Missouri 87 | LSU 74
1st Half Notes
- Hodge, Honor, Mosley, Brown and Carter are your starters tonight.
- Great ball movement leads to a Noah Carter three pointer. That comes after Kobe Brown beat the shot clock with a three of his own.
- Carter looking really active on both ends of the floor so far.
- LSU with an early timeout after a beautiful backdoor cut from D’Moi Hodge. Assist credit to Noah Carter.
- Cam Hayes opens the scoring for LSU with a 3.
- Noah Carter is feeling it this game. Another three goes down for the man from Northern Iowa.
- Another one. After taking a backseat for much of SEC play, he’s playing like he did early in the season tonight.
- Tigers have started out 5-for-9 from behind the arc.
- DeAndre Gholston with a mid-range jumper followed up by an Isiaih Mosley three. This team is HOT.
- Gholston with a pull-up three at the shot clock buzzer. Everything is falling for this team.
- Mosley with a monster block on a fast break, then follows it up with a bucket. Everybody has been contributing on both ends of the floor.
- There is just so much space out on the floor right now for Missouri. With Carter and Brown being hot, LSU couldn’t allow anybody to stay in the paint.
- Everybody is launching heat checks, and nobody is cooling off.
- Defense hasn’t gotten a lot of love so far, but the intensity is equal on both ends of the floor for Mizzou.
- LSU with two quick threes to chip into the lead.
- Things are getting really physical down low on these box-outs. Kobe Brown has gotten tangled up a couple times in this game.
- Missouri has certainly cooled off. They haven’t scored in four minutes.
- Sean East II stops that with a floater.
- Fan Poll: Who’s hotter right now: Kobe Brown or Noah Carter?
- Brown with a dunk off a D’Moi Hodge steal and assist. Momentum is back in the hands of Mizzou.
- Missouri closes the half on a 9-5 run to regain momentum going into the break.
2nd Half Notes
- Kobe Brown leading the team with 17 points at the break.
- A basically full-court pass from Kobe Brown to Noah Carter sees Carter “moss” a defender and convert a layup.
- D’Moi Hodge with a great deflection that leads to a steal. Then, guess who? Kobe Brown converts an and-one layup. He’s coming for the SEC Player of the Year Honor.
- Dimes galore, as Brown finds Hodge on another cut to the basket.
- Brown then bullies a defender to the rim and scores. Followed by an Isiaih Mosley dunk. Tigers have certainly won the “middle eight” that Gates talks a lot about.
- Gholston now heating up, has two straight threes.
- D’Moi Hodge has eight (?) points off of backdoor cuts to my knowledge.
- LSU has cut the lead to eleven.
- Mizzou has come out with the zone look, and it’s creating more stops.
- Brown tracks back to steal a pass. He’s two-way player ladies and gentlemen.
- He gets a jump ball on an attempted lay-up. Brown is doing everything tonight.
- Brown with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 0 turnovers. A complete game for the senior from Huntsville.
- Hodge with an exclamation point dunk to bring this game to a close (essentially).
- Tre Gomillion and Ronnie DeGray III will both miss this game.
Make sure to follow along as we are just one hour away from Mizzou Arena becoming the place to be in CoMo #MIZ— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) February 2, 2023
5 Fan Questions:
- Who will lead the team in scoring?
- How many three-pointers will D’Moi Hodge hit?
- Will Mizzou have over or under 15 assists?
- How many rebounds will Kobe Brown have?
- How many points will Isiaih Mosley have?
Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below.
A pair of first-year SEC head coaches will meet tonight in Columbia, with one looking to secure another victory over a projected NCAA Tournament appearance and the other searching for a way to rediscover early season magic.
Before the season, many fans would have thought the script was flipped, projecting Mizzou to fall off after a fairly easy start to the season and LSU to continue its path to an opportunity to play important postseason basketball. Heck, the SEC Preseason Poll even tabbed LSU two spots ahead of Mizzou, who slotted in at 10th.
However, that early prediction has not come to fruition for Mizzou, who falls just outside the Top 25 rankings heading into this matchup and are tabbed as the nation’s 51st-best team according to KenPom, while LSU counters with No. 128.
Despite the difference in rankings, however, the programs actually featured an eerily similar start.
The Missouri and LSU Tigers followed a similar trajectory throughout the non-conference portion of their schedules, picking apart Quad 3 and 4 teams before suffering their first losses to teams based out of kansas.
However, since the turn of the new year, the Bayou-based Tigers have fallen from a feared SEC dark horse candidate to the cellar of the Southeastern Conference standings.
Mizzou, meanwhile, continues to out-hustle opponents to victories, notching a win over then-No. 12 Iowa State over the weekend and also improving its SEC record to .500 with a victory over Ole Miss last week.
After picking up exactly zero victories in the month of January, there may be no team in the nation happier to see the calendar switch to February than LSU. The visiting Tigers will be motivated and hungry to pick up their ninth consecutive victory over Mizzou, including the fourth win in Columbia over the past seven seasons.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 1
Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.
