Missouri shot 45% from the field and 32% from the three-point line in the Tigers’ 71-56 win over Northern Kentucky. It’s the second game of the season for the Tigers and they have shot poorly from the three-point line in both. Their overall shooting percentage is decent but not where you want to be. Missouri did shoot well from the line and out rebounded Northern Kentucky 39-28.
Missouri stood around too much on defense at times in this game. Jeremiah Tilmon watched a Northern Kentucky missed shot instead of blocking out which allowed an offensive board and put-back for the Norse in what should have been a relatively easy defensive rebound for Missouri.
The good news is that Missouri is now 2-0. The bad news is that they struggled into the second half against Northern Kentucky. The Tigers will have their first big test of the season on Tuesday at Xavier.
It was just Northern Kentucky but it’s tough to see an essentially empty Missouri Arena even for this game, but that’s where the program is at today. Having grown up watching Jon Sunvold and Steve Stipanovich among others it’s disappointing to see how far the program has fallen. Cuonzo Martin is trying to change that. I’m not sure Martin is the answer. He has a tough job trying to build the program back up. Missouri fans hope things improve quickly with their six-year series with Kansas starting back up next year.
Player of the Game
Junior G Mark Smith scored 19 points in 31 minutes in this game after being shutout in 24 minutes in Missouri’s first game. Smith was 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-7 from the three-point line He also had six rebounds.
F Jeremiah Tilmon scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Tilmon had five rebounds as well. He did have times where he wasn’t completely into the game but he seems much improved over last season. Tilmon finished with 13 points.
F Kobe Brown played well in this game. He seemed pretty calm for a freshman. He shot the ball well. He was 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line. Brown added five rebounds and two assists. The only negative was his four turnovers. Brown finished with ten points.
Room for Improvement
G Dru Smith had four turnovers and shot just 2-for-9 in this game. As the point guard he needs to be able to drive and get to the line. He was 5-for-5 from the free throw line so that’s a positive but overall it was a rough game for the junior point guard.
G Xavier Pinson shares point guard duty with Dru Smith but Pinson also struggled from the field tonight. He was 3-for-7 overall and 0-for-2 from behind the three-point line. However, Pinson had just one turnover. Limiting turnovers is important for all point guards and that’s even more important for a team like Missouri with no room for error.
Missouri travels to Cincinnati next week for a game against #19 Xavier. The game is at 6:00pm on CBSSN.