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Everyone’s diagnosing Mizzou after an 0-2 SEC start

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Missouri plays today, and everyone’s got ideas on how to win

It’s been a few days since Missouri’s loss to South Carolina and, coupled with the relative slow nature of this time of year, the Mizzou beat is full of ideas on how the Tigers can stop their losing ways.

First, Alex Schiffer at The Star:

In almost all of Missouri’s games against high-major competition, the Tigers haven’t gone into halftime without a three- to four-minute scoring drought in the final 10 minutes. According to, Missouri is averaging just 15.1 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half in games against high-major competition. That’s not going to get in done in the SEC. In Missouri’s overtime win against Central Florida, the Tigers scored just six points in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Last Tuesday against Tennessee, MU scored just 12.

Along with Jeremiah Tilmon’s struggles and the issue with turnovers, Schiffer spent most of the time focusing on Missouri’s scoring droughts. I can’t say I disagree with him — it would seem that the way to win games would be to avoid long periods of time where you don’t score any points.

How about Dave Matter at the Post Dispatch?

In the past we’ve heard Martin subtly question officiating in some of [Tilmon’s] fouls, but that wasn’t his take after Sunday’s game. Martin insisted that Sunday’s game wasn’t about Silva getting the best of Tilmon. This is about Tilmon.

Yeah, yeah, more stuff about Tilmon. Look, no one is disagreeing that Tilmon needs to be better. But at this point, what use is there in beating this particular dead horse? Until Tilmon figures out how to stay on the floor, we’ll just be repeating the same talking points — refs need to let him play; Tilmon needs to keep his emotions under control; he’s turning a corner; he’s in another slump. Time is a flat circle.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Matter also talked a little bit about Xavier Pinson, who barely saw the floor in Columbia, SC. Coincidentally, it was after last year’s South Carolina game that Blake Harris decided to pack his things and head back east. Not that the two are related in any way — just a weird coincidence that freshmen point guards who struggle with turnovers in a hard road environment wouldn’t get any playing time, oh wait now that I’m typing this I realize it’s not a coincidence at all and just part of learning how to be a college basketball player, and wow this is quite a run-on sentence, we need better editors here at Rock M!

Finally, let’s check in with Mitchell Forde at PowerMizzou:

Missouri has also been fouling at an alarming rate. The Tigers have committed a foul on 28.5 percent of opponents’ possessions this season. That ranks No. 316 nationally — out of 353 Division I teams. In the team’s losses this year, its opponents have scored 17 points per game at the free throw line. In its wins, that number falls to just 9.9 points per game. The Tigers have been outscored by 17 points, 47 to 30, at the free throw line during their two SEC games.

Yes, he also talks about Tilmon’s struggles, but he also takes a team-wide perspective, which is helpful. It makes sense too. Mark Smith and Kevin Puryear are often playing with two or three fouls early, and KJ Santos hasn’t yet shaken the rust off of his long absence, leading to some slow feet.

So what’s the diagnosis: Turnovers and fouls. Nothing we hadn’t known already. Hopefully they find the cure to what ails them before tonight’s game against the Crimson Tide.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • In premium PowerMizzou content, reporter Sean Williams did a football recruiting Q&A ($$.)
  • Garrick Hodge at the Columbia Tribune thinks the talks of Jeremiah Tilmon coming off the bench are a little silly.
  • Alex Schiffer takes a look at tonight’s game against Alabama, a team that’s had a strange first half of their season.
  • Alec Lewis at The Athletic took his best guess at Missouri’s starting depth chart for the 2019 season.
  • Finally, I want to make a bit of a personal tribute unrelated to Mizzou sports, but not unrelated to Mizzou.

It was announced yesterday that Bob Burchard, long time men’s basketball coach at Columbia College, will retire after this season.

“Bob has positively impacted thousands of lives over his three decades at CC,” said Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. “He has served as role model and mentor not just to the athletes on his teams, but to countless others. He has earned the respect of his staff members, his athletic peers nationwide, his colleagues across the college, the media and the community.

This is very true. Let me tell y’all a story.

When I was at the Missouri school of journalism, I was sent out to do an interview in one of my freshman year classes. I’d had experience interviewing people, but I’d never interviewed a complete stranger (I wasn’t exactly the reporter type.) I had a few ideas turned down before I did some searching around town and Bob’s name came up. I’d never realized Columbia College was such a powerhouse program, so I went to do a small interview about his team that year.

I showed up — feeling very, very nervous — with my rented J-school equipment and set up in his office, where he was already waiting. He probably had to sit around for 10 minutes while I fiddled with everything. Still, he wasn’t working or multitasking; just patiently waiting for me.

I did my 20-minute interview, got my nerves out and thanked him at the end. I was probably overly thankful, but I was also an 18-year-old who was very nervous about interviewing a college basketball coach.

When I thanked him for the millionth time, he smiled, shook my hand and said something to the effect of, “I’m used to it by now.”

I’ve thought about that a lot in the ensuing years. Bob Burchard probably conducted more interviews from Missouri J-School students than the past five Missouri coaches combined. For the most part, they probably weren’t even for stories. His team wasn’t going to get any coverage — it was either for an in-class assignment (like mine) or some other random interview project. But Burchard likely accepted the offers anyway. I can’t imagine all of them went wonderfully, but it seems like he did them with a smile.

I wish there were more people like Bob Burchard — people who are incredibly good at what they do and don’t need to make time for students trying to get their feet under them. I know he’s a legend on the court — especially in Columbia — but I’d bet there are hundreds of young journalists and students like me who could testify that he’s also a great man off of it.

Cheers on your retirement, Bob. You deserve it.