Missouri Tigers (2-1)
- Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin (2nd Season)
- Top Performer: Mark Smith (13.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG)
- Points For: 63.5 PPG (T-323rd)
- Points Against: 65.5 POG (T-98th)
- Last Game/Streak: 55-52 W over Kennesaw State (1W)
In Coach Cuonzo Martin’s first season with the Tigers, he got Missouri back into the NCAA Tournament despite the loss of star player Michael Porter Jr. Martin may have an even tougher job this year. Three of the team’s best players (Porter, Jordan Barnett, and Kassius Robertson) have left the program. Right before the season was about to start the team lost their best player, Jontay Porter (Michael’s brother), for the season with an ACL tear.
The team has been trying to find an identity for the first few games this season. After opening with a win over Central Arkansas, the Tigers lost big against Iowa State on the road. In their first game in the Virgin Islands classic, Missouri barely scraped by Kennesaw State with an impressive defensive stand in the final minutes.
Defense will have to carry the team, because scoring has been tough to come by. So far this season the team has been led in scoring by Guard Mark Smith. Smith has been dangerous from behind the three point line, going 9 out of 20 so far this season. He’s also the team’s leading rebounder. Missouri’s other starting Guard, Jordan Geist, has had a rough time finding his shot so far this season, with a .227 Field Goal percentage. He made some clutch shots against Kennsaw State, but he desperately needs to find some consistency.
The Tigers’ front court may be a bigger issue for Oregon State. Forwards Kevin Puryear and Jeremiah Tillmon stepped up against Kennesaw State after struggling in the first two games. If they continue to develop, that could be trouble for Big G and the rest of the Beavers’ post players.
Player to Watch
Jeremiah Tillmon (Sophomore): With Porter out, the expectation in Missouri was that the offense would start running through Tillmon. That hasn’t happened yet, but the Tigers may be getting closer to making it happen. He looked pretty good against the Fighting Owls of KSU, He scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, and also contributed a couple assists, steals, and a block. He’s got a very well-rounded game, and can fill multiple roles, but Missouri’s inability to use him effectively has been a drag on them this season. If he starts the game off hot, it could be a long night for Oregon State.
- Date: Sunday, November 18th
- Time: 2:30 PM PT
- Location: University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
- Coverage: FloHoops