I’ll say this: Missouri isn’t a panicky team. Against one of the best FG% defenses in the country, Green Bay came out on fire. The Phoenix made seven of their first 10 shots and scored on seven of their first nine possessions to go up 17-10. It wasn’t going to last, and the Tigers knew it. So they just weathered a brief storm, then laid the hammer down.
Just 8:18 after Khalil Small’s jumper gave GB a seven-point lead, Mizzou had gone on a 27-10 run to basically build the space it would maintain the rest of the way. That’s the way you do it.
If I just saw the final score, my first thought would be, “Hey, a track meet!” Mizzou plays at one of the slowest tempos in the country, but the Tigers scored 100 points, so this must have been a much more high-pace environment.
Not so much. Granted, the 71 possessions were more than Missouri’s 67-possession average, but not that much more. The story here was efficiency: Mizzou scored on what seemed like every damn possession. The Tigers averaged 1.42 points per possession, which is stunning. (Green Bay also averaged 1.09 points per possession, which is higher than you’d like to see, early hot streak or no.)
This was just a steady blowout. Mizzou shot better, handled the ball better, and rebounded better. Green Bay was an extremely willing opponent; Mizzou was just better.
Your Trifecta: Geist-Porter-Barnett
Welcome back, Jordan and Jontay!
Jontay Porter had put together a pair of duds recently, but he was very Jontay in this one. Granted, he made just one of four 3-pointers and missed at least one badly (that makes him 1-for-8 from long range in the last three games), but eight rebounds, four assists, and five blocks? I love this dude.
Of course, the story was Geist. He had zero points on one FG attempt over the last two games since the West Virginia loss. He did have four assists against Miami (Ohio), but he had still lost his way a little bit.
He found his way against GB, however. He not only made five of eight 3-balls, he also made all six of his shots inside the arc (including a dunk!). And while he only had one assists, he did pull in three defensive rebounds as well. He now has games of 28, 16, and 11 points this year ... and also four goose eggs. Reliable? No. Capable of carrying Mizzou once every few weeks? Absolutely.
Good minutes from Blake Harris, as well. The freshman saw his most minutes since Long Beach State and filled the box score: eight points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, only two turnovers. That'll do, especially when a backcourt mate is unconscious from 3-point range. His 62% pass rate was the second-highest on the team in this one (behind Terrence Phillips); that’s a little low for your second-highest rate, but it worked.
Mizzou now has four guys shooting at least 39 percent from 3-point range, and Geist is over 50 percent. So jarring compared to last year.
Two down, two to go. Mizzou has taken down Miami (Ohio) and Green Bay with relative ease and now gets North Florida and a solid Stephen F. Austin before Braggin’ Rights. The goal was for these games to be as forgettable as possible, and while this one was spiced by two teams shooting quite well, it was still pretty dang easy. Now it’s time for a week off before UNF comes to town.