“Believe. Time and time again at Mizzou Arena, [Phil] Pressey delivered that message to his teammates as they encircled him during dead balls and timeouts. He said it when the Tigers trailed No. 5 Florida by double digits midway through the second half. And he uttered the word again in the game’s waning minutes, after Florida stormed back to take the lead.”
Jason King, ESPN.com
GH: I remember Jason King’s roots as The Kansas City Star’s KU beat writer. Writing on deadline for an event that just concluded is one of the most difficult tasks for any sportswriter. Reading King’s game story on the Florida/Mizzou game reminded me that his talent is what allowed him to be elevated to his current post with ESPN. His talent at times can be as spectacular as Pressey’s.
“Great shot from @benwalton_MU after tonight’s win!”
GH: Ben Walton is a Missouri student with a rare, rare talent. His work as a sports photographer can be [and often is] spectacular. His pic [posted to the left] of Pressey embracing Frank Haith in the Mizzou locker room following the Tigers’ comeback win over Florida is one that should hang in the MU basketball offices for the next 50 years. As Mitch Holthus might say, this was a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big win for the SEC Missouri Tigers.
“Phil Pressey has been erratic this season, but when he’s good, he’s really, really good.”
Jeff Goodman, @GoodmanCBS, Twitter
GH: Pressey had ten assists [some that were SportsCenter worthy] and took only five shots. But one of his casts was in the final seconds from beyond the arc that clanged off the backboard, rim and was just flat fugly. He followed that miss with an over-the-head save attempt on the Gators’ side of the court that was grabbed by Florida. It looked like vintage Flip Pressey late-game meltdown. But Mizzou weathered this foreshadowing, grabbed some key rebounds and stayed undefeated at home. It was a helluva fun night.
“Huge W for Mizzou and the SEC. SEC needed some teams to step up and compete with UF.”
Matt Doherty, @DohertyMatt, Twitter
GH: Tuesday night we got a great SEC game in Columbia with a packed house and a national ESPN audience. I didn’t notice anyone bemoaning the fact Missouri was no longer in the Big 12. This win over Billy Donovan’s Gators separated Mizzou even more from their Big 12 origins. Kansas City now has two BCS conferences to follow and I believe that to be a very good thing for sports fans.
“I think that [Missouri] needed [that win over Florida]. Not to get in [to the NCAA tourney] but to matter – to believe they matter.”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM
“Missouri beats the best college basketball team in America. Tigers huge second rally to take out Florida 63-60.”
Jack Harry, @JackHarryKSHB, Twitter
GH: Florida is very good, which is reflected in their fifth-place ranking – but the “best college basketball in America?” Why does Mad Jack have to go fan boy when he reports on the Tigers? Bob Fescoe uses this same biased approach on 610 Sports to make him popular with Kansas fans and the target of scorn for MU and KSU fans. It’s an old shtick that plays to the audience’s lowest denominator. It’s not intelligent, it’s embarrassing.
“I think Missouri is off and running. I could be wrong but I think this team could very easily be in the Sweet 16.”
Jimmy Dykes, who was the color analyst for the Florida/MU game on ESPN, 810 AM
GH: That is a strong statement considering MU’s blown lead at Arkansas is less than a week old. I have thought all season that MU has the pieces to make a run in the NCAA tourney. But they play way too inconsistently to think they can do anything “easily.” If the Tigers make it to the second weekend of the tourney, it will be on the same torturous Worlds-of-Fun ride they put their fans through weekly.
“Missouri loss drops Billy Donovan to 58-75 in games decided by 5 pts or less in 17 seasons at UF.”
Kevin Brockway, @gatorhoops, Twitter
GH: Geez, and Mizzou didn’t even foul in the final three seconds as they should have. All that said, I was VERY impressed with Florida. They played hard, defended like madmen and got a great look from the corner on the final shot. They look like a Final Four team to me.
“That Mizzou PA guy needs to back off of the peace pipe.”
Michael J., @rvive85KC, Twitter
GH: The ESPN audience on Tuesday night was exposed to what Mizzou fans and foes have known since Aric Bremer took over the PA duties at Mizzou Arena in 2010 – that dude is crazy over-the-top and impossible to ignore. Tuesday night his background bleating that seemed to go on well after the play was annoying, sophomoric and embarrassing. I like an energetic PA announcer. Bremer sounds like he’s somebody’s drunk dad who grabbed the mic on CYO bingo night.
