Preview: Mizzou Basketball Travels to Morgantown to Take on West Virginia

Take that image you had at the beginning of the season out of your head. Seeing the West Virginia game on the slate brought a guarded optimism that Mizzou could pull out a win against a relatively consistent program.

Come Gameday however, it doesn’t have the same fuzzy feeling we were all hoping. Mizzou moral is low, but there is a silver lining to all of this, in that the Tigers would have a lot to gain from what is now a ranked West Virginia team.

The important thing to remember while the Tigers seem to be in a free-fall is that this isn’t a Kim Anderson squad. These teams aren’t losing games they should be in by 20, 30 points. I remain absolutely resolute in my stance that this team is talented enough to play with the majority of the SEC, they’ve just happen to lose a lot of games.

The scouting report on the Mountaineers is pretty intimidating given the Tigers recent weaknesses. Success begins and ends with two of their forwards, Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver, both of which nearly average a double-double every game. Tshiebwe is 6’9″ and listed at 258, while Culver is only 6’10” and weighs in at 255.

One of their primary three-point threats is a freshman they’re big on, Miles McBride. He’s currently better than 40 percent from 3-point range on the season. Over the last three games, shooting percentages have been 71, 73 and 57. So if you plan on somehow establishing a physical game, you’re going to have to contend with McBride on the outside.

So is there a hope? There is if Mizzou can meet three major criteria, and they will probably have to pull every one of them off to even have a chance.

One, shoot lights out from three. We will have to have another “Florida game” from behind the arc to be able to stay level.

Secondly, we’ll need to continue the absolutely red hot pace from behind the line. We need to get to the line often, hopefully establish foul trouble for their forwards, and keep netting free throws.

Finally, and yes I mean this, something is going to have to happen that takes one of their players out of the game. Whether it’s a freak illness, or somebody accidentally pulling a muscle in warmups, Mizzou will also need the benefit of some freak bad luck.

The odds aren’t good, but that’s why they play the game. West Virginia has an excellent coach in Bob Huggins and a bench of very big, talented guys. The Tigers have leadership and talent as well, it’s just going to take every bit of it for Mizzou to come out with a victory on Saturday.

Obnoxious Mizzou Fan can cook things but sometimes prefers cheese and unwarmed bread. Follow him on Twitter.

Advertisement

Free Throw Record a Bitter Consolation Prize

Mizzou took an odd streak into Tuesday night’s game against Texas A&M. It didn’t come along with winning any games, so there just wasn’t any real excitement about it. Acknowledgement? Sure, but more of a sarcastic excitement almost.

It was a team record, which should be a bigger deal, but following the 66-64 loss, the only thing the team really wanted was to have won the game.

And the fans, too, for that matter.

But, just as a “win is a win” I guess a “record is a record” as well. We’ll all be able to look back fondly years from now and remember the time where the team was still terrible but they at least got that record.

The season presses on. The Tigers next play at No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday at 11:00am Mizzou Time.

Tony Gonzalez Arrogantly Claims to Support Chiefs; NFL Fans Shred Him

Former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez took to Twitter on Sunday evening following the Chiefs 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Yeah baby, going to the Super Bowl! Ha ha ha ha! Yeah,” Gonzalez said in a short video with the conclusion of the game playing in the background.

Gonzalez holds several Kansas City Chiefs records, in addition to being one of the most decorated tight ends and receivers in NFL history. But his exit from Kansas City was outright nasty, with Gonzalez’s choosing to display his displeasure openly.

Let’s take a small trip back and refresh ourselves on a few events.

At the October 2008 trade deadline, Gonzalez wanted out of Kansas City. He didn’t even care where he went. Coach Herm Edwards was open to appeasing him, but former General Manager Carl Peterson wanted optimal trade value. The deal fell through, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, and Gonzalez became upset.

“I’m done, I’m retiring, I’m quitting,” Gonzalez said of his Kansas City Chiefs and NFL career at this point, because he wasn’t getting exactly what he wanted. “I’m not playing for this guy,” referring to Peterson.

There’s countless other stories of Gonzalez’s general disdain for the Chiefs, from top to bottom. He didn’t like management, he didn’t like other players, he didn’t like fans; it was more than safe to say he outright hated the Kansas City Chiefs and everything about being in Kansas City.

