In case you came to this preview looking for a ton of insight: sorry, but you may be out of luck.
These are the sort of games where there’s not a ton to say, even in a season like this one is shaping up to be. Previewing borderline Division I teams who probably shouldn’t be playing Mizzou in the first place is one thing. After all, KenPom does actually track their numbers. Previewing NAIA schools who didn’t play basketball in 2020 and have nary a stat block to their name across the internet... well, that’s another thing entirely.
Mizzou’s official athletics website dug up some tidbits on the Paul Quinn Tigers, who are coming off a run of three straight match ups with Division I opponents. The closest any of those games turned out was an 85-68 loss at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, who rank 285th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency metric. Tarleton State, who ranks 197th, has their only win of the season over Paul Quinn, a 27-point win almost two weeks. At 125th, Mizzou will be the best team the other Tigers have played all year.
Without spoiling too much of the conclusion, there really isn’t much to say about this game. Mizzou should win and should win without having to break a sweat. This isn’t a UMKC type of situation (though even a loss there is still inexcusable) where you can afford to look bad but still win. As a Power 5 team against an NAIA team on your home court, you can’t afford to look bad. Anything less than a sterling performance and plenty of run for the youngsters would likely spell big changes coming. So let’s not worry about all that and just make this quick, shall we?
|Position||Missouri (3-3)||Paul Quinn (3-3)*|
|Position||Missouri (3-3)||Paul Quinn (3-3)*|
|PG||Kobe Brown (Jr., 6'8", 250)||Ja'Mere Redus (Fr., 6')|
|CG||Amari Davis (Jr., 6'2", 175)||Bruce Scott (So., 6'4")|
|WING||DaJuan Gordon (Jr., 6'3", 190)||Steven Tynes (Jr., 6'0")|
|PF||Javon Pickett (Sr., 6'5", 215)||Spencer McElway (Sr., 6'7")|
|POST||Jordan Wilmore (So., 7'3", 300)||Trevoin Shaw (Jr., 6'7")|
Note: These starting lineups are projected.
I’m sure there’s a way to get a scout on Paul Quinn that doesn’t involve going to see them play, but you won’t be able to find much here. All we have is the school’s ESPN and NAIA pages, the former of which has its stats from the NCAA “exhibitions.” Here are some of the highlights:
- Ja’Mere Redus — not to be confused with Ja’Mare Redus, also on the roster — appears to be the Tigers’ most dynamic threat as their only double-digit scorer on average. He also averages 2.7 assists per game while also coughing up nearly 4 turnovers.
- Ja’Mare Redus, however, is listed in the official MU Athletics preview as the team’s leading scorer while accounting for NAIA games, I would assume.
- Spencer McElway has been the Tigers top performer in the past, earning first team All Red River Athletics Conference honors. In his three NCAA games, he’s averaging 8.3 points and 6 rebounds a game.
- 6’5” junior forward Chris Scaife is the only Tiger shooting over 33.3 percent from three on the season at 42.9 percent.
When Missouri has the ball...
What to Watch | When do the young guys get in?
Missouri should be able to play its starters for about 10 minutes, put the game out of reach, and spend the rest of the game treating it as a glorified scrimmage. Truthfully, I’m most interested in seeing when guys like Yaya Keita, Anton Brookshire and Sean Durugordon (maybe even Trevon Brazile?) see some extended game time. At this point we know what the regulars bring, and them running over an NAIA squad won’t tell us anything. What a night like this offers is game minutes for newcomers who are still acclimating, and it should be taken advantage of, especially if Cuonzo plans on sticking with his early rotation through the rest of the year.
When Paul Quinn has the ball...
What to Watch | Who plays where?
The Tigers have seemed entrenched without a regular ball-handler to start the season, allowing Coleman and Brown turns with the ball with the latter taking the majority of the possessions. But Sam and Matt have always said that the true mark of a position is who you’re defending on the other end. Again, it’ll be difficult to pull too much from Monday, but if Cuonzo sticks Brown on the outside against the height-challenged Paul Quinn, that should cue us to how the rest of the season will play out at the lead guard position. He likely won’t, but it will be interesting to see if Martin experiments rather than just going for the throat.
A Missouri win! | Given that Paul Quinn is an NAIA team, KenPom doesn’t have any numbers on them, meaning nothing for the algorithm to spit out. But the win probability is at 100 percent because, well, this is a no-brainer. Missouri should win this game 100 times out of 100. If they don’t... well, we may have some other stuff to discuss other than future games.