MU-KU Basketball Preview
Many people may not agree with Snyder, because there's little on the line entering Monday night's Big 12 game. Neither team is ranked and both are coming off surprising home losses.
"It probably affects the surroundings more, but I don't think this game needs any more hype for our team," Snyder said. "It's Kansas, that's enough."
The border war element could make it easier for Missouri (9-5, 2-1 Big 12) to get over a last-second loss to Colorado on Saturday. Chris Copeland's 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second to go gave the Buffaloes a 74-71 victory. Missouri had led by five with 51/2 minutes to go before fading. The Tigers gave up 13 3-pointers and surrendered 18 offensive rebounds.
"As painful as this loss is and as much as you think, 'Hey, this is a game that we felt we had won,' we can't be living in yesterday," Snyder said. "We've got to go forward."
Guard Thomas Gardner scored 22 points against Colorado two days after sustaining a mild concussion in a collision with a teammate in practice. He also got called for traveling with eight seconds to go when he slipped after taking an inbounds pass, giving Colorado the opening it needed to win at Missouri for only the second time in the last 35 games. So he's glad the Tigers are playing again right away.
"It would be kind of hard if we didn't play until next Saturday," Gardner said. "We've got to put this game behind us. "
The team will be up for it just because it's Kansas, and that's a positive. We have a quick turnaround, so we have to get ready to win." Kansas (10-5, 1-1) probably has it worse after squandering a 12-point second-half lead in a 59-55 loss at home to Kansas State on Saturday. The Wildcats ended a 31-game losing streak in the series only three days after losing by 15 at home to Nebraska. Kansas shot only 33 percent, struggling to solve Kansas State's 2-3 zone.
"If I were playing against us and I'm scouting this game, I would have to look at how K-State did a good job in the last 10 minutes," coach Bill Self said. "I wouldn't be surprised if everybody played us zone."
Snyder is 4-10 against Kansas during his time at Missouri, although the Tigers won the regular-season finale at home last March. Monday's game will be the last chance at home for senior guard Jimmy McKinney. "It's just another game and our team has to have it as a victory," McKinney said. "I'm not going to hype it up, it doesn't need to be hyped."
The game will be the first at Missouri for Kansas freshman Brandon Rush, younger brother of former Tigers star Kareem Rush. Brandon Rush was suspended for a day last week after the NCAA ruled he had improperly received benefits from an agent after applying for the NBA draft, and was reinstated after Kansas appealed.
"I'm sure they're going to try and get me off of my game," said Rush, who had 12 points on Saturday. "They were on me the whole game at Colorado, so I expect it to be worse on Monday."
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