I'm running out of things to say about these games. Another day, another gut wrenching loss (with bonus gut wrenching court!). This is just the kind of season where the team seems to find a new way to lose every game. On to the numbers.
Yep. 13 straight losses, the worst in Missouri Basketball history. If you needed convincing that this season was awful, that's about as convincing as it gets. Different eras are tough to compare, and things were pretty bad before Norm arrived as head coach, but this season is officially in the running for worst season in program history.
Mizzou had 56 field goal attempts. Vanderbilt had 65, 9 more attempts for points. The way they were shooting from the outside, those 9 FGAs go a long way toward explaining the point differential. We've talked at great length about this team's inability to consistently create offense, and that pretty well sums it up. We have a decent number of guys who can do it at times - Tramaine Isabell, Montaque Gill-Caesar, and Jonathan Williams III, for example - but in a game where one guy stepped up - Teki - the other two guys on that list contributed mainly bench minutes and missed shots (yes, Williams was Mizzou's leading rebounder, but he had 5 rebounds).
5 for 9
Teki has shown flashes of real scoring ability this year, largely in nonconference play. After a back injury against Illinois, he fell off the map for a while, and got suspended. He's come on strong in the last couple games, though, and has started to display the Demarre Carroll skill of throwing up shots that look accidental, but drop. What's more impressive, though, is that he's beginning to develop some efficiency. He's still a high-volume guy - he tied fellow freshman Namon Wright for most field goal attempts - but he's doing so with a lot fewer missed shots. Against Oklahoma in nonconference, Teki contributed 15 points on 6 for 16 shooting. If he can contribute double digit scoring without double digit field goal attempts, that leaves that many more opportunities for other guys on the team to contribute scoring as well.
Of course, nobody else really contributed much on Saturday. Anyway...
Mizzou shot 3 for 11 from the field, or 27.3%. That's bad. It's probably to their credit that they only took 11 shots from the perimeter, given the rate they were hitting them, but...still bad. What makes this frustrating is that there are guys on the team who we know can hit shots from range - Williams, Allen, Wright, Shamburger, Isabell, Gill-Caesar, and Gant have all demonstrated the ability to hit 3 point shots at various times this season, and yet this team has still managed to be an abysmal team shooting from downtown.
Only 5 guaranteed games left to steal a win. This may be for the best, since I don't know how many more of these new and inventive gut punches our team and fanbase can take, but if they're going to upset somebody and go into the offseason with something - ANYTHING - positive, that's the remaining window.
I don't know what else to say at this point. From start to finish, this has been a Murphy's Law kind of season. It's not what anyone hoped for or expected in Kim Anderson's first year on the job, but it's my opinion that this team is paying the piper for the extended delay in rebuilding under Mike Anderson and Frank Haith (there will be more analysis of this in the offseason). Next year, I hope we'll see a lot better from this team and this coach, but this year has just been awful.
On the bright side, if we managed to score 53 points against Florida on Tuesday, there's a strong possibility that we'll win. Here's hoping.