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Mizzou Hoops Preview & Live Game Thread: Tigers face first road test at Wichita State

Embarking on its first road trip, Mizzou hopes to continue its perfect start while traveling to face the Shockers.

NCAA Basketball: Houston Christian at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri 88 | Wichita State 84


First Half Notes

  • Starters remain the same for Missouri: Nick Honor, D’Moi Hodge, DeAndre Gholston, Kobe Brown and Noah Carter
  • Wichita State Starters are as projected: Craig Porter Jr., Xavier Bell, Jaykwon Walton, Kenny Pohto and James Rojas
  • Isiaih Mosley is in attendance for Mizzou and will play. He stayed in the locker room during some warm-ups, but will be available.
  • Noah Carter with the first points of the evening on a second-chance layup following a pair of missed three-pointers. Honor follows with a three-pointer off a Wichita State turnover.
  • The Tigers are trying to force the three-point shot, but have made just one of their first five attempts. Mizzou does hold a one-point advantage, however, utilizing four Shockers’ turnovers to its advantage.
  • Mizzou is shooting well below average, just 37.5% from the field and 22.2% from beyond the arc. The Tigers have forced six turnovers and are keeping the rebounding contest close.
  • Seven different Tigers have points, but Isiaih Mosley has yet to enter the game.
  • D’Moi Hodge continues to prove he’s a go-to guy, knocking down two three-pointers to keep Mizzou ahead.
  • Porter Jr. and Bell drill three-pointers to tie the game, but Gholston responds with a tie-breaking layup. Wichita State, who entered with only a 26% mark from beyond the arc, is at 50%.
  • Hodge has four three-pointers for 12 points to lead the Tigers. Mizzou has forced 11 Wichita State turnovers, but the Shockers’ uncharacteristically hot shooting has kept them in this one. They are shooting 54.5% from three-point range and 57.1% from the field.
  • A late flurry of fast break points for the Tigers make it a it a seven-point deficit at the half for the Shockers. 13 turnovers have hurt Wichita State thus far.

Second Half Notes

  • Hodge knocks down a layup to open the second half scoring.
  • Wichita State counters with a 10-point run, as Bell hits a three-pointer and layup, Porter Jr. drills a jumper and Walton drains a there-pointer.
  • The Shockers are on a 12-0 run, and Mizzou has entered a scoring drought.
  • Mizzou has not scored in nearly five minutes, leading to a 14-0 Wichita State run.
  • The Tigers are forcing the three-point shot unsuccessfully. Mizzou is 25% from beyond the arc on 24(!) attempts, and the momentum has swung completely to Wichita State.
  • Kobe Brown scores the first points for the Tigers immediately following Wichita State’s first turnover of the half. Ronnie DeGray III makes a second-chance layup to make it a one-score game once again.
  • Hodge helps the Tigers regain the lead with a layup following a Sean East II jumper, but Wichita State fights right back.
  • Wichita State is on another run, this time 7-0.
  • Mizzou has taken a little momentum back but trails by six points with less than four minutes to go.
  • Okafor drills a three-pointer and Carter responds right back. A Sean East jumper makes it a two-point game, and the Tigers tie it up on a layup from Carter.
  • Okafor and East trade baskets, and it’s tied with a minute to go.
  • Bell misses both free throws, and Mizzou takes a timeout with 20 seconds remaining. Down 1, this is it for the Tigers.
  • Rojas fouls Hodge, and he’ll go to the line with 9.7 seconds remaining.
  • Hodge misses his first but makes his second attempt. A jumper from Okafor at the buzzer falls short, and Wichita State steps out of bounds. Mizzou ball with two seconds to go.
  • Gomillion misses a three-pointer at the buzzer, and we’re headed to overtime.

Overtime Notes

  • Noah Carter drills two free throws to open the overtime scoring.
  • East II knocks down a layup to force a Wichita State timeout.
  • Noah Carter drills a jumper to make it a six-point lead, but fouls Okafor on a three-point attempt. The Wichita State forward made one of his three attempts.
  • Mizzou will need to win this one at the free throw line, and East is guiding the Tigers to a victory at this point with another two free throws.
  • Honor drills one free throw, and the clock runs dry for the Shockers. What a comeback victory for the Tigers.

Pregame Notes

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 points will Isiaih Mosley have?
  5. What will the final score be?

Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below!

Tonight’s Preview

Continuing its best start since the 2013-14 season, the Missouri Tigers men’s basketball program (7-0) will face its most electrifying opponent yet in tonight’s energizing matchup against the Wichita State Shockers.

The charged atmosphere at Charles Koch Arena will give Mizzou its first road test of the season, following a season opening seven-game homestand. At the conclusion of their extended home stay, the Tigers are one of 18 unbeaten teams in the country, at 7-0, and profile one of the nation’s best scoring offenses.

Wichita State, meanwhile, is out to a 4-2 start, including an appearance in the Hall of Fame Classic championship game against San Fransisco, which the Shockers lost 67-63. Their most recent game, an 83-71 victory over Tarleton State, marked the beginning of a two-game homestand before Wichita State travels to in-state rival Kansas State.

This showdown will pit the country’s fourth-ranked offense against the nation’s 30th scoring defense, making it a true battle of each team’s strengths. Mizzou has yet to face an opponent of Wichita State’s strength, so this could become a trap game quite quickly for the Tigers.

