What a fun day of basketball for the local schools on Saturday. Missouri continues to play hard and it paid off yesterday. Kansas continues to get better on defense when they were already the best in the country on that side of the ball.
Here is your daily Dr. Feelgood…
MISSOURI (85) VS AUBURN (73)
I have talked about Cuonzo Martin’s team continuing to fight in most games even when though they have struggled a lot this season, and it paid off Saturday in a Missouri 85-73 win over Auburn.
Missouri was led by its guards in this game. Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson each scored 28 points. They controlled the game for the Tigers. I talked early on in the season about wanting to see these two on the court together more instead of Pinson being the backup to Smith. Now that they are playing together they really complement each other.
Missouri held Auburn to 1-for-17 shooting from behind the arc but allowed them to shoot 71% from inside the arc.
So is this a turning of the tide for the Tigers or just a blip on the radar? Missouri doesn’t have the talent for this to be permanent. They can’t beat teams like Auburn on a regular basis. Their opponents won’t shoot 6% from behind the arc in every game no matter how good they play defense. If Auburn had shot just 30% behind the arc they would have won the game. Sure, some of that was due to Missouri’s defense but not all of it.
Give Missouri credit for playing well but don’t expect this every game. What we should be crediting them for is continuing to play hard and not giving up on their season even though they have struggled often this season. The rest of this season can be something for the Tigers to build on for next season if they continue to play as they did on Saturday.
KANSAS (87) VS OKLAHOMA (70)
Really?! Marcus Garrett was 6-for-9 from behind the arc?! Are these statistics right?! Yes, yes they are.
I have talked about Kansas opponents needing to leave Garrett alone outside because he isn’t an outside shooter. At all! But Saturday he was just that. He was not only taking the shots but was making them. So, was I wrong? Can he shoot from the outside? Well, it’s complicated.
Marcus Garrett can make three-point shots. He is shooting 37% on the season so he can definitely make them. But this was at home and completely unguarded. What was impressive was that more than once when he caught the ball outside, and Oklahoma was actually guarding him, Garrett immediately drove to the basket. He used his hot outside shooting to open up the drive instead of falling in love with shooting threes even when guarded.
The offensive numbers for Garrett were a pleasant surprise but it was once again his defense that was the most important part of the game for the Jayhawks. Garrett had maybe the best game of the season for any Kansas player. His defense was stifling. It caused Oklahoma to change their offense to keep Garrett in the corner of the court on defense simply so he couldn’t steal the ball. Garrett accounted for all four steals the Jayhawks had in the game.
Oh, and Marcus Garrett also dished out seven assists. Pretty good, huh?
Garrett was the player of the game for Kansas but Udoka Azubuike was terrific as well. Azubuike had 15 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocked shots.
Devon Dotson had his usual 19 points which was no surprise. But he added eight rebounds, and five assists!
Kansas’ defense is the best in the country and it continues to get better. Impressive.
KANSAS STATE (57) AT TCU (68)
What do we say about Kansas State at this point? I mean really. What do we say? Xavier Sneed was good. David Sloan was good. Cartier Diarra was good. But nobody was great. And TCU shot 15-for-33 from behind the arc compared to Kansas State’s 2-for-12. The Wildcats were ok but TCU was better. That’s all I can say.
IN THE NEWS
- Cleveland Browns player Myles Garrett was reinstated by the NFL this week. He then was interviewed by ESPN and again claimed that Mason Rudolph made a racial slur towards him when Garrett took down Rudolph in the game which caused Garrett’s suspension. Rudolph’s agent said that this false claim opens Garrett up to legal liability for defamation.
- Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said that he is hoping that MLB does something to prevent the premeditated retaliation that he is hearing about before any Astros player’s get injured.
TODAY: The NBA All-Star game is today but don’t waste any of your time on that unless you are just completely bored. Instead, watch Iowa at Minnesota at noon on FS1 and then watch the XFL.
PODCAST: The Sunday night podcast will consist of more talk about the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. I will also discuss the college hoops from the weekend and where things stand right now with the NCAA tournament just about a week away.
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Thanks for reading…