The Full Court Press: Special March Madness Edition

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This is a special March Madness edition of the Full Court Press.

Our scheduled guests for this week’s show include…

  • Bob Ramsey: play-by-play announcer of the SLU Billikens
  • Ben Weixlmann: SLU writer for Scout.com
  • Vahe Gregorian: Mizzou reporter for the St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • Austin Kim: sports reporter for WCIA-TV in Champaign, Illinois. In addition to talking tournament, we will also chat about Bruce Weber’s dismissal as head coach at the University of Illinois, as well as some potential replacements with Austin, who helps cover the team.

Before we get any farther, I’d like to let you all know about a new contest that HSB is launching with our newest sponsor: McAlister’s Deli. The fine folks over at McAlister’s in Des Peres have agreed to donate a free fully catered lunch for 5-7 people each month. When I say fully catered, I mean basically their entire catering menu is open AND you can even have it delivered to your home or office completely free of charge!

This month’s prize will be given away to whoever wins our mini-bracket pool. The person who is able to select the most second and third round games correctly will win this month’s McAlister’s catered lunch. All you have to do, is send an email to Haenchenb9@gmail.com with either a screenshot or a link to your picks for the second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament. The games officially kick off on Wednesday with the play-ins, but you have until 10:30 Thursday morning to officially submit your picks.

You must follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to be eligible. Of course, once you do follow slash like us, you are automatically entered to win a free Mizzou flag compliments of the fine folks over at CVS flags.

SEGMENT 1-Show Open

Details on our new contest with our new sponsor McAlister’s Deli!; Recap of Mizzou and SLU games from over the weekend

SEGMENT 2-Bob Ramsey

Bob Ramsey, play-by-play voice of the SLU Billikens joins the program to talk about SLU drawing a 9 seed in the West; Temple dealt the A-10 a death blow when they left for the Big East; Maybe the non-football schools in the Big East will make their own conference and invited SLU; Billikens earned a 9 seed; Memphis has NBA-type players, but college basketball is a team game; The Tigers entire body of work was mediocre; It’s gratifying to see SLU have the successes that they’ve had this year

SEGMENT 3-Ben Weixlmann

Ben Weixlmann of Scout.com joins the show to break down SLU v. Memphis; The Tigers should have been seeded higher; They at least played good teams; Don’t underestimate Rick Majerus, especially against a team like Michigan State; Billikens are starting to draw in some solid recruits; Butler could be heading to the A-10, that would be nice

SEGMENT 4-Vahe Gregorian

Friend of the show Vahe Gregorian of the St. Louis Post Dispatch joins the show to kick off our Mizzou coverage; KC to Columbia to St. Louis to Omaha, such is the life of a Mizzou basketball writer; Mizzou might be at its peak performance; Kim English and Marcus Denmon will definitely benefit from an extra day of rest; The Selection Committee doesn’t really focus on match-ups;

SEGMENT 5-Austin Kim

Austin Kim hops aboard to talk about Illinois firing Bruce Weber and offer his analysis of the Big Ten teams in the Tournament

WIN A FREE FULLY-CATERED LUNCH FROM MCALISTER’S DELI!

The fine folks over at McAlister’s in Des Peres have agreed to donate a free fully catered lunch for 5-7 people each month. When I say fully catered, I mean basically their entire catering menu is open AND you can even have it delivered to your home or office completely free of charge!

This month’s prize will be given away to whoever wins our mini-bracket pool. The person who is able to select the most second and third round games correctly will win this month’s McAlister’s catered lunch.

All you have to do is join the official HSB Bracket Pool on ESPN.com!

The games officially kick off on Tuesday with the play-ins, but you have until 10:30 Thursday morning to officially submit your picks!

Hank’s Sports Blog will be giving away a free University of Missouri flag, compliments of the fine folks over at CVS Flags.

To enter, all you have to do is either follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! It’s that easy! If you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, then you’ll be entered twice.

 

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The Full Court Press: Jarrett Sutton (March 7)

Image via RockMNation

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jarrett Sutton, senior guard for the Missouri Tigers, as he and the rest of the team prepare for March Madness, starting with the Big 12 Tournament,

I’m a little late posting this, but Jarrett did talk about the upcoming matchup with Oklahoma State as well as what coach Frank Haith’s practice regiment is heading into tournament season.