Game Info

When: Tuesday, Nov. 29

Where: Charles Koch Arena—Wichita, Kansas

Time: 7:00 PM CST


Spread: Mizzou -1.5

KenPom Win Probability: 56%

The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad; 10.1 PPG)

SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad; 16.6 PPG)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad; 9.7 PPG)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR; 14 PPG)

C: Noah Carter (SR; 11.6 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: G Isiaih Mosley (SR; 10.5 PPG)

Wichita State:

PG: Craig Porter, Jr. (SR; 13.8 PPG)

SG: Xavier Bell (SO; 4.7 PPG)

SF: Jaykwon Walton (JR; 13.2 PPG)

PF: Kenny Pohto (SO; 6.3 PPG)

C: James Rojas (SR; 7.2 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: F Gus Okafor (SR; 8.3 PPG)

*These are projected starters

Get to Know Wichita State

Wichita State, 4-2, has victories against Richmond, Central Arkansas, Tarleton State and Grand Canyon. Its losses include a defeat at the hands of San Francisco as well as an early-season blunder at home against Alcorn State. These early-season battles have dropped the Shockers’ KenPom ranking only slightly, from No. 83 to 85, but Wichita State still remains the sixth-highest American Athletic Conference program in the rankings.

The Shockers average just 65.5 points per game, the second lowest of any opponent Mizzou has faced yet this season, and own the nation’s No. 320 assist/turnover ratio at 0.71. Wichita State will look to counteract the up-tempo Tigers’ offense with its own slow-paced tempo, which ranks in the bottom 10% of Division-I teams.

What the Shockers lack on the offensive side of the ball, however, they make up for it defensively.

Wichita State limits opponents to 59.2 points per game while boasting a suffocating defense that ranks No. 13 in the country in field goal percentage defense at 35.7%. Another facet of the Shockers’ unique play-style is their rebounding, which showcases a plus-5 margin, including 11.83 offensive rebounds per game.

Essentially, this matchup will pit the strengths of Mizzou’s high-scoring, fast break offense against Wichita State’s low-tempo, defensive-heavy scheme.

As for the Shockers’ lineup, they feature two double-digit scorers in guard Craig Porter, Jr. and forward Jaykwon Walton. The duo averages a combined 27 points and 12.7 rebounds, making them the biggest threats to Mizzou’s defense. The hot hand, however, is forward Gus Okafor, who scored 27 points and totaled eight rebounds off the bench in Wichita State’s previous game. Those three names headline an eight-man lineup that Shockers’ third-year head coach Isaac Brown mainly utilizes.

Wichita State’s smothering defense as well as its success in the rebounding department will cause concern for the Tigers, who have yet to face a team of this defensive caliber.

3 Keys to the Game

1. Grab ahold of the tempo and RUN

Showcasing a Top-14 tempo, the Tigers must use that energy to their advantage early and often. Wichita State is not used to playing from behind, and it’ll have a tough time competing if they’re down early because of the team’s lackluster three-point percentage (26%) and field goal percentage (41.9%).

Luckily for Mizzou, it has established a strong tendency of playing ahead, which will need to happen once again against the Shockers. One key to jumping out ahead will be capitalizing on mistakes. Wichita State turns the ball over more times than it forces turnovers, so exposing those miscues will help the Tigers run away with the lead.

2. Play a disciplined game

Mizzou averages nearly 19 personal fouls per game, giving opponents easy opportunities for free points at the line. Against the Shockers, who shoot just 72.1% from the line, those fouls may not matter that much. However, discipline will be an enormous factor in determining who will stay on the court for the Tigers.

If a few of Mizzou’s leaders are facing foul trouble early, the Tigers will have a tough time establishing rhythm and playing their style of basketball. Wichita State, on the other hand, only commits 13.2 fouls per game, so if this contest is determined at the free throw line, it’ll favor the Shockers.

3. Utilize the upstart passing game to your advantage

Unselfishness is perhaps the most crucial element to Mizzou’s offensive scheme.

The Tigers are No. 1 in the country in assist/turnover ratio and the national leader in assists per game as well, making them one of the nation’s best distributing teams. Wichita State has yet to face an opponent of Mizzou’s potential in this area of the game, and that’ll make defending the Tigers much tougher.

Mizzou has shown its ability to feature a different scorer nearly every night, and its passing game is the true key behind it. Another 20+ assist game should indicate a victory, as well as another high-scoring affair, making it one of the most important keys to success.

Game Prediction

KenPom Prediction: 72-70, Mizzou

My Prediction: 74-60, Mizzou

KenPom is making this game out to be quite the shocker...

Seriously, all jokes aside, this matchup should be electric, as sparks fly on both the offensive and defensive ends. Mizzou will be challenged defensively in a way it hasn’t been all season, but the Tigers are too explosive to be contained.

Wichita State will likely keep this one within a five-point margin at halftime, and may even lead, but at some point its defense will crack beneath the monster that is the Mizzou offense. Expect the Tigers to emphasize scoring in the paint, meaning an opportunity for big nights from Kobe Brown, Noah Carter and Aidan Shaw (as long as they can stay out of foul trouble).

If Mizzou can keep Porter, Jr. from shooting lights out and also limit the amount of second-chance points from the Shockers, it’s likely that the Tigers will cruise in the second half to an electrifying victory.