If you watched this game, you saw a young team make young mistakes, fight through them and get close to upsetting a pretty good team in the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
A couple thoughts and then I'll throw it to the comments for the night.
Seriously, I love these guys. They aren’t the best team, but they have guys who have guts. Isabell, Clark, JW3, Teki, Allen… All guts.— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) December 31, 2014
This team has guys who have guts. They're young, they screw up a lot, but they have guts. They finished 45% from the floor, 35% from 3, and 65% from the FT line, which is about at their season averages. So for this team to play offense like they have all season, and send a good offensive team to overtime, is quite an accomplishment. This is NOT a good team right now. They just aren't. But there is no reason why they can't become a good team over the course of the season. They've scared the pants off of Illinois and Oklahoma State in the last two games. Two teams that would be in the NCAA tournament if it started tomorrow. So, that's progress.
2) Johnathan WIlliams is growing up fast
22 pts, 9 boards, and he defended Le'Bryan Nash a lot of the night. That's not small task. Nash needed 18 FT's to get close to the output that Williams provided Missouri. What I love about Williams is that he made shots when Mizzou NEEDED him to make shots. They needed him in OT, and he was there. They needed his two 3-pointers, and he provided that. He still turns the ball over too much, and takes some poor shots at times, but with more experience and a better supporting cast, he's a heck of a piece to build around.
3) There is still a ways to go.
This team makes too many mistakes. Most of the game they had the turnover edge by a lot. Down the stretch they lost it by turning the ball over at inopportune times. Isabell saved the game with a huge three, then turned it over on an unnecessary spin move, and the senior Will Forte made the defensive play that likely saved the game. Isabell was only in the game because Wes Clark needlessly fouled Forte early in Overtime to foul out. Youth makes mistakes.
All in all, they fought and scrapped. Now what comes next. They need to show that 2015 will be a lot more fun than 2014 for Mizzou basketball. They need to handle Lipscomb, and then they need to compete in SEC play. The League is not good, and there are a LOT of winnable games this year looking ahead.