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Basketball Preview: Tigers and Pirates square off at the T-Mobile Center

Holiday hoops in Kansas City! Mizzou will take on Seton Hall for yet another pivotal non-conference swing game.

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

Final: Seton Hall 93, Missouri 87

1st Half

  • Starters: Aidan Shaw, Nick Honor, Noah Carter, Sean East II, and Tamar Bates.
  • Seton Hall’s Al-Amir Dawes knocks down a 3-pointer for the games first points. Tamar Bates responded on the other end. 3-3 tie game.
  • Dawes responds on the other end with another triple pushing the lead back in Seton Halls favor. 6-3.
  • Connor Vanover checks in for Aidan Shaw.
  • Tamar Bates adds his fifth point on a layup underneath the bucket. 6-5 Seton Hall.
  • Bates still making contributions he assisted one to Connor Vanover. Following an answer by Seton Hall, he splashed another 3-pointer before picking up his second foul. Mizzou leads 10-8.
  • Noah Carter joins the scoring party with a 3-pointer. 13-8 Mizzou.
  • John Tonje has entered the game along with Anthony Robinson II.
  • Robinson also joins the 3-point party. 16-10 Missouri.
  • Which is answered by Dylan Addae-Wusu. 16-13 Missouri.
  • Addae-Wusu ties it up at 16.
  • Kadary Richmond gives Seton Hall the lead back. Missouri is battling the turnover bug right now and Addae-Wusu extends it to a four-point game. 20-16 Seton Hall.
  • Nick Honor splashes a 3-pointer ended Mizzou’s scoring drought. One-point game.
  • Mizzou is unable to generate anything on offense while Seton Hall is capitalizing in transition. Seton Hall is on a 16-4 run and leads 26-21.
  • Tamar Bates knocks down his second 3-pointer. Seton Hall’s lead cut to five.
  • Jaden Bediako answers for Seton Hall with a foul to go with it. Seton Hall 32-24.
  • Sean East II scores on a wide open inbounds pass. Seton Hall turns it over on the other end and the Mizzou crowd has some juice.
  • Jesus Carralero-Martin knocks down a pair of free throws. Seton Hall’s lead cut to 32-28.
  • Now it’s getting chippy. Both teams got into it following a battle for the ball. Someone shoved Anthony Robinson II. Play is under review.
  • Double technical fouls have been assessed to Addae-Wusu and Robinson.
  • Carralero-Martin cuts it to two.
  • Dawes answers on the other end with a 3-pointer. 35-30 Seton Hall.
  • Seton Hall knocks down another huge 3-pointer behind Wusu. 38-30.
  • Bates has a team high 15 points on 5-8 shooting. Tigers just can’t stop anybody on the other end. Noah Carter cuts it to four with under two to play.
  • Connor Vanover adds his second dunk of the afternoon. Seton Hall doesn’t get a clean shot off in time before the buzzer. Halftime: Seton Hall 42, Missouri 38.

2nd Half

  • Jesus Carralero-Martin scores the first bucket out of the break, but Seton Hall answers with a wide-open 3-pointer.
  • Another 3-pointer, wide-open again, this time by Addae-Wusu. 47-41 Seton Hall.
  • Guess what? Another 3-pointer by Seton Hall. It’s now a 10-point game.
  • 10 turnovers and a 3-plus minute scoring drought for Mizzou. 55-41 Seton Hall with fifteen to play.
  • John Tonje converts a 3-point play. 55-44 Seton Hall.
  • Boos can now be heard here in Kansas City. Seton Hall’s lead is extended to 61-44. Mizzou is shooting 22% from the field this half.
  • Nick Honor finally knocks down a 3-pointer for Mizzou. Lead cut to 63-47.
  • Jesus Carralero is up to eight points, I believe a season high. His latest bucket cuts it to 65-49.
  • Sean East II knocks down his first 3-pointer of the afternoon. He adds another on the other end down. Mizzou has cut it to 11 with under nine to play. 65-54.
  • Sean East II draws a foul, but misses a pair of free throws. Huge momentum blow.
  • Seton Hall is now once again having everything offensively, while Missouri has no answers on the other end. Fans are starting to make their ways to the exits as the Pirates lead 75-56.
  • East with another 3-pointer. 75-58 with 5 minutes to play.
  • Anddddd Tamar Bates cuts it to ten with a 3-pointer followed by a Seton Hall shot clock violation. He has 20 points so far.
  • A pair of Sean East free throws cuts it to eight.
  • East cuts it to six. Here comes the Tigers. 76-70.
  • Kadary Richmond makes it an eight point game. He missed a free throw.
  • And a travel call on East results in a turnover for the Tigers. Still plenty of time left with under three to play.
  • Trent Pierce records his first points with a 3-pointer. 80-73 with 1:49 to play.
  • A pair of free throws by Honor cuts it to seven but a tough finish by Richmond extends it back to nine.
  • Noah Carter knocks down a trio of free throws to close the gap to 86-78. Bad news is there’s not enough time with 1:17 remaining.
  • Pierce knocks down his second 3-pointer. 87-81 with 37.3 to play.
  • Final: Seton Hall 93, Missouri 87. A tough middle of the game for the Tigers as they drop to 7-4 on the year.

