OTC: 14-0 Mizzou Rolls On / KSU Opens B12 Play At KU Tonight

“I don’t know that we could play any better than we did tonight. We played almost perfect. We couldn’t have played any better on both ends of the court.”
Frank Haith, Mizzou head coach, following MU’s 87-49 win over Oklahoma, 980 AM
GH: The question that persists with Haith’s senior-laden Tigers is how good are these Tigers really? Are they worthy of comparisons to Norm Stewart’s best teams? There are reasons to question Mizzou’s top-10 ranking but none were in evidence Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena…accept maybe the opposition. Read on.

“You have to wonder just how good the University of Missouri is because they played the 250th ranked schedule. … Missouri’s really good but Oklahoma is terrible too. They are a
really bad basketball team. You don’t paste somebody in your own league without
getting a little bit of help from the other side.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I wonder if any Mizzou fans sent Mike Anderson a Christmas present for his scheduling work for this season’s non-con. Coach Anderson has his own worries. His Arkansas Razorbacks lost to this same team of Sooners…by 15! 

“Oklahoma’s one of the worst teams in the conference but that doesn’t take away from what Missouri did.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Is Oklahoma that bad or does Mizzou just do that to a lot of teams? Remember how the Tigers made Notre Dame and Cal look like NAIA schools back at Sprint Center in November?  

“It appears their confidence is really high and we didn’t damage that tonight.”
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma’s head coach, after his Sooners fell 87-49 at Mizzou, McClatchy Newspapers

“I don’t think Mizzou could possibly be getting enough credit. I don’t care about the quality of their opponents. When you play a four-guard lineup, if you are leading the country in field goal percentage, I don’t think you understand how difficult that is to
do.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Think about that fact. MU is leading the nation in field goal percentage while playing four guards who fire a lot of threes. Unprecedented is not a strong enough word. Ridiculous fits better. 

“Coach Haith says we should never have to take a contested shot because we have so many weapons and so many veteran guys and such a good unselfish lead guard.”
Kim English, Metro Sports
GH: When the defense is forced to guard four shooters on the perimeter, it gets pretty difficult to stop open threes from every half-court set. English’s play this year has been like a present left under the tree from two Christmases ago. 

“I’m going to say it is Kimmie’s finest performance as a Tiger.”
Jon Sundvold, on Kim English’s 23-point, 9-rebound effort against OU, Metro Sports
GH: English stands out because his play is so unexpected this season. Marcus Denmon had an almost identical game against OU with 20 points and 7 boards. Yes, these Tigers have some serious weapons. 

“It’s a heckuva way to start the conference, isn’t it? I was looking at the Big 12 schedule and I saw Kansas State at Kansas and I thought it was a misprint. I don’t want to be the team that is playing its toughest game on the road the first game of the season. I
think that’s a hard thing for K-State to do. You’d much rather have a nice little lay-up drill like Missouri had last night to get your feet wet.
Mike DeCourcy, on the Cats visit to Lawrence tonight for a 7 PM tip, 810 AM
GH: How does a game this good not rate a better broadcast station than 38 The Spot? Texas/ISU is on ESPNU – why? I thought Dan Beebe had been fired. 

“Kansas State plays very physical and a lot of their games turn into foul-fests. Kansas cannot afford to get into foul trouble.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“The whistle doesn’t blow as often as before conference play.”
Jon Sundvold, citing the more physical play in Big 12 games, Metro Sports
GH: College hoops needs to adopt the NBA rule of six fouls per player. I’d like to see HS basketball do the same. Who wants to watch the best players sit on the bench due to foul trouble? 

“This is one of my favorite KU teams to watch because you never know what you’re going to get. You never know who is going to step up each and every night.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: This is one of my least favorite KU basketball teams. Thomas Robinson is spectacular but the rest of his team is at times an undisciplined mess. They are far too inconsistent for me.

“Thomas Robinson is playing at a Kevin Durant, [Michael] Beasley, Blake Griffin level.”
Frank Martin, 610 AM
GH: Yeah, it might be coach-speak from the opposition but it is damn impressive coach-speak. 

“I almost feel like this is as close to a must-win as a first game can be, because you’ve got to win your home games, right?”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: This is crazy, stupid, love talk from a Kansas fan. There are 18 conference games this season. 18! There are no must-win games in January or February. 

