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Live Thread: Green Bay Phoenix vs. Missouri Tigers

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It’s a Purdue reunion as former Boilermakers Cuonzo Martin and Linc Darner meet tonight in Columbia.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff
Missouri coach Cuonzo suited up with Green Bay coach Linc Darner for three seasons at Purdue, including a 1994 run to the Elite Eight.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cuonzo Martin inherited a reunion with a friend and former Boiler.

If it were up to Missouri’s coach, Linc Darner, who is trying to do a heavy lift this season with the Green Bay Phoenix, wouldn’t have been on the docket. Unfortunately, Martin would have hunted down another foe for an early December buy game.

Per the Post-Dispatch:

“I don’t think there’s anything bad (playing each other),” Martin said. “You’re both trying to do the same things. It’s already tough enough to win games. I wouldn’t want a loss, one way or another, for a friend, because I know how hard this profession is. We’re trying to win games. If I can avoid playing against a guy I consider a friend I’d do it at all costs.”

As Sam Snelling wrote earlier in the week ahead of Mizzou muddling through against Miami, these matchups aren’t ones you devote much time to analyzing. Green Bay lost five seniors, including its leading scorer Charles Cooper, while its best interior player, Karim Kanter, transferred to Xavier.

Guard Khalil Small is a holdover and doing all he can by posting 15.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Former reserves Kameron Hankerson and T.J. Parham are also averaging double-figures for Darner’s group. And...that’s about it.

I mean, you’ll get the idea if you look at the KenPom breakdown.

This is list will familiar, but here’s what I’d keep an eye on:

  • Can Missouri keep its turnover percentage under 20 percent?
  • How active is Jeremiah Tilmon on the defensive backboards?
  • Is this the game where Harris starts taking control of the point guard position?
  • Does Mizzou end this one early?

Stated simply, will Missouri play a clean game and decisively rout a weaker opponent?

It’s a question we also asked a lot under the Kim Anderson regime, and MU still has a slight tendency—see Emporia State, Long Beach State and Miami (Ohio)—to be sluggish out of the gate. Today, Mizzou Arena could be placid. It’s a poor opponent on the Saturday before finals week, perhaps dampening student turnout. Martin’s guys will have to find a way to create their own energy.


The Review

On the latest episode of Dive Cuts, Sam Snelling and I tackled what we’d like to see Mizzou get done in the weeks leading up to the Braggin’ Rights game.


The Details

Opponent: Green Bay (3-4)

Time: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

IS MIZZOU RECEIVING TOP 25 VOTES? Not at all.

WHAT DOES VEGAS SAY? Missouri -23.5, O/U 143.

WHAT DOES KenPom SAY? Missouri, 80-61

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN:

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball

Live Stats: StatBroadcast


Five Questions

  1. Is there a slight irony to Phoenix serving as Green Bay’s mascot?
  2. How many people are in the seats today?
  3. How many turnovers are generated by Mizzou’s point guards?
  4. What’s the score after five minutes?
  5. Who is your trifecta?