Historic Braggin' Rights Series a New Experience for Newcomers

4 years 9 months 6 days ago Wednesday, December 19 2012 Dec 19, 2012 Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:06:00 PM CST December 19, 2012 in Sports
By: Danny Spewak
loading

COLUMBIA -- Keion Bell grew up in sunny Southern California, 1,800 miles away from St. Louis and the Mississippi River divider between Missouri and Illinois.

He signed with Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference out of high school, where in three seasons he played exactly one road game in the central time zone. In his universe, Missouri and Illinois may have well been the same school.

Little did he know the two programs have been playing each other each winter for more than three decades. He grew up knowing nothing of MU's classic triple-overtime victory in 1993. Nothing of the 1988 game when the Tigers blew an 18-point lead and lost by three points- nothing about Lou Henson, Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder or, even better, the popcorn a fan dumped on Snyder in 2005.

Until Monday, Bell had no clue Missouri had won three straight Braggin' Rights games after snapping a nine-game losing skid in 2009.

"I know nothing about the streak," Bell said. "That was my first time hearing it when you just brought it up."

It's certainly understandable. Hey, Bell's a California kid. So is Jabari Brown, an Oakland native and Oregon transfer who joined MU's active roster at the start of the second semester and said he's heard it's a "real intense game." In fact, of the 13 players on Missouri's roster, only two have ever competed in a Braggin' Rights game: Senior Laurence Bowers and junior Phil Pressey.

Auburn transfer Earnest Ross, one of the several transfers who sat out per NCAA rules last year, said he watched last year's game on television.

"It looked like a crazy, exciting game," Ross said. "Just coming here last year, and seeing that, I'm looking forward to actually playing in the game this year."

Bowers, who took a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL last October, did not play in the 2011 Braggin' Rights game, but he sealed the 2010 win in the final minute by converting a layup while Illinois' Mike Tisdale pushed him in the back for an intentional foul.

He arrived at Missouri right in the middle of that nine-game losing streak. As a freshman, the Fighting Illini whooped his Tigers by 16 points, dropping them from the top-25 and sending the black-and-gold faithful flocking to the exits early yet again.

Since that night in 2008, though, Bowers has never again lost to Illinois.

"I definitely want to go out with another win," Bowers said. "I figure if Illinois can win nine years in a row, why can't Mizzou?"

It's up to him and Pressey to prepare the 11 newcomers for Saturday's unique atmosphere. Even Frank Haith, who coached his first Braggin' Rights game a year ago, has less experience in this game than those two players.

"I've heard all the guys last year and the previous years talk about how big the game is and the intensity of the game," Bell said. "It'll be no better feeling than to actually experience it this year."

Missouri and Illinois are both ranked in the top-15 for the first time since 2002, so the stakes are high for the newcomers' first Braggin' Rights game.

"[Ross] obviously played in the SEC, and Keion played at UCLA, played at Gonzaga, had 37 at Gonzaga, so they've been in tough arenas," Haith said. "But being in a place where there's 50/50 and every basket there's cheering..."

"I don't know if anybody's been in that."

They'll be in it on Saturday. For 11 players, it'll be the first time.

For Bowers, it'll be the last.

"I don't want to lose this game," Bowers said. "It's a big-time game."

Maybe that'll catch Keion Bell's attention. 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Records show a man who drove into five people outside an elementary school in southwest Missouri doesn't... More >>
26 minutes ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:52:49 PM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
CUBA (AP) — A Missouri father is charged with shaking his 3-month-old twin daughters, killing one of the girls and... More >>
55 minutes ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:24:04 PM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - William E. Hickle found Lawrence Mullen, 39-years-old of Rolla, guilty of statutory sodomy, sexual exploitation of a... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:48:00 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Democrats want to expand who's eligible for Medicaid and allow people to buy into Medicaid... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:17:08 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Prosecutors have charged a Mexico man with assault after police found a man with serious... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:54:00 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives say a St. Louis toddler who killed his sleeping father while playing with a gun... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:09:24 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Tuesday morning Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the arrival of a new initiative to help in the... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 4:38:00 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me Institute will host a panel on criminal justice reform Tuesday evening at Columbia College. The... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 Tuesday, September 26, 2017 3:38:00 AM CDT September 26, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A car parked at a gas station parking lot on Providence Road rolled from the lot and onto... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 10:32:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- A three car collision on Southampton Drive ended with one car flipped over late Monday night. Columbia Police... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 9:38:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Food truck owners have contacted the Downtown Community Improvement District to increase parking options for restaurants on wheels.... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:11:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Agriculture and Taiwan have renewed a decades-long trade partnership and agreed to a... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Como for Progress held a rally Monday outside the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office to support her... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week is National Banned Book Week and Jefferson City’s Missouri River Regional Library is participating in... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill sent a letter to Envision Healthcare requesting more information on the company's emergency health care... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:10:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HALLSVILLE - A car was destroyed after it burned down along Route B Monday afternoon. The car fire happened... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri couple pleaded not guilty in the death of the woman's biological daughter, who was... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 3:46:35 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The hosts of the Black Women's March and Marketplace are currently arranging transportation to and from St. Louis... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:57:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
2pm 84°
3pm 83°
4pm 82°
5pm 80°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
This Is Us
9:01p
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld