The Missouri Tigers have yet to lose consecutive games this year, a trend that Cuonzo Martin will surely like to keep in tact as his guys prepare for Saturday’s matchup versus Arkansas. Martin’s team is coming off one of their worst performances of the year against the Ole Miss Rebels, a game which the Tigers were easily handled by a score of 80-59. Despite getting blown out, Missouri shot the ball well at 48 percent from the field, along with 8 made three pointers, but as Martin said in Friday’s press conference, ”...whether or not your shot is falling you need to be able to defend and rebound,” two facets of the game the Tigers did not do well in. Missouri was destroyed on the boards, as the Rebels out rebounded the Tigers 34-19, a statistic Missouri usually excels in.
Martin explained as his team regressed on the defensive end, it gave the Rebel offense confidence and comfort. “I think by giving their guys comfort, they made tough shots look easy,” Martin said.
Martin was also dissatisfied with his teams ability to get the ball into the paint, a part of Missouri’s offense which has been crucial to their success all year. “We talk about how many times we want to get the ball in the paint, ”Martin explained. “I thought we should have been more aggressive and pound the ball in to Jeremiah [Tilmon].”
Martin’s message was that his team lacked effort on the defensive end. Wednesday’s outing was the third time in the last five games the Tigers have allowed a team to score more than 80 points—Missouri has lost two of those three matchups. “We got to get stops. We’re a defensive minded team,” Martin said on Friday.
A positive takeaway from Friday’s press conference is that Missouri’s weekend meeting against Arkansas is going to be the 6th annual Rally For Rhyan game, a series in which the Tigers are currently 5-0 in. Last year, Missouri raised $80,000 dollars to fight pediatric cancer in a thrilling 83-79 overtime victory over the Razorbacks. Martin and his squad believe this year will be no different, seeing how the Tigers have never lost a matchup for this special cause.