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Preview: Texas A&M vs. Missouri

Missouri (0-3) comes to town with both teams desperate for a victory. If we play disciplined and work the ball inside, this is a game we should win (2:30pm; SEC Network)

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 2:30pm

Place: Reed Arena

TV: SEC Network

Line: Texas A&M is favored by 4.5

Advanced Metrics via KenPom: Texas A&M has a 63% chance to win

The Auburn home massacre was not fun, but the SEC scheduling gods have given us a great opportunity to erase that stink in quick succession. Missouri is a bottom-half SEC squad, which makes this a game that we absolutely have to have.

Results of Note

The Tigers closed strong with an undefeated December, but they have opened SEC play with three straight double digit losses. They are 3-3 in games away from home, and they are 0-2 in true road games.

Like us, they defeated Oregon State on a neutral floor.

Things to Watch

The Tigers can shoot.

Missouri ranks 20th out of 353 D1 teams with a ridiculous 39% clip from beyond the arc, good for top marks in the SEC. As you might expect, a quick glance at the SEC 3PT% rankings yields four Tigers before you find someone from the home squad. A full comparison of the two teams’ top five shooters… doesn’t exactly bode well for us:

  • Mark Smith (4th - 47%)
  • Kevin Puryear (7th - 42%)
  • Javon Pickett (17th - 39%)
  • Torrence Watson (32nd - 36%)
  • Brandon Mahan (33rd - 35%)
  • Wendell Mitchell (36th - 34%)
  • Jordan Geist (39th - 33%)
  • Savion Flagg (44th - 32%)
  • TJ Starks (55th - 24%)
  • Jay Jay Chandler (58th - 16%)

It’s important to note that Missouri bombs away from three because they really don’t have a choice. Their interior options were utterly wrecked when NBA Lottery prospect Johntay Porter tore his ACL in October, and their inside game has never really recovered.

Overall Thoughts

If we try to outshoot Missouri, we’re going to lose. They play the way we want to play, but they have the shooters to pull it off. The good news is that our post play has been far better than expected, and that’s an angle we can leverage to beat teams like this.

If we play smart basketball and work the ball inside, we’ll be fine. If we play the way we played against Auburn, I’m giving it all up and becoming and a dancer.

And I’m a terrible dancer.

BTHO Missouri