And we're back! After a week layoff Mizzou is back at it trying to take what they learned about themselves in Kansas City after a couple humbling defeats and turn it into something positive and make something of their season. But can they?
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 week, coming off of a not bad loss to still undefeated Xavier (who Mizzou has the least lopsided loss to at this point..,small victories) Tiger fans appeared optimistic about the team's chances against Kansas State, followed by UNC or Northwestern. And then the games happened and Mizzou managed to put themselves in a 20 point hole to both teams. It wasn't until the 2nd half against Northwestern that Mizzou woke up and played its most attractive team basketball of the season, but still, too little, too late.
In his media briefing yesterday Kim Anderson called out his scorers for not producing and felt that his team hadn't really shown up to play, at one point comparing his players mindset going into the game against Kansas State to a meal at a Country Club and K-State's to that of a Greasy Spoon; while against Northwestern Chris Collins' team was playing super tecmo and Mizzou was playing electric football (my words not his).
So, has Mizzou learned anything from their time in Kansas City (where they still have yet to win a game since leaving the Big 12)? Well Arkansas State has a Kenpom rating of 247 and Mizzou's is 184, so there's that, but looking at other major metric Mizzou is worse statistically (at this point in the season) except for scoring defense than the Red Wolves.
Since there is no preview for this matchup I'll give you what I consider to be the keys to a Mizzou victory:
1) Scoring. This seems patently obvious, but we've seen the Tigers be able to score in spurts and when all working together have shown an ability to score. Luckily, Arkansas State is terrible at team defense (kind of like LSU), so points are available if they go after them. Let's see if Namon Wright, Wes Clark and Jakeenan Gant all took Kim's words yesterday to heart and come out looking to score.
2) Intensity. Again, this is pretty generic, but in their two games in Kansas City, it took the Tigers a long time to get their act together, coming out of the gate very lethargic, seeming to show no energy or purpose. Thus allowing them to get down big against both KSU and Northwestern. Unfortunately for our Tigers the energy and intensity will have to be manufactured from within since it's likely Mizzou Arena won't be rocking, averaging a paltry 5,000 fans to date in three home affairs.
3) Terrence Phillips. Phillips has been as good as advertised and more. For this team to be successful, Terrence needs some help out there and he's got to stay out of foul trouble, as he almost single-handedly brought the Tigers back against Northwestern. If he can keep the game in front of him and continue to get his teammates involved, while chipping in some scoring as well, all the better.
4) Jakeen Gant. Go read Sam's piece if you haven't already. Kim Anderson, do what Sam suggests and watch the results flow in. If they don't...#FIRESNELLING!
That'll do it, can our Tigers get back on the good foot and get back to .500 or is the creeping darkness slowly enveloping us?
Crack open a Red Wolf lager and let's enjoy an evening of Mizzou basketball. Trifectas, predictions, and where you're watching the game include in the comments below!