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Mizzou’s Pressey Will Enter NBA Draft

South Carolina State v MissouriThe up-and-down college career of Missouri point guard Phil Pressey has come to an end. He’s signed with an agent and made himself eligible for the 2013 NBA draft.

 

“I love my teammates, my coaches, Mike Alden and all of our fans, and I’m so glad I had the chance to play for Coach Haith these last two years. He had such a big impact on my career and because of that relationship I will help Missouri Basketball anyway I can going forward.”

 

Pressey was recruited to Missouri by former coach Mike Anderson, who was a college roommate of his father, former NBA player Paul Pressey. The Mizzou point guard was known for making some spectacular passes but also for some poor decisions late in games.  Pressey ends his Missouri career as the school’s  all-time leader in assists and tied for the most career steals.

ESPN’s Chad Ford has Pressey ranked as the 14th best point guard, 81st overall.

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Missouri A.D. Mike Alden On Expansion: “There’s More Coming. It’s Not Over”

gfx - they said itOverseeing the transition from the Big 12 to the SEC and now a stadium expansion at Faurot Field, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden has had a busy year.  The Columbia Daily Tribune has posted a lengthy Q and A with the Mizzou A.D. that touches on a variety of topics. Here were a few things that caught our eye.

 

On expansion in college football:

I don’t know that it surprised me that Maryland or Rutgers did what they did (by going to the Big Ten) or whoever else had made the moves. I guess my only thought on that is I think there’s more coming. It’s not over. The Big East is at a real, real disadvantage right now for them to be able to regroup and be at the same level as some of the other leagues. But I still think there are schools continuing to try to line themselves up with like institutions.

On the possibility of super conferences in college football, an idea that we’ve covered in detail here at MrSEC.

 I think you’re going to see 60 to 70 schools at some level be in some type of alignment within the NCAA structure. Whether that means four conferences or five conferences or a consortium of schools, I think that’s where you’re going to end up…

I think it’s a good thing overall for college athletics, because I do think it allows those 60 to 70 schools that really see themselves as like institutions that not only compete against themselves athletically but almost see themselves academically aligned in a lot of different ways — I think it finally puts those institutions in an arena where everybody, for the most part, has always known they’ve been.

 

A few other tidbits from the piece:

The Missouri athletic department has received two donations worth $36.4 million this year. Alden told the paper, “We’re working on a few other significant gifts, as well.”

Completion of the east-side stadium expansion could be completed by 2014.  That will bring stadium capacity to 75,000 with an additional expansion planned that will bring capacity to 83,000.

 

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Mizzou AD Alden Senses More Harmony In The SEC

When you move into a new neighborhood, what are you gonna say other than, “Hey, this place is nice?”  No one wants to look like they made a bad move.  No one wants to insult the new neighbors.

Still, considering the shabby state that the Big 12 was in when Missouri chose to depart it, it’s easy to believe Tiger athletic director Mike Alden when he suggests his school’s new league has better esprit de corps than its old one… which he did yesterday at his first SEC Meetings in Destin.

“These schools, they don’t talk about just living in the moment; they talk about what’s good for the league a decade from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now,” he said.  ”I’m not used to that… I don’t say that negatively — that’s a fact.

According to The Kansas City Star, Alden also commented on “how willing the leaders of the SEC’s power schools were to side with issues that might not be in their own individual interest, but were in the best interest of the league as a whole.”  Mizzou’s AD even tossed out some specific bouquets to a few of the Tigers’ new rivals.

“We’ve heard that from Florida, we’ve heard that from Alabama, we’ve heard that from Georgia, we’ve heard that from Kentucky,” Alden said. “Now that doesn’t mean Alabama isn’t going to try to beat your brains out when you play, but when they’re in that meeting and they’re saying ‘We’re willing to take less than maybe we’ll be able to earn on our own because it’s good for the league,’ it’s (something that’s) been built over time… It’s about the reality of those very successful, longtime institutions being prepared to say look, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, our least-resourced institution in our league.  The Big Ten has the same model. Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan talk the same way they do in the SEC, and I think that’s a culture, (one) that’s been built.”

Alden found time to salute SEC commissioner Mike Slive, as well, while speaking with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  ”In my opinion, it comes from Mike Slive; I think he’s one of the great leaders in college sport, maybe all of sport,” said Alden.  ”And nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s looking to.”

