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Missouri’s frontcourt will get tested in tonight’s road trip to Utah

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Despite getting just two minutes from Michael Porter Jr., Mizzou’s frontcourt depth has been pretty incredible with Jeremiah Tilmon, Jontay Porter, and Reed Nikko all looking strong at times (and guys like Kevin Puryear and whatnot being pretty tall and talented themselves).

[Cuonzo] Martin said that with the trio of Tilmon, Porter and Nikko, one of the Tigers’ strengths remains in the paint. He likes the challenges the team can present in the paint.

“I think for us it’s about really getting that ball inside, and then after that, they make good decisions with the ball and do a good job of reading the defense,” Martin said. “They do a good job, as of right now, playing against the double team if they see it. We want to go inside as much as possible.”

Though consistency is an issue, Jontay has already shown sustained flashes of an incredible all-around skill set. He’s liking how the adjustment to college is going so far, too.

"It wasn't too much of an adjustment, honestly," Porter said. "Just because I have been going every day and practicing with these experienced guys on the squad. They are, in my opinion, the best people to go against. The adjustment wasn't too much, but obviously the crowd and the environment is way different."

That depth and talent (and, it must be said, youth) will get a pretty significant test tonight when the Tigers take on Utah. The Utes boast a pair of 6'10 seniors — David Collette and Tyler Rawson — who block shots, draw contact, and in Rawson's case, make 3-pointers. How this matchup goes will determine a good portion of how the game goes.

One person associated with Mizzou is pretty familiar with the Utes, by the way: Cuonzo Martin kinda coached against them recently.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me for scheduling that game,” said Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin, who was 3-4 against Utah the previous three seasons while coaching at Cal-Berkeley. “They’re a talented team. Big, physical guys. Their guards can make shots. They’ll push it, especially at home. They’ll get out and run and space you out. Their bigs are mobile. They can make shots. It’ll be a big game.”

Oh yeah, and then there’s the whole “Mizzou hasn’t won a road game in forever” thing. Lots to keep up with regarding tonight’s game.

And no, it does not appear that the more heralded of the Porter brothers will be suiting up just yet. Hard to do that when you don’t make the trip.

No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. I’m convincing you, right? No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet. No, I’m not concerned yet.


More Links:

  • Four games remain in the Mizzou Volleyball regular season — a trip to Mississippi State on Friday, then three straight home games (beginning Sunday with Arkansas). The Tigers’ RPI is up to a semi-healthy 35th, but my recommendation if they want to secure a tourney bid: win out. Pretty effective strategy if you ask me.
  • 100 days down for the new Mizzou chancellor.
  • Remember those random days way back when, when you’d wake up to a new, lengthy opus from football porn master Chris Brown at Smart Football? Well for one day at least, those days have returned.
  • NEW PAPN! SB Nation’s recruiting guru Bud Elliott joined me to talk about SEC coaching turnover, how to choose between a recruiter and teacher in your position coach hires, how Mizzou’s been one of college football’s most reliable spread coverers all of a sudden, and more.