Mizzou’s most recent loss to the Louisville Cardinals revealed many weaknesses on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. First of all, the Tigers failed miserably when it came to attacking the Cardinal’s press and zone defenses. They tallied a whopping 22 turnovers, nine of which came from the preseason SEC player of the year Point Guard Phil Pressey. If the tigers ever want to contend with the big dogs, he is the guy that must be on point to make that possible. When you individually tally almost the same amount of turnovers that the opposing team has for the entire game, there is no way you can win a ball game.
The Tigers shot 45.1% from the field, which isn’t bad considering they shot under 30% from beyond the arc. But what is more concerning is their lack of discipline at the line. I can’t tell you how many times Center Alex Oriakhi got fouled after making a bucket, but failed to make the free-throw. They shot a dismal 52.6% from the line, a stat which closely resembles that of Dwight Howard’s 49.2% from the line. To be honest, both are so pathetic, and without a doubt must improve if Missouri is serious about making it father than the first round of the tournament come March.
The energy on the floor for Tigers in comparison to that of the Cardinals was so low. It seemed like it was just a bunch of guys standing around, and until Alex Oriakhi made the pair of dunks late in the second half, no one really seemed into the game. Part of the reason was the lack of disciple on behalf of Guard Earnest Ross, who provides most of the energy on the court for the Tigers. Early in the game, Ross turned the ball over on the offensive end, and quickly committed a foul on the other end of the floor, which led to a three point play. His lack of discipline forced Head Coach Frank Haith to sit him. He finished the game with only one field goal and one steal. This game showed how important he is to the team and without him, there is no way Mizzou will contend with any of the teams in the Top 25.