Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mizzou mid-season outlook. Big twelve stronger than its been for a while?

This will no doubt be one of the biggest season in Missouri basketball history. That was a big underline statement a lot of Missouri fans have said before the 2010-2011 season kicked off. Halfway through the college basketball season and one month away from March Madness, the tigers are currently 16-3. So has the tigers underachieved or have they maybe overachieved so far?

Missouri started the season 5-0 with maybe a few disappointing starts until dropping an overtime thriller to the Georgetown Hoyas 14-5 (3-4). Than Missouri went on winning nine straight games with an impressive win over the Illinois Illini 14-5 (4-2). However Missouri opened conference play with a disappointing loss to Colorado 14-5 (3-1) who completely shot lights out with a strong play of Sophomore Alec Burks. Missouri than beat Nebraska 14-4 (2-2). Than on the road once again, losing in overtime to Texas A&M 16-1 (3-0). The loss too Georgetown and Texas A&M probably could have been easy wins had if Missouri knocked down their free throws down late in the stretch. Missouri is currently 7th in the league at Free Throw percentage. So in order for the tigers to step up their game, they must be able to knock down free throws especially late in games and on the road. So could the tigers be 18-1 and a top five team in the nation? Sure. But their not.

Missouri is coming off an impressive win over Jacob Pullen, the 2010-2011 Big 12 pre-season player of the year, All-American and the Kansas State Wildcats. If Missouri can play the rest of their remaining games on the road like they are able too at the wood chipper, they can run the table in the Big Twelve. But in order to do so, they must play like it. Marcus Denmon, who leads Missouri in scoring is getting better and better every game and looking like an all Big Twelve guard and a possible conference player of the year. Phil Pressey also getting use to "Uncle" Mike's system and producing some good minutes and numbers. The statistics for Missouri isn't bad, but they must raise some standers and continue too bring numbers up.

The Big Twelve may just be stronger than it's been in a couple years and more better than a lot of fan's have thought. Especially the home court play. Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa State all teams who were picked to finish at the bottom have respectful records and a few impressive wins. Colorado beat ranked Missouri and Kansas State. While Nebraska has a solid win at home against Colorado and played very tough on the road in Lawrence losing by three to Kansas. Iowa State pounded Baylor up in Ames. Home court advantage will and is going to play a big toll on teams and how they finish. I really don't see any "bad" teams in the Big Twelve this season except for the exception of Oklahoma and Texas Tech which again can surprise anyone at home. The Big Twelve is crazy and good this season.

So as of now, Missouri 16-3 (2-2) Still has a lot of work to do. But the next couple of games will determine how good Missouri really is. They must protect, as I said the home court this weekend against Iowa State. Than the tigers will have to travel to Austin too play the Longhorns than off too Oklahoma State. Two dangerous games that could be huge for the tigers if they can get wins. Than the tigers are back home too play Colorado in a "revenge" game before going into Lawrence on Big Monday too play the mighty Jawhawks of Kansas. Before the season started I predicted the tigers would go 26-5 (12-4). As the tigers stand, the update I have for the season so far is 23-8 (10-6). So from here on out, we will see what happens.

Current Big Twelve Standings.
1. #2 Kansas (3-0), 18-0
2. #11 Texas A&M (3-0), 16-1
3. #10 Texas (2-0), 14-3
4. Colorado (3-1), 14-5
5. #13 Missouri (2-2), 16-3
6. Nebraska (2-2), 14-4
7. Baylor (2-2), 12-5
8. Iowa State (1-2) 14-4
9. Oklahoma State (1,2), 13-6
10. Kansas State (1,3), 13-6
11. Oklahoma (1,3), 9-9
12. Texas Tech (0-4), 8-11

Updated 1st team All Big 12.
G. Alec Burks Colorado
G. Marcus Denmon Missouri
F. Marcus Morris Kansas
F. Markieff Morris Kansas
F. Perry Jones Baylor