THE WEEK IN MISSOURI SPORTS: Men's basketball team falters

Sunday, January 29, 2012 | 7:38 p.m. CST; updated 10:35 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Missouri men's basketball team couldn't stand prosperity, and football recruit Dorial Green-Beckham causes a stir during his official visit.

Men's basketball team reaches rare heights, then stumbles

After picking up a road victory at then-No. 3 Baylor last weekend, Missouri was ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press rankings and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Monday. It was Missouri's best ranking in more than 10 years — the last time they were No. 2 was 2001.

In addition, forward Ricardo Ratliffe was named the Big 12 Conference and National Player of the Week after averaging 22 points and seven rebounds the previous week and maintaining a nation-leading 77.2 field goal percentage.

Missouri didn't legitimize its high ranking when it lost 79-72 at Oklahoma State on Wednesday. The team lacked the intensity it had against Baylor, and Oklahoma State shot a season-best 59 percent from the floor. Missouri has lost six straight games in Stillwater when they came into the game ranked, dating back to 1992.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz said that because of its lack of size, Missouri needs to keep its guard up every minute to maintain its success this season.

Missouri bounced back on Saturday, beating Texas Tech 63-50 at home. Missouri is now 6-2 in the Big 12 and 19-2 overall, its best start since the 1993-94 season. The team plays next at Texas on Monday and hosts rival Kansas — and College GameDay — on Saturday.

On Tuesday, NBC Action News in Kansas City aired a song former Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart wrote. Stewart wrote the song, "I've Always Known That Now," for his wife, Virginia. It was sung by Carl Bolte and Charlie Huffman. Stewart said he has already started writing a second song.

Missouri caught up in "DGB" mania

A crowd of 80 fans, mostly students, congregated on Friday outside the Missouri Athletic Training Complex to greet Dorial Green-Beckham, one of the most sought-after football recruits in the nation.

MU is one of five schools Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-6 wide receiver from Hillcrest (Springfield) High, is considering attending. He was taking his official visit before announcing his college decision and signing a letter of intent next Wednesday. Missouri and Arkansas are rumored to be the frontrunners. 

The adulation toward Green-Beckham continued on Saturday at the Missouri basketball game. The student section chanted, "M-I-Z, D-G-B" and waved signs imploring him to come to Missouri. The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter said the wacky passion indicates Missouri will fit right in to the Southeastern Conference.

Football team adds game, former player arrested

On Thursday, the University of Central Florida announced it will host the Missouri football team on Sept. 29. This could potentially help Missouri recruit in Florida, where the Tampa Bay Times reports the Tigers are already recruiting well since their move to the SEC.

The game has another layer of intrigue because former Missouri backup quarterback Tyler Gabbert, the younger brother of Blaine Gabbert, plans to enroll at UCF, according to ESPN

On Friday, former Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Miami Beach. He was booked into jail on Saturday morning, and bond set at $1,000.

Smith just finished his rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers, during which he led all rookies with 14 sacks. 

Freshman gymnast wins third consecutive conference award

Missouri gymnast Rachel Updike was named Newcomer of the Week by the Big 12 on Tuesday — again.

Updike is the first gymnast in the conference to receive the Newcomer of the Week award three weeks in a row, and it is the first time that Missouri has won the award in three consecutive weeks.

Women's basketball remains winless in Big 12 play

The women's basketball team continues to lose. Missouri lost to Texas 75-57 on Wednesday and fell short to Oklahoma 62-59 on Saturday. Missouri is now 0-8 in the Big 12 and 10-9 overall. 

It doesn't get any easier next week — Missouri plays No.1-ranked Baylor on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers lost at Baylor 90-46 on Jan. 4.

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