Ladd’s Line

By: Tom Ladd

Well, it’s the meat of the basketball season coming up at Missouri State, Drury and Evangel in Springfield. We are just weeks away from the postseason for those teams and it’s just about time to make plans to watch some great games. 

After all, Springfield is a Basketball city. I don’t care what people try to tell you, this is and will always be a basketball community. Fans in this area support a winner and when there is some semblance of consistency, they will be there night in and night out in their support. 

Well, it’s time to show that fandom. The Missouri State Bears have their best team in a number of years and have two players with star qualities in Isiaih Mosley and Gage Prim. Mosley is a sophomore from Columbia, Missouri and currently leads the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring. He has reminded me of a former Bear great Kyle Weems

Prim is a 6’8″ senior who battled injuries last season but is playing his best basketball down low for head coach Dana Ford. Prim is a stat stuffer and could be compared to the very best post players in Missouri State history.

Together the pair has MSU off to their best start in several seasons. The Missouri State Lady Bears picked up where they left off last season and continue to be ranked among the very best in the nation. The MSU women finished the Covid shortened 2020 season with 26 wins and this year return four starters and 80% of their scoring. 

Coach Mox is continuing the winning tradition at Missouri State and has this team poised for another run at a Final Four. 

The Drury Lady Panthers haven’t lost a game in two seasons and in one poll this week are ranked #1 in the nation, a spot they held all of last season. 

The men’s team at Drury had some setbacks early this year with COVID-19, but are starting to string together some nice wins. 

While the Great Lakes Valley Conference hasn’t allowed fans to attend games, we’ll keep an eye out for a chance to watch both of these D2 powers in person. 

Meanwhile, Evangel plays in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and at a very high level in NAIA. Both men’s and women’s teams are gearing up for the postseason in hopes of a long run in March.

These teams all work very hard and there is no doubt that playing home games in Springfield gives them an advantage. Big and vocal crowds (socially distanced, of course) help too. If you get a chance, check out one of these teams. Now especially, the players and schools can use your support.

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