Man, I freaking hate the University of Missouri athletics. It is the Nebraska football fan in me, dang it I hate the booger eater Chase Daniel. They are the one athletic program, that if they have a game on television, I will tune in just at the prospect of watching them lose a game. One of my wife’s best friends and high school teammate played softball at Alabama and I jokingly give her crap about Alabama, but we gain a bond that cannot be explained whenever Bama plays Mizzou in softball. Actually, it can be explained, I just love watching Mizzou lose things, and she likes the 2 days a year that I kind of pretend to like Alabama.
Combine my Nebraska fan hood with my roots of my family being planted all around the state of Iowa. I have learned over the years that Iowans hate all states that border them. Actually, I have never gotten into a conversation with an Iowan about people from the state of Illinois, but I just assume they hate them too. Myself, I do really like Kansas City. I am a Royals fan, I enjoy the downtown area, I liked the Power and Light district maybe a little too much in my early twenties; but even Kansas City has to claim some of the state of Kansas to balance itself out.
I have a theory that places can not have great quality Mexican restaurants and have great Italian restaurants at the same time, it is typically one or the other. My friends in New York City miss Mexican food and my friends in Texas completely miss Italian food. Missouri though, I assume has both equally terrible Mexican and Italian restaurants. BBQ is so great they seem to think they need to combine it with everything. Oh, instead of marinara sauce, we put in some honey barbecue sauce into the angel hair pasta…trust us, it’s good. Instead of using a Tex Mex mix for our taco meat we used some pulled pork for these tacos…actually that doesn’t sound that bad. Our sweet and sour chicken comes with barbecue sauce instead of sweet and sour sauce…so you mean it is chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce? No, get out of here you crazy liberal hippy.
Wait, where the hell am I here? I was feeling good about the Mavs going into this game. Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins were both on a roll, and obviously Devin Patterson was as well. I cooled the pint glasses in the freezer for the Nebraska Brewing Company beers. I made my wife some guacamole…my wife just spent the last 3 months writing a grant that may have taken 5 years off of her life and now she has to grade 60 or so 5 page papers…so you’re welcome UNO students for putting her in a good mood before grading your papers that I assume most of you procrastinated until the night before. Oh, I also learned that my wife has trained me like a puppy. Every time I get up to pour myself a drink; whether it is a beer; water; or a mixed drink; my wife will ask me to pour her a drink the second I sit down. Then I have to get back up and pour her a drink, but now I have reached a conditioned point to where I will ask her if she wants a drink before I sit down. Any woman that uses this trick…well played.
Missouri was a young team…it just seemed like this was going to be the Mavs’ night, but by the end of the game I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and being set on fire. Maybe the Mavs would have won this game if Montana State on Sunday was a home game, and they did not have as much traveling under their belts. Not that I am bitter or anything. They won…seemed like part of the plan was to force Tre’Shawn Thurman out of the game and to force the Mavs to take jump shots, and they did a good job of that in the first half.
The SEC commentators called the Mavs a great defensive team, which is great because this is the first time I have heard anyone say the Mavericks are a good defensive team since the transition. They said some really nice things about Derrin Hansen and the Omaha basketball program, which I feel indifferent about because I hate the SEC. This was also the most time I ever spent watching the SEC Network. At the beginning of the game they called UNO “the Mavericks of Omaha” and my wife made fun of them like they were trying too hard to make the game seem like some old western film. She really wanted me to add this in here…she’s cute. The other night she suggested that the NBA give goody baskets of treats to the first team to beat the Golden State Warriors. I am still pretty proud of that comment.
Tra-Deon Hollins is at a point to where when I watch I am just expecting a near triple-double, like, I know the night is coming that he gets a triple-double. Just like whenever I watch the UNO women’s team, I know a 45 point, 17 rebound, 7 assist performance could be coming from Mikaela Shaw. It is coming and I cannot miss it. Hollins did not have his best game, he missed a few close lay ups, but so did everyone else in the game, and he only had 3 steals. Yep, just said a guy “only had 3 steals.”
The first half of this game was odd. The Mavericks looked like they had problems getting the ball inside and there was no real flow to the Mavs offense. The Mavs did not get to the free throw line for the first 15 1/2 minutes of the game. The only points in the paint in the first half I completely recall were from Kyler Erickson, Tra-Deon Hollins, and Daniel Meyer. Erickson played great in the first half. Lots of energy, and he kept beating his man off the dribble and keeping his player in front of him on defense. By the way, Nebraska and Creighton played each other…Omaha played Mizzou…and it’s like no one cares that UNK is 4-3 right now.
Jake White was playing great in the second half, he scored 12 straight points for the Mavericks and the really classy Mizzou fans were chanting “Jake White Trash.” Way to go Mizzou fans, way to step out of your comfort zone there. Jake White appears to play better when he is pissed…when the reason for him being pissed is not foul trouble. Can we get Ben Kozitske and Marcus Tyus to talk smack to White in timeouts? Just say terrible things about him and his family and cuss him out…then watch Jake White go off for 40 points, all while he is glaring at Kozitske and Tyus. Jake White could really be the best big man in the Summit League right now…go ahead look around and argue who else is better.
Serious question, how long does it take to recover from elbow tendinitis…and did I spell tendinitis correctly? The team needs JT Gibson back for another 3 point shooter on the court. The Mavs were 5-22 from three last night. I know it is ridiculous to talk stats in December as there are so many outliers, but the Mavs are 307th in the country in three point field goal percentage. The best three point shooter on the team is Jake White, and it probably wouldn’t be the best to just stick him on the outside as he’s incredibly efficient in the post. The Mavs’ three point shooting is there pair of 8s against three clubs showing after the river. I have a gambling program, and I have talked about beer in this post…it’s amazing I lasted as long as I did in the state of Utah.
The Mavs do have a counter to the bad three point shooting. The free throws. In the year of the free throw, the Mavs have become a much better free throw shooting team. Again, really dumb to talk stats in the first half of December…The Mavs are currently 32nd in the country in the free throw percentage, and of the teams in front of them, the only two teams that attempt more per game are Xavier and Tennessee Tech…that’s my way of saying the Mavs attempt a lot of free throws and make a high percentage of them.
They were not joking when they said the non-conference schedule was tough. Not just the competition, but the traveling the Mavs have had so far. To Colorado, come back to Omaha, then back to Colorado, then to Minnesota, then back to Omaha, then to Montana, then back to Omaha, then to Missouri, then back to Omaha, then to Arizona…it goes on. Derrin Hansen said he really liked this team going into conference play if they are healthy. He said that before they really put the redshirt on Tyus, and before Gibson’s tendinitis…and there are still a few more weeks to go. Hopefully Gibson can come back in time for Western Illinois and IUPUI for some more depth.