March 30, 2015

Mizzou women finish with the most win since the ’05-’06 season, but lose third round WNIT game at Michi

Maddie Stock (10) is guarded heavily by two Michigan defenders. (photo/Michigan Athletics)

Maddie Stock (10) is guarded heavily by two Michigan defenders. (photo/Michigan Athletics)

The Mizzou women lost to Michigan 65-55 in the third round of the WNIT, finishing up the season at 19-14. The Tigers led by five at the half, and in the second found themselves down three when the Wolverines went on a 13-2 run. The 19 wins are the most for the program since ’05-’06.

Junior Maddie Stock hit a huge three-pointer just as the halftime buzzer sounded, giving Mizzou a 33-28 lead over Michigan, but with the Tigers down three in the second half, the Wolverines went on a 13-2 run to put the game away. The Tigers were held to just eight, second half field goals as Stock led the Tigers overall, putting up 13 points. Frericks added another 12 points for the Tigers.

It is nice to see Robin Pingeton moving the team in right direction and things should continue to improve next year as they add Sophie Cunningham and Cierra Porter from Rock Bridge, who just completed a four-peat championship run in Class 5.

Two Missouri record fish caught within three days

Two record-breaking fish have been caught in Missouri within a week.

The Department of Conservation reports Burr Edde III of Malta Bend caught a 120-pound, 8-ounce giant blue catfish in the Missouri River in Saline County on March 21. The fish measured 55 and 1/8 inches long and 45 inches around.

It was more than three pounds heavier than the previous record blue catfish caught in 1964 in the Osage River.

He caught the catfish on a trotline, considered by the Department an “alternative method.” The Department tracks records in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. The record for the largest blue catfish caught using a pole-and-line method also came out of the Missouri River, in St. Charles County in 2010.

On Saturday, the largest ever caught on record in Missouri was pulled out of Table Rock Lake. Andy Belobraydic III from Richwoods snagged a 140-pound, 9-ounce paddlefish, slightly larger than the previous record holder, also a paddlefish taken from Table Rock lake in 2002.

That fish was caught in the James River arm of the Lake and measured 56 and 3/4 inches long, and 43 and 3/4 inches around.

SLU’s Jim Crews to coach at the NCAA Final Four. He’ll lead the west squad for the senior all-star game

Jim Crews laughs with reporters after it was announced he has been named the new head coach of the Saint Louis University Billikens mens basketball team in St. Louis on April 12, 2013. Crews led the 2012-13 team as interim head coach at the beginning of the season after it was announced that head coach Rick Majerus would not coach. Majerus died on December 1, 2012. After winning a school record 28 games this season, Crews was named A-10 coach of the year and Sporting News  and the National Asociation of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year as well. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Jim Crews. File photo April 12, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Saint Louis head men’s basketball coach Jim Crews will serve as the head coach of the West team at the College All-Star Game, which will be played during the NCAA Final Four weekend in Indianapolis.  The game, which features top senior NCAA basketball student-athletes, takes place on Friday, April 3, at 3:30 p.m. (CT) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Tim Miles of Nebraska will serve as head coach of the East team.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) will announce additional game information, including team rosters, during game week.

Steen’s tough play along the boards creates a scoring opportunity and win for the Blues in overtime (VIDEO)

St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen (middle) file photo, UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen (middle) file photo, UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Two days ago Alex Steen scored the Blues only goal, his 400th career point, as St. Louis lost to Detroit just 24 seconds into overtime.  On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Steen scored his 24th of the year and it came just 35 second into overtime as the Blues were on the winning end of an OT game, in a 3-2 final over the Penguins.

Steen not only netted the game winner on a deflected shot from the point, but he did the dirty work along the boards to come away with the puck and feed it over to Zbynek Michalek, whose slap shot was redirected by Steen past Pittsburgh goalie Marc Andre-Fluery.

Through 74 games played, the Blues maintain a one-point lead over Nashville in the Central Division standings.

