Thursday, March 1, 2007

1993-94 Redux: Missouri 82, SMU 77

(I didn’t find the actual game summary for this one. Lots of injuries to this team, by the way. But when someone gets injured and a fan optimistically thinks, “Injuries build depth,” the ’93-’94 Tigers are a pretty good case in point, eh?)

December 9, 1993: Frazier’s Foot Not as Bad as Once Thought

of the Tribune's staff

An injury to Lamont Frazier could put Missouri on the wrong foot again, but things are looking better today.

X-rays on Frazier's left foot yesterday were negative.

The fear had been that the 6-foot-4 senior had a stress fracture.

He is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game with Southern Methodist at the Hearnes Center because of foot soreness, the MU sports information department reported this morning.

Frazier tested the foot by playing 23 minutes in Monday night's 80-58 victory over Arkansas State at the Hearnes Center.

Frazier is fourth on the team in minutes played this season. He scored six points against ASU, but statistics don't show Frazier's value, coach Norm Stewart said.

“There's really no one that has the same attributes,” Stewart said. “You take someone who's knowledgeable about the game, can pass, move, can set a screen, play the defense, rebound, block out, all the little things that don't show up necessarily in the statistics.

“If you've got a lead late in the ballgame, he can move, maneuver, play defense, shoot free throws. And you've got a player that can play in the last three, four minutes of the ballgame. So we're hopeful that we don't lose him.”

Guard Reggie Smith is already out indefinitely with a severe left ankle sprain suffered at Arkansas. A stress fracture would have kept Frazier out until mid-January.

“That could be a six-weeker,” Stewart said. “We know Reggie's three, minimum, and he might be longer.”

An ankle sprain knocked Frazier out for four games last season, and he never returned to full strength.

The Tigers are deeper than last year but also younger.

“Your young players then have got to show up a little more,” Stewart said. “They're getting a pretty good opportunity for a lot of minutes.”

Senior Mark Atkins already is in line for more playing time because his inside game is developing to complement his three-point shooting.

“He's strong, so he can go inside,” Stewart said. “Give him an inside game, and then he can shoot that 50 percent. Give him just an outside game, and you don't expect him to shoot 50 percent. Plus defensively inside, he's pretty good. He's better inside now defensively, again with the strength.”

Atkins is shooting 34 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range, where he set Missouri single-season records for attempts and goals last season. Atkins is MU's third-leading scorer at nine points per game.

“We've always figured that he was a prime player,” Stewart said. “His weight's a concern.”

Eight players have started at least one game this season for the Tigers (3-1). Yesterday, Stewart was contemplating a lineup with Atkins, Chris Heller, Jevon Crudup, Kelly Thames and Melvin Booker.

“If we play Chris, Jevon, Kelly, Mark and Melvin, we're a pretty good-sized basketball team,” he said.