As always you can listen to the full 30-minute show all at once, or segment-by-segment.

March 7-FULL SHOW

SEGMENT 1-Senior Night

Trip to KC was smooth; There’s a hotel in downtown KC that does NOT have the Big 12 Network; Practices at Sprint Center are limited so they headed to Rockhurst College; Senior Day was a surreal experience; Loss to Kansas earlier this year was way tougher than loss to UConn in ’08; “That [loss in Lawrence] was definitely one of the worst feelings i’ve ever had.”

SEGMENT 2-Big 12 Tournament

Belated Oklahoma State preview; There is a lot for Mizzou to play for in the Big 12 Tourney; Everyone on that team is locked in on the task at hand; Coaches have to find a balance with practices, especially when you’re not a real deep team;

SEGMENT 3-NFL Talk

Baylor’s new uniforms…yikes; It’s kind of a distraction during warmups; Let’s talk some football!; P-Manning to the Chiefs?; Greg Williams is scum.

Hank’s Sports Blog will be giving away a free University of Missouri flag, compliments of the fine folks over at CVS Flags.

To enter, all you have to do is either follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! It’s that easy! If you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, then you’ll be entered twice.

 

Out with a bang: No. 8 Missouri rallies to knock off Iowa State on Senior Night

(Photo: Rich Sugg-Kansas City Star)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Michael Dixon led all scorers with 19 points off the bench to help no. 8 Missouri knock off Iowa State 78-72 at Mizzou Arena. The victory clinches the no. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament for the Tigers, who recorded their 13th conference win Wednesday night.

“Iowa State is a terrific ball club,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said after the game. “I said this early on, they are an NCAA Tournament team. They have one of the toughest matchups in the country in Royce White. He’s just a load to guard.”

Dixon bounced back from last week’s debacle in the final seconds of overtime versus Kansas, scoring the game-winning lay-up with 3:36 left. Senior Marcus Denmon nailed a three-pointer before Phil Pressey stole the ball from Iowa State’s Scott Christopherson and took it coast-to-coast for an easy layup to push the score to 71-64 with 1:23 left.

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Beware the Phog: Kansas erases 19-point deficit to stun Missouri in overtime

Michael Dixon dropped to the floor after Missouri failed to get a shot off on its final possession of overtime. (Photo: Andrew Mitchell | Columbia Missourian)

LAWRENCE, Kan. – While Thomas Robinson was the one to extend the game at the end of regulation with a three-point play and a blocked shot, it was Tyshawn Taylor who ended it, sinking a pair of free throws to give no. 5 Kansas an 87-86 overtime victory over no. 3 Missouri Saturday evening in Lawrence. The victory guarantees KU at least a share of their 12th Big 12 Title.

“It was a great ball game,” coach Frank Haith said after the game. “I thought our guys played their hearts out, competed and we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win the game.”

Saturday’s OT thriller served as a fitting end to the “conference” chapter of the 105-year-old rivalry and left fans from both sides craving more.

“This game meant a lot to both schools and both teams. This maybe the last time we play; I think that would be sad,” Haith said. “You saw the atmosphere out here today and the atmosphere at our place, it’d be sad if we don’t play. I just don’t understand it and hopefully we can continue to play. This is too good of a game and too good of a rivalry to not play.”

For Mizzou, everything was going according to plan. They opened the second half with a 14-7 run, capped off by a Marcus Denmon three, to build a 19-point lead with 16 minutes left.

Unfortunately, an anomaly that has plagued this team throughout most of the season re-surfaced and ultimately cost them a crucial win. Rather than continue to run their offense and attack the Jayhawks’ interior defense, the Tigers started to settle for quick jump shots giving their opponents a chance to hang around.

“We took some quick shots in that stretch [during the second half],” Haith said. “I think we took a couple of contested threes when we didn’t have to. All we had to do was continue to run our offense; and I thought our offense’s execution was outstanding.”

Connor Teahan watches as Phil Pressey goes up for a shot. Pressey scored eight points before fouling out in the final seconds of overtime. (Photo: Andrew Mitchell | Columbia Missourian)

The Jayhawks capitalized on Missouri’s offensive struggles, outscoring the Tigers 36-17 over the final 16 minutes of the second half to send the game into overtime.

