In rptgwb's absence, I'll take a stab at the GB&I! But first...the box score. A few comments on it...
- Any time Keon Lawrence, Stefhon Hannah, and Jason Horton combine for 49 points on 22 shots (an insane 2.23 points per shot when 1.40 is good for guards) and still manage 13 assists, I'm pretty sure we're going to win. Call it a hunch.
- Matt Lawrence and Darryl Butterfield were the only players to shoot under 50% today. They went 3-for-13 (23.1%). The rest of the team went 29-for-44 (65.9%). Against TEXAS.
- Damion James shot just 3-for-9 in the second half after going 7-for-9 in the first. I wish the Mizzou defense could claim credit for that, but looking at some of the shots he missed, I'm thinking that was just the law of averages evening things out.
- In the second half, Texas was 5-for-14 from 3-point range...and 5-for-14 from the free throw line. Weird.
- One of the more interesting ratios to watch with Mike Anderson's team is assists-&-steals-to-turnovers. Texas: 15-to-11 (12 assists, 3 steals), a 1.36 ratio. Mizzou: 25-to-10 (20 assists, 5 steals), a 2.50 ratio.
Okay, that's enough nerdiness...on to the GB&I...
- J.T. Tiller's defense. I love that we can bring in a defensive closer off the bench. Never have a player's strengths and weaknesses been so defined as Tiller's--he's a ridiculous athlete, and he's automatic around the hoop, but he's got no finesse at all (he only has one gear, and his shot injures the rim when he misses) and is only allegedly capable of actually dribbling the ball with his left hand--but man do I love his defense. And against a team with a thin set of guards (as far as I can tell, the Horns have two guards on the roster), it was almost fair bringing him in to guard Augustin and Abrams once they began to lose their legs.
- Jason Horton. If he becomes just a marginal scoring threat, our guardplay takes a leap forward. He was fantastic today.
- Keon Lawrence. I realize he's not going to be perfect from 3-point land in every game, but if he finds his mojo, our ceiling as a team is infinitely higher.
- All the guards, for that matter. Nothing not to like today...aside from the fact that Matt Lawrence went 2-for-9.
- I still don't think we've played a game this year where neither Lyons nor Carroll got in foul trouble. They combined for just 36 minutes today, and that will be a serious problem anytime our guards don't shoot like they did today (and they've shot like that approximately once this season).
- As The Beef has been saying for a while, if you get the ball inside the 3-point line against us, chances are you're scoring. We looked great today, but Texas still scored 84 points and shot 44% today.
- Hopefully this win takes this team's confidence up a few gears--it was nice that Keon, Horton, and Brown all looked good--but in the end all this win proved was that when we shoot lights-out, we win. But we don't shoot lights out very often. The best news is, simply, that it's now a lot easier to get to 10 conference wins. We play four games against the Top 3 teams in the conference, and three are at home. Go 2-2 against Kansas (twice), Texas, and A&M, and we only have to go 8-4 against everybody else. Go 5-1 against ISU, NU, and CU, and we only have to 3-3 in the remaining six games (OSU, @BU, @Tech, @OU, KSU, @KSU). We're still walking a fine line here, but we couldn't have taken a surer first step.