“The Mizzou PA’s voice cracked while trying to WWE-scream the final score. Bring it down a skosh Hacksaw Jim Duggan.”
Michael Erb, @erbmike, Twitter
“Missouri needs to give its PA guy back to And 1.”
CJ Moore, @cjmoore4, Twitter
“Two Mizzou students try to rush floor, quickly escorted back.”
Blair Kerkhoff, @BlairKerkhoff, Twitter
GH: If Missouri was ever going to storm the court, their comeback win over the Gators would have been that game. Read on.
“THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN YOU GO TO STORM THE COURT & NOBODY ELSE FOLLOWS YOU…”
Andrew Sweeney, @Sweezy_F_Baby, Mizzou cross country/track athlete, Twitter
GH: Andrew is a freshman half-miler on Mizzou’s track team who hails from upstate New York. From what I have seen and know of the entertaining @Sweezy_F_Baby, this will not be the only time in his years at MU where he chooses to tread the path less taken.
“Mizzou Golden Girls– SEC worthy– always have been.”
Doug Gottlieb, @GottliebShow, Twitter
GH: Talk about awkward moments. As the ESPN camera is panning this lineup of Mizzou lovelies, I felt my bride’s hot stare lased on my left temple. “So, what do you think,” dripped from her accusing lips. “Uh, well, I think the Tigers need to step it up a little in the second half,” I safely responded.
“Seems strange that Mike Alden said Haith hadn’t received NOA, but Haith tells media he has. Didn’t tell boss?”
Dave Matter, @Dave_Matter, Twitter
GH: Holly Rowe reported during the game that Haith had not heard from the NCAA. But immediately after the game Haith confided to the media he had received his notice. One thing that has been consistent about Haith and the shadow he brought from Miami is that he has not communicated well with Mike Alden on what the hell is going on.
“Honestly, I can’t even believe [the NCAA] brings that charge [against Haith] with a straight face. … I am pleased to see that it looks like Frank will be in good shape.”
Mike DeCourcy, 810 AM
GH: It appears Haith will get off with no more than a few games suspension, if that. With much of the damning evidence apparently inadmissible, it looks like that KU grad did Haith a favor with her incompetence.
“I think this is going to be a more difficult month for the NCAA than it’s going to be for Miami.”
Tim Brando, Sirius XM 91
GH: The NCAA has never taken a hit like this. It will be very interesting to see if they even survive this scandal. Read on for Donna Shalala’s acrid response to the NCAA’s charges of Miami’s lack of institutional control.
“Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying. The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the University that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation ‘corroborated’ – an argument which is both ludicrous and counter to legal practice. Most of the sensationalized media accounts of Shapiro’s claims are found nowhere in the Notice of Allegations. Despite their efforts over two and a half years, the NCAA enforcement staff could not find evidence of prostitution, expensive cars for players, expensive dinners paid for by boosters, player bounty payments, rampant alcohol and drug use, or the alleged hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts given to student-athletes, as reported in the media. The fabricated story played well – the facts did not.”
Donna Shalala, president of University of Miami, Miami press release
“We believe the NCAA was responsible for damaging leaks of unsubstantiated allegations over the course of the investigation. Let me be clear again: for any rule violation – substantiated and proven with facts – that the University, its employees, or student-athletes committed, we have been and should be held accountable. We have worked hard to improve our compliance oversight, and we have already self-imposed harsh sanctions. We deeply regret any violations, but we have suffered enough.”
Donna Shalala, president of University of Miami, Miami press release
GH: It will be interesting to see how Charles Robinson and YahooSports.com reacts to Shalala’s words.
“I retired. Vitale should too. Unlistenable.”
Mike DeArmond, @sptwri, as he listened to Vitale work the Indiana/Michigan State game, Twitter
GH: I have little interest in hearing Vitale but his voice is so muffled and weak now that I can’t understand anything he says during a game. Old broadcasters just refuse to retire and we are left to suffer their vanity.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24