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  • Bryan Burwell on Quin Snyder...

    Finger of blame for MU's failure points at Snyder
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    03/14/2004




    DALLAS - As the locker room doors closed behind the Missouri Tigers late Friday night in American Airlines Center, you could see Quin Snyder wrapping his arms around the broad shoulders of a sobbing Travon Bryant. The kid was crying and emotionally devastated. This was his senior year, and it wasn't supposed to have ended like this.

    It wasn't supposed to have ended with such a thorough thumping in the Big 12 Tournament to the hated Kansas Jayhawks. It wasn't supposed to have ended with the words "NIT" lingering in the air instead of "NCAA." It wasn't supposed to have ended with such an inglorious second-half collapse that put the final exclamation point on such a disappointing season.

    No, it surely wasn't supposed to have ended like this, not in a million years. But this season that began with legitimate national championship buzz ended Friday night with kids crying in a cramped locker room and an exasperated head coach standing in the middle of a corridor surrounded by minicams and notepads searching for answers as to how it could have come to such a dismal end.

    "We experienced a lot of adversity. We had a lot of distractions," said Snyder after the Tigers were soundly beaten 94-69 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. "I thought we were going to be better quicker. But we spent a lot of time trying to find out who we were."

    As he spoke, Snyder ran his hand through his thick curly hair. The 37-year-old former Duke player no longer looked so young. His face looked almost ashen. His eyes had bags under them. He looked weary. The strain of this rocky season was etched clearly on his face.



    Snyder's Tigers sure did spend a lot of time trying to find out who they were, and ultimately the answer proved to be something they never expected. They were an underachieving, undisciplined, impatient team that could not run their offense consistently through their best player (Arthur Johnson) and played defense inconsistently.

    The Kansas game was the perfect illustration of whom the Tigers were. They were talented enough to be kicking the Jayhawks tails for most of the first half (building a 12-point lead with ease). They were smart enough to know that Johnson is an unstoppable man in the paint and to get his hands on the ball as much as possible.

    But they also were undisciplined and impatient enough to forget about a monster such as Johnson (who scored 63 points in back-to-back games against KU) for long, maddening stretches. The offense went from entry passes to AJ to uncontrolled drives to the hole without so much as a casual glance in Johnson's direction.

    This is a team that fell flat on its high expectations all season long, and for that the blame falls on Snyder's shoulders. Yet despite some very shrill voices who will no doubt be demanding his scalp after this disappointing season, I think that's just plain silly. One poor season shouldn't erase the first four seasons under Snyder that landed Mizzou in the NCAA Tournament each year.

    But as his drawn face shows, Snyder is no longer the glamour-boy star on the rise in college coaching. His star has faded dramatically. The label that he once wore with a certain GQ pride has been replaced with a few more disturbing ones. He has to get his program from under the cloud of NCAA suspicion (how many folks in Columbia are holding their collective breath wondering what they might see when HBO's Real Sports airs an interview with Ricky Clemons on Tuesday night?). He also needs to shed the new label of a coach who can't get his players to reach their potential.

    The conversation among NBA scouts who have seen the Tigers play extensively is this: They can't figure out why Mizzou had such a bad season. They say the talent was there. They say Mizzou has as good a group of players as anyone in the talent-rich Big 12. But they also say they never understood why other than AJ (Johnson has played himself into the late first round of the NBA draft they say), the rest of this group was so up and down from game to game. One moment, they look like a top-five team. The next night, they lose to Belmont.

    As Snyder met the press late Friday night, he was a basketball junkie looking for another fix. He knows the only way to make this mess better is to keep playing. But there won't be an NCAA trip to wash away this disaster of a season. The only thing left is the possibility of an NIT bid.

    Does he want to play in the NIT?

    "Absolutely," Snyder said without a hint of hesitation. "I have no shame in playing in the NIT. I don't want our season to end like this."

    It's too late for that. The NIT is not the balm that will soothe whatever ails Mizzou and Snyder.

    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: 314-340-8185
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    This article didn't tell us anything. How is it Quin's fault? Where did he go wrong? The title of the article drew me in but I was dissapointed after reading it. It basically rehashed what we already knew- Mizzou underacheieved big time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Fish,

      I keep hearing the people who follow that program closely, keep talking about how undisciplined and unprepared the squad appeared to be on so many occasions. That IMO, falls in the lap of the head coach.
      Make America Great For Once.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Kev@Mar 14 2004, 10:02 AM
        Fish,

        I keep hearing the people who follow that program closely, keep talking about how undisciplined and unprepared the squad appeared to be on so many occasions. That IMO, falls in the lap of the head coach.
        Kev,
        I saw that just by trying to watch every game of theirs this season. I was hoping that Burwell would rip a new asshole, just like he did to LaRussa.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fishbone@Mar 14 2004, 09:54 AM
          This article didn't tell us anything. How is it Quin's fault? Where did he go wrong? The title of the article drew me in but I was dissapointed after reading it. It basically rehashed what we already knew- Mizzou underacheieved big time.
          What did you expect from Burwell, he never tells anyone anything. He rehashed the Ricky Clemons story several times. He doesn't appear to have too many original thoughts.
          Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."

          Comment


          • #6
            More "analysis" from the PD columnists. Burwell had since Friday night to write this piece. He didn't use his time wisely--not much penetrating insight here from one of the "experts" on St. Louis sports. Only thing I didn't know that I got from the piece was, actually, about Clemons--gonna be on Gumbel's HBO show this week.

            So Snyder wants to play in the NIT if invited? Ok. He should realize, though, that an invitation may not be forthcoming. The NIT does have standards, you know. (I'm a SLU fan, and therefore an expert on the NIT).
            I'm always right.

            Comment


            • #7
              At least Burwell didn't try writing about the Blues.
              Official 2014-15 Lounge Sponsor of Jori Lehterä
              "He'll Finnish You Off"

              Comment


              • #8
                Why are people attacking the messenger, instead of the person he wrote about?

                You people sometimes amaze me.
                Make America Great For Once.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Kev@Mar 14 2004, 10:57 AM
                  Why are people attacking the messenger, instead of the person he wrote about?

                  You people sometimes amaze me.
                  Nothing wrong with the article, but did it have anything to do with the title?
                  Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BurnKU+Mar 14 2004, 11:00 AM-->
                    QUOTE (BurnKU @ Mar 14 2004, 11:00 AM)

                  • #11
                    Bernie did a much more effective evisceration after the Hearnes finale debacle...gave it to Q as good as he's gotten it from any of our local lapdogs...
                    The Dude abides.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Burwell's articles never say anything.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Burwell has gotten better of late, see his article on Warner. Gordo took a huge shot at Quin today too:

                        Gordo on Quin

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Fishbone@Mar 15 2004, 03:46 PM
                          Burwell has gotten better of late, see his article on Warner. Gordo took a huge shot at Quin today too:

                          Gordo on Quin
                          "utter waste." indeed...spoken by a fellow nauseous alum...

                          Moe
                          The Dude abides.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by BW23@Mar 15 2004, 03:43 PM
                            Burwell's articles never say anything.
                            Many of the regulars here could probably write better columns than Burwell.
                            Go Cards ...12 in 13.


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