After the 2008 season, Scott Pioli was named the new General Manager of the Chiefs. Gonzalez lobbied hard and was granted his wish and traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Gonzalez would be a professional and never talk badly of his former team while with Atlanta, but the damage to his time had been done as many Chiefs fans didn’t forgive him for his very obvious dislike of his time in Kansas City.

Gonzalez would finish out his career with Hall of Fame credentials. His overall body of work was extremely impressive.

After finishing out his playing career, he got hired as an analyst of CBS Sports, mainly due to his extensive knowledge of the game and his ability to comfortably speak on the air. But then in 2019, over a decade after he was traded to Atlanta, with all the time as an adult to think about his words and actions, Tony Gonzalez decided to say this, of which we are still not one calendar year removed from:

“The Falcons honestly made my career. When I got to Atlanta, now it’s like you’re a part of a winning organization,” Gonzalez chose to say at the NFL Hall of Fame ceremony in February of 2019.

The comment alone warrants a raised eyebrow, but the fact it came from the same guy who has a history of general Kansas City dislike, shows that Tony still harbors negative feeling about his time in Kansas City. With so many accomplishments, it’s surprising that he would choose to hold a grudge, but then again he attended Cal-Berkeley.

Here’s a sample of some of the comments to his post:

There were other comments of support and dislike that weren’t as interacted with. You can see all the comments by seeing the Tweet here.

Tony, please stop claiming the Chiefs. Your efforts here have been forgotten. You won’t be on any Chiefs Super Bowl graphics, you won’t be anybody’s invited guest, and in fact it would do the entire Kansas City community a favor if you just shut up and claimed Atlanta only. We don’t want you here trying to soak up accolades that you clearly “didn’t get made from.”

Obnoxious Mizzou Fan doesn’t know how to fry an egg, and likely needs you to tell him how to do so on Twitter.

Worst Hit of the Year: Travis Sailo Tries to Hurt Mizzou’s Kelly Bryant

In one of the worst displays of sportsmanship seen in college football this year, Troy Trojan senior defensive tackle Travis Sailo went for Mizzou quarterback Kelly Bryant’s left leg from behind in Saturday’s game.

Making matters worse, Sailo clearly hold on to his leg and follows through with the very illegal move. He returns to the sideline to laugh about it with his teammates.

The only intention a player has when making such a move, is to hurt the player he’s trying to tackle.

Some fans pointed out that Sailo’s Twitter account currently accepts Direct Messages without him following you, which isn’t likely to last long after the coward gets to his phone.

The Mizzou Report will keep you updated on reaction and coming disciplinary that will be taken against Sailo.

Rapid Reaction: Caleb Love Chooses UNC, Mizzou Loses Out on Big Recruit

Another big name college recruit from the state of Missouri is leaving to play elsewhere, this time for the North Carolina Tarheels.

Mizzou fans were predictably unhappy, but not too many expected Caleb Love to pick Mizzou over national powerhouse North Carolina.

Most of the reactions were frustrated, but within reason.

The Antlers had a direct yet unemotional response:

Everyone’s favorite Twitter fan Mizzou Kris came at it with a little sarcasm, which is perfect for this kind of situation.

Not everyone was so happy, however. Some people were a little salty with Love’s presentation.

Still others weren’t as focused on Love so much as they were Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin.

Many other top recruits hang in the balance still for Missouri, but no question that losing out on Love was a huge missed opportunity that could have helped propel Mizzou to the next level. But as for now, the next step for some will be learning how to cope with this shattering reality check.

Dan Irwin wrote this. He has a Twitter account but you probably shouldn’t follow it.

Blake Harris Transfer Means Less Than You Might Think

It’s the start of an unassuming Friday right before a huge game against Florida on CBS tomorrow, and everything was feeling good. Even listened to Keep Their Heads Ringin’ by Dr. Dre this morning while driving, just because everything was feeling like a good Friday.

But now the news about Blake Harris, a former ESPN Top 100 guard who came to Mizzou from the basketball-entrenched land of North Carolina, purely to play with Michael Porter, Jr.

Now a lot of people are beginning to hit the panic button quickly. Why? Aside from leading the team in assists with moderate numbers, his points and productivity during minutes isn’t going to be a very big loss at all.

And of course, any “glass half empty” fans will tell you we lost *another* four-star guy, and that doesn’t look good. I get that, but they’re leaving for different reasons (C.J. Roberts and Blake Harris), so I’m not to worried about the culture of the team falling apart, and I just don’t buy into the “Cuonzo has lost the team” sentiment either, there’s no proof of it. Even Harris, who could have really taken any kind of shot he wanted on his way out, said there was nothing wrong with the program (h/t @DaveMatter), and I belive him.

