Friday, May 12, 2006

Weekly report

By Tiger Fan

Not a whole lot going on in Mizzou sports this week. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact that finals are coming to an end today in Columbia. Be that as it may, here's what has happened:

Tiger notes...
-The softball team is in the midst of a surprising run at the Big XII tournament. The No. 7-seeded Tigers knocked of the tenth-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders 6-3. Then, the Tigers upset No. 2 seed Nebraska 3-0. Unfortunately, Mizzou suffered a 2-0 loss to kU (of all teams) on Thursday. But that doesn't mean it is over for the Tigers. They take on Texas A&M today for a chance to advance in the loser's bracket.

-This most recent loss to kU won't have any real impact on the Border War standings. Even before yesterday's loss, the beakers had an insurmountable 22-15 lead. kU clinched the win a few weeks back when kU finished ahead of Mizzou in the Big XII men's golf tournament.

-This weekend is a big series for the Tiger baseball team if they have any hope of making the postseason. Even though the series is in Lubbock, it is imperative that Mizzou win at least 2 of 3. Next wednesday, the Tigers take on Illinois at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O'Fallon. As you might have guessed, the staff of The Zou will be on hand.

-No one seems to have any idea what is going on with Mizzou basketball recruiting. Quite frankly, that's probably for the best. As long as Coach Anderson knows what's going on, that's all that matters.

-The men's golf team will tee off next weekend in Cleveland, making its second consecutive NCAA regional appearance. Mizzou has tried to make a case for itself as a basketball school or a football school in the past, but given the success of the men's and women's golf teams, perhaps we are a golf school. Who knew?

-Four Tiger athletes were named to the Big 12's 10th Anniversary Track and Field Team: Christian Cantwell, Derrick Peterson, Knut Sommerfeldt and Anne Marie Brooks. For those of you scoring at home, that's four more than the number of Tigers named to the 10th anniversary football or basketball teams.

-Brad Smith will apparently get to keep his No. 16 with the Jets. The funny part is that Brad never really wanted 16. I recall that after his RS freshman season, he wanted to switch numbers but that athletic department wouldn't let him because it had already sold so many No. 16 jerseys. Now, it's hard to picture him wearing anything else.

Quick-hit non-Mizzou thoughts...
If anyone took me up on my demand last week that you begin watching the NBA Playoffs, I apologize. I have no idea how we could go from such an exciting first round to such a boring second round... Speaking of boring, apparently there's hockey on OLN. Something about some sort of cup, a guy named Stanley. I'm not really sure what's going on. And judging by the ratings, neither are most Americans... Three words: Ken Griffey Junior... But the scariest name in baseball right now? Albert Pujols. The guy is on pace to hit 83 homeruns. 83! It took him only 34 games to hit his first 18. To put that in perspective, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds (both likely on steroids) took more than 40 games to hit 18 homeruns in their 70+ homerun campaigns. Obviously, Albert is probably going to slow down eventually, but there is not a single player in the league that I enjoy watching at the plate more than Pujols... And I think it's hilarious that Brad Lidge still hasn't recovered from Albert's bomb in last year's NLCS... Here's the biggest thing I learned from's list of the 10 best NBA point guards of all-time earlier this week: You don't need a good point guard to win an NBA title. Of the 10 players listed, five have never won a championship. Only Magic Johnson and Bob Cousy have won more than two. Meanwhile, please name for me the Bulls point guard that led them to six titles (Who knows?). Or the point guard for the Lakers during the Shaq-Kobe years (Derek Fisher... good, but not great). Or the point guard that propelled the Spurs to their recent titles (Tony Parker? Not bad now that he is learning to shoot... but Duncan carried those teams)... American Justin Gatlin set a new 100-meter sprint world record today with a time of 9.76. How fast is Gatlin? To put that in perspective for you football fans out there, that translates to a 3.62 to 40 time. Keep that in mind next time someone tells you Michael Vick has "world class" speed... With Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith announcing his retirement yesterday, ESPN immediately began debating his Hall of Fame status. Let me settle this debate: if Art Monk isn't Hall of Fame material, Jimmy Smith shouldn't even be considered. That's nothing against Smith, but I think the Hall should be reserved for truly great players and although Smith was good, I don't think he was great...


Rocky Mountain Tiger said...

Some responses...with a Rocky Mountain twist

Uno - Your brash, quick remarks of the NHL playoffs are laughable. The Stanley Cup playoffs are and will remain the most exciting championship series in the world. Unfortunately because of its paralyzing lockout last year, the league's television contract suffered and so did the league's presence. I cannot debate the poor viewership, but it should be watched. Your dismissive comments do not help.

Dos - The NHL playoffs are certainly more exciting than anything Major League Baseball can produce...which brings me to the thought.. What if Albert Pujols is on something? I'm not accusing, but fans shouldn't blindly celebrate his accomplishments as they did when Bonds, McGwire and Sosa merrily slammed pitches left and right. (Pedro Gomez tells me Bonds went 0-for-3 today isn't so merry. Tomorrow, he's scheduled to eat lunch...back to you.)

Three - The Bulls' point guards were John Paxson and B.J. Armstrong then later Steve Kerr. Your assertion about the point guards related to championships, though, must be refined. The two dynasties of our lifetime - the Bulls and the Lakers - didn't require a point guard because of Phil Jackson's system. Given its nature, the two guard - Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen with the Bulls and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers - did much of the ball handling, serving as de facto point guards. And, is Chauncey Billups not a good player? Or Isiah Thomas? Or the combination of Sam Cassell and Kenny Smith?

Cuatro - Since when has written anything of value?

Tiger Fan said...

Allright, I will give the NHL playoffs a chance... Tuesday night shall be hockey night (since they don't have any games tonight).


I actually had the same thought about Pujols when I was writing the original post. But I think he's been the same size since he got into the league and he's never even been mentioned in the rumors. Either he's been 'roiding up since he was in high school or he's clean. I'm hoping for the latter.


My other qualm with the PG list is exactly what you mentioned: When the game is on the line, good teams put the ball in the hands of their best player no matter what. For the Lakers, it was Magic Johnson (technically a point guard, but could really play any position on the floor). For the Bulls, it was Jordan (not a PG). For the Lakers, it is Kobe (not a PG). Now for the Cavs it's LeBron and for the Heat it's Wade. Even the Nets, who have one of the top 10 PG's of all-time according to ESPN, put the ball in Vince Carter's hands at crunch time. Winning championships has a lot to do with coming through in the clutch... and it seems that in today's game, point guards are rarely called upon in those situations. I'm waiting for ESPN's list of the top 10 SF/SG/clutch time PGs... that's a list worth discussing.


I believe it's quatro.

Nicole said...

There's nothing as embarassing as the Houston announcer introducing Brad "lights out" Lidge. The Brewers played there weeks ago and I'm still laughing about it and trying to come up with similar nicknames for Brewers pitchers. Not many things rhyme with Turnbow.