Today basketball tickets became available for student pick-up. In four years here, I've never seen so much excitement over tickets for the non-conference games. Throughout most of the day, the line for tickets was out the door of Mizzou Arena. Mizzou officials said they expected to distribute all 4,000 student tickets by the end of the day. As excitement for the season builds (the first exhibition game is this Friday), guest contributor and supreme basketball mind Mitch Gilman breaks down Mizzou's roster.
It’s easy to forget about the Mizzou basketball team when our football team is having a great year with a 7-1 record, but here is some preseason basketball news. The Tigers are ranked 15th in the preseason coaches’ poll. Now you may think this number 15 ranking isn’t a big deal since Mizzou finished the 08-09 season ranked 9th in the nation after the unforgettable trip to the elite 8, but think again. This is the first time in seven years that the Tigers have even been RANKED in the top 25 in any preseason poll. This just proves that the voters believe that this year’s Mizzou squad is much more talented than the 08-09 group. Expectations are sky high for this season with Mizzou having a legitimate shot of competing for a Big 12 title. Kansas State in my opinion will hands down be the team to beat this year in conference, with Baylor, Kansas, and Missouri closely following. Here is a preview of the 2010-2011 team.
As I continue to wrap my brain around what exactly happened in that first quarter I'm going to go bullet format here before we hit the road back to Columbia.
- Did today's first quarter remind anyone else of last year's 4th quarter against the nubs? Combine those two quarters and Missouri was outscored 51-0 by Nebraska. In the remaining six quarters of those two games, Mizzou outscored the nubs 29-7.
- Last week the O-line was dominant. Today it was awful. After the game Tim Barnes said it had to do with where Nebraska's D-linemen were lining up. He said they showed a lot of looks for which Mizzou wasn't prepared .
- Offensively, Mizzou struggled on first downs. They were set up with far too many third and longs to succeed against a defense as solid as Nebraska's.
- I have to admit, Nebraska's first quarter was some of the most dominant football I've ever seen. Veteran nub reporters were saying it's the best they've seen them play in years.
- In post game interviews players were obviously not happy, but not completely dejected either. Aldon Smith was the most adamant that Mizzou wouldn't suffer a let down next week.
- If you would have told me Mizzou would keep Taylor Martinez to 16 rushing yards and knock him out of the game I would have said there is no way Mizzou loses. Definitely proven wrong.
- I'm sure you've heard by now, but Roy Helu Jr. ran for a school record 307 yards. His three touchdown runs were from 66, 73, and 53 yards out.
- The crowd noise was unreal. I had a friend text me and said it didn't sound loud on TV. It was loud. I've been to games at some pretty loud stadiums but this was easily the loudest college environment I've ever experienced.
- Not impressed with the town of Lincoln. Seemed kind of run down.
- At this point Missouri can still go 11-1. Yes, Mizzou doesn't control its own destiny anymore, but who knows what can happen. This isn't the end of the world.
Last time Mizzou went to Lincoln was fun. Mizzou won by five touchdowns. (photo from rockmnation.com).
I have to admit, I'm kind of sad this is Mizzou's last game with Nebraska. Sure, those
arrogant classy fans up there refuse to acknowledge Missouri as a rival, but the truth is, this has developed into a good one lately. Nub fans will point to their storied past and their dominance throughout the 80's and 90's all day long however, recently this matchup has been even. Missouri has won four of seven, including three of its last five games against the nubs. If Mizzou wins tomorrow, the Tigers will be 5-5 against the Huskers all-time under Gary Pinkel. The winner of this game has determined the Big 12 North's winner the last four years. It will again this year. Yes, Husker fans, this has become a rivalry.
If you listen to national "experts," Mizzou stands no chance tomorrow. The Tigers might as well save the travel expenses and not even make the trip to Lincoln. Yet these are the same "experts," who didn't think Mizzou could beat A&M on the road and definitely couldn't knock off mighty Oklahoma this year either. This team continues to prove critics wrong. A win tomorrow might still not shut everyone up, but the Tigers record will speak for itself.
Guest contributor Jacob Hanson provided our eyes and ears at last night's scrimmage. Here's his take on the game and who played well. Just a heads up, he compares Phil Pressey to Rajon Rondo. Yeah, that got me pumped too.
Is Phil Pressey the point guard that will spark this team's run to a championship ala Rajon Rondo for the Celtics in 2008?
The game featured lots and lots of offense. There were a few too many careless turnovers tonight and not enough defense. Although, you can't expect too much of that in a Black and Gold game. The scrimmage provided a good opportunity to see extended minutes from the new guys. For what it's worth, the black Team won 102-94.
I know many Tiger fans will be making the trip to Lincoln this week. Some of you may have been there before. For others (myself included) this will be your first trip to Husker land. I'll be honest, I'm not quite sure what to expect in Lincoln. Luckily, our friends over at otherteamsfans.com were able to clue us in on the sights we can expect to see this weekend.
Danario Alexander and Sam Bradford bet on the Mizzou-Oklahoma game this past weekend. The loser had to wear the other team's jersey today in practice. Here are the pics. Courtesy of Danario and Brandon Gibson's twitter pages.
When this is the scene after the game, you know things went well. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
For the second straight week I can't legitimately name three Mizzou players who had "down," weeks and keep a straight face. When you beat the number one team in the nation pretty soundly there is nothing to complain about. So for the second straight week we present you, "Three Up, Three Up."
Gahn McGaffie - So. - WR
The casual Mizzou fan might not have heard of Gahn (pronounced John) McGaffie prior to Saturday. They have now. His opening kickoff return for a touchdown will go down as one of the best plays in Missouri history. I've never been apart of a crowd as raucous as the Faurot Field was after that return. McGaffie's TD set the tone for the rest of the game.
Don't laugh. While "optimal arousal," may sound like the tagline of a Viagra commercial, it's actually a big part of Mizzou's success this year. Much has been made of Mizzou players meeting with a sports psychologist this season. It appears it's paying dividends.
Last week I met with several players for a school project. Naturally, our conversation moved from school to football. As the players talked about how excited they were for the OU game I asked if their excitement could be detrimental - being too hyped up or over-eager which would result in mistakes and penalties etc.
They all mentioned the same thing: "optimal arousal." With the help of the team's sports psychologist the team works on being at "optimal arousal," for every play. Players said before each play they get their minds right to be at their best. The players said this year, when the team gives up a big play or makes a mistake they are much better at not letting it affect them mentally.