So what does this all mean?

Well, it means that a guy who didn’t have the best attitude about already being “the man”, and finding a way to blame his surroundings, is gone. He was also not likely to stay longer than Michael Porter, Jr’s career at Mizzou anyway, was probably going to transfer afterwards. This means fewer team resources and assets going into a player who ultimately won’t be helping Mizzou.

The big question moving forward is can Terrence Phillips and Jordan Geist step up to lead this team. Both players have had their inconsistencies, but have great speed and defense as well. The success of the team moving forward depends on them more.

As for Harris, he’s probably headed to N.C. State…or kansas if he really wants to try to stick it to Cuonzo.

Gary Link Firing Leaves Bad Taste in Fans, Donors Mouths

For years, the enthusiasm and excitement brought to the basketball radio broadcasts have been encompassed by the presence of former player Gary Link.

“Linker” as he was affectionately known by his close colleagues, was let go today by the University of Missouri’s Department of Athletics, in a move that absolutely no one saw coming.

Link fulfilled his most recent on-air duties for the Mizzou Network with his pregame, halftime and post-game coverage of the Mizzou football team’s trip to Georgia this past weekend. So with no hint of there being anything wrong, no information about health concerns, Mizzou fans were hit with this statement:

“Gary Link has been removed of his duties with Mizzou Athletics, however, it would be inappropriate to comment further on a personnel matter. The athletic department will work with Mizzou Sport Properties to identify a replacement for Gary on our radio broadcasts.”

In the coldest way imaginable publicly, Link was fired and made an example of. A man who dedicated his life to Mizzou didn’t receive the same sentiment from his employer, who was focusing on assuring fans of a replacement, rather than addressing the obvious concern of why he was let go.

I did speak on The Big Show on ESPN radio 1580 KTGR earlier today to air these sentiments that the rest of the media refused to touch. Unfortunately, the only thing that can be gathered is that fans and donors alike will have to wait for more information to come out.

The professional thing would be to let the public know why Link is being fired. If he was found hiring prostitutes, I could understand this a lot better. But with no reason supplied, the University has stooped to another mark of disrespect and allowed rumors and false information to take over. If there was nothing to hide, and Mr. Link was fired for a justifiable reason, then let the public know. The University owes it to its supporters.

If it’s found that Link was fired for some sort of absurd or political reason, there is going to be major backlash. Fans will not tolerate a Director of Athletics who attempts to rule like he’s King Nimrod. The University needs to supply a reason sooner than later if they don’t have anything to hide.

Mizzou’s Mt. Rushmore, Who Are the Four Heads?

Tiger Athletics has a strong tradition that spans back well over a century. With all the iconic names that the school is known for, we narrow down to the four obvious choices, as well as discuss those who didn’t make it.

If you build it, they will debate. Seeing something like this would be fantastic, but I’m not sure where you could put it so that most of Columbia could see it? In any event, here are the four heads.

Head No. 1
Don Faurot

It seems perhaps a foregone conclusion that the man who invented the “T-style” offense would be included. The ‘Wild Hog’ formation that Arkansas ran with Heisman winner Darren McFadden in 2007? That was the style Faurot invented. He pioneered the option. And when Faurot got his boys running with it, it was hard to defend.

Faurot’s inclusion on the list is almost a necessity. Anytime the home football field is named after you, probably a good indicator you’ll be included on a school’s Mt. Rushmore list.

Head No. 2
Norm Stewart

Stormin’ Normin wasn’t just a coach that ran with a fierce attitude on the sideline, he was someone that preached the fundamentals of basketball, with defense being at the core. He could recruit, he could teach, and he could beat kU, solidifying his legend year after year.

It’s hard to see a coach coming in and taking over Norm Stewart’s win total. At one time, Stewart was involved in over half of the games Missouri basketball had ever played, either as a coach or as a player. Tiger basketball wouldn’t be where it is today without Coach Stewart, an easy shoe-in on this list.

Head No. 3
Dan Devine

It’s a name that immediately commands respect. Coach Daniel J. Devine, Sr. had a presence that didn’t have to be loud to get your full attention. His achievements at Notre Dame were amazing, but it was taking a lackluster team and turning them into one of the great powers of the 60’s that shines as far as his Mizzou resume is concerned.

