Mizzou hoops preparing for busy week

9 months 5 days 12 minutes ago Monday, March 11 2019 Mar 11, 2019 Monday, March 11, 2019 5:00:00 PM CDT March 11, 2019 in Full Court Press
By: Full Court Press Staff
Men's Basketball

Missouri forward Kevin Puryear surveys the floor during Saturday's game at Mizzou Arena. Over the course of Puryear's career with Missouri, he has scored a total of 1,230 points. Source: Ethan Weston/Missourian
 
Ole Miss spoils Senior Day 

Missouri guard Xavier Pinson tries to shoot with pressure from Ole Miss center Dominik Olejniczak during Saturday's game against Ole Miss at Mizzou Arena. Pinson led the Tigers with 20 points and six assists. Source: Qinghui Kong/Missourian
  • Mizzou lost to Ole Miss 73-68 on Senior Day at Mizzou Arena Saturday afternoon. The Tigers will enter the SEC Tournament as the No. 12 seed.
  • Seniors Kevin Puryear, Jordan Geist, Adam Wolf and Cullen VanLeer were recognized and given framed jerseys to celebrate their last home games at Mizzou Arena.
  • The Tigers lead by eight, 34-26, at halftime, but the Tigers ultimately crumbled in the second half, giving up 47 points to the Rebels.
  • Mississippi’s Breein Tyree lead all scorers with 21 points. Xavier Pinson had a career-high 20 points for Mizzou.
  • In their final home games, Jordan Geist finished with 12 points and Kevin Puryear added six. Wolf, a walk-on, did not play, and VanLeer was forced to medically retire last offseason after severely damaging his knee in a game against Arkansas last March.
 

Smith shines in surprise start


Missouri forward Kevin Puryear defends Georgia's Nicolas Claxton during Wednesday's game in Athens, Ga. Claxton, the Bulldogs leading scorer, was held to just nine points. Source: Josuha L. Jones/AP Photo
  • Mitchell Smith made a surprise start in Wednesday’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs, matching up with their star point forward Nicolas Claxton. In Missouri's 64-39 win, Claxton scored a measly nine points in 33 minutes of play and Smith finished the game with a career-high 11 rebounds.
  • “Before the game he was like, ‘Man, I’m nervous,’” Mizzou center Jeremiah Tilmon said after the game. “I was like, ‘Bro, it’s just another game. All you’re doing is playing early. You’re coming off the bench with everyone else. Just relax.’ He came out and hooped.”
  • It was an ugly game in the first half, as the two teams combined to shoot just 17-60 from the field. In fact, Georgia had just 14 points at halftime. Mizzou’s offense came to life in the second half, however, and the Tigers secured the blowout win.
PA Announcer Aric Bremer brings the energy to Mizzou Arena
Aric Bremer announces upcoming events at last Saturday’s game against South Carolina at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 78-63. Source: Sarai Vega/Missourian
  • Aric Bremer has been the PA announcer for the men’s basketball team since 2010. He secured the job after an arduous application process that narrowed 100 applicants down to just two employees, Bremer and Mizzou football PA announcer Randy Moehlman.
  • “It was pretty emotional for me because … it was such a cool job for me in my late 20s,” Bremer said. “Knowing that it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, whether that’s for Mizzou or the (St. Louis) Cardinals, to get an opportunity like that was a special day for me.”
  • Bremer is praised by his colleagues for his constant vigor and enthusiasm for his work, bringing the team and the fans in Mizzou Arena bursts of energy with his enthusiastic calls.
  • “No matter if you’re playing Kentucky or Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he’s going to bring the same enthusiasm to every single game,” said Scott Orscheln, who worked alongside Bremer from 2013-2017. “ ... It really is infectious.”
Next Week Preview: SEC Tournament

Missouri is one of 14 teams in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The conference tournament will be played this week at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tigers are the No. 12 seed. Source: Twitter: @SEC
 
vs. No. 13 Georgia (11-20) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT
  • Player to Watch: Senior forward Derek Ogbeide is averaging 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for Georgia. Ogbeide, 6'9" and 250 lbs., has shot better than 50 percent from the field in three of his four college seasons and is shooting 53.4 percent this season. 
  • Scouting Report: It's a rematch of last Wednesday for the Tigers and Bulldogs in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Missouri dominated Georgia last time, but it's hard to envision Georgia shooting that poorly once again. However, Mizzou matches up well with the Bulldogs. Expect the Tigers to come away with another victory and move on to the second round of the SEC Tournament.
at No. 5 Auburn (22-9) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. CT
  • Player(s) to Watch: If Mizzou wins on Wednesday night, the Tigers will take on Chuma Okeke and Auburn the next day. Okeke has been on a tear in the second half of the season, amassing double digit scoring totals in each of the team's past 10 games.
  • Scouting Report: If Mizzou beats Georgia, things begin to look bleak against an Auburn team that beat Missouri by 34 points earlier this season. It was one of the ugliest games of the season for the Tigers. Expect Mizzou to play better basketball this time around and keep the game close, but the Tigers' season may very well come to a close on Thursday afternoon.
Further Preview:
  • The Tigers need to win the SEC Tournament in order to get into the NCAA Tournament, and the chances of that happening are very, very slim.
  • Expect Mizzou to beat Georgia handily in the first round. Then comes the Auburn game, and if Mizzou is able to win that they will play South Carolina, whom they beat by 15 earlier this season, in the quarterfinals.
  • However, even if the Tigers manage to get past Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina, the likes of LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee still await them in the semifinals and championship. Mizzou would be big underdogs against all three of these teams. It will be an uphill climb for the Tigers to say the least.
Prediction: Mizzou beats Georgia in the opening round, but loses to Auburn in the second round, ending the Tigers' season.
Women's Basketball

