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Written by Slim   
Saturday, 01 May 2010 23:27

First of all, we’re back. Well, “we’re,” kind of back. “We,” as in Mizzourahblog are back up and running. However, the site’s original writers that you came to know and love have moved on to bigger things. This site will still be the place to go for Mizzou sports news, random thoughts, and the occasional posting of Jessica Biel’s ass.

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Having said that, it’s time for my first post. To be honest I struggled with where to go with this one. It’s not exactly the most eventful time on the sports calendar so there were really no obvious choices. I considered weighing in on Big 11 expansion, but every blogger in the nation has already done that. Personally, I think there is a 95% chance Mizzou will not be in the Big 12 within the next 3 years and didn’t feel like writing 500 words to explain that. Then I considered a late wrap up of spring ball for the football team, but that would be exactly that: late.

As my writer’s block continued, I got a text from a friend. “Ricardo Ratliffe put up 29, 9, and 4 in the juco all star game. Man he’s going to be good.”

My response: “Can we start the 2010-2011 season already??” Once again my mind started racing with the possibilities for our hoops team in the upcoming years: Ratliffe beasting people down low, Kimmie and Marcus Denmon sniping threes, Phil Pressey and Mike Dixon setting up Tony Mitchell and Laurence Bowers for filthy dunks, a raucous Mizzou Arena, Big 12 titles….The writer’s block was over.

If you’ve followed Mizzou basketball recruiting even the slightest bit, you know that Missouri has a stacked class coming in for next season. The Tigers will be very young. Justin Safford will be the lone senior. Despite the youth, the sky is the limit for the Tigers. The upcoming season is still six months away, but if you’re not on the bandwagon already, it’s time to hop on.

Mizzou fans are used to getting kicked in the nuts. We’ve seen plenty of good Mizzou teams with high expectations break our hearts. We tend to temper our enthusiasm because we know somewhere there’s an Iowa State, Baylor, or worse, just waiting to ruin a season. Well, Missouri fans, when it comes to Missouri hoops, temper no more.

The fact is the Tigers competed well this past season despite being extremely undersized. Obviously, rebounding was an issue. To solve that problem, Mizzou added 6’8 JUCO All-American Ricardo Ratliffe. Mizzou needed an athletic big man, so they went out and got the nation’s 12th best recruit in Tony Mitchell. They needed some depth at guard so Mike Anderson signed 4 star point guard Phil Pressey. Not to mention adding three other very solid recruits in Ricky Kreklow, Matt Pressey, and Kadeem Green.

This class sets Missouri up with a prime two-year window to make some serious noise on the national stage. This coming season (assuming all recruits qualify) we’re looking at a Tiger team that will have 11-12 players who can contribute. After the 2010-2011 season Missouri will return everyone but Safford.

The Big 12 (assuming it still exists) will continue to be strong in basketball. Kansas State loses Denis Clemente, but returns six of their best contributors. KU loses three of its best players (how happy are you to see Cole Aldrich go pro?), but they are reloading with another talented recruiting class. Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, and Oklahoma State are also going to be relevant. Heck, even Iowa State is improved… Ok, I’m getting carried away.

The Big 12 is going to be good, but there is no reason Missouri should not be competing for conference titles. If the 08-09 Tigers can make it to the elite eight, it is scary to think where the 10-11 and 11-12 Tigers can go. That Missouri fanhood in me won’t even let me type the possibilities for fear it might jinx it. If Mike Anderson can win with “Burger King All-Americans,” just think what he will do with real All-Americans. There is a ton of time between now and the start of the season, but Mizzou fans, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon.

- Slim



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