While “WE WANT KENTUCKY” isn’t exactly something the Missouri Tigers’ basketball team is saying, they have shown a large(ish) improvement from last season. Last year, the Mizzou hoops team won just six non-conference games. Coming in at 5-4 after an embarrassing loss in Arizona on Sunday, the Tigers have four more chances to tie, and break, last year’s mark.
Missouri opened up the year with an 83-74 win over Wofford at home. After beating Maryland-Eastern Shore, 73-55, the Tigers lost three straight to Xavier, K-State, and Northwestern. After their embarrassing showing in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, they then won three in-a-row to get back above .500, but lost to thirteenth ranked Arizona. They’ll finish out the non-conference portion of the schedule with NC State, Illinois, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, and Savannah State.
There are a few key players keeping the season afloat for Missouri. Kevin Puryear is averaging 13 points per game, with his season high of 20 against Wofford. Terrence Phillips has 9.7 PPG, and Namon Wright, who coaches feel has serious potential to grow in the next few years, is right behind him with 9.6 PPG. The two freshman, Phillips and Puryear, are very fun to watch, but they both make a lot of the mistakes you’d expect to see from freshmen. There aren’t any players that have that wow-factor for Missouri, but as the season progresses, the team chemistry and cohesiveness should start to grow quite nicely.
No doubt, it’s been a trying time for Missouri and their fans these last couple of years, but as this season goes on, expect the young core of Missouri freshman to gel and come together as a team. For now, we all have to deal with what the Tigers are: Young, inexperienced kids. But it’s fine. They’ll be fine.
And to cap things off, it wouldn’t be anything of mine if I didn’t include a poem.
They started off against something called Wofford.
We soon found out, there was little that they offered.
They are still considered to be a power five.
They’re starting Ryan Rosburg, what a time to be alive.
They were soon eliminated from the Hall of Fame Classic.
The way they play, well, they aren’t so fantastic.
And when they played a top 25 school,
they got run over, and beat like a fool.
They do have some bright spots, if that’s what you call it.
Puryear and Phillips, they really can ball it.
Let’s just hope they don’t transfer away.
Because they are so good, I hope that they stay.
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