Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1993-94 Redux: Missouri 80, Jackson State 76

(As you’ll see later with Coppin State, the SWAC was knocking some teams off in the early ‘90s. That said, it’s unbelievable how many close games Mizzou played against crap teams in December. And the bit about Norm calling up Stoglin and requesting a game after Stoglin complained he couldn’t get anybody to come to JSU...that’s both admirable and surprising considering how much we seemed to avoid playing SMS and SLU.)

December 4, 1993

of the Tribune's staff

Besides Norm Stewart, there's another college basketball coach who didn't like the way Missouri's trip to Arkansas went Thursday night.

“I was hoping that Missouri played them a lot better or even beat them, because they've got something to prove now,” Jackson State coach Andy Stoglin said. “They'll play even harder against us.”

Stoglin's team plays Missouri at 3 p.m. today in the Hearnes Center.

He is a former assistant to Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. Now Stoglin and his Tigers are Razorback opponents. He can empathize with Missouri's 120-68 loss, the most lopsided in the program's history.

“That game doesn't influence my judgment about Missouri at all because the last time Arkansas played like that was against us last year,” Stoglin said. “Two days later we beat Tulane.

“That's why we played so hard against Tulane. So we understand fully what we're up against.”

The 92-84 victory over Tulane was one of JSU's landmark games in a 25-9 season. Although they dominated the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 13-1 record, the Tigers were knocked out of the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament by Southern in the SWAC Tournament.

In the NIT, Jackson State won at Connecticut, then returned home and was eliminated by Southwest Missouri State.

“I considered putting Rodney Dangerfield on my program because we don't get respect,” Stoglin said. “When we beat Tulane last year, people wanted to know what was wrong with Tulane, not that Jackson State has a pretty good team.

“When we beat Connecticut, they talked more about they were down than we were good.”

Tulane also canceled a scheduled game at Jackson, Miss., this season, and Alabama ended talks about a possible visit there, Stoglin said.

“It's hard for us to get to the other level because good teams won't play us at home,” he said.

Today's game is part of a deal that will change that. Missouri plays at Jackson State next season, the result of a call Stewart made after seeing similar comments from Stoglin.

“I jumped on it,” Stoglin said. “It helps my program to bring a traditional Top 25 program like Missouri to play in my building.”

Stoglin can see a good reason Stewart would like to visit the Magnolia State anyway. “It's smart on his part because they recruit Mississippi,” he said. “It's going to help their recruiting.”

MU guard Melvin Booker is a Mississippian.

JSU's starting five is home-grown.

Playing big-name opponents on the road has its pluses, too. “When we play Missouri, every newspaper, every sportscaster is going to talk about it back there,” he said.

“When we played Tennessee State, they probably didn't give our halftime score on ESPN. When we play Missouri, they will. When we play Arkansas, they will.”

The Lindsey Hunter watch helped publicize JSU last season. Hunter, the fifth-leading scorer in NCAA Division I last season with 26.7 points per game, is now with the Detroit Pistons, who made him the 10th pick in the NBA draft.

But JSU's program didn't go out with Hunter.

“I think my team has Top 25 talent now, and we'll be a Top 25 team after Christmas.”

Missouri is probably still getting over its last trip South. Not only was there the game to recover from, two of the three planes that transported the traveling party stopped short of Columbia because of fog on the return trip.

One landed in Sedalia, and its passengers came home by bus at 5 a.m. yesterday. The other plane landed in Kansas City. Those passengers made it back at 1 p.m.

Guard Reggie Smith severely sprained his left ankle at Arkansas and is out indefinitely.
December 6, 1993: Tigers Turn Attention to Arkansas State

of the Tribune's staff

The third game in six days is at hand for Missouri. It might be here just as
Missouri is getting a handle on its game.

“Probably the second half against Jackson State is the only true half this
year that Missouri has played the way it's capable,” Arkansas State coach
Nelson Catalina said. Catalina's Indians will see at 7 tonight at the Hearnes Center if Missouri can keep it up.

The Tigers (2-1) outscored Jackson State 52-37 in the second half to win 80-76 on Saturday. It was the first time they've topped 70 points this season.

Having Jevon Crudup back in good standing helped the Tigers. He should give MU an advantage over ASU.

“We're not very big,” Catalina said. “We haven't been in three or four years.

“That's a big concern for this basketball team this year. I think we'll be tested in that area tonight.”

Arkansas State opened a week ago with a victory at Texas Tech.

“Arkansas State's a very good team,” Missouri coach Norm Stewart said. “Any time a team can go out and win on the road, they've got some strength, they've got some poise, and they've got some maturity.”

Since then, the Indians have played only an exhibition game, a 78-70 victory over Arkansas Express on Thursday. “I wouldn't have wanted to watch it as a spectator,” Catalina said.

He's ready to resume playing for real.

“Once you start playing games, they don't think they should be practicing anyway,” Catalina said.

Arthur Agee, a transfer from Mineral Area College, where Missouri signee Corey Tate is, starts at the point for ASU.

“He will be a good one when he gets there,” Catalina said.

All-Sun Belt forward Jeff Clifton is ASU's most versatile player, Catalina said, but has yet to hit stride this season.

“We're hoping he can bust in one night, and we'll be hitting on all cylinders,” Catalina said.

While the Indians lack size, they are athletic, Catalina said.

He favors a motion offense. “There's no set plays, you can't scout it because we don't know what they're going to do.”

After completing this flurry of games tonight, things will slow down for the Tigers. They play Southern Methodist on Saturday and Coppin State Dec. 19, both at the Hearnes Center, before meeting Illinois Dec. 22 in St. Louis.