There’s only so many ways you can say Missouri needs a win tonight against Alabama. On that front, Sam Snelling’s preview has you covered.
Over the past week, we’ve tried to balance some optimism with a realist view. Yes, MU is down to eight scholarship players. Ball-handling is, and will remain, a soft underbelly in the weeks to come. Perimeter shooting — once a leveling tool for turnovers or off nights by freshmen bigs — has lost some potency in the past five games. Jordan Barnett, the only real threat to create offense by himself, has pulled a disappearing act a little too often in SEC play.
That said, Erik Haslam made a sound point on the Twitterz this morning.
Reminder to everyone that we’re still in January. Tons of basketball yet to be played, and I’d say roughly 25-30 teams who would not get at-large bids today are still in the mix. The bubble is still a mile in diameter at this point in the season.— Erik Haslam (@haslametrics) January 31, 2018
While leading indicators aren’t trending up, the next two games leave open a path for Missouri to rebuild some momentum. I’m skeptical they can take advantage but not resigned to the inevitable: a team sitting at 3-7 on Saturday afternoon and likely NIT bound. Maybe that’s too conservative on my part, but it’s why the games are played.
Now, let’s turn to the KenPom tale of the tape.
- ICYMI: Alabama has the talent to challenge for an SEC title. In hoops!
- Preview: Mizzou needs a get right game, and Alabama has been tough at home
- Notebook: Cuonzo Martin emphasizes defense, ball-handling as key to turnaround
- The Watch: For the SEC, February might be more frenetic than usual
- Post-State Thoughts: Mizzou’s Achilles Heel isn’t healing
- Post-Auburn Study Hall: Mississippi State 74, Missouri 62
- PODCAST: Dive Cuts, Episode 18
Opponent: Alabama Crimson Tide (14-7, 5-3 SEC)
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
IS MIZZOU RECEIVING TOP 25 VOTES? No
WHAT DOES VEGAS SAY? Bama -5.5, O/U 137
WHAT DOES KenPom SAY? Alabama 71, Missouri 68 (Win expectancy: 42%)
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN:
- TV: ESPN 2, Beth Mowins and LaPhonso Ellis
- Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199
Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
- Will Mizzou finish with more or less than 13 turnovers?
- How many 3-pointers does Mizzou make, and what is their shooting percentage from deep?
- Predict Cullen VanLeer’s stat line?
- (not a question but...) Predict the score!
- Who is your trifecta?