Jeremiah Tilmon missed this game because of a death in his family. That created big questions about how the Tigers would perform in the middle of the paint.
It wasn’t a pretty game early, which was to Missouri’s advantage as they tried to figure out how to play without Tilmon. At the under-12, Missouri was up just 10-9. The goal for the Tigers in this game was to find a way, any way, to get a win. How it happened was not significant.
With Tilmon out, the Tigers focused on the three-point shot, and it worked. Torrance Watson received more playing time, and he was hot from outside. When a team is missing a starting player, they sometimes will find another player they didn’t know they had. If Watson could continue playing well in this game, it would give Missouri a deeper bench the rest of the season.
I think you would have to consider the first half a success for Missouri to be up by four without Jeremiah Tilmon.
Missouri fell behind Arkansas by six around the under-12 timeout of the second half. But Missouri pulled back even with their three-point shooting.
Arkansas has a 7’3” player, and he is not the focus inside on offense? Is it me? It’s them, right?
Arkansas led 73-69 with 1:10 left in regulation, but Missouri got a put-back bucket by Mitchell Smith and a reverse layup by Parker Braun on a nice assist from Dru Smith. The Tigers were terrific in the final 1:10 to send this game into overtime.
And let’s not forget the blocked shot by Parker Braun to prevent Arkansas from scoring a late basket in regulation for the win. It made me think: Which Braun is better? The answer last season would have easily been Christian with how he played for Kansas. But the more I see Parker this season and the regression I have seen from Christian makes me question where they are now. I like both. They both play the role their teams need. Which is better? Who cares? They are both playing well.
Missouri was down three with under ten seconds remaining and never got a good shot. Xavier Pinson wanted to hit a huge shot. It wasn’t the shot the team wanted.
Arkansas won 86-81. Missouri fought hard but wasn’t able to pull out the win without Jeremiah Tilmon. It’s not a bad loss, but now that’s back-to-back losses for the Tigers. And now they have their next two games on the road.