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Sports & Recreation

Best College Athlete 

Linas Kleiza

This Lithuanian freak of nature will make Missouri Tigers basketball fans forget Arthur Johnson ever existed. Check that: It will make Mizzou fans wish his fat underachieving (in the first half, anyway) ass had cleared out before last year even started. That way Kleiza, then a freshman, would have played more and the Tigers might have cracked the NCAA tourney rather than embarrassingly settling for the also-ran NIT. The six-foot, eight-inch Kleiza, whom the Tigers will be lucky to keep around beyond the current, is the perfect combination of brutish beef in the paint and feathers from the three-point arc. He and Jason Conley will provide a far more aggressive, dynamic inside-outside combination than Johnson and Ricky Paulding ever did, thus covering for still-green Coach Quin Snyder's lazy, freelance offense just enough to nudge the Tigers into the tournament this year.

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