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Study Hall: Mizzou 62, UCF 59

Knock on wood, but Mizzou could top last year’s win total in the next two weeks.

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

Full disclosure: because of my travel schedule, I saw only the highlights of this game. Matt Harris already wrote in detail about Mizzou’s win, so I’ll just hop in and keep it short.

(Feel free to use this as a Saturday live thread of sorts.)

Team Stats

  • So it basically took a 7’6 dude for Mizzou to lose a rebounding battle. The Knights actually did some great team rebounding, with six guys grabbing at least three boards each (and only one grabbing more than six), but I’m going to guess that Tacko Fall was a bit of a distraction in that regard.
  • Mizzou won with ... ball-handling? Oh. The Tigers shot well from 3-point range but had to because of (rather understandable) difficulties closer to the rim. The teams’ true shooting percentages were nearly identical, and with slight disadvantages in terms of both getting to the line and grabbing boards, the Tigers had to come through in the ball-handling department. And they did!

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Robertson, Tilmon, Barnett

  • Jontay Porter’s probably got a few more duds in him between now and the end of the season, but I guess it would make sense that one happened in a game with such a weird size matchup. That said, he and Jeremiah Tilmon still managed to grab six offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds. I’ll take that.
  • This was the kind of “basically three guys made all the box score contributions” game we saw frequently during the long road losing streak, but a) it was three guys (3.5, really) and not one (which also happened quite a bit during the streak), and b) those three guys were great. According to adjusted game score, Kassius Robertson, Tilmon, and Jordan Barnett combined for 52.9 of Missouri’s 62 points, and Terrence Phillilps had 8.4 of the remaining 9.1.
  • A different spin: Mizzou got almost nothing from Kevin Puryear and Jontay Porter (0.7 combined Adj. GS points) and beat a decent team on the road. Yeah, I like that spin.

You never want to see a point guard (in this case, Jordan Geist) cross the 10% TO threshold, but Terrence Phillips (0%) and Blake Harris (5%) picked up the slack in that regard. As Matt wrote yesterday, Phillips was excellent. More of that, please.

Missouri stands 6-2 after eight games and, per KenPom, has at least an 85 percent chance in each of the next four games. The Tigers should be 10-2 and receiving quite a few poll votes when they head to St. Louis for Braggin’ Rights. If things go according to plan (and lord knows they might not), Mizzou will top last year’s win total in two weeks. This is not a spectacular team, but I like this team a lot.