Posted: 6:16 a.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013
By Bill C.
When I arrived in Columbia for school in 1997, the one thing I was told, perhaps more than anything else, about Missouri's football team was that it didn't have a kicker. Mizzou would have gone bowling in 1996 if it hadn't missed a late-game PAT against Memphis in September, and the kicking game in general was just an abomination. But Scotty Knickman walked on, got a chance, made 11 of 13 field goals (including three in the season opener, which got a pretty amusing level of applause from shocked Mizzou fans), and single-handedly solved one of Missouri's biggest problems. Knickman passed away suddenly on Monday; the cause of death is unknown, it appears, but he is appreciated, and he will be missed.
An honorable mention All-Big 12 kicker in his only season as MU's regular kicker, Knickman made 11 of his 13 field goals in 1997. His field goal percentage (.846) set a school record that lasted until Jeff Wolfert's 2006 season average (.900). He scored 11 points in MU's crucial 41-31 victory at Colorado, which secured bowl eligibility for the first time in 14 years. The week before at Oklahoma State, his PAT on a Corby Jones touchdown run in double overtime proved to be the game-winning point in a 51-50 victory.
"Scotty came in as a walk-on and didn't really do much before that '97 season," former Missouri running back Brock Olivo shared in an email. "From out of nowhere he came in and hit some key field goals for us in some early games. From that point on he became a reliable weapon for us. He was a good-natured, quiet sort. He had a great kicker's demeanor; calm, cool-headed, collected. You always knew he was gonna punch it through the uprights when he would smile and wink at Coach Smith before taking the field.
"I have always made it a point to recognize Scott Knickman's contribution to the success of the '97 team, and today is no exception."
We Are Mizzou: Battle for the Black Jerseys
Another positive result of the new policies, in my opinion, is a bit of management of expectations among the fan base. For the first nine years I covered Missouri football for PowerMizzou.com, I would constantly remind people not to put too much stock in what I and others reported from practice. Our coverage was mostly going to focus on the positive things, the players who stood out and made a good impression. We didn't have access to film sessions or team meetings or anything else that went on after the team walked off the practice field. And if we were smart enough to make legitimate conclusions and predictions based on watching a couple hours of practice every day, Pinkel probably would have hired us to be coaches rather than letting us stand on the sidelines and watch. But despite that, the fanbase's expectations would ratchet up after looking at scrimmage stats or reading that a defensive end had gained 20 pounds and gotten faster or that the third-string quarterback looked really good. Part of that is the nature of fans, but part of it also was taking a small snippet of information and extrapolating to a much larger perceived truth that may or may not have actually been true. With less information out there, I think we will see a reduction in unreachable, sky-high expectations. There will be some, just not as many.
But it isn't just you, the fans, who know less. It is also us, the media.
Missouri has had 13 spring practices. Someone from our site has been at every one. But none of us can draw any conclusions based off what little we have seen.
It's always nice when they officially sign.
The Missourian: Missouri officially announces Keanau Post signing
A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Post averaged 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds for Head Coach Jay Harrington's SWIC program, helping lead the team to a 22-11 overall record. Post was named the Great Rivers Athletic Conference MVP in 2013 and was a First Team All-Regional 24 selection.
Ranked the No. 3 junior college performer by Rivals.com, Post scored a career high 25 points vs. Vincennes on Feb. 23 and had seven games with 18+ points on the year. He also saw his scoring numbers improve as the season progressed, averaging 13.2 points during league action, including a career high 15.2 points during the month of February. He recorded a season high 17 rebounds and added 20 points in a Nov. 3 win over Moraine Valley and finished the year with 10 double-doubles.
Overall Post was efficient from the floor shooting 54.4 percent and recorded 1.9 blocks per game, ranking No. 27 nationally.
It's a beautiful day for a ballgame !!— TR Robertson (@trripleplay) April 17, 2013