Pregame Updates

Tonight’s Preview

Missouri is set for a showcase game in Kansas City, with the Tigers returning to the T-Mobile Center for the first regular season matchup since a 2014 clash with Oklahoma State—back when it was still called the Sprint Center. Before heading to the opposite side of the state for another non-conference clash, the Tigers will look to put on a show in front of its KC fan base in a effort to promote more state-wide exposure for the program.

Following an impressive showing against Pittsburgh, Missouri returned to Columbia to begin a two-game stand against that state to the West.

In the home bout, the Tigers never trailed in an 82-72 win over Wichita State. At The Phog, Mizzou silenced the home crowd by taking an early 20-12 lead but ran out of gas in the second half en route to a 73-64 loss.

The Pirates began this season 4-0 against a light slate of competition before it headed to San Diego to compete in the Rady Children’s Invitational. Seton Hall fell to both USC and Iowa there, and it followed that up with a 78-60 road loss to a great Baylor team two games later. A seven point loss to Rutgers last Saturday means that this is the Pirates’ last chance to secure a notable win during non-conference play.

This is yet another game that could shine as a bright spot on either team’s NCAA Tournament résumé, and with it being played in a venue that generally hosts high-caliber basketball and will incite many local Mizzou fans to attend, this one will have the feel of a postseason tourney game.

Game Info

Time: 4:00 CST

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023

Location: T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Mo.


The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad, 12.3 PPG)
SG: Sean East II (Grad, 17.2 PPG)
SF: Tamar Bates (JR, 7.1 PPG)
PF: Aidan Shaw (SOPH, 3.2 PPG)
C: Noah Carter (Grad, 12.0 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: Connor Vanover (Grad, 4.7 PPG)

Seton Hall

PG: Al-Amir Dawes (SR, 11.8 PPG)
SG: Dylan Addae-Wusu (SR, 6.9 PPG)
SF: Dre Davis (SR, 12.0 PPG)
PF: Kadary Richmond (SR, 14.8 PPG)
C: Jaden Bediako (SR, 10.1 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: Isaiah Coleman (FR, G, 7.3 PPG)

*These are projected starters. Also, in today’s college basketball, positions rarely mean much. Those are included purely for perspective on what matchups on the court may look like.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament First Round - Seton Hall vs DePaul Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Get To Know Seton Hall

Shaheen Holloway is a well-known name around college basketball for a variety of reasons.

One could look at this time as a player with the Pirates, where he was a standout over four years at Seton Hall. He scored 1,588 points, recorded 681 assists (program record), 231 steals and hit a game-winning layup over Oregon in the First Round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Holloway was also the Big East’s Most Improved Player in 2000 and went on to play in multiple countries overseas.

You could also look at his time under Kevin Willard at both Iona and Seton Hall. Holloway helped build both of those programs up under Willard, joining him at Iona from 2007-10 and working under him at Seton Hall from 2010-18. The highlight of that tenure was likely the 2016 season in which a Pirates team that was largely recruited by Holloway won the Big East Tournament title.

And, of course, many people learned of Holloway’s name during his tenure at Saint Peter’s, specifically over a month-long span in March of 2022. He led a normally-dormant Peacocks program to three consecutive top three finishes in the MAAC, and it all came to a peak in his final season. Holloway’s Saint Peter’s squad won the MAAC Tournament as a No. 2 seed then miraculously took down No. 2 Kentucky in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Peacocks were not done there, as they took down No. 7 Murray State and No. 3 Purdue en route to the first ever Elite Eight appearance from a No. 15 seed.

Holloway’s efforts did not go unnoticed, and he was quickly scooped up by his alma mater to become the new head coach once Willard departed for Maryland. He recorded the most overall wins, league wins and road wins of any first-year coach at The Hall, and his 2022-23 team ranked second in the Big East in scoring defense. This all came after the team began the season 4-4.

This incident with Wagner head coach Donald Copeland did recently make headlines, although Holloway later apologized and said that he and Copeland are close:

Seton Hall cruised through a light beginning to the schedule and started out 4-0, but its real season began in San Diego. The Pirates went winless there, losing to both USC and Iowa by 8+ points. The road loss to Baylor is nothing to shake your head about, but falling to Rutgers last week means that The Hall will be desperate for quality wins from here-on-out.

The Pirates are fairly well-balanced, as they rank top 100 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. In terms of strengths, Seton Hall reels in 36.6% of its misses (25th in the nation) and shoots at a 52.9% clip from inside the arc. Its perimeter shooting could use some work, but this team shoots the ball at a high level from the stripe as well (75.5%, good for 60th in the nation).

