Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. I know it's been said before, but when you hear people like Gary Link, Mike Kelly and Gary Leonard describing our play as "painful" and "shabby", you know that it's officially reached a status most concisely described as PATHETIC.
I have never seen a Missouri basketball squad that has been this big a disappointment. Not the squad that got busy by losing to KSU by the biggest margin ever...not the team that lost to a clearly inferior New Mexico team....not the current team in losing to DePaul this year. NEVER.
Final Score: 91-68.
That, after being down by 4 points...FOUR POINTS!!!!!!!...at the half. I'm no math major, but with our season hanging in the balance, we reviewed our strategy in the lockerroom, and stormed out to AGAIN be outscored by 19 points in a half (nearly one point lost per minute played).
There's no way for me to spin this, kids. There are no words I can say to make this look different from what it is. This is, simply put, a bad basketball team right now, TOP TO BOTTOM. No leadership of any kind from anyone, no heart, no sense of urgency.
If we had no talent, I could accept this. If we had injuries or things beyond our contol, losing would hurt, but it would be bearable. Clearly, we are not as talented as we believed just 2 1/2 months ago. But in addition to the countless layups allowed, the complete absence of board presence (our best post player had one...ONE REBOUND), and the complete and total lack of any kind of offensive gameplan, at least we shot 46% tonight...from the LINE.
There is simply no excuse for what happened tonight. None. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to save their ego, their scholarship or their job, because reality dictates otherwise. I honestly hope our team stops by University Hospitals and Clinids on the way back from the plane tonight and picks up a heart, because right now, we are not just a bad, bad basketball team. We are a soft, scared basketball team with no internal fire of any kind.
Lest I leave this out, I believe that we have no business playing in the NCAA tournament. And it has nothing to do with RPI, conference record or quality wins. It has everything to do with this simple fact: WE ARE JUST NOT ONE OF THE TOP 64 TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW. Frankly, I'm not sure if we'll win again this year, given the obvious "mail-it-in" attitude that currently resides in every part of this "team" right now.
We need at least two wins (minimum!)I don't see where a win is going to come from. The Saturday game vs. CU is the most dangerous and important game of Quin Snyder's young career. Faced with this kind of importance tonight, this team responded by getting smoked. So let's just say I'm not confident of victory, now or anytime I can think of on the horizon. Lose, and this team...this PROGRAM...is in free-fall. Other opponents? KU is playing inspired ball right now, and OSU went into Austin tonight and won. If they can do it to the Longhorns, is there any doubt they can do it to us? Projecting to the first round of the Big XII, what if we see ISU again? Anyone confident in beating that team with our season on the line? Me neither.
I understand that these are our guys, and I support them wholeheartedly. I will not go away, and I will not stop supporting and watching this team. That said, and I wish I could say otherwise, but I think this team is headed for a meltdown of epic proportions, if tonight is any indication.
We have three games left, four if you count the Big XII Tourney game that we will assuredly now have to play on Thursday. We still have a chance to make the Big Dance. I must be honest, though, and tell you that I see little to no chance of us getting invited. Right now, we don't deserve it. There is time to accomplish some things. But time is running out, and we just look like we don't care. And that's the hardest thing of all to take.