Last time we played MO, we had a respectable lead when they closed in on us and we finished 65-63. Since then we are a different team. In addition to our Main two, we have new and improved Gafford plus a bench that is rebounding and scoring. We are a better team now. Now let’s look at their players based on this season’s stats. They have six players that contribute in all ways. Their top two scorers are Kassius Robertson: 16.6 points, FG 43%, 3’s 43%, FT 80%, Reb 3 Ave. Jordan Barnett: 13.9 points, FG 45%, 3’s 41%, FT 77%, Reb 7/g. The other 4 are Jonley Porter: 9.5 points, GF 43%, 3’s 35%, FT 81%, Reb 4/g. Kevin Puryear: 9.0 points, FG 44.5%, 3’s 27%, Ft 81%, Reb 4/g. Jeremiah Tilmon: 8.1 points, FG 57.6%, FT 48%, Reb 4/g. Jordan Geist: 7.6 points, FG 43%, 3’s 39.5%, Ft 72%. As you can see these six, shoot well, make free throws, and rebound. Overall comparison AR-MO; Points/g, 82.5-73.6; FG% 48.2-45.9; 3’s 242/599 (40.4%) - 280/726 (38.6%); FT 66.7-73.3%; Reb 35.3- 36.9%. As you can see AR scores more points and at a better percentage. They shoot more threes, they are much better free-throw shooting team and rebound a little better. My assessment: they rely on 3-point shooting a lot, we must defend or discourage that. We must stop fouling so much, they are good free shooting team (that is how AU kept itself in the game). We must rebound as a team, and not allow putbacks. Offensively, we should be patient and run the offense through Gafford. Also, cut down on unforced turnovers. Play with poise. (Geist may try to pick a fight to un-nerve everyone. Keep a cool head and let refs take care of it).
Looks like Porter is going to play. This game was a good candidate for a letdown regardless with us coming off an emotional Senior Day against a ranked team. It will be a circus atmosphere in Columbia when he steps on the court. I’m not expecting much good to happen, but maybe having the lottery pick on the court will focus our guys.
Aside from getting a break against OSU, it seems like we have been unlucky in catching teams either at their full roster, when they have frequently had key components missing, or playing their best during a particular stretch of the season. Those games include Samford, UConn, Minnesota, @UF, @A&M, UK, and now @Mizzou. In some cases we win and don’t get full credit for the team that we defeated. In other cases we lose, and the loss looks worse than it is relative to the season results of the opponent.
I am sure you are referring to Michael Porter Jr. - He is the 6th McDonald’s All American signee in MO. He has “Completed significant trifecta of awasrds by receiving MVP of the McDonald’s All American game, as well as the Naismith and Gatorade Boys National player of the year award, joining just Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber(1991) and Alonzo Mourning(1988) to accomplish the feat”.
My take on it is: It is one thing to practice with a team a few times and playing with the team for a season. I don’t think he’ll have the chemistry to work well with the team. He may become a distraction to the flow of their offense. I think if we play our game as we should, he is NOT going to determine our win or loss.
I hope you’re right. If he comes in and does anything at all, it will probably charge up their team and crowd. I don’t believe he has to accomplish much on the court to make an impact. Call it the Willis Reed effect. Furthermore, sometimes the first game back is the easiest one. Then teams get tape. See how Cleveland looked lights out for a few games with their revamped roster. They have come back to earth rather quickly.
Looking at his film, he could hurt us on switches and the back side of the trapping man defense. He has the ability to hit the three so he can move to the back side of the defense and catch a cross court pass for an open 3. He will kill us if one of our guards get switched on to him in the paint, because that means Gafford or Thompson are likely to be on the perimeter covering a guard.
I have not seen his game to know what to expect. There are two types of big men: those who like to play close to the basket (Gafford) and those who like to face it, drive and shoot. From what you described he is the latter. They should put Thomas or Thompson to guard him so he doesn’t get Gafford in foul trouble. My concern is more about AR showing up than Porter Jr. If we play well as we could, we have a good chance of beating them with or without Jr.
I’m going with what Jimmy Dykes has been saying, which is he isn’t playing this year. Dykes said there’s other things going on behind the scenes that’s going to prevent him from playing this year, said he’d be shocked if he suited up again for Mizzou this year.