With career nearing end, Eye content

Missouri Tigers guard Morgan Eye (30) poses for a portrait Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.

Ask Missouri women’s basketball senior guard Morgan Eye about any of her teammates and she’ll give you a rousing review.

Junior guard Juanita Robinson: “Mature.”

Senior forward Bree Fowler? “Most athletic person on the team.”

Sophomore guard Sierra Michaelis “can do anything under the basket.”

Sophomore forward Jordan Frericks “has a nose for the ball.”

Sophomore forward Davionna Holmes is “a sweetheart” and a hard worker.

It’s clear to see why Eye is considered the “mother hen” of the team.

“I hold high standards for myself and wanting to be the best that I can be, but at the same time, basketball is a team sport,” she said. “I don’t want all these girls to look back and have regrets either, so getting the best out of yourself, but pulling the best out of people.”

Since her coaches do this every day at practice, Eye said, “as a leader, that’s what I wanna try to do.”

The captain of the 15-12 Tigers has certainly led by example.

Breaking mountains of shooting records, including both the Tigers’ and the Southeastern Conference’s 3-pointers in a game, along with holding Mizzou’s record for all-time career treys, Eye is looked at as one of the best players in program history.

Growing up in Montrose, a Missouri town with a population of just 376, Eye couldn’t have dreamed of the type of career she has put together in her four years as a Tiger.

While at Montrose High School, where she led the Bluejays to a Class 1 State Championship, the sharpshooter’s only Division I offer was from the Tigers.

Not only was Eye able to take on D-I basketball and the SEC, but she was able to do so in style, having accumulated a total of 353 3-pointers so far.

“I never thought I would come here and be a record-holder in any kind of category,” she said. “Especially coming in as a freshman, when you’re questioning if you deserve to play here.”

Eye thinks this is proof that anyone can do it.

“I just hope girls realize you don’t have to be the fastest or most athletic or most sought-out athlete to play in the Division I level,” she said. “If you play hard and smart and work really hard, you can do anything you set your mind to.”

But none of this can be done alone, Eye said.

She said she has relied heavily on her teammates and coaches throughout her career at Mizzou, helping her with everything, from setting screens and feeding her the ball to believing in her.

“Morgan’s great,” Fowler said. “She’s one of my best friends and she’s an awesome leader. Everybody’s unique on a team and she knows how to say the right things.”

Fowler expanded, saying her roommate always puts the team before herself and knows how to pinpoint what she’s going to say to fit the right player because “not everybody will respond in the same way.”

With just a few games left in her collegiate career, Eye has come a long way from the day she arrived in Columbia four years ago.

“I would say in every way you can improve (she has),” Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said on KTGR Radio on Monday night. “She’s just such an impressive young lady.”

Pingeton added that Eye has developed an immense talent in many ways, including her grit and court vision, as well as her physicality, saying it is “a testament to her willpower.”

For now, the Tigers sit in 10th place in the SEC with a 5-9 conference record, but are on their way up, having won three of their last four games.

Although making a run for the NCAA Tournament will be hard, it’s not completely out of reach. However, Eye said this is not the most important thing to strive for this season.

“The definition of a successful season is knowing that our whole team absolutely invested everything they had, gave everything they had at practice and at every game,” Eye said. “Just knowing that you have no regrets.”

Having no regrets seems to be a big theme for Eye.

Eye was 110 3-pointers away from breaking the NCAA record for career triples made when the season started. Having hit over 100 the last two years, hopes were high for this record. However, currently being 40 away, it now seems unlikely.

“(The record’s) one of those things that would be really awesome to happen, but it would not make or break my senior year,” she said earlier in the season. “I’m not going to live and die by that. It’s the same with every other record — you just go out, you play as hard as you can and good things just kind of happen.”

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