Next up for Cuonzo Martin’s consistently resilient Mizzou squad? A trip to Texas A&M (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2).
Matt told you earlier this week about the Aggies’ spectacular funk — Billy Kennedy’s squad began SEC play 0-5 and has fallen from fourth in KenPom to a current 31st. They did beat Ole MIss on Tuesday, but by only two points at home.
This is a dangerous situation in that A&M is extremely talented and increasingly desperate. That can be a pretty tough combination for an opponent to deal with.
Still, you’d rather play A&M now than about two months ago; hopefully the Aggies don’t choose Saturday to pull off a big rebound.
A&M doesn’t force turnovers, but the Aggies force you to take bad shots, and they hit the offensive glass hard. It’ll be a scrap.
When asked Wednesday night if he’s watched his team’s upcoming opponent — the Texas A&M Aggies — Cuonzo Martin nodded his head in a swift, yet subtle, manner.
“I’ve seen ‘em, now,” Missouri’s first-year coach said. “They have length, athleticism and guards that can play. (We’ve) got to go fight.”
A win in College Station would move Mizzou to 4-2 in conference play and 14-5 overall. More importantly, it would further burnish the Tigers’ tourney bona fides, which got better following Wednesday’s win over Tennessee.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Mizzou projected as a 10-seed in his latest Bracketology. I don’t even have to tell you who the projected two-seed in Mizzou’s region is.
(For whatever it’s worth, CBS’ Jerry Palm had Mizzou a 10-seed before the Tennessee win.)
Lunardi still loves the SEC. He continues to have eight league teams in the field, with only Alabama particularly close to the cut-off line and Georgia one of the first four out. Deep as hell. And Mizzou’s holding its own so far.
- Another road romp for Mizzou Women’s Hoops. The Tigers were up 20-2 five and a half minutes in and cruised from there, creating 24 assists on 25 made field goals. Damn. Oh yeah, and they were +24 on the glass. Sophie Cunningham had 20 & 10, Jordan Frericks had 12 & eight, and Mizzou is 16-2 for the first time ever.
- Needless to say, the win won’t hurt Mizzou’s tourney prospects, and the Tigers are already in position to host in the first two rounds:
NCAA's top 16:— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) January 19, 2018
2. Mississippi State
6. Notre Dame
8. South Carolina
10. Ohio State
11. Florida State
14. Texas A&M
- (Btw, looks like Kansas City has a 50/50 chance of hosting a Women’s Final Four in a few years. Eight finalists for four spots.)
- No. 3 Mizzou Wrestling is off to Mount Pleasant to face No. 17 CMU this evening. Winner wins the MAC dual title.
- Mizzou Gymnastics is welcoming No. 10 Arkansas to town for Pink Out tonight.
- Mizzou Track & Field is off to Nashville. Lucky.
- Mizzou Baseball announced three new staff additions, including recent Tiger pitcher Austin Tribby as a graduate manager. The most interesting creation: a Director of Player Development position that will be manned by former Texas A&M video coordinator Jae Fadde.
- A Trib freelancer checked in on Jordan Clarkson, who’s averaging 14 points per game off the bench for the Lakers this year (and is constantly mentioned in trade rumors).