WHAT TO EXPECT | The only good news, and I hate to call a opposing player being hurt good news, is that Marcus Denmon may not play tonight (he busted up his nose), but he practiced yesterday, so I'm guessing that he does play. There are some players that will play through just about anything and then there are players that have a mysterious calf injury and have to sit out basically an entire game. Speaking of calf injuries, during yesterday's press conference, the Big 12 tweeted the following:
MBB Texas Tech's Pat Knight: "The doctors checked out Mike Singletary (calf injury) and said he was fine. We'll see."
This is me not being amused at all. And not trusting a player on your team seems like a really bad thing. Thankfully, since Singletary isn't much of a defender, he may not play much. Missouri is ranked #18 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and I would imagine that Mizzou's home vs. road splits of offense are staggering and would expect that Missouri out-scores Texas Tech by 30.
And if you're not familiar with the Missouri style of basketball, expect an pressing defense for all 40 minutes. Luckily, per DT's Tommy Magelsson, the Red Raiders have been working on the press for the entire week:
"We’ve actually worked on (facing the press) all week because you just can’t do it in one day," Knight said after Saturday’s loss. "So you know again you’re going to have to handle the ball, take good shots, get layups when you can get them."
And LAJ's Adam Zuvanich writes that PK is worried about the team taking bad shots:
"That style of play, I mean, kids don’t understand," Knight said. "They like playing against it, but as coaches we don’t like playing against it just because it gets you going too fast. A good shot to kids is actually a bad shot because you’re rushed, you’re hurried, and then you’ve got to take care of the ball. From a playing standpoint, it’s just a mess."
So much more after the jump. Including the starting lineups. Look at me desperately trying to change the mojo!
KEY MATCHUPS | Well, I'm honestly worried about Roberson properly handling the pressure. Sometimes he's good and sometimes he's bad, but I'd also expect him to play all 40 minutes. Any time I've seen PG Javarez Willis have a little bit of pressure he doesn't look comfortable. If I was Missouri, I'd try to get Roberson in foul trouble. I'm also concerned about Lewandowski from a conditioning standpoint. Seems like he gets tired after a relatively short period of time and I'm not real comfortable throwing out Cooper for extended minutes. The other interesting thing with Missouri is that there isn't one player that plays more than 29 minutes (Denmon) and every other player doesn't play more than 25 minutes. Texas Tech on the other hand plays 3 guys who are playing 28 minutes or more (Roberson, Singletary and Reese). I'd expect that the players, including Lewandowski, get winded if PK doesn't have some sort of viable substitution pattern early and often in the game.
FOUR FACTORS |
Fancy basketball glossary found here.