Orchestrating the two greatest seasons of Mizzou football all-time in 1960 and 1969 respectively, Devine earned the respect of his players and of his peers. That talent couldn’t be contained in Columbia forever, as he was called to South Bend where he won National Championships. Coach Devine, a well deserved inclusion into Mizzou’s Mt. Rushmore.

Head No. 4
Gary Pinkel

So I went back and forth on this one for a while, not because I don’t think Coach Pinkel deserves it, but I’m just wondering if I’m getting caught up with recent emotion in including him on a historical list like this. And really, I don’t think so.

Pinkel is the winningest coach in Mizzou football history. He slayed the mighty beast that was Nebraska, and he took Mizzou to a No. 1 ranking near the end of the season. A number of division championships and chances at a conference title, Pinkel made Arnold Palmer’s out of lemons while at Mizzou. His inclusion was debated but verified in being on this list.


The ‘almost’ guys are there, but not in stone just the same.

Chase Daniel
It really was between him and Pinkel for me, plus there’s not a player on the list. At the same time, though, I found it silly to leave Pinkel off. In any event, Daniel was the first out and certainly wouldn’t look bad chiseled out.

Quin Snyder
just kidding…
Anthony Peeler
Hard to think of a basketball player that played so well for Mizzou, then went on to have such a strong NBA career. Peeler had an innate ability to see the floor, and was money at the free throw line. His Mizzou record of 20-20 free throws in a game still stands.

Roger Wherli
This guy was just a flat-out interception machine, like no one you’ve ever seen. His Mizzou accomplishments are one thing, but you end up in the NFL Hall of Fame and I’d say your pro stats have all the weight they need. Wherli being on Mizzou’s Mt. wouldn’t be a bad thing, but he doesn’t quite make the cut.

John Kadlec
“The Coach” or “Mr. Mizzou” as he’d become affectionately known, was the color commentator for Tiger football for several seasons. It was his long-time service and dedication to Mizzou that earned him his monikers, ones he’ll never be forgotten for.

Mad I didn’t include your guy on this list? Good. Come at me, bro. Either on here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Obnoxious Mizzou Fan is this guy named Dan Irwin. He forgets things a lot and can’t remember what is and isn’t laundry. He can still outcook most people, including your uncle. He’s on Twitter.

The Media, Michael Porter, Jr. and Mizzou Pitchers

It’s not exactly how your coach or your fans want to see you talked about in the preseason media.

In response to being annoyed at the coverage Jeremiah Tilmon’s “arrest” was getting for a simple MIP, Mizzou defensive standout Marcell Frazier declared that he would be unavailable for all local media this season. This caused the local and even national media to respond, mostly in a very general disjointed defense of being able to cover whatever, which really isn’t the point of what Frazier is talking about.

He elaborated and said that he would be available to fans at community events to talk football if they felt they didn’t have access to him.

So what’s the deal? What about the Tilmon arrest has Frazier upset? It’s that something this mundane was covered at all, yet there’s all sorts of illegal activity that takes place everyday, almost encouraged.

Many of the Mizzou writers who went on the defensive don’t seem to understand that it’s not your journalistic integrity that Frazier is attacking, it’s the choice of subject matter. Frazier doesn’t really understand that it’s not so much about what the writers want to report, as it’s about what people (fans) want to know.

So then really in the whole world of determining who’s right and wrong, we’ve arrived at a media stalemate.

Frazier totally has a point. But is his beef with the writers? A little, but more about the people who control the media.

Media are simply doing their job by fulfilling the wishes of their readers and sponsors, is that wrong? Partly, but they need to eat. And even if the Illuminati controls everything, it’s not as if the writers are sacrificing goats, right?

——————————-

Michael Porter, Jr. is so off the charts of anyone Mizzou has ever had, I’m not sure that people are going to know how to deal with it.

As we try to remain humble in our words and realistic in our expectations, the days continue to count down until we see Michael Porter, Jr. dawn that Mizzou basketball jersey for an official game against Iowa State.

His preseason accolades are so absurd it’s almost a formality to just assume he’s the best. But when people see what he’s capable of on the floor, I think it’s getting ready to add a whole new dimension to the conversation about him.

