An informed source continued to say Wednesday that presumed prime target Gregg Marshall of Wichita State and his camp have not been contacted by Missouri or anyone affiliated with the Tigers search for a new mens basketball coach. Along with that, the brief surge in political traction that UTEP coach Tim Floyd enjoyed also crumbled by Wednesday night.
As always with contemporary coaching searches, the vacuum of actual news and a hunger for substance propels speculation cloaked as certainty around the internet. So it is with the search for the next University of Missouris mens basketball coach.
Despite a base-running blunder by Eric Hosmer in the fourth inning, the Royals didnt get hung up on what they did wrong Saturday. Instead, they they gritted out a 4-3 win on back-to-back two-out doubles by Gordon and Salvador Perez in the eighth and because Nori Aoki made a fantastic catch to bail out wobbly winner Wade Davis.
Alex Gordon was but one of a number of factors in the Royals’ semi-urgent win to tap a reset button after their exasperating 0-2 start to this much-anticipated season.
Just because Kentucky sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein sat out with his left ankle in a boot and was clad in spectacles instead of the familiar headband didn’t mean he wasn’t as one with the team Sunday against Michigan.
Yordano Venturas fastball is off the charts, and so was his journey from the Dominican Republic to the Royals, who need him to develop as fast as he can throw a ball.
For most of the frantic Division II national title game Saturday, Central Missouri coach Kim Anderson radiated his customary pose of poise. There he stood on the sideline, stoic, his arms crossed, projecting a restrained strength he wanted his team to absorb all through the dizzying nine lead changes and 14 ties in the Mules 84-77 win over West Liberty.
Sundays Wichita State-Kentucky clash didnt end the way the Shockers and their fans had hoped, but it was an instant classic for so many reasons, starting with some symbolic stakes.
About the time he was in eighth grade, Wichita States Ron Baker almost died when he suffered an allergic reaction to wheat dust. That bears a certain irony as the sophomore guard from Scott City, Kan., has become an icon of the school with the Wheatshocker mascot. His distinct combination of game, mane and disposition plus his rise from walk-on status have made him a cult figure.
Forward Jamari Traylor played the game of his life for KU Friday, hoarding 14 rebounds and 17 points for his first career double-double. Good timing, too, as second-seeded KU was in real jeopardy of losing to 15th-seeded Eastern Kentucky.
In an 86-60 thrashing by the Jayhawks, Wildcats freshman Marcus Foster absorbed a lesson that transformed his season. And it still has direct implications on his approach to K-States game against Kentucky on Friday night at the Scottrade Center.
Say this for whats been a meandering Mizzou: With ample excuse to shrug or wilt as Davidson led by as many as 13 points in the second half, the shorthanded Tigers instead played with a certain desperation and unity uncharacteristic of their season to fend off the Wildcats 85-77 on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
But one of the most fundamental reasons Wichita State’s success is being harvested now — a 34-0 record and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament — is because it was sown in the opposite stuff: improbable roots, seemingly disparate parts and grinding work by the coach who calls himself a “29-year-overnight sensation.” “Nothing’s ever been given to me,” Gregg Marshall said. And that reverberates through the type of team he has assembled.
Fifty years ago this week, Kansas City was the focal point of the basketball world. And as Rockhurst won the NAIA title, and UCLA followed suit a week later with its first NCAA crown, arguably the best high school player KC has ever seen had a monumental decision to make.
Sparked perhaps by rare technical foul on their coach, Fred Hoiberg, the Iowa State Cyclones gutted out a gritty and nearly as rare tournament victory over KU to advance to Saturdays Big 12 championship game.
Andrew Wiggins stepped nimbly into the postseason with a 30-point, eight-rebound performance in KUs 77-70 overtime win over Oklahoma State in a Big 12 quarterfinal at the Sprint Center. It was pivotal because KU was coming off two losses in its last three games and doubts were surfacing about its trajectory and NCAA-seeding traction minus Joel Embiid.
At a simplistic glance, wheelchair basketball looks like chaos. “It might seem as rough and tumble as any sport out there. But when you really break it down … it really is a synchronized thing,” said U.S. Paralympic hopeful Carter Arey, who led Missouri to fourth in the national tournament Saturday and was chosen player of the year.
The Royals need a translator to communicate with outfielder Nori Aoki, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason and who is the teams first Japanese-born position player and just their fourth overall from Japan, but it looks like a snug and happy fit so far.
In the first seven full seasons of general manager Dayton Moore’s tenure, 19 men have started games at second base for the Royals. Only two did it for more than 100 games in a season in that span. But former Detroit Tiger Omar Infante should shore up that position, as long as he stays healthy.
Left-hander Danny Duffy, who is vying for the final spot in the Royals' starting rotation, has battled back from adversity time and again. Thats worth remembering after an unsettling performance Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, its only spring training, but every impression counts for Duffy, 25.
After being nurtured on a diet of low-stress situations, one-time struggling starting pitcher Luke Hochevar came to thrive as a setup man in the Royals best season in 25 years. This was an identity-changing transformation, really. Hochevar found a nice niche and rehabilitated his career. But its at a different sort of crossroads now as the Royals consider him a contender to rejoin the rotation.
With its 68-45 victory Saturday over Missouri State, Wichita State became the first college basketball team in a decade to finish the regular season unblemished. It was special in its own right, regardless of what it all may or may not say about the Shockers chances of a second straight Final Four or becoming the first team since Indiana in 1976 to win the title without so much as a smudge.
By now, teams have formed their identity and personality, and this Missouri basketball teams is what, exactly? Guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson are about as good as anyone in the SEC. But there is no evident, or effective, leadership on the floor. There is no apparent chemistry. Its frustrating to watch, because the Tigers look as frustrated as they play.
KU uncorked a 43-10 rampage to end the first half on the way to an 85-54 victory over Texas on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. There were so many things you could point to in that span, but nothing reverberated like Andrew Wiggins, who turns 19 today and steadily has been coming of age and beginning to fulfill his immense promise.
To Howard Bragman, the word distraction is right up there with Richard Sherman and the word thug. Its just code for low-level homophobia, frankly, and its a way for people to express their discomfort.