Friday, February 6, 2009

When you play on the road, you need men

In the words of Muhammad Ali:

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road - long before I dance under those lights."

At 19-4, winners of six of their last seven, Mizzou has already won three more games than all of last season. According to this story in today's St. Louis paper, increased intensity in practice is one reason for the Tigers' turnaround.

"Coach [Mike Anderson] (pictured above) is a strong believer that road games are pretty much won by toughness," said junior guard Zaire Taylor. "He always says, 'When you go on the road, we need men,' and that is pretty much the mentality we've been taking in practices.

The reason we've won our last two games is because of our practices. Ever since we lost at Kansas State, our practices have been like wars. We've been taking (hard work) that we've been bringing in practices and we're bringing that same energy into games. The practices have taken a step up.

When I go home from practice now, I feel more bruised than I do after games. The competitive atmosphere is real high. You wouldn't know we are teammates by the way we get after each other."