Forget the controversial hiring of Frank Haith or the ensuing scandal in connection to his Miami days. Forget the Laurence Bowers injury or the Mike Anderson departure. Missouri put every criticism to rest this week with two blowout victories in the CBE Classic. It was stunning enough to watch the Tigers dismantle a consistent Notre Dame program by 29 points on Monday. The Irish are young, but they’re trying to replace Ben Hansbrough and they probably just got overwhelmed by an experienced MU team. Right?
But one night later– after Missouri then beat Pac-12 favorite California by 39 points — there were no good words to describe the Tigers’ performance. They’ve been brilliant. CBE Classic MVP Marcus Denmon scored 26 points against the Irish and managed 18 against the Golden Bears. Even in a relative “off-night” (6-13 overall, 2-8 from three-point land) against Cal, he still finished with four assists. Revitalized senior Kim English led the team with 19 points, but more impressively, he took four charges in the first half. MU shot 58% from the floor during the tournament, tallied 30 team assists and dominated the defensive end by forcing turnovers. The Tigers had run away with both games by the second TV timeout.