Time: 8:00 p.m. CST
TV: SEC Network
KenPom Win Probability: 84%
PG: Nick Honor (Grad; 8.5 PPG)
SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad; 14.6 PPG)
SF: Isiaih Mosley (SR; 9.8 PPG)
PF: Kobe Brown (SR; 16.0 PPG)
C: Noah Carter (SR; 9.8 PPG)
Key Depth: Guard Tre Gomillion (Grad; 5.3 PPG), Guard DeAndre Gholston (Grad; 10.2 PPG), Forward Aidan Shaw (FR; 3.3 PPG), Guard Sean East II (SR; 8.0 PPG)
PG: Cam Hayes (JR; 7.6 PPG)
SG: Justice Williams (SO; 4.0 PPG)
SF: Adam Miller (12.1 PPG)
PF: KJ Williams (Fifth-Year; 17.2 PPG)
C: Derek Fountain (JR; 7.1 PPG)
Key Depth: Guard Justice Hill (SR; 6.9 PPG), Guard Trae Hannibal (SR; 6.7 PPG) and Forward Jalen Reed (FR; 3.0 PPG)
*These are projected starters based on previous games and prior game information
Get To Know LSU
LSU looked to be formidable following a 12-1 start to the season, which included victories over Wake Forest and then-No. 9 Arkansas as well as a two-point loss to Kansas State, the nation’s No. 7 team at the moment.
The Tigers have yet to pick up a victory in 2023, however, losing its last seven conference games except one by double-digit points.
Under first-year SEC head coach Matt McMahon, LSU is looking to establish consistency and rediscover the magic that it had before the calendar flipped.
For the Tigers, that switch will need to start on the offensive end.
Fifth-year forward KJ Williams is the bright spot for this LSU team, averaging the third-most points in the SEC (17.2) and grabbing the seventh-most rebounds (7.4). His contributions are eerily similar to Mizzou’s own Kobe Brown, as Williams also knocks down 43.2% of his 3-point attempts.
Outside of Williams, only one other LSU Tiger averages more than eight points per game—Adam Miller. A transfer from Illinois, Miller is reestablishing himself after missing the entire 2021-22 season with an ACL injury.
Miller averages a team-high 33.2 minutes per game and shoots 35.2% from the field, which is amongst the team’s bottom-four players who have seen playing time in at least 10 games.
Atop the field goal percentage list is Derek Fountain, who shoots 55% and grabs 5.4 rebounds per game as another post presence. Joining Fountain in the starting lineup is Cam Hayes, a guard whose shot selection is geared toward the three-pointer, which he hits at a 35.6% rate.
Coming off the bench are guards Justice Hill and Trae Hannibal, who primarily serve as facilitators for LSU, combining for 110 assists this season.
As a team, LSU shoots 42% from the field, including a 33% tally from behind the arc. The Tigers’ early success generated through its defense, which limits the three-point shot and forces steals.
LSU holds opponents to a 31% mark from beyond the arc and forces 12.8 turnovers per game, but that mark is clouded with its own 12.9 turnovers per game. The Tigers are also the second-worst rebounding team in the SEC, averaging 3.3 more rebounds than Mizzou.
Without clear strengths in any offensive category as well as weaknesses in the talent-level beyond KJ Williams, LSU will hope to capitalize on an off-night from Mizzou to steal an upset victory.
3 Keys To The Game
1. Force contested LSU shot attempts
LSU is the third-worst shooting team in the SEC, so it’ll be important for Mizzou to capitalize on that weakness with an efficient halfcourt defense that focuses upon created contested shot attempts for the visiting Tigers.
Oftentimes, Mizzou has a tendency to leave open shot opportunities with its aggressive defense, but those should be limited as the game goes on to avoid another opponent to find the hot-hand.
If LSU does start knocking down shots, it’ll be even more important for Mizzou to limit the number of uncontested 3-point shot attempts because LSU does make a third of its 3-pointers. While that’s not an eye-popping number, the hometown Tigers have become accustomed to giving opponents more than they bargained for from behind the arc.
2. Limit turnovers
This feels like something Parker Gillam and I have harped on all season long in these previews, but it’s especially important when trying to avoid an upset bid from an inferior opponent.
LSU does force turnovers, albeit not at the rate that Mizzou does. Despite the difference that may exist, it’ll be vital for Mizzou to avoid giving the visitors additional opportunities and momentum.
KJ Williams, Derek Fountain and Justice Hill are the leading steal-getters for LSU, so they will be the primary names to watch as Mizzou attacks the offensive basket.
3. Hit the court running
Tempo is one of the biggest mismatches between these two programs.
Mizzou has the 25th-rated adjusted tempo, while LSU enters the contest at No. 273 in that regard. With such different playing styles, adjusting to that difference will be extremely important for whoever comes away victorious.
LSU prefers to hold offenses to long possessions, forcing them to operate offense in the half court, which has been a weakness of Mizzou’s at times throughout the season. If the visitors are able to control the tempo, then they will have a serious shot of upending the Tigers.
My Prediction: Missouri 84 | LSU 68
KenPom Prediction: Missouri 81 | LSU 71
Home court advantage is a real thing, especially for the Missouri Tigers.
Mizzou has only one home defeat on the season, and I believe that’ll stay the case against an LSU team who continues to reel after its hot start.
The hometown Tigers feature a deep lineup, capable of matching up with any team in the country. LSU, however, does not and heavily relies upon its top scorers to spark its offense.
This matchup leans heavily in favor of Mizzou, and I believe this’ll be the effort that fans hoped to see against Ole Miss. KJ Williams will be a menace all over the court, but Mizzou’s firepower and defense will lift the Tigers to victory at home.