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Old 01-17-2006, 07:13 AM  
KcMizzou KcMizzou is offline
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Whitlock : No need for KU to sing Moody blues

No need for KU to sing Moody blues
JASON WHITLOCK

COLUMBIA — There were only heroes Monday night inside Mizzou Arena. No goats. Not even Kansas senior forward Christian Moody, the young man who missed consecutive would-be game-winning free throws at the end of regulation.

Focusing on Moody’s misses would be a disservice to Missouri’s Tigers and Kansas’ Jayhawks. They staged a magnificent overtime thriller that should have left both of their fan bases brimming with confidence, fantasizing about what lies ahead over the next month and a half.

Quin Snyder’s Tigers outscored Bill Self’s Jayhawks by a three-pointer — 89-86 — and got their second straight victory in one of college basketball’s best rivalries.

More important for Snyder, the Tigers’ performance, particularly their late-regulation rally, was the strongest evidence to date that Snyder and his program have matured to the point that Snyder’s season-ending demise is no longer a certainty.

The Tigers are 10-5 overall, 3-1 in the Big 12, and erased a nine-point deficit in the final 1 minute, 54 seconds of regulation against a Kansas team that arguably played its best game of the season.

Hey, Thomas Gardner’s 40-point night speaks for itself. Gardner is legit. His hot start to his junior season is no fluke. Gardner has a chance to be the best player of the Quin Snyder era, the most electric Tiger since Anthony Peeler, who just happened to be in the house to watch Gardner’s career night.

Gardner scored 40 points on 22 shots in 42 minutes. He drained half of the 14 threes he fired. His two three-point bombs were instrumental in Missouri’s rally. He closed out the Jayhawks with some clutch free-throw shooting in overtime.

“Gardner was fabulous,” Self said. “That was about as good as I’ve ever seen.”

Again, Gardner was incredible, but the story of the night for the Tigers was Quin Snyder. He coached spectacularly. When the game appeared to slip away from the Tigers at the end of regulation, Quin exhibited a poise and level of gamesmanship we had previously never witnessed from the embattled coach.

He never stopped believing. The Tigers ran the right plays. No one panicked. Down five with 29 seconds to play, Jimmy McKinney sank a two-pointer and followed it up with another two-point basket and opportunity for an old-fashioned three-point play. Mizzou avoided firing up any wild three-pointers.

The Tigers were composed, just like their coach.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win this game,” Snyder said.

You can’t minimize the Tigers’ accomplishment. The Jayhawks, 10-6 and 1-2, played an awesome game. This was not a case of the Tigers upending a “bad” Kansas team. Mizzou beat the Jayhawks on a night when Kansas played well enough to beat any team in the league.

Had Moody made a free throw with 0.4 seconds on the clock at the end of regulation, much of the discussion today would focus on the terrific guard play that carried the Jayhawks to victory. Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson were nearly as good as Gardner.

Chalmers shot seven of nine from the field, scored 22 points and handed out eight assists. Robinson scored 12 points, handed out seven assists and shut down Gardner for a large portion of the second half.

Chalmers dropped a dime on Moody that should have produced the game-winning free throw. Kansas took the ball the length of the court in 4 seconds, and Chalmers hit Moody with a perfect pass that led to a layup attempt. McKinney fouled Moody and sent him to the line.

“We showed poise,” Self said. “There couldn’t have been a better way to win that game.”

Yep. Quin Snyder is saying the same thing today. He couldn’t dream of a better scenario than rallying late in regulation in front of his home crowd, watching one of his players become a star and beating his archrival on national TV. A month ago, Missouri fans were dumping popcorn on Quin’s head after a humiliating loss to Illinois. Monday, Quin ran off the court a hero.

Kansas fans should remember that when they talk about Bill Self today. There were far more things to like about the way Kansas played than dislike.

Kansas and Missouri staged a classic Monday night. Everyone should be happy.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:14 AM   #2
Demonpenz Demonpenz is offline
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on the radio today there most of the jayhawk fans seemed to be pleased at the progress
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:20 AM   #3
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I never imagined a guy as fat as Whitlock able to walk a picket fence on his tippytoes.

He needs to put new litter in the kitty box. The ammonia fumes are getting to him.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:22 AM   #4
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Again, Gardner was incredible, but the story of the night for the Tigers was Quin Snyder. He coached spectacularly. When the game appeared to slip away from the Tigers at the end of regulation, Quin exhibited a poise and level of gamesmanship we had previously never witnessed from the embattled coach.

He never stopped believing. The Tigers ran the right plays. No one panicked. Down five with 29 seconds to play, Jimmy McKinney sank a two-pointer and followed it up with another two-point basket and opportunity for an old-fashioned three-point play. Mizzou avoided firing up any wild three-pointers.
Bob Dole doesn't watch much, but the panicky 3-point-fling has been Bob Dole's primary observation in the Snyder era. It was nice to see them do something else for a change.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonpenz
on the radio today there most of the jayhawk fans seemed to be pleased at the progress
Pleased with what progress?

That they have seniors who still can't hit free throws?
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:23 AM   #6
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:26 AM   #7
Demonpenz Demonpenz is offline
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i was just on the radio. Whew I was just glad we could hang with Mizzou this year. I hate those guys and i thought we were going to get blown out!
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonpenz
i was just on the radio. Whew I was just glad we could hang with Mizzou this year. I hate those guys and i thought we were going to get blown out!
??? I'm confused. I thought you were a MU fan.


As a KU fan, I was pleased with KU's performance for the most part. We still need to stop the silly turnovers. The only thing that pissed me off about last night was that Self got outcoached at the end. He should never have left Moody in the game. You don't leave a 50% FT shooter in the game when the other team is fouling to try to rally.

Other than that, the game was a good one. A classic. Gardner was incredible. A lot of those shots were guarded pretty well and he still sank them. That guy is very impressive. Congrats, MU, on a hard fought victory.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Pleased with what progress?

That they have seniors who still can't hit free throws?
I'm not sure what's the deal with Moody. His FT shooting has dropped this year. This year is his worst FT shooting percentage.
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