My crack research staff (me) can report the last time Missouri and SLU both won conference road games on the same day was Jan. 11, 2014. The Tigers won at Auburn and SLU won at Dayton.
Agreed on all counts. With the SEC being a stronger conference this year, it really doesn't matter who Missouri beats the rest of the way - as long as they have the wins. Is nine the magic number? Is it 10? With nine you need one or two more in St. Louis. With 10 you should be in regardless what happens in St. Louis, but can't hurt to rack up a few more Ws.
Robin was very hard on herself after the game for the technical. She apologized to her team and said it was the No. 1 lesson to take away from the game. Still, she was upset with the officiating. She didn't like the wide foul discrepancy and thought the officials missed several Miss State travels. To beat an elite team like Miss St, you need some calls to go your way and Mizzou didn't get enough last night.
Sterk just promoted a former Earleywine player and assistant to interim head coach and said she'll be at the top of the list as the full-time coach after the season, so I don't think it's necessarily about avoiding hiring someone who's worked with Earleywine. Would Pete want to work at the place that fired his good friend and work for the guy who, in EE's words, "blindsided" his good friend? I'm not sure about that. I wouldn't be surprised if Missouri favors a woman for this job once the season is over.
The schedule is much tougher. I'll go with 8-4 but wouldn't be surprised to see something closer to .500. I'm just not sure about the offense under Derrick Dooley. And will the defense look like the unit that made progress last fall or the revert to the unit that got torched early in the year?
Tre Williams played well once his role expanded. Chris Turner got the most playing among other candidates. Depending on what kind of fronts Odom wants to play, they could move some D-tackles to the edge. Otherwise, it's definitely one of the three or four most compelling position groups to watch this spring and summer.
There doesn't seem to be much momentum for Missouri and Ramey being a match.
First off, it's time to stop comparing this MIssouri team to "the last few years." Missouri's already eclipsed its conference win total from each of the last three years and won more SEC road games than the last three years combined. Yes, Missouri can absolutely beat Kentucky. UK nearly and probably should have lost at home to the worst team in the league (Vandy) earlier this week. UK has lost to two teams Missouri has already beaten: South Carolina and Tennessee. For what it's worth, KenPom picks Mizzou to win 71-69.
Well, technically he's only averaging 16 points per game. He'll be difficult to replace. More than anything, they just need lots of perimeter scoring to replace both Robertson and Barnett. The incoming players will have to pick up some of the scoring slack. Torrence Watson is a natural wing scorer. No reason to think he can't be an immediate impact player.
The two Missouri players were ejected because they stepped onto the court. Pingeton admitted two more players could have been ejected if the officials followed the letter of the law, and both coaches admitted a Mississippi State player or two would have been ejected if the camera angle wasn't only focused on MU's bench. Pingeton discussed that with the SEC office after the game for more clarity on the rule. It's a flaw in the system that should be addressed somehow.
All five years on the job to date.
Tough call. There are only 30 teams in the NBA, which means fewer than 100 roster spots for point guards. Is he one of the 100 best point guards in the world? That might be a stretch. But I've been around the guy enough in the last few months to know better than to count him out. He's such an impressive player and leader for the way he approaches the team and the game.
Well, if we're talking women's basketball, we no longer have to ask. Otherwise, there is no answer. Missouri doesn't have a football rival. Men's basketball doesn't have a rival. There's really no more juice to the Arkansas rivalry that has the qualities of an authentic, bitter feud.
I've never heard another coach besides Staley and Auburn's coach ever say anything negative about Missouri's style. Mississippi State's Vic Schaefer went out of his way last night to praise Pingeton and her program up and down. He genuinely believes MU will be a force in the league as long as Pingeton is here. He gave a lot of praise to Mizzou's fanbase, compared it to his own for how much they've grown over time. I've interviewed coaches at Vandy, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss, etc. and they've all universally praised MU's program and the Tigers' style of play.
The real flaw here is that neither player is very explosive when it comes to jumping. They have to find other ways to score down low. Nikko is not someone they rely on for heavy minutes or points, but I thought he did his job at Bama with a couple baskets. Puryear has no trouble getting into the paint, he's just not a great finisher against bigger bodies because of his size and limited explosion. But I'll say this much for him: He's not afraid of contact and he embraces the chance to get to the free throw line. Barnett could score 4-6 more points per game if he attacked the paint like Puryear instead of settling for the short pull-up jumpers.
Odom doesn't talk to the media between the final game and signing day - though he talked briefly a few weeks ago when he hired Dooley. It sounds like he might not do a signing day press conference next week - or if he does it'll be next Wednesday morning when I'm traveling back from Ole Miss. There's just not much access right now, which isn't all that unusual.
Frank is intense, but he doesn't have any beef with Cuonzo or Mizzou, so you can't just create animosity where there isn't any. Coaches genuinely like Cuonzo, so I doubt that kind of feud will ever develop - and he wouldn't let anything boil over publicly. He can't possibly be a Bruce Pearl fan the way things went at Tennessee, but Cuonzo won't ever take that public.
Missouri hasn't been too interested playing that game. I'd like to see it, but MU already plays one game a year in St. Louis and if you play two games in STL, folks on the west side of the state won't be happy. If MU and SLU could work out a home-and-home, maybe it happens someday, but these things don't happen with just a snap of the fingers.
That might have been a factor. More than anything it took Odom some time to identify who plays where in certain packages, which freshmen to play more often, etc.
This is the first one I've gotten.
They haven't had any media access since the coaching change.
I don't have the answer to that. Athletes are covered by insurance funded by the university. Michael Sr. has insurance coverage as a university employee.
Phillips won over fans with his engaging personality on social media and his devotion to Mizzou. He was heavily involved in organizations on campus and was chosen by MU to represent the program and the university at SEC leadership conferences. Phillips has always been helpful with the media, though I'll say he hasn't done interviews this season because he hasn't had a relevant role on the team. I'm not going to pass any judgment on him publicly based on the allegations, but it's wise for fans and media to not invest too heavily in someone's social media personality, which can be very superficial and often not a true measure of someone's character.
This is hardly an SEC thing. The same discussions and criticism take place everywhere around the country. Officials have never had more resources to help them get calls right in terms of technology, but the game has also never been harder to officiate. The athletes are bigger and faster and the game moves at quicker pace. Getting calls 100 percent right at real time is impossible. And the constant rule changes are enough to keep even the best officials' heads spinning on what is a foul and what isn't. That doesn't mean the officiating can't get better.
As someone covering Missouri I miss writing about genuine rivalries and rivalry games. Six years in and in some ways MU still feels like an outsider in this conference culturally. (Trust me, I prefer the more convenient travel in the Big 12, too.) That doesn't mean modern college sports can't be entertaining and enjoyable under the current structure.
I would be surprised if he coaches women's softball next. I think he's better suited to return to baseball.
OK, folks. I'm out of time. We'll have plenty of coverage before and after tomorrow's big game against Kentucky. Also, keep an eye out for a new NFL draft/Mizzou feature that will run online very soon.