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Mizzou will play Kennesaw State and, hopefully, Kansas State at November’s Paradise Jam

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Now that 2018 recruiting is finally (probably) over, it’s time for the next piece of the basketball puzzle: the schedule! Details will trickle out over the next couple of months, but a good chunk of the non-conference puzzle came together yesterday when the Paradise Jam bracket was released.

Game matchups and start times for the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam were released Thursday, the tournament announced. The 19th annual Paradise Jam will be held Nov. 16-19 at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. All games for the upcoming Paradise Jam will stream online at

Mizzou will face off with Kennesaw State in the opening round on Friday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. CT. The winner faces either Oregon State or Old Dominion in the semifinals on Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. CT. The other side of the bracket features Kansas State, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Iowa and Penn.

For some context, here are the matchups with last year’s KenPom rankings involved:

  • No. 64 ODU vs. No. 100 Oregon State
  • No. 40 Missouri vs. No. 309 Kennesaw State
  • No. 122 Northern Iowa vs. No. 125 Penn
  • No. 42 Kansas State vs. No. 286 Eastern Kentucky

So Mizzou will play the worst team in the field (per last year’s rankings, which will obviously shift a bit), then theoretically play the third-best (ODU) and second-best (K-State).

Not the most ridiculously awesome tournament in the world, but it could result in a battle with Kansas State. That’s always fun.

Kennesaw State, by the way, is coached by former Boston College head coach Al Skinner. The more you know...

By the way, all that talk about a second-year drop-off? Cuonzo Martin isn’t buying it.

“Look at Tennessee,” Martin said. “They were picked to finish 13th in the conference last season. I never get caught up in how you rank or pick somebody. You step on the floor, and you play. Defend. Rebound. Play hard.”

Martin paused. He smiled.

“Pick us 13th,” he said. [...]

“What we can be, and what we will be, is an elite defensive team across the board,” Martin said.

He likes his pieces. His foundation is secure.

“They feel it now,” Martin said. “It’s in the way they walk. It’s in the way they move.”

Wing signee K.J. Santos, by the way, is up to 230 pounds now (“He looks like a guy that can check into an NBA game right now,” says his prep coach), and [non sequitur alert] Cuonzo Martin doesn’t really want to take another job.

“I’ll tell you what, unless God says something otherwise, this is my last college stop,” Martin said while visiting the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten here for an athletic department fundraiser.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Turns out, stats agree with the whole “Emanuel Hall is an amazing deep threat” thing.