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:
"Happy for Willie - he works really hard. Brings an incredible amount of energy. We plan to play him more on the wing." - Coach A #MIZ— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) December 20, 2016
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.
Tramel manned the Facebook battle stations last night.
- Damarea Crockett: Freshman All-American.
- PowerMizzou checks in on this year’s stats from Mizzou’s football commits.
- Soon-to-be Mizzou transfer Marvin Zanders is looking (and drooling) at Virginia.
- Mizzou Women’s Hoops went on a 16-0 run to start the game against UC Riverside, then gave back quite a bit in an eventual 68-62 win at Mizzou Arena. Cierra Porter went nuts again, posting 26 & 12. There were 15 fouls called in the third quarter (!!), and Sophie Cunningham unexpectedly fouled out early when she committed a fourth foul, then got called for a cheap technical on her way back to the bench. But whatever. Mizzou went 4-0 on the four-game home stand and now heads to St. Louis to face 8-3 SLU. Last time they left home, they got crushed by IUPUI.
- Your No. 5 Mizzou Wrestling squad will host Kent State and No. 21 Appalachian State this afternoon at Hearnes. This is the Tigers’ first dual since disposing of Ohio on December 11.
- No. 15 seed + Sweet 16 finish = No. 16 final ranking for Mizzou Volleyball.
- Lauren Reedy finished fourth in the 1-meter at the 2016 USA Diving Winter National Championships.
- Not exactly Mizzou, but Missouri, at least: NW MO State head coach Adam Dorrel, engineer of three Division II national titles in four years, is headed to FCS’ Abilene Christian.