Fri Feb 04 10:28am EST
I admit right off the top recruiting rankings are a crapshoot. There are just too many variables. If general managers in the NFL miss on half the first round picks, why would anyone expect recruiting services to hit on more than that with kids that are five years younger?
That said, the state of Missouri looks to have a bumper crop of recruits for 2012. Springfield receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has a shot to be the top-rated recruit in the country. Durron Neal and Evan Boehm are highly regarded kids. At least three more players from the Show-Me State already have verbal offers from the home-state Tigers.
So, on paper, where does this class rank? I did some research this morning. We take a lot of heat when we get it wrong, so how about two classes where we got it right?
Let's start in 2009. Rivals.com listed the top five recruits in the state this way that year:
1. Sheldon Richardson
2. Ronnie Wingo, Jr.
3. Nathan Scheelhaase
4. Montee Ball
5. T.J. Moe
Three of the five play major roles for bowl teams from BCS Conferences. Scheelhaase was the starting quarterback for a 7-6 Illinois team that turned things around in Champaign. Ball ran for more than 1,000 yards and was the offensive star for Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Moe was Missouri's best player in a 10-3 season. Wingo doesn't start, but did play for an Arkansas team that made the Sugar Bowl. Richardson hasn't played a college down yet, but just re-signed with Missouri and figures to fight for a starting job this fall.
The other class where we looked pretty smart was 2006. Here are our top five from that year:
1. Josh Freeman-First-round NFL Draft pick
2. Adrian Clayborn-About to be a first-round NFL Draft pick
3. Jeremy Maclin-First-round NFL Draft pick
4. Tim Barnes-Three-year starter at Mizzou, will get a shot in the NFL
5. Zach Kendall-Starter at Kansas State
If you could rework the rankings, Maclin would probably move to number one and switch places with Freeman. But that's a strong top five.
Will the Class of 2012 match it? Ask me in four years.
Thu Jan 27 11:37am EST
With Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith both projected as first-round NFL Draft picks in April, the Tigers are in some elite company. Both Tennessee and Florida have had at least one player picked in the first round of the last four drafts. Neither has a sure-fire first rounder this time around. This will mark the third consecutive year Missouri has had a first-round pick. If no Gators or Vols are taken, Mizzou could have the longest such streak in the country.
Here is the list of teams that have had multiple first-rounders since 2007:
Ohio State 5 (also had five more in 2006)
Ole Miss 3
Oklahoma State 3
Boston College 3
Penn State 2
North Carolina 2
Thu Jan 27 10:26am EST
I’m not 100% sure I watched the best player in collegebasketball this morning. But I’mpositive I watched the best offensive player in the country. In fact, I think BYU guard Jimmer Fredette isprobably the best offensive player I’ve seen in college basketball since KevinDurant’s way-too-short stint at Texas.
I wasn’t sure I even wanted to watch BYU and San Diego State. I’ll admit I’m a college basketballsnob. I mean, yeah, the teams were acombined 39-and-1 before last night, but they play in the Mountain West. Sure, they’re ranked in the top ten, butthere’s no way they deserve to be there, right? I mean, San Diego Statein the discussion with Kansas? BYU better than Missouri? Come on.
I went ahead and set the game up to DVR and watched it thismorning before my kids woke up. Now, I’mnot telling you that those things in the previous paragraph are necessarilytrue. But after watching the Aztecs andthe Cougars last night, they’re up for debate. On the right night—in fact on a lot of nights—those teams can beatanyone in the country.
San Diego Statewasn’t great last night. They struggledto score, they make Kansas Statelook like a team full of Rick Barry’s at the free throw line and they had a badnight on the road. But I didn’t watchthat game to see San Diego State. I watched it to see Jimmer Fredette.
I had but one impression: Holy Moses!
At one point, Fredette scored 17 straight BYU points. At another point, he was 12-for-16 from thefield. He ended with 43, his third40-plus game of the season. No one elsein college basketball has more than one.
He did it in every way possible. He drove. He split double-teams and got fouled. He hit open threes. He hitguarded threes. The kid is an offensivemachine. In fact, when he missed a26-footer ten seconds into the shot clock, I was not only surprised, but Ididn’t even think it was a bad shot to take. There ARE no bad shots for Jimmer Fredette.