Watch Steen’s winner.  Video NHL.com

Mizzou’s top recruiting coach, Tim Fuller, leaving the program after one season with Anderson. The highs and lows of his recruiting record

Tim Fuller leaving the Mizzou program (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Tim Fuller leaving the Mizzou program (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

As first reported by PowerMizzou.com, Missouri basketball assistant coach Tim Fuller is leaving the program after one season with Kim Anderson.  Fuller turned down a head coaching job offer at Florida A & M and instead took a $55,000 raise to stay on as the lone holdover from Frank Haith’s staff.

Back in 2013, when Haith was suspended five games for his involvement tied to the Miami booster debacle, Fuller went 5-0 as the Tigers’ interim head coach.  Prior to joining Haith’s staff at Mizzou, he was an assistant on Rick Pitino’s stafff at Louisville and also worked a short time with Haith at Miami.  Fuller was named one of college basketball’s Top 10 assistant coaches under the age of 40 by ESPN.com, but his recruiting efforts at Missouri gave mixed results.

Here’s a look at the success and the not so good results of Fuller’s recruiting at Missouri.

He brought in transfers Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown.  (Sidenote, Clarkson scored a career high 30 points for the Lakers in their loss to Oklahoma City.  Brown, also on the Lakers, scored seven)  He also added Alex Oriakhi and Keith Shamburger, the latter, who gave Anderson some senior leadership this season for a team that went 9-23.  Fuller was also responsible for bringing in Jakeenan Gant and D’Angelo Allen who showed a potential to be good players for Anderson and sophomore Jonathan Williams III, the team’s leader in scoring and rebounding.

As far as the duds that Fuller pulled in.  He brought along Louisville transfer Zach Price who played exactly 0 games for Mizzou.  He was dismissed last spring after he was arrested not once, but twice for assaulting Earnest Ross.  He also brought along recruits Dominique Bull, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic, who all bolted after one season of playing at Mizzou.  He helped sign Torren Jones, who got kicked off the team last summer by Anderson for violating team rules.

Obviously, Clarkson and Brown are in the NBA, but neither he or Haith were able to get them to play to their full potential at Mizzou.  Oriakhi was servicable, but not a consistent, strong force inside that the Tigers were looking for.  Gant and Allen have incomplete grades to know just how good they’ll be.  J3 showed growth from his freshman year.  However, the misses are glaring.  For a coach with a reputation from bringing along good players, he found trouble in Price and Jones and had the three others I mentioned leave without much contribution.  Those were three potential scholarship players who would have been juniors this season.  That set back this year’s roster.

Fuller may have a strong recruiting reputation, and I realize no coach is ever going to bat 1.000 when it comes to recruiting, but to grade his job at Mizzou, I give a C+.

Now, to Fuller’s defense, when you consider what he had to recruit through his grade should be higher, much higher.  Consider this, he was out recruiting for a head coach in Haith who many thought was going to be fired over the Miami scandal.  It’s tough to get kids to come to a school where the future of the head coach is unknown.  Fuller helped keep the roster together. His first recruiting class featured Keion Bell who averaged nearly 11 points, Earnest Ross, who average ten and five, and Brown, 13.7 ppg.

In J3’s first season, when you look at the numbers he put up in the five games that Fuller coached while Haith served his suspension, he had a game with a career high of 17 rebounds and had a career high 31 points.  Jabari was averaging close to 20 and Clarkson 17.5.

So, perhaps the way those players were utilized with Haith coaching them draws more of my criticism for not getting the full potential out of there talent.  Am I being too unfair to Fuller on Price?  Perhaps.  Look at the play of the Tigers’ big men this season.  Ryan Rosburg and Keanau Post were  sub-par.  Fuller may have been scrambling and getting Price was a band-aid, but Fuller had no idea Price would do what he did.

I decided to open up the comments at the bottom of this story.  What do you think?  Was my grade too severe?  To Fuller’s credit, he stuck with a program that has seen better days when other assistants and other coaches have bailed.