Mizzou Basketball Preview & Game Thread: Tigers look to continue undefeated start against MVSU

Missouri Tigers 0 | Mississippi Valley State 0

PREGAME | 5:30 PM

First Half Notes

Second Half Notes

Pregame Notes

5 Fan Questions:

  1. Who will lead the team in scoring? What about turnovers?
  2. How many rebounds will Kobe Brown have?
  3. What percentage will the Tigers shoot from the field?
  4. What will the Halftime score be?
  5. How many assists will Nick Honor have?

Finally, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below!

Albeit against a light schedule, the Missouri Tigers have gotten off to a fast start in the Dennis Gates era. The Tigers are assisting on well over 50% of their made buckets, have forced 19+ turnovers in all four games, and have shot 45% or better from the floor in all of their games. The news faces on this team appear to be meshing well, as Noah Carter, Nick Honor, DeAndre Gholston, D’Moi Hodge and others have been great, in addition to Kobe Brown.

Now, the Tigers continue their Trek through a relatively soft non-conference schedule. Mississippi Valley State comes to town looking for their second win of the season. The Delta Devils are consistently a bottom-feeder in the SWAC division, but are looking to change that in 2022-2023.


Game Info:

When: Sunday, November 20th

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia MO

Time: 6:30 a.m. CST

TV: SECN+

Spread: – 28.5

KenPom Win Probability: 99%


The Starters

Missouri:

PG: Nick Honor (Grad)
SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad)
SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad)
PF: Kobe Brown (SR)
C: Noah Carter (SR)

Mississippi Valley State:

PG: Danny Washington (JR)
SG: Terry Collins (SR)
SF: Arecko Gibson (JR)
PF: Alvin Stredic (JR)
C: Michael Barber (Grad)

(All lineups are projected)


Get to know MVSU

The Delta Devils are coming off a 2-26 season in which they finished in last place in the SWAC.

In 2022, MVSU is at the bottom, looking to move their way up the conference standings. George Ivory was hired as the new head coach back in March after a successful stint at Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Ivory is an alum of MVSU, having played basketball for four years at the school. During his time, he earned Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-SWAC, SWAC Tournament MVP, and SWAC Player of the Year honors.

Ivory is hoping to bring back some of that success to this program. The Delta Devils began the season by taking on an elite Baylor team, and the 117-53 result was expected. They then hung around with Hawaii until the Rainbow Warriors pulled away in the second half, and then Yale shot the lights out in an 80-51 drubbing of the Delta Devils. Against also win-less Eastern Washington, they led at Halftime before being out-scored by 10 points in the second half in a 60-52 loss. On Friday, the Delta Devils picked up their first win of the season, taking down 3-1 Northern Alabama, 76-68.

Those results see MVSU sitting at 362 (out of 363) in the current KenPom rankings.

Senior guard Terry Collins has been the most consistent scorer thus far, averaging 16.4 points per game. MVSU has struggled on both ends of the floor, with an 84.9 Offensive efficiency rating and a 111.1 defensive rating (via KenPom.com), both of which are in the bottom ten teams of the country. They also allow opposition to Corral 47.1% of their misses. Outside of their free throw rating (39%), which measures how much a team gets to the line, the Delta Devils struggle in every major statistical category.

While this is generally an older roster for Ivory, this team has a lot of work to do on both ends of the floor to become a contender in the SWAC. KenPom currently does not project them to win a game on their schedule.


3 Keys To The Game

  1. Will the Tigers let MVSU hang around?

I’ve mentioned this for other games, and it is an age-old cliche. But, if you let an upset-minded team hang around early on, you play with fire. If the Delta Devils have confidence early on, then they can cling to that throughout the game and keep it close. The Tigers need to hold a double-digit lead before the under 12 timeout. That would rid MVSU of any upset hopes.

2. Will the 3-point line be an issue?

In the only games Mizzou has played a team close, it’s been because of the other team’s hot shooting. Now, Penn and Southern Indiana did some things that probably won’t happen again this season, but bad 3-point defense is a disturbing trend nonetheless. After all, the shot from behind the arc is the greatest equalizer in this sport.

The Delta Devils don’t shoot from deep Frequently or at a great clip, so this (knocks on wood) shouldn’t be an issue here.

3. Does D’Moi Hodge continue his hot start?

Hodge is fresh off a 30-point performance against Southern Illinois, and has scored at least 9 points in every game so far. If he can continue to be one of the primary scorers on this team, that will bode well for the Tigers. This is the time of year when he needs to settle in and become consistent.


Game Prediction

Missouri 88 | MVSU 67

This should be a game, like Lindenwood, where the Tigers overwhelm an inferior opponent. MVSU would have to play their A+ game while Mizzou would have to play their worst of the season for this to be a close contest.

Is that entirely possible? For sure. Likely? Well.

The diversity of scoring options this Missouri team has has proven to be very difficult for opposing teams to defend. That, combined with their willingness to share the ball, has led to such a hot Offensive start for this team. As long as they continue that level of chemistry on offense, they should have no worries in this game.

The big thing to watch in this one will be which bench players can shine when they get their time. Mohamed Diara and Mabor Majak have each played sparingly thus far, but the more early-season minutes they get, the better. Gates would love to have their size available to him later in the season, but he has to be able to trust them first.

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