The announcers for the game (I may have enjoyed it more ifSteve Lappas didn’t spend the whole night screaming at me and reminding me heonce coached in the Big East) said that Fredette’s decision out of high schoolcame down to BYU and Siena. He was athree-star guard not ranked nationally. He had five offers, from powerhouses like Utah(post Keith Van Horn and Andre Miller), UMASS (post-Calipari) and Marshall. You know what? Sometimes we’re wrong.
This is a Missouriblog. But I’m a huge college basketballfan. I watch at least one game five daysa week. And when I see something thatmakes me an even bigger fan, I want to tell somebody about it.
Jimmer Fredette did that. The small, curly-headed white kid at BYU is an offensive player for ageneration. He might play defensetoo. I don’t know. I was too in awe of his game on the other endto really notice.
If you haven’t seen the Cougars play, do yourself a favorand make a point of it. Because some fanbase is going to draw them in the NCAA Tournament and have no idea that they’refacing a player who could shoot BYU to unprecedented heights in March.
Wed Jan 26 12:17pm EST
A blog report out of Denton, Texas indicates Tony Mitchell's connection to Mizzou is just about over. <b><a href= http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archives/2011/01/source----tony-mitchell-in-pro.html>This story indicates Mitchell will enroll at North Texas today</b></a>.
Mitchell signed with Missouri in November of 2009, but has never been cleared academically by the NCAA Eligibility Center. It appears that by establishing in-state residence and enrolling at UNT, he would be eligible to play a year from today.
Missouri has not officially released any statement on Mitchell, so the door is not yet officially closed on his future at Missouri. But it appears to be nearing that point.
To follow the rest of the Mitchell story and all the headlines around Tiger athletics, visit PowerMizzou.com. If you are not yet a member, just try out our <a href =https://secure.rivals.com/nssubscribe.asp?sid=898&strk=lmastnew&plan=4&term=12&up=4:1>free trial</a>.</b>
Tue Jan 25 06:08pm EST
Recruiting is a whole new monster in this social-media era. Now, fans don't just scour recruiting Web sites or blogs for information on potential new-additions to their football or basketball teams. They also make sure to check out recruits up-close-and-personal.
Facebook, (the ghost of) MySpace, Twitter... these sites are turning fans back into fanatics.
A Rivals colleague, Aaron Dickens from RedRaiderSports.com, linked to an article via Twitter. He gave some sound advice:
"If you're one of those fans that posts on recruits' Facebook walls and sends them messages -- stop."
The article in question details the decision of C.J. Johnson, a five-star linebacker who switched his commitment from Mississippi State to Ole Miss after the departure of D.C. Manny Diaz to Texas. A big reason for his change, according to a Facebook post, was the constant online pestering by a Mississippi State fan.
It reminded me of the situation shortly after Sheldon Richardson switched his commitment from Missouri to USC. Tiger fans swarmed Richardson's Facebook page, calling the recruit all sorts of names.
Embarrassing doesn't even sum it up adequately. Richardson responded back to a few posters, saying fans like that are why he'd never be a Missouri Tiger.
(Obviously, that changed.)
That's not even the worst that can happen, however, as anyone who donates money to a university cannot come into contact with recruits -- even via social media.
Here's my advice for fans:
1. There's nothing wrong with eavesdropping, but just make your presence unknown.
If you want to be a "creeper" and check out recruits' profiles, that's fine. If they have an open profile, or accept your friend request, by all means, go ahead. But do it QUIETLY. Don't send messages. Don't post on walls. Even the most innocent post ("Congrats on the All-State selection!") should be avoided, unless you have a prior relationship with a recruit.
The blame isn't solely on fans, however. Many recruits enjoy the attention they receive at first -- especially the high-level ones. But, here's my only piece of advice for any prospect on the verge of landing on the radar of major colleges:
1. Put up a Great Wall around your Social Media Kingdom.
Enable all the privacy settings you can on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. That includes hiding pictures of yourself from everyone to see (which is just great advice for anyone in general).
2. If you're receiving friend requests, or follow requests, from people you don't know -- DON'T ACCEPT THEM.
If they say they're a college coach, or a reporter, investigate them before accepting. Facebook tends to make the job of recruiting sites easier, serving as a way to get cell phone numbers or directly contact a recruit. But to protect yourself from burning up in the spotlight, be wary of the access you're giving fans, reporters, coaches... basically, be wary of everyone.
Does that sound jaded? Sure, absolutely. But with the influx of attention given to the world of recruiting, better safe than sorry. I'm cool with recruits making my job more difficult, because that helps separate the "fan reporters" from the real journalists.
