Missouri braces for another tough test

No. 8 Kansas State defeated the Tigers by 36 last month.
Sunday, February 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:32 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

When it came down to either Missouri or Kansas State, Tiffany Brooks went to Kansas State because she thought that is where she wanted to be.

Brooks, a 5-foot-11 forward from Leavenworth, Kan., drew interest from several schools when she was deciding on a college. Brooks, a 2002 Street & Smith’s All-American honorable mention, said her decision came down to Missouri or Kansas State.

“I believe there is a good fit for everybody and (Kansas State) recruited me heavily and I thought that was the place for me,” Brooks said. “I thought I could come in and give them the extra dimension of being a slasher-type player.

“I thought they needed that and it turns out they didn’t, so I thought it was best I find a university that needed me and what I brought to the team.”

Missouri, Brooks’ new team, plays her old team, No. 8 Kansas State, at 1 p.m. today at Hearnes Center.

The Wildcats (20-3, 11-1 Big 12) are the fifth straight ranked opponent the Tigers (13-10, 4-8) play at home.

Brooks played in four games for the Wildcats this season, averaging two points and 0.8 rebounds. When she began questioning her role at Kansas State, Brooks said she started to look around at other schools and thought about Missouri.

“She had talked to (Kansas State) prior to us being notified,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. “One of their coaches had contacted us about her but we could not talk to her until we officially got the release.

Kansas State released Brooks on Jan. 2, five days before the Wildcats beat Missouri 95-59 in Manhattan, Kan.

“We let K-State know that there was a contact there so everything was on the up-and-up,” Stein said. “From there she got the release and we talked to her and she is here.”

Stein said she isn’t surprised Brooks was interested in Missouri because of the nature of the recruiting process.

“Sometimes what people in the recruiting process don’t understand about it is the fact that a lot of times kids like a lot of schools but they have to pick one,” Stein said. “So they pick one whatever they think is best suited at the time.”

“When a kid tells us no, it’s just accepting that and moving on and continuing to have a good relationship with them because you never know when they will come back.”

Stein said she is impressed with Brooks’ attitude and how hard she works. Although Brooks is not eligible to play until December, she is contributing to the team.

“She is here an hour early every day, she stays late really working on some things with her jump shot and that type of stuff,” Stein said. “What she is really providing us right now is I’m sticking her on Tracy Lozier and LaToya Bond and Evan Unrau and telling her not to let them touch the ball and athletically she can do that.

“She is really trying to make them better and really providing something that we didn’t have as a challenge for them in practice and she is making us better.”

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