Kevin Puryear wasn’t Missouri’s best player during the Tigers’ overtime win over Mississippi State — KenPom awarded Kassius Robertson its MVP distinction, and some people might argue for Jordan Geist, who notched 17 points and six rebounds on 4-for-6 from 3-point land. Plus, Jordan Barnett was more aggressive in putting himself on the line, and Jeremiah Tilmon played a big role down the stretch, especially when he took an overtime charge with four fouls.
But, man, it felt good to watch Puryear become this team’s savior when things seemed lost.
He’s spent a lot of time this year fluctuating between roles, and there have been times where his frustration has showed. He was far from perfect Saturday — after a fast start, he was largely non-existent in the second half — but he came up with the two biggest buckets of the season within 60 seconds of each other.
Playing as an undersized forward against a big Bulldog frontline, he showed the touch of a much taller man when he gently flicked the ball back in off a missed Robertson three.
And then... that shot.
KEVIN PURYEAR, YOU BAD MAN pic.twitter.com/MT4swuolQS— Barstool Mizzou (@BarstoolMizzou) February 10, 2018
This was Puryear’s first 3-pointer since January 10 vs. Georgia. He had missed a wide open look earlier in the OT period. Badly.
From deep, he’s only shooting 27% on the year and 11% in conference play — before that shot it was SIX PERCENT!
But despite being in the midst of a cold streak that would make a Missouri winter blush, Puryear cooly knocked down a contested corner three in the most pressure-packed moment of his Columbia career.
His response after the game?
How can you not love this guy?