Alden revealed that A&M and Mizzou officials will travel to Atlanta next week for “a celebration” of their membership in the SEC.  He also told The Post-Dispatch that last week, Arkansas AD Jeff Long and several members of his staff attended a Tiger athletics retreat, “sharing best practices.”

It’s no wonder that Alden would point to the all-for-one, one-for-all attitudes of the SEC and the Big Ten.  The two leagues are the most stable in college athletics these days and that’s not expected to change in the future.  That stability is built on an arms-locked philosophy.

Clearly, that’s a philosophy that did not exist in the old Big 12.  Whether the new Big 12 can create a new spirit of unity to match the SEC’s and Big Ten’s remains to be seen.  But Missouri and Alden won’t have to worry about that any longer.  They’ve already found their happy place.

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Slive Talks Scheduling, Tournaments, & TV In KC

Mike Slive’s SEC welcome wagon pulled into Kansas City yesterday to help make sure the Missouri Tigers don’t become an afterthought in the lefthand portion of their home state.  It’s clear that Mizzou is making a strong PR push to keep KC-area residents interested in Tiger athletics… even though the Tigers will no longer be playing nearby Kansas and Kansas State.

According to The Kansas City Star,
Slive touched on the normal list of topics and we’ll give you a taste of each below:

* Scheduling — Slive said once again that the league’s ADs have shown no interest in moving to a nine-game schedule.  (We maintain that once everyone else starts playing nine BCS games per year, the SEC will be forced to follow suit or suffer in the national polls.)

“We have to decide how we’re going to schedule, and then if we’re going to have permanent (rivals), how permanent (rivals) are going to work,” Slive said.  “We’ve met a couple times, but not final decisions have been made.  I anticipate we’ll do that sometime between now and Destin” at the SEC Meetings at the end of May.

In other words, all the leaks and tweets between the presidents at South Carolina and Texas A&M don’t necessarily guarantee that Arkansas and Missouri will be paired as permanent football rivals.  (Though it sure looks like that will be the case.)

* Television — SEC schools can cut their own deals with networks for their local rights packages — like Florida and the Sunshine Network, for example — but the commish made it clear schools aren’t able to go the University of Texas route.  “Our institutions cannot go ahead and have their own networks.”

As for the current negotiations between the league and its current television partners ESPN and CBS, Slive said: “There’s not timetable, but you don’t want to be dragging it out forever.  We’ve had significant meetings with both of our partners.”

Slive would not say whether or not the league would start its own network like the Big Ten and Pac-12 have.

* Basketball Tournaments in Missouri — Missouri athletic director Mike Alden has already pushed both Kansas City and St. Louis to bid on future SEC Tournaments.  Earlier this month Slive stated that he “anticipated” a bid coming from St. Louis, but he said nothing of Kansas City.

So what did he say yesterday in Kansas City?  “If you’re asking if there’s a chance we bring the conference championship to Kansas City, the answer is… could we?  Yes.  Will we?  I don’t know.”  He did say that he thought KC officials might put in a bid.

St. Louis and Memphis, Slive said, have both expressed interest in grabbing the two currently open tourneys or 2016 and 2017.

Regarding St. Louis, Slive told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Frank Viverito — the president of the St. Louis Sports Commission — is “very serious” about landing an SEC tourney.  “He made it very clear that St. Louis has a strong interest in having every opportunity.”

* Moving the SEC Championship Game — I think we all know that this is a no-go.  The Georgia Dome has been home to the last 18 title games in a row and the commish said it’s staying put.

“It’s been very successful for us in Atlanta,” Slive said.  “Right now we’re under contract through ’17 with an option for ’21… we’re sold out every year, we have about a 99% renewal rate, we have a 20,000-person waiting list, and we draw somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 people to our (SEC) Fanfare (event) adjacent to the game.  It’s a formula that one would be very careful about tinkering with.”

So, in all of that, did we really learn anything new from Slive’s stopover in the barbecue capital of the Midwest?  Only that St. Louis “very serious” about landing a hoops tournament — which was already anticipated — and that SEC schools could not form their own television networks.

It was believed that league schools could do so since they own their own local rights.  In fact, some sites reported that Texas could enter the SEC and keep its Longhorn Network.  Not so, according to the commissioner himself.

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