The Old Dominion Monarchs might not be a familiar name to casual college basketball fans, but if you look at their resume you will find out why the Missouri Tigers should be wary.
ODU (9-2) comes into the game with an RPI of 12 in the country - compared to Mizzou's 29th ranking - and has defeated name brands like the Richmond Spiders, Clemson Tigers and Xavier Musketeers.
When you look at like opponents, the Monarchs also hold their own. Both teams played, and lost to, the Georgetown Hoyas, but ODU's three point loss at Georgetown was closer than Mizzou's nine-point loss at "home." The two teams also beat the Presbyterian Blue Hose, with Mizzou winning 70-55 and coming away with a similarly scored 63-54 victory.
ODU's strength is on the glass, where as a team they average 42.4 boards per game, which ranks them sixth in the country. The Tigers average over six less rebounds a game, and their 36.3 clip nets them 150th in the country. To put it another way, the Monarchs have five guys averaging over five rebounds a game in Frank Hassell (9.7 rpg), Keyon Carter (6.1), Ben Finney (6.0), Chris Cooper (5.5) and Kent Bazemore (5.1). Mizzou can only claim Ricardo Ratliffe and Laurence Bowers in that category.
Where Mizzou (12-1) should dominate is in scoring. The Tigers currently are ranked fifth in the country in points per game at 85, whereas ODU is only averaging 69.8 per game, placing them 177th in the country.
Mizzou's top five scorers all average double figure scoring, led by Marcus Denmon's 16.7 and followed by Ratliffe (12.3 ppg), Bowers (12 ppg), Kim English (10.9) and Mike Dixon (10.6). The Monarch only have three guys in double figure averages: Bazemore, Hassell and Finney.
For Mizzou to win they need to keep ODU off the glass and keep the tempo on high. And if there is any carryover whatsoever from the Northern Illinois Huskies win, then the Tigers should be fine.