Sacramento, CAI don’t want to paint with a very big brush here. I think there are a lot of Mizzou fans who, even after the 78-63 loss, can still appreciate the bigger picture. Perspective is very rare for sports fans, especially online, but there are some who do have it and I want to make sure the next few paragraphs don’t offend those who do.
I think there are people who want this column to be something it won’t be. Some want some fire and some anger and some want to brag. How can this be possible? Where were the tough questions? How can you never use embarrassing or unforgivable words?
Because it was not. It was just a game. I’m not ashamed of it. You shouldn’t be either. Missouri lost a game to a team that has been better than most of the season and a team that it will likely be better than most nights. But it wasn’t on this night. And so when Princeton goes to Louisville and plays in the game we all thought Missouri was going to play, the Tigers go home.
You know who had perspective in the immediate aftermath of the loss? Dennis Gates. and their players.
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were they upset? Sure. Hurt? almost certainly. But asked in the wake of a defeat that ended their season and meant that this particular team would never play another game for which they wanted to be remembered, a group of men much younger than me and probably those reading this Most people were able to hit the right chord.
“Laying a foundation, building that culture in Colombia, getting those fans back involved,” senior Trey Gomillion Said. “Just doing what we did. We shouldn’t have been here in the first place. We didn’t have to make it to the SEC semi-finals. I mean, at the end of the day we lost today, but we have a lot to be proud of. So I’ll say it.”
Of course it was Gomillion who said it perfectly. He did not play in the final weekend of his college career. He was in tears before Thursday’s win over Utah State—Missouri’s first in the NCAA tournament in 13 years and yes, of course, it needs to be said again—because his groin injury wouldn’t let him. So he sat on the bench and he cheered and he coached and he did everything he could to get his teammates to the Sweet 16. But they came less.
“I just want to be remembered as a group of guys who loved each other on and off the court.” Ben Sternberg Said. “We were together every day in the crib, obviously at the gym. Not only that, but we want to be known as the starting step for coaches. Coach, obviously this is his first year. We want him to build the culture here. Now the coming teams will follow us.
Sternberg started with Gates as the Cleveland State manager. Then a Cleveland State walk-on. The Mizzou walk-on is more famous for its video blog than its action on the floor, including the last seconds on Saturday. Gates wanted him—and Gomillion and d’moi hodge And Mabor Majak– in Missouri because he wanted a living, breathing example of the culture he was trying to establish in Missouri. mission accomplished.
Hodge said, “It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to go to Mizzou, especially playing for Coach at Cleveland State.” “It was really good to build the foundation of what we know he can be and what his goals are. Mizzou fans supporting us and believing in us to come out here and do what we do.” Columbia means a lot to the community. I thank them for embracing me and my team.”
Hodge was a very good player in the Horizon League. And then he was terrific in the Southeastern Conference and was the leading scorer for Mizzou in Thursday’s win over Utah State.
no more than 30 minutes of the final game of his college career – because any or all of the three deandre gholston could come back—they were able to appreciate the ride that they had. And the ride they took us all on.
Some may think that this is the easy way out. Why am I not paying much attention to the fact that Missouri lost to the 15 seed in the NCAA tournament? Where is the anger and frustration that the Tigers had a Sweet 16 appearance for the taking and couldn’t capture it?
That’s a Saturday story. No doubt. if you had handed over the princeton coach mitch henderson Given a piece of paper before the game and asked him to write his script, it couldn’t possibly have been much different from what happened. Princeton destroyed Missouri on the boards, threatening them in the paint on both ends and that’s when he convinced Gates that he needed to switch to a zone defense to stop the bleeding inside. ryan longborg And Blake Peters Bombed to the tune of 9-of-20 from three-point range and kept Missouri at bay for a full 40 minutes. Princeton isn’t a better team than Missouri every day. But it was better this day.
“We were able to take the edge off once,” Gates said. “Every time we got a lead or when they had a lead, we cut it down to six, they came back down and did what a good team does: Make a shot or make a play. Make those plays or that shot. It was not our day to apply.
“They were the better team today.”
Yes, it’s a story. This is the story of this day. This is not what I want to say. This is not the story of this team.
“From the beginning of our conversation and journey, I have always appreciated my friends,” Gates said. “He’s done a tremendous job. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. He’s done even more, hasn’t he?
“What they’ve been able to do together is something we’ll look back on 20 years from now, 10 years from now we’ll look back on, five years from now we’ll look back and see how important it was that they accomplished that.”
Some might not think that tonight is the night of that appreciation? but why not? If they can put it into perspective immediately after the game, shouldn’t we be able to do the same? He has put more into it than us. It probably hurt them more than any of us.
embarrassing? unforgivable? No. no way.
It was a bad end to an incredible ride. Like Utah State had two days ago and 65 others will end up. If the end doesn’t hurt, the journey wasn’t worth it. So it’s okay that it hurts right now. But what happened on the way cannot be erased.
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