“The guys he’s beating are so tiny,” is the most popular variated complaint I heard about him when showing his highlight videos to people all over the country. “Doesn’t mean he can play on a team,” someone from upstate New York said.

The biggest part of this year’s team will actually be the usual suspects. How well can Terrence Phillips, Kevin Puryear and Jordan Geist lead these incredible talents early on in the season? How will Jeremiah Tilmon factor in? What is Jordan Barnett’s role now? Tons of huge questions that will all be answered when we see the Porter era play out in front of us.

—————————–

The Sporting News said they believe Mizzou product Max Scherzer is a shoe-in for Cooperstown. It’s too early for that, but Mizzou pitching is going well.

The Boston Red Sox made an investment into their future by signing Tanner Houck and giving him a $2mil + signing bonus. This couldn’t be a better fit IMHO. Boston finally has that untradeable secret-weapon prospect they’ve craved, and Mizzou continues to look like a pitchers’ school on a national scale.

==============

Obnoxious Mizzou Fan is this guy named Dan Irwin. He’s on Twitter. He does this page. He’ll out-cook your uncle at a bar-be-que.

An Open Letter to Coach Kim Anderson; We Believe in You

To say this year has been tough is obvious, and everyone knows it. Professionalism demands performance, and when you don’t have it, it’s hard to stay in business.

Kim Anderson knows all too well about demands and such at this point. Three years into his dream job and it’s turned into an absolute nightmare. Players are transferring like crazy. Writers are bashing the ship as it sinks. His team is “there” in the sense that they show up to practice and go through the motions like a normal team would, but what has happened to them is not normal.

Yet, through all of this, Anderson has a job to do in maintaining control and teaching his players. Given the circumstances and the pressure, I don’t know that I can think of anyone who’s done it better at this point while having the clouds of judgement and blame hanging over their head.

In that spirit, I think it’s entirely fitting at this point that TigerNation write an open letter to Coach Anderson. Although this letter is from an author, comment at the bottom to add your sentiment to the message:

================
Dear Coach Anderson,

Thank you so much for continuing your quest to make Mizzou a better team and teach the young men under your guidance about life. Skilled teachers and strong men make strong communities, so your simple presence in Columbia helps the growth of a stronger community.

Undoubtedly as you have progressed through your third season at the helm of Tiger basketball, you realize that you are dealing with some of the toughest times any coach at Mizzou has ever had to endure. We all see the struggles, and there is nowhere for you to hide as you attempt to explain the downfall of the program. You’re the one who has to answer for every single loss, and do it with joy in your heart that the latest loss will somehow teach the team to progress and turn the whole thing around.

Kim, you’ve done everything. You’ve cared about every player the best way you know to care for them. You wake up early, look at film late, and try to make your guys feel good. It’s just not translating to wins. Many fans and donors are upset about the state of the program, but to be honest, those who have given up at this point don’t see the full vision.

We, the true fans of someone who is a True Son at this school, have something to say about what’s happening here from a third person perspective.

I refuse, against the common rhetoric, to call you a “bad coach,” because I simply don’t believe that. I’ve detailed in many of my previous articles what I believe to be the root of the program’s problems, and they begin with the lack of loyalty and the diminished culture within the team. No one cares and so no one wins.

Coach A, you care. You have worked hard in changing the culture of the personalities involved in the program, something that has gone completely unheralded by the local media in Columbia. You’re a humble guy, so I’ll be the one to stand up and toot your horn on that incredible achievement.

Many players have left as a result of your necessary changes. What would typically have been the upswing year in your third season has turned into what would be a normal first year. Players simply trying to know each other and play in a unified fashion on the court have not played up to expectations, but have done very good in many cases. But almost doesn’t count.

You may have already convinced yourself or fallen victim to the idea that you’re toast at this job, but I’m here to tell you that that is hogwash. I don’t care if Donald Trump has already told you, “you’re fired,” if you finish strong, there’s no way you won’t be retained one more year.

We believe in you, Kim. We know your history as a player and your credentials as as coach, and all of it meets the grade, despite what the skeptics have said. I’m standing behind you, and I speak for many other proud fans who haven’t given up and are right there hanging on every moment. Things are obviously not great right now, but there’s no question that this very difficult situation is headed in the right direction under your guidance, given the opportunity for you to continue to steer the ship. Thank you and just know that your efforts are appreciated beyond words by those that follow this team and know what it can become.

Sincerely,
Dan Irwin & Many in Mizzou Nation