“They shot 33 free throws and a lot of those came in the second half,” Denmon said. “When you are living at the free throw line, you are scoring while the clock is stopped; it is easy to chip a lead away. That’s what Kansas did and they hit free throws when they needed.”

While 12 of KU’s 33 free throws did come in the second half, it was the one hit by Robinson at the end of regulation that was the most significant.

Down by three with 20 seconds left, Robinson passed the ball to Elijah Johnson, which drew two Missouri defenders out of position. Johnson quickly bounced the ball back to Robinson, who not only hit the layup, but also drew enough contact from Michael Dixon to earn the chance at a three-point play to tie the game.

“It was a big play; it was definitely huge,” Robinson said. “I just knew that I had to get the ball off the glass and that is all I tried to do. He came up from under me at the last second.”

That game-tying shot from Robinson still left an opportunity for Missouri to win in regulation and with 10 seconds left, the Tigers cleared the lane for sophomore Phil Pressey, but the 6-10 Robinson came over and stuffed Pressey’s lay-up attempt.

“Phil [Pressey] got in the lane. We are on the road so we knew we probably wouldn’t get a call. We were just trying to get a good look at the basket,” Denmon said. “I thought that Phil might have been getting bumped into the lane and then Thomas [Robinson] came and he got the block to send it into overtime.”

Denmon celebrates after hitting a shot late in the game against Kansas. (Photo: Andrew Mitchell | Columbia Missourian)

After KU responded to a three-pointer from Denmon with a dunk from Taylor with 28 seconds left, Missouri turned to Denmon, who hit a circus jump shot with 12 seconds left to give them a one-point lead.

The Tigers were slow getting back, however, which led to Pressey getting called for his fifth foul of the game, this one against Taylor.

“We have to go score and get a good shot, but get it as fast as possible,” Taylor said. “I just put my head down and saw a little seam and just attacked. I got bumped a little earlier, but they called it on the shot. I got fouled and I made the free throws.”

With Pressey out of the game and just eight seconds remaining, Haith looked to Dixon to get the ball down the floor and give Missouri a chance to win. Dixon completed part one, but rather than look for one of his teammates, he tried to drive past a KU defender before passing the ball off to Denmon as time expired.

“It was a handoff ball screen,” Haith explained. “Marcus [Denmon] was supposed to get it and we just didn’t get him the ball.”

While Dixon’s lapse ultimately cost the Tigers a chance to win the game at the end of overtime, his teammates did their best not to let him get too down on himself.

“We just told him to keep his head up and continue to play,” Denmon said. “This was a really important game for us and it hurts, but we have a lot of basketball left and our best basketball is yet to be played.”

(Photo: Andrew Mitchell | Columbia Missourian)

In terms of scoring, Denmon and Robinson each scored 28 to lead all scorers. Denmon hit 10 of 15 shots from the floor for Missouri, who shot 46.2% from the floor as a team. The Tigers actually out-rebounded the Jayhawks 36-32, led by Ricardo Ratliffe who finished with 12 rebounds and 22 points.  Kim English was the only other Missouri player to score in double figures with 11.

“We have played pretty good all year. This team has been pretty resilient. I thought our defense was good in the first half; I thought we executed,” Haith said. “Looking at the numbers, we made more field goals tonight and outrebounded them; I thought we played pretty well tonight there is no question about that.”

Missouri will look to regroup Wednesday night against Iowa State. A victory against the Cyclones would guarantee the Tigers a first-round bye in the Big 12 Tournament.

Tip-off from Mizzou Arena is scheduled for 7 pm.

-AND NOW THIS!-

Hank’s Sports Blog will be giving away a free University of Missouri flag, compliments of the fine folks over at CVS Flags.

To enter, all you have to do is either follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! It’s that easy! If you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, then you’ll be entered twice.

Now that we’ve all had some time to digest Saturday’s loss, here are my thoughts on the game:

-For starters, that first half was probably the most impressive half of basketball we’ve seen from this team all season. They were composed. They were hitting shots. They looked amazing. I’ll be honest, I was surprised by how well they dealt with the hostile environment that was Phog Allen Fieldhouse. I was telling my dad the other day that the environment in Lawrence would be unlike anything anyone had ever seen. I was right about that, but I was wrong about how the Tigers would respond. Credit to Frank and the boys for being locked in and ready to play Saturday afternoon.

