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It’s Braggin’ Rights time

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

T-minus 38 hours till Braggin’ Rights! Let’s rock.

Let’s also be prepared for Jeremiah Tilmon’s recruitment to get brought up about 1,600 times during the broadcast.

Tilmon, a 6-foot-10 forward that is averaging 9.8 points and five rebounds, originally committed to Illinois. When coach John Groce was fired in March, Tilmon decommitted and joined the Tigers in May.

Energy has never been a problem for Tilmon. Graduate senior Kassius Robertson referred to him as a fiery player, in Thursday’s press conference.

He doesn’t think the crowd will affect Tilmon, though.

“When he is amped up he is a force to be reckoned with regardless. I think that will motivate him instead of bring him down,” Robertson said.

One thing is certain: That Kansas scrimmage back in November certainly can’t hurt Mizzou’s preparedness for the intense St. Louis environment.

Missouri (10-2) has already sold its allotment for the game against Illinois (8-5) and the team said it will be prepared for a sellout, thanks in part to the exhibition game against Kansas that it played at the Sprint Center before the season began.

“We’ve got a group of guys who aren’t really worried about crowd, don’t really let that affect us,” graduate transfer Kassius Robertson said.

We’ll see. That game was a while ago, and Michael Porter Jr. was playing, so things have changed a little bit. Regardless, the KU experience can’t hurt, even if it only helps a little.

Illinois plays a style that could easily get its half of the crowd going pretty well. Remember how Stephen F. Austin was so good at forcing turnovers and hit the offensive glass pretty hard on Tuesday night? Well, Illinois is 11th in turnover rate and sixth in offensive rebounding.

It’s pretty much all the Illini do well this year — they don’t shoot well (especially from 3-point range), they turn the ball over a lot themselves, they foul like crazy — but they hustle. They’ve lost to all five top-100 teams they’ve played so far (and it’s so much fun to point out that Mizzou is once again a top-50 team), but every game was close. Illinois will scrap, and that could make the crowd a factor. We’ll see just how prepared for that Mizzou is.

Mizzou and Illinois tip off from the Scottrade Center at 7:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

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