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Missouri’s Willie Jackson might be getting more minutes soon. That’s a good thing.

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

When you’re one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country — and Mizzou currently ranks an incredible 341st at it — you need to figure out a way to create baskets inside the arc. In theory, the return of Reed Nikko from injury could help with that. (Jordan Barnett’s introduction to the lineup might not: He’s a career 38-percent shooter on 2-pointers, which is dismal but based on a pretty small sample size.)

Something that might help even more, though? Giving Willie Jackson more minutes. From Monday night’s Tiger Talk:

Jackson is in the nation's top 400 in offensive rebound rate, defensive rebound rate, block percentage, and 2-point shooting. His game fits the profile of a 6'8, 230-pounder, even if he only goes 6'6, 210. And after averaging only 15 minutes per game over teh first four contests, his average has crept up to 19.2 over the last six. If Anderson's comments last night are any indication, he could see even more. I wholeheartedly approve. Mizzou's offensive efficiency is woeful, and his has actually been pretty good of late.

  • First 5 games: 82 minutes, 26 points on 11-for-26 shooting (42%), 8 offensive rebounds, 1 assist, 7 turnovers.
  • Last 5 games: 93 minutes, 37 points on 17-for-23 shooting (74%), 7 offensive rebounds, 3 assists, 6 turnovers.

Granted, 74% is probably unsustainable, he doesn't even pretend to be a 3-point shooter, and he's not much of a distributor. But he puts the ball in the basket. That's something this team desperately needs more of before anything else matters.

Guess that’s better than the alternative.

More basketball:

Tramel manned the Facebook battle stations last night.


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