Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin spoke with the media yesterday in advance of tonight’s big Mizzou-Auburn game at Mizzou Arena (8:00 p.m. CT, SEC Network). Our Tramel Raggs was there:
Take Three: Missouri Head Coach Cuonzo Martin discusses the importance of team playing making, getting production from the 4, and also why he places the ball in Jordan Geist's hands in late game situations. pic.twitter.com/yZ16xoNKpY— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) January 23, 2018
Martin’s message of team play-making has reached his senior ball-handler.
Could those point guard duties diminish Robertson’s impact as a perimeter shooter? [...]
“To be honest, the goal is the same regardless,” [Kassius] Robertson said Tuesday. “Make plays if I’m at the one, two or three. Shoot the ball when I’m open and try to get everybody involved. I think it’s important everybody has that mindset as well. It doesn’t really matter what position we play. We need to start making plays for each other. That’s why our offense has been stagnant the last couple games because we haven’t really gotten a lot of playmaking.”
Auburn does a really nice job of both drawing fouls and hitting its freebies.
Keys for Missouri (13-6, 3-3 SEC)
Stay out of foul trouble: According to KenPom, Auburn ranks No. 10 in free-throw percentage at 77.9. Missouri frontcourt players such as freshmen Jeremiah Tilmon and Jontay Porter as well as junior Kevin Puryear have committed some bad fouls this season. The Tigers need to avoid letting Bruce Pearl’s squad get to the line.
Mizzou is not surprised that Auburn is doing well this year.
The Tigers (17-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) are ranked 19th in the country. They are second in the conference, behind Florida, which is 6-1 in SEC play.
“I thought what they did last year was pretty remarkable, considering that they had a bunch of young talent. They had a pretty much all freshman starting lineup, outside of T.J. Dunans, so they were really talented last year,” Puryear said. “It’s not really surprising to see this year.”
One other interesting note: a win tonight would be Martin’s 200th overall.
* Mizzou is 67-63 all-time at home against ranked opponents, with a 14-12 mark at Mizzou Arena.
* Head coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad aims to rise back above .500 in conference play, having compiled a 3-3 mark in the league, thus far. Through six conference contests last season, Mizzou was 0-6.
* Martin’s Mizzou squad has added 13 wins to his career total thus far, bringing that mark up to 199 victories as a head coach across his 10 seasons.
Martin, by the way: old-school.
Martin will sometimes pull players off the court right after a mistake, only to put them in about a minute later, once they have either settled down … or once a teammate has made another substitution-worthy mistake.
He learned to be this way, in part, from playing and coaching under Gene Keady, who said he treated his players how his father treated him, “fair but firm.” They were supposed to keep him happy, not the other way around.
- The Trib has a nice profile on Mizzou signee Torrence Watson, who’s averaging damn near 30 points per game at Whitfield this year.
- Lagging ticket sales meant that Mizzou’s athletics spending exceeded its revenue for the first time in the SEC. Tim Hickman: “We’ve had a little bit of a revenue dip with ticket sales particularly for a couple years, but now this year we’re starting to see that trend back up. We hope that continues. But it takes a little bit of time to catch up. It’s possible we could have another deficit year.”
- A.J. Ofodile is taking Andy Hill’s role as Mizzou receivers coach, and Hill is moving to full-time special teams coach. Interesting.
- Mizzou has caught the eye of a 4-star 2019 Memphis receiver.
- Drew Lock wasn’t on the initial Bovada Heisman odds list for 2018. You can find him at 25/1 now.
Heisman odds via @BovadaLV:— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 23, 2018
Bryce Love 7/1
Johnathan Taylor 8/1
Khalil Tate 9/1
Tua Tagovailoa 10/1
J.K. Dobbins, Jake Fromm, Jarrett Stidham & Will Grier 12/1
Justin Herbert & Kelly Bryant 15/1
Trace McSorley & McKenzie Milton 18/1
Cam Akers & Jake Browning 22/1