Missouri's Hannah Schuchts drives against Florida's Danielle Rainey during the second half of Thursday's SEC Tournament game against the Florida Gators. Source: Richard Shiro/AP Photo
 
McCowan, Mississippi State prove too much for Mizzou

Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham drives against Mississippi State’s Jazzmun Holmes and Teaira McCowan during the first half of Saturday’s SEC Tournament semifinal game in Greenville, South Carolina. Source: Richard Shiro/AP Photo
  • In the SEC Tournament semifinal on Saturday afternoon, Mizzou fell to Mississippi State 71-56 despite a 33 point performance from Sophie Cunningham. Mississippi State's Teiara McCowan scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the victory.
  • Cunningham entered the game needing just three points to pass Joni Davis and become Missouri's all-time leading scorer, and she got it done in the first quarter.
  • Missouri is the only team to beat Mississippi State in the past two seasons of SEC regular season play, but the Tigers couldn't get it done on Saturday.
  • Mississippi State advanced to its fourth straight conference championship with the victory, and for the first time, they won the title. The Bulldogs beat Arkansas 101-70 in Sunday's championship game.
Sophie Cunningham celebrates during the second half of Friday's SEC Tournament quarterfinal victory against Kentucky in Greenville, South Carolina. Source: Richard Shiro/AP Photo
  • It was a thriller in South Carolina on Friday afternoon as Missouri beat Kentucky 70-68 in overtime in the SEC Tournament quarterfinal. The win propelled Mizzou to its first SEC Tournament semifinal birth in program history.
  • Sophie Cunningham lead the Tigers once again, pouring in 29 points in the victory. Cunningham also scored what proved to be the game-winner, laying the ball in with 55 seconds left in overtime. The Tigers had the lead for over 36 minutes of the game.
  • Mizzou shot 48.9 percent for the game, but turned the ball over 26 times. However, the Tiger defense held Kentucky to just 26 percent shooting from the field, making up for the offensive miscues.
Tigers top Gators in tournament opener

Missouri's Cierra Porter drives in for a layup during Thursday's SEC Tournament game against Florida. Source: Richard Shiro/AP Photo
  • Mizzou dominated Florida 87-56 in its first game of the SEC Tournament. With the win, the Tigers avenged their worst conference loss of this season, as Florida finishes the season just 8-23.
  • Junior guard Amber Smith scored a game-high 18 point for the Tigers and grabbed nine rebounds. Funda Nakkasoglu lead the Gators with 14 points.
  • It was an overwhelming offensive performance for Missouri as all 12 healthy players scored against the Gators. Redshirt junior forward Hannah Schuchts scored 16 points and redshirt freshman guard Haley Troup added 10.
NEXT WEEK PREVIEW: NCAA Tournament time for Mizzou

Sophie Cunningham and the Missouri Tigers await their seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be released on Monday. Source: Qinghui Kong/Missourian
  • Mizzou has had some impressive wins this season. Mississippi State and Tennessee were both ranked in the top 10 when they fell to the Tigers, and Missouri also downed No. 21 West Virginia. The SEC Tournament run boosts the team’s resume as well.
  • Missouri has also suffered several disappointing losses this season, meaning the Tigers likely will not host games in the tournament, but there’s always a chance, especially with the quality wins they have on their resume.
  • As of Saturday, ESPN’s Charlie Creme had Missouri as a No. 5 seed. Creme predicts the Tigers would play the winner of the Ivy League tournament in the first round of the Ames, Iowa regional. If that happens, the Tigers will play as a No. 5 seed for the second consecutive year.
  • The predictions will stop and the bracket will officially be constructed on Monday night.
 
Overtime

Mizzou officially retired John Brown's No. 50 during halftime of Saturday's game against Ole Miss.
 
  • During halftime of Saturday's game against Ole Miss, Mizzou held a jersey retirement ceremony for No. 50, John Brown.
  • Brown played at Mizzou from 1969-1973 and retired as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,421 points. His record would later be broken by Derrick Chievous, whose jersey was also retired earlier this season.
Several Tigers earn postseason honors

Freshman guard Akira Levy was one of three Mizzou players to earn All-SEC honors last Tuesday. Source: Twitter: @MizzouWBB
  • Several All-SEC women’s basketball honors were awarded to Mizzou players last Tuesday morning.

  • Sophie Cunningham was named First Team All-SEC for the third consecutive season.

  • Akira Levy earned SEC All-Freshman team honors.

  • Cierra Porter was named SEC Sixth Woman of the Year.

Trivia Question:
  • In Missouri program history, who holds the freshman record for made three-pointers in a season?
 
Twitter Poll:  It's NCAA Tournament time for the Mizzou women's team. How far will the Tigers make it in this season's national tournament? Vote on Twitter: @FullCourtMizzou
 
If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter, DM us on Twitter @FullCourtMizzou or email us at officialfullcourtpress@gmail.com. Thank you for your support!

***

 
The Full Court Press Team:
Andrew Moore - News writer and graphic designer
Molly Jackson - News writer
Tyler Driesenga - Managing editor

**Trivia Answer: Torrence Watson broke the record on Saturday afternoon. The freshman has hit 47 shots from deep this year.

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