NCAA Preview: Missouri TigersPosted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009
Missouri (#3, West, Boise pod)
vs. Cornell (#14)
Friday, March 20 @ 3pm
Vegas Line: Missouri -13
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Columbia, MO
Conference: Big 12, Automatic bid
Coach: Mike Anderson (62-34 in three seasons)
08-09 Record: 28-6 (12-4)
Last 12 Games: 10-2 (streak: 3 wins)
Best Win: 62-60, Kansas, 2/9
Worst Loss: 56-51, at Nebraska, 1/10
Off. Efficiency Rating: 114.9; #18
Def. Efficiency Rating: 88.2; #8
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): DeMarre Carroll (Sr), 16.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 37.8% 3-pt FG; Leo Lyons (Sr), 14.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG
Unsung Hero: Zaire Taylor (Jr), 6.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 SPG, two game-winning shots (vs Texas, Kansas); J.T. Tiller (Jr), 7.9 PPG, 3.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): none
Key Injuries: none
Depth: 38.7% mins (#23)
Achilles Heel: Free-Throw shooting (66.8%, #242 in the country)
Will Make a Deep Run if…: They can avoid an early hole. They are 1-5 this season when trailing by double digits at half, 27-1 when they’re not.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Cold shooting sets in, and Mizzou cannot press after made baskets
Last Year Invited: 2003 (NCAA Second Round)
Best NCAA Finish: 2002, 1994, 1976, Elite Eight
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.31 wins per appearance
Six Degrees to Detroit: Some of Missouri’s best players in the late-’80s–Doug Smith, Lee Coward, Nathan Buntin, John McIntyre–were from the Detroit area, leading to the “Detroit Tigers” nickname for some of those squads.
Distance to First Round Site: 1498 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Nothing specific, just a montage of Don Faurot (inventor of the Split T!), Brad Pitt, Norm Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Jon Sundvold & Steve Stipanovich, Robert Loggia, Chase Daniel & Jeremy Maclin, ESPN’s John Anderson (and Matt Winer), and the invention of Homecoming.
School Wishes It Could Forget: The Paige Sports Arena incident, the Popcorn incident, Ricky Clemons, Athenagate, and pretty much everything that happened to Mizzou basketball between 2003 and 2008. You appreciate a high-character team like Mizzou’s current squad a lot more when you’re seen some less-than-stellar characters make their way through town.
Prediction: The main expectation for this team is to make the second weekend and play a strong game against (likely) Memphis in the Sweet Sixteen. There is nobody in the West Region that Mizzou cannot beat, but Memphis has the defense to force bad shots and the streaky offense to potentially make a run in the first half to build some cushion for a Mizzou second half run. A second round game against Marquette could be explosive and fun, but Mizzou should have the depth and inside presence to wear down the Golden Eagles.
Major RTC stories: None
Preview written by… Bill Connelly, Rock M Nation