Ricardo Ratliffe has the daunting task of limiting the Morris twins at Allen Field House tonight.
Mike Anderson has never won at Allen Field House. To be fair, Quin Snyder never won at Allen Field House either. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, I'm not sure this team is equipped to handle Kansas' depth with or without Josh Selby. Not to mention, Missouri is 5-0 in conference home games and 0-4 in conference road games (its only true road win came against a mediocre to bad Oregon team). That said, Missouri is still a top twenty team with a lot of talent and a very unique style that can really fluster a lot of teams.
Missouri keys to the game:
- They need to shoot lights out
- Force Tyshawn Taylor to commit dumb turnovers
- Keep the game as up-and-down as possible to limit the Morris twins
Given Missouri's total lack of success in hostile environments, this upset looks pretty far-fetched. Kansas is one of, if not the, toughest places to play in the country. They are used to playing at Missouri's quick pace while still thriving in the half court. The Morris twins handle the ball well enough to break up nearly all full-court pressure. However, if there's a knock on Tyshawn Taylor running the point, it's his 27.8% turnover rate. If Mizzou can come out and get him flustered early (very difficult on the road), they stand a chance.
The big news for Kansas is that Josh Selby is out with a "stress reaction" in his foot. I don't think there's any chance he plays (having had a "stress reaction" in my foot, I can testify it's about the most annoying injury possible: heals slowly; only hurts after the fact; and you have to really lay off it during the rehab process or it quickly becomes a stress fracture or even a real fracture). Luckily for the Jayhawks Brady Morningstar is stepping up to fill Selby's shooting role (in Lincoln Saturday, Morningstar went 5-7 from three) in addition to the defensive stopper and all around glue-guy role he's played all year.
I think both of these teams, Missouri especially, are just barely tapping the surface of their potential right now. Maybe it's the lack of Tony Mitchell; maybe it's Kim English's step backward this season; or maybe my expectations were just too high. Regardless of the outcome, expect a high scoring game with both teams showcasing very up-tempo offenses.
The game is at 8:00 PM on ESPN.