Here are three things I think following Missouri’s 92-84 win against Texas Tech at Mizzou Arena:
1. Mike Anderson gets to dust off one of his old favorite phrases
Back during Missouri’s 2008 run to the Big 12 postseason title, Mike Anderson was quick to pull out the phrase “Survive and Advance” in postgame press conferences. Reading between the lines, it was a direct coachspeak translation from the much more common vernacular, “A win is a win.”
Despite a fairly strong offensive performance, it seems safe to assume Missouri won’t be pointing toward the Tech game film as an example of optimal all-around play. Mizzou’s defense was lackadaisical on occasion, but 58 percent shooting and a tempo well within Mizzou’s comfort range allowed the Tigers to counterpunch strongly enough to hold off Texas Tech. It wasn’t a complete performance, but Anderson’s team survived and advances forward with a record better than .500 in conference play for only the second time this season.
2. A tip of the cap is in order
With 20 points against Texas Tech, Marcus Denmon added his name to the 1,000-point club, and Kim English fell just two points shy of doing the same. The milestone (or near-milestone, in English’s case) is a proper moment to reflect on their career journeys thus far.
They officially debuted themselves to the Mizzou fan base at the Black and Gold Game in 2008. Denmon wowed observers with 36 points to lead all scorers in the exhibition and seemed to establish himself as the bona fide star out of Mizzou’s freshman class. English, on the other hand, looked somewhat tentative and frail for Big 12 competition. But as 2008-09 progressed, it was English that grew into a role, while Denmon was willing to settle for his.
But in the time since, English has fought to live up to his lofty expectations while Denmon has done nothing but exceed his. English will forever be beloved for his work against Marquette in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, while Denmon’s workmanlike demeanor has earned him as much respect from blue-collar Missouri fans as his on-court exploits, of which there continue to be many.
3. It’s time for the road woes to stop
Missouri hasn’t won a Big 12 road game. If you haven’t heard this fact, you clearly don’t speak to many frustrated Missouri fans.
The Tigers get Iowa State in Ames at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. At this point, a road win probably won’t erase Mizzou’s current road stigma, but it would be a tremendous breath of fresh air from the current narrative.