Mercifully, 2015 is over. It’s been quite the disastrous year for the Missouri Tigers-most of us really couldn’t wait for it to end. There have been all kinds of racial tension, hunger strikes, and yes, losing seasons. The most impressive thing about Mizzou sports this year was the volleyball team, but in true Missouri fashion, they went out in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament. Possibly the biggest frustration, though, is the way the Mizzou basketball team has progressed.
“Give him time. He’ll be better next year. He just needs to get used to Division 1 coaching.” After winning only nine games last season, Kim Anderson’s team had to do better. With six wins and one non-conference game left to go, they did do better, but if things don’t get a lot better, Kim Anderson could be looking for a job by the end of the season.
Missouri’s young core has progressed nicely this season. The Phillips/Puryear combination will be a force to be reckoned with later on down the road. K.J. Walton and Cullen VanLeer are two other talented freshman that see regular playing time. The leadership of Wes Clark and Ryan Rosburg, coupled with the young, fresh talent could do wonders for them late in the season, but most likely won’t happen until next year.
With a young team, comes a lot of mistakes. Every game, there has been a key turnover that makes you say, “Wow, what a freshman thing to do.” It’s nearly unavoidable and seems to happen against any power 5 team.
Almost everything about this team is absolutely unwatchable at various points. I’m so tired of listening to Kim Anderson’s postgame press conferences, and hearing about how it was a “moral victory” for the team. Moral victories are for losers and moral victories don’t get you anywhere but last place. If Simon Cowell were judging them on their performances on the court, he’d say, “You guys are the worst team in America, and the SEC hates you. It’s like watching a cat use the litter box. Absolutely and utterly dreadful. Basketball is not for you.” It almost seems like the attitude of Anderson reflects into his players. “Oh, we tried, so that’s good enough.” While they are a team with potential and a lot of upside, their attitude doesn’t prove that way, and it’s so irritating to watch.
This 2015 Tigers team is a lot like the 2012 Kansas City Royals club. They had most of the right pieces to succeed in the future, but just didn’t. They had their clubhouse leaders like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, and their young guys like Hosmer, Moustakas, and Perez. They just lacked that one key puzzle piece. For the Royals, it was starting pitching. These Tigers lack a few more things like discipline and a real leader, but (depending on transfers) they have a lot of the right pieces to succeed.
So far, the 2015 part of this season has been a real letdown, but mostly expected. Missouri is one of the youngest teams in CBB, but even so, they shouldn’t be this bad. They shouldn’t be losing by 24 to K-State, they shouldn’t be losing at home to NC State, and it shouldn’t be coming down to the wire against NIU and Omaha. Missouri can improve in a countless amount of ways and they need to.
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