30 October 2011

One State, One Spirit Classic

Tigers win big in charity game
by Mizzou Matt 10/30/11
JOPLIN, MO- May 22nd, 2011. An EF-5 tornado rips through southwest Missouri, devastating everything in its path, including the city of Joplin. When the dust settled and the weather cleared, there was over 7,500 homes were damaged and a final death toll of 162 in Joplin. Starting the very next week, the University of Missouri launched a campaign- "One Mizzou", and started selling t-shirts to raise money for relief efforts in Joplin. New Missouri head basketball coach Frank Haith masterminded a concept and was able to get NCAA Division II Missouri Southern head coach Robert Corn on board the playing of an exhibition game to benefit the city of Joplin.

MSSU enters the year with preseason ranks as high as 4th and as low as 7th in D-II. The Lions are placed atop the MIAA conference. Mizzou enters with a preseason rank of 25th, and is picked 4th in the Big 12.

Mizzou fans got their first look at this year's squad as they run away with the game, 114-68 in Joplin. Not only was it the first look at the AP #25 2011-12 Tigers (23-10, 9-9 last season), but it was the first real look at the new coach. Haith, who after coming from Miami, FL, raised concerns with his possible involvement in a "pay-for-play" scandal with the Hurricanes, according to convicted ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro. Haith is the 17th head coach in Mizzou history.

Tiger senior Marcus Denmon led all scorers with 25 and fellow senior Kim English posted ten of his own as virtually everybody on the bench who is able to play, played. Jarrett Sutton saw some action and even scored a few points, along with Kadeem Green. Transfers Earnest Ross (Auburn) and Keion Bell (Pepperdine) won't be available til next season, and the same goes for senior Laurence Bowers. Bowers tore his ACL prior to starting practices and is being granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA.

"We still have some things to work on," said Haith, as the Tigers take on Truman State and Central Missouri in two more exhibition matchups before starting the season on November 11th against SE Missouri.

Tonight's game at MSSU's Leggett & Platt Athletic Center was a sellout, and all proceeds from tonight's game, including merchandise and memorabilia, goes to the Joplin Relief Fund. On October 8-9, the Missouri baseball team raised over $12,500 in exhibition games against Iowa for the Joplin Little League to rebuild their fields. The University raised over $100,000 for Joplin with their t-shirt campaign in the first week.

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