Don’t blame Saturday’s loss on the officials. That’s a lame excuse for what was a poor second half performance from Missouri. Yes, a few calls could have gone their way late in the game. However, the same can be said from the Kansas side about that game in Columbia. So, if you’re walking around twirling your Tiger tail, moaning about the officials, stop it.

Loved the effort by Haith to get Ricardo Ratliffe involved early and often. Having him involved on offense from the opening tip definitely helped Mizzou pad that lead early in the second half.

-While it didn’t show up on the stat sheet, Steve Moore had a great game for Missouri. He pulled down seven rebounds, many of which came in key situations late in the game and he stayed out of foul trouble. “Steeeeve” is undoubtedly the most improved player on this team.

-I think Phil Pressey might just be Missouri’s most valuable player. For starters, he showed a lot more poise on the final possession of regulation than Dixon did at the end of overtime. One would think that if Phil was the one running that final play, things would have turned out differently for Missouri.

-That is by no means a shot at Dixon, who I think deserves National Sixth Man of the Year. He’s a great player and a lot of fun to watch. However, he has been trying to do too much lately. He throws up haphazard shots and sometimes loses control as he goes up for lay-ups. Not to say Pressey isn’t vulnerable to the same sort of mistakes, but the timing of Dixon’s mistakes seems to make them stand out a lot more than Phil’s.

I don’t understand why this team randomly reverts to its “Fastest Forty Minutes” roots in the middle of games. It’s frustrating. They went from performing at peak efficiency through the first 25 minutes of the game, to settling for jumpers and contested threes for basically the rest of the game. Not sure it’s as much coaching by Haith as it is lapses in judgment by the players.

Quote of the night:

“The atmosphere had nothing to do with it. We lost the game. We fought hard to win, but this loss doesn’t define our season. It is a loss that we really wanted; we really wanted to win the league. We came out and competed and fought hard, we just weren’t fortunate enough to come up with the win. This isn’t football. We are not out of the national championship running with a regular season loss. We will learn from this and watch film tomorrow or Monday and fix what we need to do down the stretch to finish games and grow. We grew today from the Kansas State game. That was just another step in our growth to get to where we want to be.”-Kim English

English and I didn’t get along too well when I covered this team for The Maneater, but I do respect his candor, especially after tough losses like this.

 

Quotes via KU Athletics Department

 

Win a free Mizzou flag compliments of CVS Flags!

Hank’s Sports Blog will be giving away a free University of Missouri flag, compliments of the fine folks over at CVS Flags.

To enter, all you have to do is either follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook! It’s that easy! If you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, then you’ll be entered twice.

Since I’ll need help spreading the word about our little contest, anyone who comes up with an especially clever/effective way to increase the number of followers/likes will get an extra entry into the contest as well!

We will draw the winner once we reach one of the two following goals:

1) 250 followers on Twitter (We’re at 123 right now)

2) 50 likes on our Facebook Page (We just created that page, so there aren’t too many likes right now)

Stay tuned to HSB and HSB Radio for details on any upcoming mini giveaways (McAlister’s Deli lunch cards, random gift cards, etc.) as we work towards our goal!

 

Lack of depth, defense costs no. 3 Missouri vs. Kansas State

Rodney McGruder led all scorers with 24 points as Kansas State shocked no. 3 Missouri for the second time this season 78-68. With the victory, KSU joins Kansas and Texas A&M as the only teams to have won at Mizzou Arena. On the flip side, the loss drops the Tigers (25-3, 12-3) to second place in the Big 12 standings.

“Give K-State credit. They played great tonight. They were very good defensively,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said after the game. “I thought it was a physical, physical ballgame, very aggressive and their physicality got to us.”

Missouri’s lack of depth finally caught up with them Tuesday night. With Matt Pressey hobbled by an ankle injury and multiple players in foul trouble early in the first half, Haith was forced to turn to tight end turned forward Andrew Jones.

While their lack of depth hurt, senior Kim English pointed to the team’s poor defensive performance as the reason behind the loss.

“We didn’t defend the way we usually defend, the way we need to defend,” he said. “And that will be fixed. That won’t happen again.”

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