, he grabbed a tough offensive rebound and hit a tough 'put back', then the next trip he tracked down a loose ball in the corner and found Robertson for 3 again...really good stuff...5 points, two offensive rebounds and two assists in about a minute and a half! -- even though he still makes a lot of 'freshman decisions'. Niko even looked good at times...he's a horse on the boards...and he hit some free throws. We don't need a LOT of him...but he certainly can fill some minutes.

Robertson found his stroke last night and looked like the guy we thought...he really does need to be the spot up shooter on the wing as much as possible...hated to see Harris go down, but hopefully not a bad injury...and that gave more minutes to Phillips and he did a nice job...hit a three and got to the rim a couple times in the half-court...and the break looks a lot more 'in control' when Phillips has the ball in his hands. His defense is going to keep him off the floor some...he got lost, trying to stay with that quick shooter last night...but it was encouraging.

I don't like the way Martin and the players seem to be avoiding talking about MPJ's injury. It may be a bigger concern than we think...or it may be that Martin's message is that these guys are doing fine, so I don't need to talk about Michael. No reason to rush him back if it's something that can heal and not be ongoing...but not seeing him on the bench and everybody basically saying , 'I'm not a doctor so I don't know' leaves an awful lot of speculation that it could be something worse than we hope. Sucks for him! But it sure has been a good opportunity for the rest of the team to show everybody that it's not just the Michael Porter show. Road trip to Utah will tell us a little more. FUN FUN FUN, though!!!!
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby cardsfan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:49 pm

This MPJ injury is strange and as you say, I think a bit concerning. I know in some situations, coaches think that hiding information about injury gives them a strategic advantage but surely that's not what's going on here. I will certainly hope for the best with this but their unwillingness to be forthright about this is leading to wild speculation and rumors and that seems silly.

As for on the floor, another good game against a terrifically over-matched opponent. And the Iowa State win looks even less impressive after ISU lost to Milwaukee in Ames last night by nearly 20. So the Utah game should be a nicer test for this team.

Robertson looks to be a terrific shooter if he's got his feet under him......which I still think means we are going to be better with him off the point. But not sure we got any clarity on who might be ready to take over the point so he may end up being the best option.

Jontay showed a lot...for anybody, but jeez, when you remember he's a 17 year old who should be in high school....goodness, what a talent. You mentioned several plays and that was a great stretch. He also had a break where he dribbled the length of the floor. One of the Wagner guards was back and setting up to try to draw a charge and Jontay just stopped as smooth as could be about 8-10' from the basket and threw up a soft little runner that was nothing but net. Not a lot of 6'10" players can do that. He's got an impressive skill set. And he and Barnett both posted up a few times last night when they were matched with smaller player (which was pretty much all the time last night) and showed good post moves.

Tilmon has to learn to play without fouling. I think it's really tough on a big strong guy playing against smaller players. He wants to play physical and certainly can do that. If he's leaning on a guy his size, the other guy leans back and you don't get fouls called. But when he leans into the smaller players like he was guarding last night, they go falling and refs call a foul.

There was a stretch in the second half where Wagner pressed hard. When we broke it we got some easy transition buckets, but we had some turnovers against it and at times looks rather confounded with how to attack it. I think we'll see some full court pressure and that could be an issue, especially with our bigger lineups on the floor. Another area that I think MPJ would provide a lot of help for.

Nice to be picking at nits after 45 point win instead of after losing to UMKC, that's for sure. At times the flow of the offense is just beautiful to watch. I think there was a stretch in the first half where we scored on 16 of 21 possessions. Jontay was in the middle of a lot of that.
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:57 am

What a difference a week makes!!! Tigers lay an egg on the road at Utah and then struggle mightily to escape a decent, but not really expected to be great, D2 Emporia team last night. All of a sudden, the confidence (swagger) that we saw in those first two home games is totally gone...everybody looked hesitant to me last night...passing up good looks to stop and think before letting it go...and there's NO excuse for letting Emporia score. Defense was a step slow and out of position.

Meanwhile, MPJ's injury continues to be a total mystery...appointment with an unnamed specialist that led ESPN to try to speculate what city he was going to. Two paragraphs in the ESPN story explaining that he and his mother flew to Dallas, but that did not necessarily mean Dallas was the final destination...may have caught a connecting flight to an undisclosed location. I mean, send out the CIA to figure out where he was going...WTF is that!!!!

Who thought we would hit Thanksgiving weekend with Mizzou fans more excited about the football team!?!?!?