Mon Jan 24 11:59am EST
Another day, still nothing new on Tony Mitchell. Mike Anderson was asked for an update on Mitchell's status on this morning's Big 12 coaches' teleconference.
"There's no update at this time. No. We're just still hopeful."
Anderson was then asked, could something happen today?
Mitchell signed with Missouri in November of 2009, but has been ineligible through the Tigers' first 20 games this season with his case hung up in the NCAA Eligibility Center. Tuesday marks the final day Mitchell could theoretically enroll in classes for the spring semester at Missouri.
Mon Jan 24 09:36am EST
Monday morning seems like a decent time to look back at what we learned in Big 12 basketball. Each Saturday will provide nearly seismic shifts in the conference landscape from here on out. Here's our first Monday look at what we know that we didn't know on Friday:
*I know Colorado is more pretender than contender. Credit the Buffs for beating Missouri and then winning at Kansas State (which looks less impressive all the time). But they've now lost games at Nebraska and at Oklahoma. Maybe I can forgive the one in Lincoln, but if you want to play in the NCAA Tournament, you don't lose in Norman. CU won't win in Lawrence or Columbia. They still have to play the two best teams in the South. And they have nothing from the non-conference season on which to fall back. Tad Boyle's done a fine job, but the NIT is as far as CU will go.
*I know Kansas State has no chance to win the league. And I know they'd better win on Monday night against Baylor to continue to discuss the NCAA Tournament. I thought it was a little ridiculous they were picked to win the league before the season. I mean, Kansas wins the league every year. How do you pick anyone else? I didn't think the Cats were the #3 team in America, but I didn't think they were this bad. I saw KSU up close last Monday at Mizzou Arena. When Jake Pullen isn't on the floor, this team just has nowhere to turn offensively.
*I know Texas is in the driver's seat to win the Big 12. But I don't know if they'll win it. What the Horns did on Saturday in Lawrence was amazingly impressive. But they have to travel to Oklahoma State on Wednesday and host Missouri on Saturday. Can UT bounce back from the emotional high of ending the 69-game home court winning streak for the Hawks? Rick Barnes still has the stigma of falling from 17-0 and No. 1 in the nation to first-round tournament loser last season. Forgive me if I wait a couple of weeks before handing the crown to Texas.
*I know the top four seeds in the Big 12 tournament. Texas and Kansas are elite level, potential Final Four teams. Missouri and A&M are at least Sweet 16 type teams, with the chance to be better. Everyone else in the conference is at least a step below those four. I'll be very surprised if those teams, in some order, aren't the ones watching the other eight play on the first day of the league tourney.
*That's what I know. What I don't know is what's going on with star recruit Tony Mitchell. Another few days, another few rumors, no more answers. If he's not enrolled in class by the end of the day Tuesday, he ain't coming. Eventually, there will be an end. Right now, there is not. Mike Anderson will be on the Big 12 teleconference this morning and he'll have media day this afternoon in Columbia. Perhaps he'll have something to tell us then. I'm not counting on it.
Tue Dec 07 02:43pm EST
Better late than never. Missouri and Iowa will finally meet on the football field.
|Pinkel becomes the first Tiger coach to make six straight bowl games.|
Tigers and Hawkeyes had a four-year series scheduled from 2005-08, but
when Missouri asked out of the first two games, the entire set was
cancelled. But the Tigers and Hawkeyes will finally see each other in
the 2010 Insight Bowl.
The matchup was announced on Sunday night.
"It's always good when we're doing this in December," Gary Pinkel said. "Everything they do is first class and we're excited about being down there and being a part of it."
As for the previous series, Pinkel made no bones about why the Tigers got out of it.
"We got 'em off the schedule cause they were good. We were building our program and that didn't make much sense to me to play such a great football program," Pinkel said. "I would say that's an intelligent decision."
Pinkel's program is now built, and more prepared for a matchup with the Hawkeyes. Missouri finished the regular season 10-and-2 and their bowl destination swung wildly over the next couple of weeks. Speculation ran wild after a win over Kansas that the Tigers could slide into the Orange Bowl as an at-large BCS team. Once Texas A&M went to the Cotton Bowl and Oklahoma beat Nebraska in the Big XII title game, Missouri's focus was on the Insight and the Holiday Bowl.
|Moore will face a former high school teammate in Tempe.|