Missouri Tigers basketball have hit a rough patch in every sense possible. But a strong showing against a really good, ranked team on the road is reason to be excited.
This isn’t what you imagine when you’re talking about a team trying to climb back into success. Talking about the good points of a loss is usually something, as a fan, that you absolutely dread; there’s nothing good about it. But then again, not a lot of teams or fans have had the week…season…and past few years that Mizzou have had.
Missouri started the game with their trademark early lull, amassing six turnovers within the first five minutes. The gap that South Carolina was able to open up got stretched out for the length of the game, at one point being whittled down to three points. Missouri would ultimately fall 72-81, but it’s again just maddening to see the team go down early. In this case, it was really their only block of poor play, making it the difference in the game.
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But forget the fact that Mizzou lost the game, there were so many positives that came from the effort and performance that this really could be a major positive turning point.
Rosburg had an amazing game, flat out. It wasn’t just that he had 12 points and played some great defense under the net, but he looked really smooth dribbling and really comfortable shooting the ball. It really almost was like seeing a different guy out there.
Clark obviously had a career day. There was something almost Clarence Gilbert-esque about the way he was taking quick and almost irrational three’s, and just nailing them. Clark had turnovers, but was very collected with several trips up the court. He found teammates quite a bit, and wasn’t afraid to be the leader. Really amazing performance.
Kim Anderson & Coaches
This has been a tough week for anyone associated with basketball. It’s really tough to watch, but it must be a lot tougher to be the one shouldering all the uncertainty, at a time where Missouri is desperate for something positive. Anderson has handled the media, the inside criticism and the misguided speculation very well. All this while never being told there were pending violations to begin with. He and his staff all deserve kudos for simply maintaining their professionalism and representing the University of Missouri well during this tough time.
This really has been the biggest single thing you could point your finger at and say that it needs to improve before wins start happening. The first time it happened was in St. Louis against Illinois, when the crowd began to fuel the team during a comeback effort, motivating players to really hunker down and play with their hair on fire, and it showed. But without question, Mizzou played with defensive intensity during much of Saturday’s loss.
With the exception of the beginning of the game, Missouri really did go blow for blow with one of the hottest teams in the country on their home floor. This performance coupled with the fact that Auburn beat Kentucky and suddenly the convincing win over Auburn could be indicative of the fact that Missouri isn’t that bad. Xavier won again as well, still with only one loss on the season…not from Mizzou of course, but the Tigers certainly played that team very well on the road.
The loss to Arkansas was some sort of utter anomaly. No one typically shoots 80 percent at a given point and finishes the game over 60 percent, that simply just doesn’t happen no matter how bad you are.
Missouri has a chance to avenge an earlier conference loss to Georgia in their next run out. The Tigers welcome the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday evening at Mizzou Arena, with a 6:00pm CT start, televised on SEC Network.