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Missouri Basketball Preview & Game Thread: Up-Tempo Tigers host SIUE Cougars

The Cougars made the short trip to Columbia, looking to pull off a major upset.

Missouri 105 | Southern Illinois (Edwardsville) 77


1st Half Notes

  • Early foul on Kobe Brown less than a minute into the game. Responds with a confident step-in 3.
  • D’Moi Hodge starting out very aggressive on both sides of the floor, allowing to get offensive rebounds but also get beat on dribble drives.
  • Kobe picks up his second foul with 18:01 left in the first half.
  • Hodge with 9 early points.
  • DeAndre Gholston with a quick 5 points, offense doing not seem to be suffering without Kobe on the floor.
  • Tre Gomillion plays so much bigger than his 6’4” frame.
  • Much like in every other game, Tigers are pushing the ball early and often.
  • D’Moi Hodge just tried to end an opposing player’s basketball career on a dunk attempt.
  • Tigers are trapping hard in the backcourt, which has led to some SIUE turnovers.
  • Isiaih Mosley gets into the score sheet with his first bucket at the 7:15 mark.
  • Technical foul after an SIUE player stopped a fast break while on the floor.
  • Tre Gomillion playing his best game of the year on both ends of the floor.
  • Sean East II with a Tom-Brady like pass to Hodge for an easy layup down the floor.
  • Isiaih Mosley with a nifty up-and-under layup followed up by a block off the glass.

2nd Half Notes

  • Brown comes back into the game and gets a block and assist on a fast break.
  • Follows it with a layup and dunk to really announce that he’s back.
  • Offense has not missed a beat in the second half, Hodge is now at 20 points as well.
  • Tigers continue to push the ball down the floor as soon as it is in their hands.
  • Hodge up to 25 now, continues to be hot from behind the arc.
  • Kobe gets an and-one off an inbounds pass.
  • Hodge is red-hot, now up to 28-points. His career-high is 46.
  • Lead got out to as much as 41, Tigers look to be cruising to a win.
  • Noah Carter with a nasty spin move to get an open layup.
  • Double technicals, Mosley picks it up for Mizzou.
  • D’Moi Hodge gets his 30-ball!
  • Backups now in for the Tigers. Will we get another Sternberg 3?

5 Fan Questions:

  1. Who will lead the team in scoring?
  2. How many rebounds will Kobe Brown have?
  3. What percentage will the Tigers shoot from the field?
  4. What will the halftime score be?
  5. How many assists will Nick Honor have?

Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below!

Mizzou-SIUE Preview

The Missouri Tigers will face yet another ‘Cat’ and their third Ohio Conference opponent of the young season this evening as the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Cougars journey to Columbia, Mo. for the first time since 2012.

Exactly 10 years and six days ago, Missouri defeated SIUE in that meeting, 83-69, marking Missouri’s second victory in the opponents’ all-time series, which stands at 2-0 in favor of the hometown favorite.

SIUE, fresh off of a 11-21 campaign last season, was selected to finish 5th in the OVC preseason poll, ahead of Southern Indiana (7th) and Lindenwood (10th), both of whom have already suffered defeats to the Tigers. Boasting youth and athleticism, the Cougars will provide a tricky matchup for defensive-minded Mizzou.

Entering the contest, the Tigers rank 52nd in KenPom, while SIUE slots in at the 275th spot. KenPom gives Mizzou a 97% chance at victory with a projected final score of 86-66, emphasizing what could be an offensive slugfest for a majority of the evening. While the Tigers may look like a comfortable pick, don’t underestimate a feisty Cougars team with nothing to lose.

Game Info

Opponent: SIUE (1-1, no. 275 in KenPom)

Time: 7:00 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

Ken Pom Win Probability: 97%

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? No

What Does Vegas Say? Mizzou +20.5

Where To Watch: SECN+

Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball

The Starters

Missouri —

PG: Nick Honor (SR; 12.3 PPG)

SG D’Moi Hodge (SR; 12.3 PPG)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad; 8.7 PPG)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR; 13.7 PPG)

C: Noah Carter (JR; 16.7 PPG)


PG: Damarco Minor (SO; 16.0 PPG)

SG: Ray’Sean Taylor (R-SO; 10.0 PPG)

SF: Shamar Wright (R-JR; 10.0 PPG)

PF: DeeJuan Pruitt (R-SO; 13.5 PPG)

C: Johnathan Kurtas (SO; 4.5 PPG)

Get To Know SIUE

SIUE has had an uneven start to the 2022-23 season, defeating Harris-Stowe 85-57 in its opening game. They followed that performance up with an 81-76 loss to Purdue-Fort Wayne of the Horizon League on the road. The Cougars will continue their six-game, early-season road trip tonight against an invigorated 3-0 Mizzou squad.