Definitely, the Pirates force turnovers on 19.7% of team’s possessions and average 8.3 steals per game.

Senior guard Kadary Richmond runs the show for The Hall. The Brooklyn-native leads the team in points (14.8 per game) and assists (4.4 per game), and he does all of that while shooting 48% from the floor. He’s a crafty, tough guard that knows how to get himself a shot he likes, although he doesn’t shoot it well from deep (2-for-15 on the year). Richmond’s career began at Syracuse in 2020-21, but he transferred to Seton Hall the next year.

6-foot-10 senior Jaden Bediako out of Ontario is the bruiser on the boards, grabbing 7.9 per game. After spending four years at Santa Clara, Bediako has found a home in Jersey and is playing the best ball of his career.

Completing a trio of senior leaders that started at other programs is Dre Davis, who complements Richmond with 12.0 PPG and 5.6 RPG as 6-foot-6 guard. Davis began his career with Louisville from 2020-22.

Freshman guard Isaiah Coleman is another player to watch in this one. The freshman out of Fredericksburg, Va. has provided some instant offense off the bench and flashed with 17 points in the team’s win over Monmouth on Tuesday.

3 Keys To The Game

  1. Speed the Pirates Up

Seton Hall has not excelled on the offensive end thus far, and although they have the talent to keep pace with Mizzou, the Pirates would not be comfortable playing against a hot Tiger team. They just simply don’t have the shooting ability to win a game in that way.

Creating extra possessions, for instance, could go a long way in helping Mizzou get into an offensive rhythm:

“We got to be better in transition,” Gates said following the Loyola (MD) game. “That means turning turnovers into layups or fouls, I just don’t think we’re doing that enough.”

Well, the Tigers heeded those words, recording 13 steals that turned into 20 points against Wichita State. They then forced 16 turnovers against Kansas...but that only translated to nine points. The Anthony Robinson II breakaway attempt that was blocked by KJ Adams Jr. comes to mind when hearing that stat, but there were plenty of other missed opportunities.

Thus, while I consistently beat this dead horse, playing the Dennis Gates way is even more important in this game. A low-scoring, physical affair in the 60s would favor Seton Hall’s defensive style. A free-flowing game in the 70s or 80s would be advantage Mizzou. Whoever can set the tempo in first five minutes of the game will likely determine which team’s style wins out.

2. Veteran guards show out

“The second half of the Memphis game I challenged him and he disappeared. The next game after that he disappeared and I told him that we cannot win ball games with you silent and not being aggressive.”

That was Gates talking about Sean East II, who has since become the go-to guy when this Tiger team needs someone to create scoring opportunities. In a neutral site environment against a physical, tough Seton Hall team, the likes of East and Honor will have to manage the game and keep their team calm and collected when the environment and pace of play become frantic.

At least one of the two of them will need to go for 15+ for Mizzou to have a shot in this game. Honor and East (throughout this season) will need to be consistently stabilizing presences.

3. Hold serve on the glass

Rebounding is one of Seton Hall’s strengths, and it is what Holloway and Co. hang their hat on.

Against Wichita State, Mizzou was out-rebounded by 16 and allowed 14 second-chance points. Against KU, the Tigers were out-rebounded by 17, leading to 17 second-chance points that played a big factor in the final outcome.

At the end of the day, this is another Tiger team that will struggle on the boards. Luckily, they have strengths in other categories that can offset those deficiencies.

So while Mizzou may lose the rebounding battle in this one, if it can do some damage control in not allowing too many second-chance buckets, then that should allow the Tigers to remain in control. If the Pirates are able to convert their own misses into points consistently, then this will turn into their style of game.

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Game Prediction

KenPom Prediction: Missouri 70 | Seton Hall 68

My Prediction: Missouri 71 | Seton Hall 65

The 82-72 win over Wichita State was highly encouraging and an overall example of what this Missouri team looks like when it (mostly) has control of a game and is playing its style of basketball. The Kansas game was perhaps even more encouraging, although it proved that there are still some key areas that this team needs to make strides in before SEC play begins.

This will be a hard-fought, high-level basketball game. With it being at a neutral sight, many people will get an NCAA Tournament-like feel from this game. Both of these teams are battle-tested, meaning that neither should be fazed by the intensity or physicality of this one.

“We did a tremendous job in being physical, getting to the foul line and executing from the stripe,” Gates said following the Wichita State win. “That’s where the game is won.”

Against Kansas, one could argue that the Tigers lost the battle of physicality, being out-shot 23-to-13 from the line. Against a Seton Hall team that relies on its toughness, free throws will likely play a large factor again.

With that being said, I just think that this Missouri team has a higher offensive upside than the Pirates. Even if this game becomes a rock fight, the Tigers should have enough firepower to pull away in the end.