Missouri earned its fourth win against a ranked team and was just one of three SEC teams to earn a win in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
With the win, the Tigers showed promising signs of success as they continue their SEC roster and take on LSU Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
3s and free throws
The Tigers also impressed beyond the arc on Saturday, making 46.7% of their 3s against the Cyclones after a 53.3% 3-point shooting performance against Ole Miss.
The Tigers suffered a series of poor shooting performances prior to the Ole Miss game. A continued return to form against a top-15 team is a promising sign that a key part of MU’s offense is back on form and may help the Tigers produce results as conference play resumes .
MU also made 12 of his 14 free throw attempts on Saturday. While Missouri didn’t get to the free-throw line overwhelmingly, the Tigers showed they can capitalize on limited travel to the line.
Missouri coach Dennis Gates has called for consistency at the charity streak all season, saying after the game in Alabama that the Tigers should aim to hit 30 free throws per game. If game trends don’t allow Missouri to reach that mark, going forward in highly competitive games it will become even more important to get the tries they deserve.
Missouri’s magic number
The Tigers scored over 70 points again on Saturday and are averaging 83.1 points per game, the eighth-best mark in the nation.
Missouri has scored 70 or more points in 15 of their 16 wins this season, the lone exception being the Tigers’ 68 points in a resounding win over UCF. Missouri’s exceptional 3-point shooting in the last two games and pace of play helped set the tone all season.
If the Tigers can maintain relative consistency beyond the arc, especially on the road in the SEC — the Tigers are only 1-3 from home in conference play — and continue to get games started quickly, MU can continue to play as its SEC streak progresses. List achieve some achievements.
Gates emerges as nominee for SEC Coach of the Year
In his first season with the Tigers, Gates led MU to victories over Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and now Iowa State, and helped the Tigers climb the AP Top 25 poll multiple times throughout the season while guiding the Tigers in the Talked about the NCAA tournament.
It’s a summary that Gates should bring into the conversation for SEC Coach of the Year, pending results during the rest of the conference game. Gates has improved MU with a team built largely in the transfer portal and three returnees from last season.
If the Tigers can cap their stunning conference performances, which have seen them lose games to Texas A&M and Florida, Gates can position his team to succeed postseason and position himself to be the first MU -Becoming a trainer who wins the award.
The SEC’s competitiveness makes for an interesting race for the award. Alabama coach Nate Oats will certainly be in contention, with the Crimson Tide yet to lose in conference play. Despite a shocking loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, Alabama not only remains a favorite in the SEC but also has a deep tournament run.
Just behind the Crimson Tide in the conference standings, Tennessee’s Rick Barnes and Texas A&M’s Buzz Williams are also names to watch. Barnes has the Volunteers neck and neck with Alabama, with an experienced roster that can challenge any team in the country and is built on defense. The Volunteers are No. 1 nationally with 54.5 allowed points per game.
With a 7-1 record in conference play so far, Texas A&M has been a pleasant surprise in the SEC this season. The Aggies defeated a then No. 20 on the Missouri side and took down No. 15 Auburn on the road. Williams will look to keep Texas A&M’s momentum alive with tough Tests against Tennessee and Alabama, as well as a rematch with the Tigers on February 18.
Auburn’s Bruce Pearl has had another impressive season with the Tigers and hopes he has prepared them adequately for the final stretch of the season. In addition to a home game against MU on Feb. 14, Auburn has two more games against Alabama and Tennessee and away against Kentucky. If Pearl, who won the Coach of the Year award last season, can navigate the Tigers through that route, he will surely be a talking point again this season.
Georgia coach Mike White is another name to watch. Much like Gates, White is in his freshman season after joining the Florida Bulldogs. White has already helped a Bulldogs program — which won just one conference game last season — to a 14-7 record and four SEC game wins, including a ranked win over then-No. 22 Auburn.
- Brandon Miller, No. 2 Alabama upset at unranked Oklahoma in…
- Updated 2023 NFL Draft Order Following Week 17 Results |…
- Bryce Young declares for 2023 NFL Draft; Alabama Star tops…
- Henry To'oTo'o NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Alabama…
- Report: Alabama's Nick Saban received ZERO requests from 2…
- Steelers players visit Damar Hamlin-supported daycare to…