For 27 minutes, Mizzou gave Arizona all they could handle, then Arizona went on a 21-0 Run. Missouri lost 79-60.
Here are my Winners and Losers from the Missouri-Arizona game.
Winner: Arizona’s Three-Point shooting
Arizona came into the game averaging seven made 3-pointers per game. Against Missouri, the Wildcats knocked down 13 from beyond the arc. Mizzou threw everything at them from a defensive standpoint and at times they saw some success.
But at the end of the day, Zona’s guards were just too big. On multiple occasions, the Tigers were in the correct position, but due to the significant height advantage, Arizona’s guards were able to rise up and shoot over them.
Guards Rawle Alkins, Kobi Simmons, and Kadeem Allen combined to shoot 11-21 from deep.
Winner: Jordan Geist
When assessing Jordan Geist’s performance, you can’t just watch the box score. Geist only scored 3 points (0-5 FG, 3-4FT), 2 rebs and 1 assist in 26 minutes, but the effect that he had in this game was outstanding. He had the best plus-minus on the team, with a -1 for the game.
Geist provided the Tigers with a grit that they’ve been missing defensively. On numerous occasions, we saw Geist jumping passing lanes, diving for loose balls and just doing all of the little things that box scores don’t measure.
Offensively, the sophomore guard has found ways to stay relevant while not scoring. In my opinion, Geist is the best ball handler on the team and he’s one of the best passers as well. He does a great job in the pass to assist category. For those that aren’t familiar with the video game 2k, a pass to assist is basically a two-pass assist.
Winner: Mizzou Arena
Terrence Phillips asked the fans to rock with him and the rest of the men’s squad for two hours and the fans--more specifically the students--responded. While it wasn’t anywhere near a sellout, the announced attendance of 10,151 was a huge upgrade over the season average. The fans stuck with Missouri after they fell behind 25-8 in the first half and helped Missouri get back into the game.
Winner: Jordan Barnett
Jordan Barnett could have gone in either category. I made him a winner because the addition of another body can’t hurt this team….right? Based on his play during the Halloween and hoops showcase, Barnett has an athletic skill set and a smoothness that Missouri has been lacking.
The problem with Barnett is that the fans are expecting him to be a savior. The Texas transfer has a great skillset, but he hasn’t played in over a year and he didn’t play much at Texas. So, the chances that he transforms into some sort of savior for Mizzou is unrealistic.
Loser: Missouri’s Lack of Size
Missouri’s lack of size has been well documented, but playing Arizona magnified their lack of size. Arizona outrebounded Missouri 46-28 and was able to shoot over Missouri’s smaller guards on multiple occasions.
Loser: Kim Anderson
My only qualm with Coach Anderson’s coaching yesterday was that he didn’t roll with the bench more. I understand wanting to get your starters going, but the bench guys made multiple runs and kept this team in the game. When Anderson went back to the starters at about the 13-minute mark of the second half, Arizona went on a 21-0 run.
But overall, Anderson did a pretty good job yesterday. Switching to the various zone defenses confused the Wildcats and proved to be effective. But eventually, Arizona evolved and realized how to take advantage of the 1-3-1 defense.
At this point, Anderson can do no right as far as the fans are concerned. The fans call for his job whether the team wins or loses. Don’t get me wrong: Anderson deserves to be criticized for the team’s performance, but you can’t blame him for everything. He can’t make the players hit shots.
Loser: Tramel Raggs
Rock M Nation writer, Tramel Raggs, went out on a limb by predicting a major win for the Missouri Basketball program versus Arizona. He was the opposite of correct. Raggs continues to miss on his Missouri predictions this year. It’s only a matter of time before the fans start to call for his job as well!