Bet you've never heard this one before: "This team is SO big, the Missouri Tigers will have a hard time against them." Well, that's what they're saying about today's matchup between Mizzou and the Norfolk St. Spartans.
Sure, the Spartans' leading scorer is 6-10, 240 lb Kyle O'Quinn, and sure Mizzou's tallest starter is 6-8 Ricardo Ratliffe, but Mizzou has been undersized the entire year, and they roll into the tournament with a 30-4 record.
Convention wisdom says that you have to have strong interior play to win, but time and time again Mizzou has proven that if you can outshoot, outhustle and out play your opposition, size isn't the only determining factor.
But you're reading Big 12 Hoops, so you already know this.
Alongside O'Quinn, Norfolk State relies on a pair of 6-6 guards, Pendarvis Williams and Chris McEachin. There's no doubt that there is some size there, but with Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon and Kim English, size is neutralized by outside shooting, and that trio sure can hit an open jumper.
So while Norfolk might try and isolate O'Quinn, Mizzou should be able to extend the D far enough to give them good outside looks, and dribble-drive penetration.