“The way we practiced [Tuesday], that probably told them we have no chance to win. If we’re as bad as we practiced today, we’ll get ready to take a whuppin’ like no K-State team’s ever taken. If we play like we practiced today, the game will be over 10
minutes into the game.”
Frank Martin, who was visibly upset with his team in a Tuesday press conference, KSHB TV41
GH: This is definitely coach-speak. Very entertaining coach-speak but about as meaningless as a win over Howard.

“[K-State] plays the best three teams in the league right off the block! That’s really hard! If they could get one out of three, that would not be a bad result. If they could get two out of three, that would be spectacular.”
Mike DeCourcy, on KSU facing KU, MU and BU in a six-day span, 810 AM

“Listen to what Frank Haith has to say – there is nothing more important in basketball or in life than ball security.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

[email protected]  and Twitter / greghall24

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About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

55 Responses to OTC: 14-0 Mizzou Rolls On / KSU Opens B12 Play At KU Tonight

  1. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Missouri is good this year. Anybody who says otherwise is dismissed from the discussion. Veteran-led with a smart, talented point guard and 3 or 4 guys who can all get hot at any given moment. I was skeptical a few weeks ago but I’ve seen them play enough now to know this is a good team. Yeah they’ve played a ton of scrub teams and yeah they’ve blown a lot of them out…and outside of a tiny scare against Old Dominion they have yet to find themselves in a heated, tight, pressure-filled game. That’s the big question mark right now – how will they respond in that type of situation? Will Frank Haith be able to out-coach another Big 12 coach when he has to? Right now his players are so hot all he has to do is lean back in his chair and watch.

    As far as Missouri winning the Big 12 title before they walk out the door – nobody in the league wants to see that. Just like Missouri and everybody else didn’t want Nebraska to win last year. This is not a first-time occurrence. It is without question a perfect storm for Missouri though – best team they’ve had in 10 years, down years for KU, K-State and Texas…it’s kind of like we’re all in Tokyo, Missouri is Buster Douglas and KU is Mike Tyson. This year could be their magical night in Tokyo.

    Either way, in the long run though a Big 12 title is baby stuff compared to what the big boys shoot for, and that’s Final Fours and championships. KU fans and all the remaining Big 12 schools will easily get over MU winning a Big 12 title…the real kick in the balls would be if Missouri was the last Big 12 team left in the NCAA tournament in March. That would definitely get under people’s skin. Pretty hard though for a 4-guard team without much presence in the paint to pull that off. The tournament selection committee could make or break MU’s chances of a dream season based on the match-ups they draw.

    Good times ahead these next 3 months.

  2. Gavin says:

    I don’t think six fouls is the answer. It’s already been pointed out that the college game is shorter so five is about right. But I do think that if a game goes into overtime, a fouled out player ought to get one additional foul and be allowed back in. I imagine Memphis would have like such a rule as it would have gotten Joey Dorsey back in the game in the 2008 Championship game.

    As for Mizzou’s hot start, any KU fan who denies that he’s completely unimpressed is doing so not because he’s scared but because he is needling an MU fan. Of COURSE it’s impressive. I’m not completely sold on MU but there is no denying that they’ve been impressive. I’m not certain they can keep it up (which is, no matter your rooting interest, a reasonable question to ask) but if I were a Mizzou fan, I would certainly enjoy the bejesus out of this. I don’t think Mizzou has beaten “no one” but I also think that if KU played MU’s schedule and vice-versa, KU would have the better record. Obviously, we’ll never know if that’s true and they’ll still settle it on the court but it’s an interesting question.

  3. j says:

    mu has to prove themselves. their start is strong but with an easy schedule there
    are just 3 or 4 teams that can beat them. That said they will lose at most 8
    games in league play or lose none. I will go with them losing 4 games in league
    play.
    I expect them to get beat by kstate in manhattan this saturday. Just too much
    hype for kstate in that arena and mu is due for a bad game. Odds are kstate
    will play tough defense at home and mu shooting per cent will come down
    to earth.
    However…after another 18 games does anyone think this will burn out the
    players along with the tournament? Its got to wear on these players.
    Until mu plays some good teams which past teams were when the played them
    but they dropped out of sight once they did poorly they are still a huge
    question mark. Can the big 12 teams play them. I think this mu team is
    about 4-6 points better htan last years team so look at last years scores and
    see what happens. without the 40 minutes of hell these playershave more
    energy to play since they’re not defending the balls coming upcourt all the
    time.

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