Each Wednesday, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond and recruiting editor Pete Scantlebury will answer questions from subscribers in our Tiger Mailbag. This feature will allow for longer, more in-depth answers than you may get on the message board on a daily basis. To have your question in next week's mailbag, send an email to Gabe at email@example.com. On to this week's inquiries:
Mr_Funtime asks: Were you surprised the next morning after the ku game to read SO many national stories that dealt with the Steve Moore charge? The national media still doesn't believe in us or are we too sensitive?
GD: I'll take the second part of that first. Yes, there is still some national media that doesn't believe in Missouri. And yes, you are too sensitive. All fanbases take offense at every slight and find slights where there really aren't any. But Missouri fans do it more so than most. Sorry, that's just the truth based on my years of following, attending and covering this school. But there are some that don't quite believe yet. I get it a little bit. I mean, the Tigers play only seven guys, only two of whom are bigger than 6-6, it's the same team that faded last year led by a coach almost nobody thought should have been hired. There will be some who are doubting Missouri until the bitter end this year. If the Tigers do anything other than win the national title, there will be those who say, "See, I knew it couldn't last." Some of them will be national media, some will be Missouri fans. Then you have to account for a few in the national media (and there aren't many, but there are some
I'll let you figure out the biggest offender who is mentioned often on this board) who have an axe to grind with Missouri for leaving the Big 12.
All that said, it was a fair discussion to have the day after the game. With three minutes left, I said in Instant Analysis that Missouri had to be perfect to come back and win. And along with that, they were going to need cooperation from Kansas. Because even if Missouri scored on every possession, all the Jayhawks would have needed was two to four more points and they'd still have won. The Robinson call was a major factor in the game because he made the shot. The Taylor one wasn't as big because he missed and Missouri rebounded anyway. But if Robinson isn't called for that charge, it's 73-66 and I don't know that Missouri could have come back. And it was, certainly, an arguable call. After looking at a ton of replays, I see why it was called and think it was probably a solid call. But I can also see it the other way. Just about the only thing that is certain in basketball is that on a block/charge call, there are almost ALWAYS people who see it both ways. I think focusing on that call takes a little bit away from Marcus Denmon and what he did. I thought Bill Self had the perfect perspective. He said after the game that Denmon was unstoppable and that Missouri deserved credit for making plays to win the game. However, he also said that the game was there for Kansas to win and the Jayhawks didn't do it. Both statements are correct.
Graphic Edge Guy asks: Rate the atmosphere for last Saturday's KU game on the list of ALL Sporting events you have ever attended. Complete the following sentence: This Mizzou Basketball team will be the Tiger's first ever Final-Four team IF...
GD: Great questions. On the first, I've never personally been at any college sporting event that compared to Mizzou-Kansas in Arrowhead in 2007. It was absolutely bonkers. The atmosphere last weekend was as good as (I won't say better than) any Mizzou hoops game I've ever been too. It was on par with the 2003 Nebraska football game and the 2010 Oklahoma football game. I have a hard time saying anything was any better than those two, but last Saturday was right there with them. Monday night at Arrowhead when the Chiefs are good is awfully tough to top. It's the closest thing to a college atmosphere that pro sports can offer. The single loudest stadium I've ever been in was Arrowhead on Monday night against the Chargers in 1996 or 97. Tamarick Vanover won the game with an overtime punt return, the first time that had ever happened in the NFL. The scoreboard was literally shaking. I listened to the replay driving back to Columbia and once Vanover hit his own 35, you couldn't hear the announcers over the crowd. You knew he scored, but you never actually heard them say it. It's unfair to compare the noise 80,000 people can make to the noise 15,000 can make, though.
On hoops, it's real simple, "if they play as well as they can and get the right matchups." I say it every year, but it's foolish to start predicting Final Four teams until the brackets come out. I came out of Saturday believing that Missouri and Kansas are capable of winning a national title. Other teams I'd say that about are Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Michigan State and Florida. I'll be surprised if the national champ comes from outside of that group. But you have to see the brackets to know what the path will look like before you can start predicting Final Four teams.
MizzterMizzou asks: Fact or fiction: Alden adds years and money to Haith's deal this offseason.
GD: Boy, that's a really interesting question. If Missouri were to win a national title, I think he'd have to. If they get to a Final Four, I think you probably have to. Short of that, no. It's not an insult to Haith, but you have to see him do it for two years. You have to see him do it without this senior class. There is certainly reason to believe that he can, but I don't think you can throw millions of dollars at one season.
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