Actually, I guess all 'true' Mizzou fans knew this whole thing sounded too good to be true. Now we're just waiting for the hammer to come down.
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:56 pm

...and the hammer comes down. MPJ to undergo back surgery and is out for the season. Let the discussion begin...will he still be a lottery pick and never play for Mizzou?

And...more importantly, who, many many years ago, did something so horrible to so damage Mizzou karma, that the University of Missouri is seemingly forever destined to never catch a break??
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby cardsfan » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:49 pm

Sigh.....what a let down. I'd have to believe MPJ is done as a Tiger. I don't know anything about the specifics of the injury or surgery but what I read seems to be that he should be able to fully recover. I hear some people say that he will have to come back to play to build his draft stock, but I don't believe that. He sure might fall from top 3 that he likely would have been with a great season at Mizzou, but the questions on MPJ by NBA teams will be about his health, NOT whether he can play basketball again. If they think he's healthy, he'll be drafted high, I think. And I'd assume if he thinks he's going to be drafted high, he'll have to go.

As for this team....holy cow what in the world has happened? I know the ceiling for this team without MPJ drops considerably, but surely not to "barely squeak by Emporia State" level. That was horrible. Second game in a row with horrid shooting. A few thoughts from last night:
--I have to think that Robertson and Barnett won't be this bad for long. 0 for 10 combined from 3 point land...combined for 10 points total last night. Those are seniors and they have to be better or we have no hope this year.
--Point guard is a legit problem. At this point, I think you need to run Blake Harris out there at point full-time and just see what you've got. Robertson can't play point and I wonder if the move there has screwed up his shooting. Get him back on the wing and figure something out at point. I assume part of the reason for trying Robertson at point was to be able to get he and MPJ on the floor together, but obviously that's not a problem now.
--We are going to get zoned to death if we can't make shots, obviously.
--I think Martin needs to consider playing some zone. That team last night was smart enough to isolate one of their quick guards on Puryear or Tilmon and get them away from the basket and then drive by them. When we play teams that matchup better size-wise, this might not be as much of an issue but that's been a problem early. I think Tilmon's ability as a shot blocker would be better utilized in zone....keep him as close to the basket as possible....and maybe he'd be less prone to foul so much.

I'm sure a little shock for the players dealing with loss of their best player. We'll get to see what kind of a coach Martin is because this is not going to be what we thought it would be. Hard to see this team being a legit contender for the NCAA tournament at this point.
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby zsportsguy » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:10 am

I have to agree that, at least for the moment, the most likely scenario is that MPJ is still a lottery pick and will go on to the NBA. I would think a health scare like this would do nothing but make him more likely to make the decision to 'cash in', when he has the chance....and I haven't heard or read anything from a single 'expert'...or unnamed source...that insinuates that his draft stock will plummet due to this injury. The only caveat to that is the fact that there are a whole bunch of NBA first-rounders who are going to have the opportunity to move past him by playing great basketball this season...so that could all change...it's just not likely.

My 'glass half full' thoughts - Emporia State was not a team that Coach Martin would do a lot of game-planning for...I agree that this team will HAVE to play some zone, and that there's the potential for some very effective defensive work in that type of scheme, with all the length we have at our disposal...but you probably aren't going to come out and zone Emporia State. Also, it is clear that there is a lot of 'experimenting' going on with what combinations work and don't work...and the hope is that, the team now knows MPJ is not going to be part of the mix...maybe...hopefully...they can move forward from here and start working on being the team they're going to be, instead of 'holding the spot open' for a missing part. All of these young kids should get better quickly...as bad as it was the other night, Tillmon and Jontay both were near a double-double. I agree Robertson HAS to be the hot shooter he's supposed to be...and we know Puryear and Barnett are capable to scoring...this weekend will tell us a little something about their mental toughness...heading into a holiday tournament with two bad outings in a row...it'd be nice to see them respond and advance to one of the tougher matchups that is possible this weekend...and show us that they still want to compete.
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Re: Mizzou basketball

Postby cardsfan » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:55 am

zsportsguy wrote:Cardsfan - did you write Benjamin Hochman's P-D column this morning????

Here's his quote: 'The nation's #1 basketball player says he's considering playing for the Tigers? Here's the fan's fear - they'll come home one night and there's Tyus Edney, Nebraska receiver Matt Davidson, the 2012 Norfolk State basketball team, and a guy holding a 5th down marker, all simultaneously saying 'GOTCHA!'

Sounds exactly like you! :lol: :lol: :lol:



Z---GOTCHA. :lol:

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