Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. Been busy reading Missouri's message board and all the press on this amazing win. I don't think I have to tell you how amazing this game was. On the road against a top 10 team that presses furiously and plays at a breakneck speed. This was the game of the year in college basketball and has a great chance that that honor stands up all year. That ending was redonkulous! So many amazing and improbable things had to happen on that play for us to succeed. This victory really speaks to 2 things: Our experience and Our depth.
Our experience was key in winning this game. To have the poise and confidence to not panic when missouri tied the game and took the lead was only possible because of our veteran leaders. We kept calm and cool under pressure and never gave up. Just like the 2007 and 2008 squads, this team just finds ways to win. And of course all those two squads did is win the Big East. The veteran leadership of chris and Austin is invaluable.
Our depth was also key in this game. We played more players and played those players for more minutes, and in addition those players were more productive. Any way you slice it we were the deeper team. That depth allowed us to stay fresh down the stretch against the fastest 40 minutes in basketball. (This is a great example of the power of marketing. Missouri wasn't even top 50 in pace last year. This year they're currently 15th, but that number is likely to decrease in conference play. The point is they've never once finished as the fastest team in the nation. You know who's the fastest 40 minutes of basketball: VMI finishes first almost every year. once they finished second.) ANyway back to my main point, our depth was key in winning this game. Having players we can trust with starter type minutes if necessary is huge and something we just didn't have last year.
Austin Freeman: Most games I haven't had much to say about Austin because until now he's just being doing his thing. Scoring points in a efficient manner with out much throughfare. In this game more than any other Austin showed why he's worthy of player of the year. When we were down 5 our largest deficit of the game Austin took the team on his back and single handedly erased the deficit. Austin Freeman is an unstoppable scoring machine.
Chris Wright: Chris Wright won this game for us in more than one way. Yes he hit the shot to send us into overtime, but more improtantly his ballhandling kept us in the game. 3 turnovers out of 74 offensive possesions. Against a team that is specificlaly tryign to turn you over is pretty amazing. Especially when combined with his second double double of the year of 21pts 10 assists. Chis is a one man press break and an elite floor general.
Jason Clark: The Dragon Slayer in overtime rainign down 3's on a stunned mizzou team that was still trying to figure out how the hell the game was in overtime. Clark's other huge moment was having the presence of mind to kick the ball out to chris instead of going up with it in the lane. Jason also showed off a well rounded offensive game. Scoring in transition, driving in the half court, and on pull up jumpers. Clark was only 1-6 from 3 in regulation but 3-3 in OT. Great shooters mentality. The only shot that matters is the next one. Keep up the short memory Jason. The next one is always going in.
Henry Sims: Henry Sims was amazing. Playing quite possibly more than he has ever played in a situation that most people here would never have thought they'd been comfortable with putting him in. In a game where Julian's game wasn't going to flourish Henry stepped up tremendously. Henry just continues to impress. I think most people are still in shock at his dramatic improvement and are just waiting for order to be restored to their world. Well don't hold your breath. Henry is here to stay. 10pts and 7 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal and only 1 TO! Henry continues to impress. As someone who always thought it was only a matter of time before he was putting up numbers liek this even I'm impressed. I can't imagine what people who wrote him off are thinking. (Sorry for continuing to toot my horn on henry, but I'm just so damn proud of him). Showed so many things. Hitting a 15 ft jumper, throwing down dunks on the break, displaying his athleticism avoiding kim english's attempt to throw the ball off of him. He also had a tip in late that kept us close enough to send the game to overtime
Nate Lubick: Nate had a great game. Only 2 pts, but was so active on both ends of the court. Grabbing rebounds and keeping others alive so that a teammate could grab them. A lot of what nate does will not show up in a box score, but it's critical for us to win games. Nate also did an amazing job on offense. Dishing out the second highest number of assists at 4. He clearly understands the offense and threw several great back door passes. And he only had 1 turnover.
Hollis Thompson: Hollis was unfairly in foul trouble for a lot of the game, but in his limmited minutes he scored 5pts grabbed 4 rebounds and had 0 turnovers. Not much else to say due to his limmited minutes.
Julian Vaughn: The pace of the game didn't suit Julian's game and the Ref's called several BS calls on him further limmiting his minutes. But like Hollis he was pretty productive in his limmited minutes. 4pts 3 rebounds including 2 offensive, 1 assist and 1 steal. This game was not an indictment of Julian, just shows we have depth enough to put our best players for different situations. Biggest thing was his 2-2 from the FT line. We needed every last freethrow and Julian made both.
Jerrelle Benimon: I know theres a lot of people who hate seeing him on the court. But he really didn't hurt us at all. He only had one turnover. His offensive rebound came at a very important time in the game and was a big play. I trust the staff. Jerrelle is a good defender. This also wasn't the best game for him since he's not super fast.
Vee Sanford: Incredibly impressive. I've been told the boxsocre has been updated to show him playing 9 minutes not 3, which makes more sense. But 8pts in 9 minutes is pretty darn impressive too. Vee keeps on showing he's a valuable part of the rotation and is going to be a big part of the team this year and for the future. His 3pt shot
Markel Starks: Did a great job. No turnovers did a good job running the offense. 2-2 from the FT line. Kid's got jets and is going to be really good.