Well...that happened. After two good wins and a fine showing in Cincinnati against Xavier, Mizzou came out flat and got beaten in all facets of the game last night versus Kansas State. Luckily, there's no time to dwell on the beating as our Tigers get right back at it against another set of purple Wildcats with another big line up.
Missouri Tigers (2-3)
Arkansas State Red Wolves (2-4)
Mizzou heads home to attempt to get back to .500 on the season
Tuesday, December 1
8:00 PM CST
Because Football is over and you need a break from Coaching rumors
Tiger Radio Network
Mike Kelly, Gary Link
Last night's game felt a lot like some of the bad games from last year. The offense was disjointed, settling for outside shots or running without purpose into the lane with no clear plan, all signs of a still young and developing team. Oh, and they couldn't rebound and were fouling a lot, according to the officials calling the game.
Northwestern, like Mizzou lost last night, but to top 10 team UNC, 80-69.
But tonight is a new night against another very good team in Northwestern. While KSU looks about a year ahead of Missouri in terms of rebuilds, Northwestern appears to be two years ahead of where our is. Chris Collins (formerly of Duke, bleh) is leading the rebuild in Evanston and appears to have his team poised to make a run at their first NCAA tournament ever.
As there is no official preview to this 3rd place affair, I'll give you what I consider to be the keys to a Mizzou victory:
1) Rebounding. Northwestern is a bigger team, but they are not the rebounding dynamo that Kansas State was. I think at this point we should assume Mizzou won't be winning many rebounding battles this season as the strength of this team is on the wings and in the guard play, so if Mizzou can keep this close and pull down some offensive boards, all the better.
2) Fouls. In the past two games Missouri's players have been whistled for 48 personal fouls, leading to a lot of free points for Xavier and KSU. If this team is to take the next step and not re-enter the Dark Winter of 2014-2015, the guards are going to have to stop using their hands so frequently on drives to the rim and to use their feet to keep their man in front of them.
3) Jakeenan Gant. I don't like putting a player as a key, but the sooner Jakeenan can get into a groove both offensively and defensively, the better this Missouri team will be. Let's hope we see Jakeenan downlow getting the ball inside and less of the Jakeenan who likes to jack up threes.
4) #FreeTramaine! I love TI's game, get him more minutes. This is completely selfish on my part.
Some fun facts about Northwestern to adequately raise your ire before tonight's game:
- They claim to have the best journalism school in the country, they are wrong, that title belongs to us and we showed them what for last time we played in football.
- Northwestern was founded by a bunch of lawyers who didn't think ladies should go to college until 14 years after they opened their doors, because 1800s.
- Their most famous alumni (and they have many) would be Stephen Colbert (that's right US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, I'm not impressed) but for our money it's mrs. bgtd, lover of babies and "rec'ing" her husband's posts as he attempted to win caption contests...ah love...
- As stated above, their mascot is Willie the Wildcat (and he looks less than terrifying) but their first mascot was a real live bear cub named "Furpaw" who went to games and "greeted" (as much as a caged animal can) fans, but when they had a losing season he was, and I quote, "banished" as he was deemed bad luck. That's right, it was the bear cub's fault you guys can't play football. Northwestern, you are the worst. Someone should banish you.
That'll do it, will our Tigers bounce back and leave Kansas City above .500, or will the opposite happen? As per usual, predictions, trifecta, and game night drink of choice are appreciated in the comments.