By Tiger Fan
Before everyone starts jumping off a bridge because of the 79-62 loss to Purdue, let’s remember a few things: 1) a couple months ago, we all would have been thrilled with a 9-1 record right now… 2) this was our first road game and it showed… 3) Purdue is a pretty good team… 4) this game was a lot closer than it looks from the score. It was tied at the half, but we just couldn’t buy a basket in the second half. It doesn’t matter how well you play defense if you can’t score (they scored 39 in the first, 40 in the second… we scored 39 in the first, 23 in the second). Now, here are some specific thoughts:
-First off, let’s talk about ESPN 360. I can’t emphasize this enough... it SUCKS. Explain to me why I should like watching a game in a little 5x5 box in my computer instead of getting it on MSN or FOX. I feel bad for Big Eleven fans who apparently have to watch games like this all the time. For about half the game, it re-buffered every two or three or three seconds so you had no idea what was going on. Strangely, they didn’t have any problems with the ESPN ads. And I’m not sure where they got those announcers, but they were terrible. I’m almost hoping that they just hired the normal TV crew that does Purdue games because otherwise, they showed an incredible lack of professionalism in professing their love for Purdue throughout the game. Also, they apparently didn’t do any research on Mizzou before we got there. Through the whole first half, they kept talking about how “Mizzou is going to stick with the press here” and “There’s no way they can do this for 40 minutes.” Um… yeah… that’s exactly what we do. I guess we’ll have to deal with that until people get used to Mike Anderson. One interesting note: according to this crack announcing squad, comedian Martin Lawrence has turned into a white small forward who plays for the Tigers…
-As expected, our interior defense and rebounding is TERRIBLE against a team with some real size. They gave up way too many second chance baskets on the offensive end and they made some kid named Landry look like Shaq. We also took at a lot of bad shots… and missed a lot of free throws… and we have to find a way to get Matt Lawrence open… and we will lose at least one or two games this year because Grimes sucks. He refuses to attack the basket, opting for the fade-away every time. That’s not what you want from your big man. The good news is that most of these things can be fixed.
-Apparently Purdue fans are really lame or they haven’t watched much basketball. Based on all the booing, they apparently expected a foul every time anyone was touched. I also thought it was funny to hear them get frustrated when their players continually dribbled into double teams. You would hear the whole crowd yelling, “Go! Come on!”
-A few plays that stood out: Mizzou’s first basket was a great dish from Horton to Grimes for a monster jam, Hannah scored six points in about 20 seconds to give us the lead in the first half thanks to the press, Tiller hit a 30-footer with a guy in his face as the shot clock expired, K-Law made a great block on a Purdue fast break and then saved the ball from going out of bounds. The only problem? All these plays happened in the first half.