Posted: Jan 16, 2014 1:11 AM by Mark Kim, KOMU 8 Sports Columnist
Updated: Jan 16, 2014 4:49 PM
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Tigers basketball team have been playing sloppy basketball lately. There's no other way to put it. Since beginning SEC play, the Tigers have gone 1-1, including an overtime loss to unranked Georgia. Missouri can bounce back from their recent lackluster performances as they prepare to play
The name of the game is basketball and Missouri has not been able to put the ball in the basket. Over the past two games, the Tigers have shot 36.1% from the field and 35.5% from three point range. The only reason why the Tigers stuck around in those games is because their opponent's field goal percentage was just as bad. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Vanderbilt isn't one of those teams. The Commodores shot 50% from the field in a loss to Kentucky. Yes, 50% in a loss. Missouri can't count on their opponents to struggle from the field when they do.
Even though Vanderbilt has suspended their leading scorer Eric McClellan for the season, it has given the opportunity for other players to step up. One of the team's rising players is center Damian James. In the Commodores last game, James put up 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Missouri needs their frontcourt, especially Jonathan Williams III, to command the low post and give James a hard time. Boxing out will be essential for the Tigers.
Missouri has their work cut out for them in their matchup against Vanderbilt and the Tigers should be able to bounce back. Expect the Tigers to have better shot selection and, because of that, have a higher field goal percentage. While they may not be able to control the low post and limit James, they should be able to do just enough to win. This game should be the Tiger's first comfortable win in SEC play.