Mizzou Basketball: What the media missed about Mizzou

COLUMBIA, MO - DECEMBER 05: Jeremiah Tilmon
COLUMBIA, MO - DECEMBER 05: Jeremiah Tilmon /

The SEC released the media’s preseason poll that featured Mizzou basketball at No. 13. However, the media may be underestimating this year’s squad.

SEC basketball has seen much improvement over recent years compared to what the conference used to be. Last year they saw many of their teams play in the tournament in march. As for this season, the preseason poll was released last week and it didn’t favor Mizzou basketball.

Kentucky sat atop the rankings, followed by Florida, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, and

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Vanderbilt in that order.

Missouri finished 12th last year while LSU won the regular season title. Many believed Mizzou was ready to improve, not decline, but the media disagreed.

The Tigers will be led by returning center Jeremiah Tilmon, who was just named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award watchlist. The big man has the highest field goal percentage of those returning to SEC play.

Tilmon has struggled with foul trouble during his Mizzou career, but coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff believe the big man has done well transforming his game to lead this team.

Other returning players include guards Xavier Pinson and Torrence Watson. Pinson seemed to improve as last season went on and Watson broke the Mizzou record for 3s made by a freshman.

They are joined by Javon Pickett and Mark Smith, who also contributed to the team last year. Pickett held his own on defense but looks to improve offensively this year. Smith excelled as a sharpshooter for the Tigers before injury.

light. Related Story. Mizzou hoops talks competitive team at SEC Media Day

New additions include incoming freshmen Mario McKinney, Kobe Brown and Tray Jackson. Dru Smith also will debut for the Tigers after sitting out last season, and 7-foot frenchman Axel Okongo also joined the squad.

While Mizzou has much to prove, their balance of athleticism, size and shooting should only lead to improvement rather than a drop down to 13th in the SEC. While other teams like Georgia are destined to improve, Missouri shouldn’t be counted out.