Friday, April 27, 2007

Quick Hits

One of the world’s worst-kept secrets was confirmed this week, when it was announced that Glen Dandridge has left Mizzou’s basketball team. As much as you can be happy for someone in a situation like this, I’m happy for Glen, who by all accounts is a great kid, and (as a basketball player, at least) needs a change of scenery as much as anyone I can remember. After Dandridge signed with Mizzou, a prominent recruiting analyst raved to me about Glen’s shooting range, and people inside the program have long been impressed with his play in off-season workouts and pre-season practices. But it just never happened for him at game time. In three seasons in Columbia, Dandridge never got hot from three-point range. And that’s not hyperbole. It just never happened, not even once, which is amazing (if you need evidence, I can produce the numbers). Here’s hoping he can find a place where he can relax, finish his degree, make a lot of shots, and be at home and happy.

Dandridge’s departure opens a scholarship and raises the question of how, if at all, the Tigers fill it. Suffice it to say, it’s hard to find impact players come late April (there are a few rumors, ranging from credible to less so, about who the staff might be pursuing), but given the fact that six more scholarships open up a year from now, it sure would be nice to find a player now. That said, there’s no point in committing to a player with only slight prospects of helping the team. If the staff can’t find the right player, I hope they’ll consider rewarding senior walk-on Nick Berardini with a scholarship in his final season. Berardini gives maximum effort for minimum glory, and he may be the most enthusiastic guy I’ve ever seen on Missouri’s bench.

Noted without comment: “[Brandon Rush] said over the weekend the classes he takes now are ‘easy,’ but he has run out of easy ones.”

I had a great time speaking to the Cass County Alumni Chapter last night, and the event reaffirmed to me the obligation I had to be accurate with Missouri’s basketball history in the book. People remember. One gentleman wanted to talk about Redford Reichert, who played for the Tigers in the middle 1950s. Another recalled the injury that Mizzou center Bob Allen suffered in 1971. Yet another remembered watching Missouri teams coached by George Edwards. Edwards, for the uninitiated, retired in 1946.