College Sports

Weaknesses on Offensive and Defensive ends Prove Fatal for Missouri

Imageby Brad Shulkin (ChicagoSportsWeekly)

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.This goes out to all Missouri basketball fans:

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.

Missouri Tigers, Bowers improve to 4-0 on season

by Brad Shulkin (ChicagoSportsWeekly)

After yet another slow start, the Tigers barely escaped an early season let down by beating Stanford 67-60. Bowers took over the game late and finished with 19 points and 10 boards for the day. Earnest Ross also finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and 11 rebounds.

With transfers Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross already playing major roles in the offense, Bowers said to ESPN.com that it is still a work in progress.

“Guys are slowly but surely figuring each other out and as long as we make steps each and every day, we will be where we want to in March,” Bowers said.

The Tigers will take on the number two ranked Louisville Cardinals on Friday.

Verdell Jones III out with ACL tear

Bad news for Indiana as Selection Sunday nears

by Brad Shulkin (ChicagoSportsWeekly)

Indiana Guard Verdell Jones III

Indiana senior point guard Verdell Jones III is out for the season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during Thurdays win against Penn State.

“This is heartbreaking news,” Crean said in the university’s news release. “His contribution to our program, and especially this season, is immeasurable. He was playing his best basketball and really had embraced his role on this team as a player and as a leader.”

Jones will end his career at Indiana as the No. 23 all-time scoring leader with 1,347 points, averaging 11.5 points per game.

Jones, who has been through all the ups and downs with Crean during the rebuilding process, will fail to get the chance to compete in the NCAA tournament, something that looked impossible three years ago.

Jones will graduate this spring with a degree in sports communications.

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