Perhaps the greatest strength for SIUE thus far is its offense, which has utilized efficient shooting and fast break points to drive its success. The Cougars are shooting 51.2% from the field and average 21 fast break points per game, both of which rank in the Top-50 nationally. Adding to the lethal shooting and speed, the SIUE bench averages an OVC-best 38 points per game.

Defensively, the Cougars boast one of the OVC’s stronger defenses, ranking in the top-four of opponent points per game (69.0), opponent field goal percentage (40.8%) and rebounding margin (6.0). SIUE also averages a positive turnover margin and leads the league in blocks per game (5.0).

Through two games, however, the Cougars do showcase some weaknesses that Mizzou will look to exploit.

SIUE allows opponents to shoot at a 34.7% clip from beyond the arc while its offense has only made 12 three-pointers in two games. In the loss to Purdue-Fort Wayne, the Cougars allowed 13 made baskets from beyond the arc, which ultimately cost them an opportunity at victory.

Another weakness not listed on any stat sheet is SIUE’s youth. The Cougars showcase a starting lineup of four sophomores and one junior, while their bench features only five other players who hold a junior, senior or graduate status. The lack of veteran presence provides an opposite look to Mizzou, who will likely start an entire lineup of upperclassmen.

Sophomore transfer Damarco Minor has helped SIUE overcome the lack of veterans, taking the lead on offense while averaging 16 points, two rebounds and an OVC-high 5.5 assists per game. Adding to the Cougars’ success are a pair of twins, Sharmar and Lamar Wright, who have combined for 22.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, respectively.

SIUE may lack the experience that many other Mizzou opponents will bring, but the Cougars are still a team to be reckoned with. Utilizing their guard-heavy lineup, SIUE will try to use its athleticism and explosiveness to earn quick transition baskets. A lapse on defense for the Tigers could result in a back-and-forth shootout between two up-tempo offenses.

3 Keys To The Game

1. Control the Tempo

Expect a fast-paced, high-scoring affair in this one. Not only do these offenses love their fast break opportunities, but they are both efficient as well, making this a fun matchup for those who bet the over. Even with an up-tempo matchup on both sides, Mizzou will need to establish its pace early on and dictate the game from there. The path to victory will become much simpler for the Tigers if they grab ahold of the momentum and play their style of basketball from tipoff. If that doesn’t happen, then watch out for the hungry Cougars.

2. Win the Battle in the Trenches

Over 50% of SIUE’s points this season have come via the paint, including 44 of those in the loss to Purdue-Fort Wayne. A key to stopping the Cougars offense will be controlling the battle in the paint, which will come down to the defense Kobe Brown and Noah Carter early on. If the Tigers utilize their defensive pressure inside the arc, it’ll be difficult for SIUE to establish offensive consistency, especially considering the Cougars’ inefficiency from beyond the arc.

3. Continue to Force Turnovers

Mizzou head coach Dennis Gates has preached the importance of a 2-to-1 turnover to assist ratio after each game this season, and the Tigers have responded with strong margins in each game. SIUE averages 15 turnovers per game already, so Gates will have Mizzou ready to exploit those weaknesses and earn those extra possessions.

The Tigers have already showcased an ability to force turnovers (20.0 per game). Using that as a building block, Mizzou’s emphasis on the defensive end will likely be the difference once again.

Game Prediction

My Prediction: Mizzou 93, SIUE 70, KenPom Prediction: Mizzou 86, SIUE 66

Each of Mizzou’s opponents have kept the game interesting into the second half before the Tigers ultimately pull away. I expect much of the same in this one, but SIUE’s inexperience and lack of outside shooters will be the cause of its downfalls. I expect the Tigers to control the turnover battle dramatically, and utilize those mistakes to establish their tempo early.

The Cougars will need a lot to go right to pull off the upset, beginning with a successful game in the paint. If they can establish that and exploit the Mizzou three-point defense similar to how Southern Indiana did, then the outcome will look much different than expected.

Five Questions!

  1. Will the Tigers cover?
  2. Who will be the leading scorer?
  3. How many rebounds will Kobe Brown grab?
  4. How many assists will the team have?
  5. What will the final score be?

Last... Give us your score predictions, and MVP for the game in the comments below!

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