March 26, 2015

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.

 

 

Mizzou gymnastics back in regionals, while Lindenwood and SEMO send individuals to same region

Mizzou gymnastics back at NCAA regionals (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Mizzou gymnastics back at NCAA regionals (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

The Mizzou gymnastics team will compete at the 2015 NCAA Norman Regional on Saturday, April 4 at the University of Oklahoma. The bid marks the Tigers’ return to NCAA Regionals since 2012.  Missouri will compete against No. 1 seed and host Oklahoma, No. 2 seed Oregon State, No. 3 seed Penn State, No. 4 seed Southern Utah and No. 6 seed North Carolina State.

Southeast Missouri sophomore Ashley Thomas advanced to the NCAA Regional in Norman in the all-around. Thomas, a former walk-on, was a first-team All-Midwest Conference selection in the vault after setting a career-high and tying the sixth-best score in Southeast history with a 9.900 at the MIC Championships. She was a second-team All-MIC honoree in the all-around after posting a career-best 39.225 total score.

Three Lindenwood gymnasts were selected as individuals to compete in Norman as well. Valeri Ingui and Kierstin Sokolowski were selected as all-around competitors, while Courtney Heise advanced in the bars competition. They are the first Lady Lions to advance to the NCAA Division I regional competition, and they accomplished the feat in just the program’s third year of existence.

Norman Regional (April 4 in Norman, Oklahoma, 4 p.m. CT)

Teams
1. Oklahoma
2. Oregon State
3. Penn State
4. Southern Utah
5. Missouri
6. North Carolina State

All-Around Competitors:
1. Gabrielle May, Illinois-Chicago
2. Taylor Allex, Arizona State
3. Valeri Ingui, Lindenwood
4. Ashley Thomas, SEMO
5. Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood
Alt. Allie Salas, Arizona State

Individual Event Specialists:
Vault
Amanda Stepp, Northern Illinois
Alternate: Natasha Sundby, Arizona State

Uneven Bars

Courtney Heise, Lindenwood
Alternate: Courtney Cochefski, Texas Woman’s

Balance Beam

Sami King, Illinois State
Alternate: Amanda Mohler, Illinois State

Floor Exercise

Natasha Sundby, Arizona State
Alternate: Spencer Jones, Texas Woman’s

Morgan Eye ties WNIT record for three-pointers as Mizzou moves on in WNIT

Morgan Eye (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Morgan Eye (file photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Missouri women’s basketball senior Morgan Eye has made her mark in the Mizzou record books when it comes to three-point shots.  Now the Montrose, Mo. native did so on the national level.

She tied the WNIT record nine three-pointers in game on Sunday, as Eye and Mizzou beat Kansas State 67-48 in the second round.  The Tigers, as a team, hit 16 three-pointers which is one off the WNIT team record.

The Tigers led by as many as ten in the first half, but the Wildcats tied the game at intermission and had a three-point lead in the second half, before Missouri went on a 19-0 run. K-State shot just 19% in the second half.

The Tigers will advance to the third round and will play the winner of Monday’s Michigan, Toledo game.

Mizzou wrestling wraps up at NCAA nationals. Houdashelt wins a national title. Waters takes third, Cox drops to fifth

Drake Houdashelt of the University of Missouri celebrates his win over David Habat of Edinboro in the 149 pound class during the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 21, 2015.   Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Drake Houdashelt of the University of Missouri celebrates his win over David Habat of Edinboro in the 149 pound class during the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 21, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

In the 149 lb title match, Mizzou’s Drake Houdashelt capped off a 37-1 record with a 3-1 sudden victory over Edinboro’s David Habat.  It was a bright spot on a rather difficult weekend for the Tigers.

In the 125 lb. consolation semifinal, Alan Waters beat Conor Youtsey of Michigan, 7-0.  Then in the final, won 8-4 over Iowa’s Thomas Gilman.

In the 197 lb. consolation semifinal, #2 Morgan McIntosh of Penn State beat J’Den Cox 3-1.  Cox, wrestling for fifth place, picked up a 4-2 win a tiebreaker over Duke’s Conner Hartmann.

Willie Miklus, at 184 lbs. beat Timothy Dudley of Nebraska 6-5 to grab 7th place.  Lavion Mayes also took 7th place at 141 lbs. after a medical forfeit.

Mizzou wrestling drops further in the team standings as national title hopes slip away on second day (AUDIO)

Division 1 Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Division 1 Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

This was supposed to be Missouri’s weekend.  A chance to silence some of the experts who didn’t think Tiger wrestling could bring home the national title this weekend.  Mizzou came in with the number one ranking in the country.  NCAA tournament in their own backyard at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.  It was the perfect setup to cap a perfect season.  Somebody forgot to tell Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are poised to take the 2015 NCAA championship and to make matters worse, they delivered a double blow Friday evening, ending the individual title hopes for two Mizzou wrestlers.

Number one ranked Alan Waters at 125 pounds lost his semifinal match to Ohio State’s fourth ranked Nathan Tomasello, 4-2.  Tomasello, who improved to 32-4, hasn’t lost a match since early January. Back on December 14th in Columbus, third-ranked Alan Waters earned an 11-8 decision over the Buckeyes’ Nathan Tomasello in the Tigers win over the Buckeyes.

At 197 pounds, top ranked J’den Cox was also stopped by number four seed Kyle Snyder of the Buckeyes, 3-2.  There will be no repeat championship for Cox, who attempted several take downs in the final minutes, but to no avail.

Missouri head coach Brian Smith

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