NCAA Tournament: Missouri vs. Clemson Game Thread

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Our game preview goes through alot of the details on them coming in as well as their injury situation and most recent games. A pretty good tutorial of the style of defense Mizzou plays: a run & jump press defense. Its a man press as opposed to our zone pressure. In the half court set they tend to play a good bit of 2-3.

Online video link for those at work.

Leading Scorers: So. G Kim English (13.9ppg, 3.4rpg), So. G Marcus Denmon (10.8ppg, 3.1 rpg, 42% from 3), So. F Laurence Bowers (10.1ppg, 5.6rpg), Sr. G J.T. Tiller (8.8ppg, 3.1 apg, 3rpg), Sr. G Zaire Taylor (8.2ppg, 2.5apg, 3.1rpg)

Press Conferences

Mike Anderson NCAAT Presser, OP's Presser. 

Missouri Player interviews, Trevor Booker/Stitt interview.

Stat breakdown after the jump....

Statistical Breakdown

KenPom Stat Rankings

MU Clemson
Ranking 20

Mizzou Offense vs Clemson Defense Ranks
MU Offense CU Defense
Efficiency 49 10
Effective FG% 99 55
Turnover % 49 8
Off. Reb. % 135 216
FTA/FGA 279 119
Clemson Offense vs Mizzou Defense Ranks
CU Offense MU Defense
Efficiency 47 11
Effective FG% 81 45
Turnover % 218 3
Off. Reb. % 51 323


Mizzou Opp

Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.08 0.92
2-PT FG% 47.7% 45.3%
3-PT FG% 37.1% 30.8%
FT% 72.8% 70%
eFG 50.3% 45.6%
Mizzou Opp
Assists/Gm 15.2 11.1
Steals/Gm 10.9 6.2
Turnovers/Gm 13 19.7
Assist/Turnover Ratio 1.17 0.57
Mizzou Opp
Total Rebounds/Gm 35.4 38
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 13.0 13.7
Defensive Rebounds/Gm 22.4 24.3


Be prepared for a fast-paced back and forth game, either way it goes. This could be one of those games where someone gets a big run and it snowballs from there. I think Clemson needs this kind of pace to win the game though.

Bart Wright talks about Clemson's problems on the big stage and how badly we need to just win one NCAA game to get the monkey off our backs. 2 years ago we blew a 5 seed and an 18 point lead to 'Nova. Last year in a 7-10 matchup, we choked against Michigan. Last year Mizzou made a run to the Elite 8 before falling to UConn.

Travis Sawchik gives his 5 Keys to a Clemson Win: 1. Handle Pressure, 2. Potter plays ball on O, 3. Keep Grant out of foul trouble, 4. Booker show up, 5. the freshmen do something. I definitely agree with the last two and think we'll need either Noel or MJ to make some baskets for us.

"We have the advantage in the post, but we have to get the ball into the low post," Purnell said. "In this kind of game, it is hard to do because they will send two or three guys down there, and they are going to send guys at Trevor. But that is where your other guys have to make plays, and if you are a good team, you should make plays. We probably have more of a post presence on offense, because they are more of a kick-and-drive team than we are."

Now if Booker does something, I do think we'll be fine today. Missouri's Mike Anderson realizes that Trevor is not a vocal leader, one of my harshest criticisms of him.

"Although he probably didn't show, it (the loss to Michigan last year) made him mad," Devin said. "This NCAA tournament, it means a lot to him."

Trevor Booker's never been the rah-rah leader who uses his voice to motivate teammates. Missouri coach Mike Anderson found that out last summer when he worked with Booker in Colorado Springs, Colo., during tryouts for the United States team that competed in the World University Games.

"Well, he's strong, he's powerful, explosive," Anderson said. "I had a chance to work with him at the USA games in Colorado Springs, and of course, he made that team. I thought without a doubt, he's an impactful young man. He's a great, great person, and at the same time, he's a tremendous competitor, so I think, if there's something, when you talk about what makes him stand out, I think he's a competitor, he can score, and of course, he's been in tune to the way Oliver has been playing for the last four years, so he's their go-to guy.

"I think he's the ultimate competitor. He didn't back down from anybody. He was one of the better rebounders there. He just plays above the rim. He just utilizes his body in a great way, runs the floor and again, he's a quiet guy, but his game speaks for itself. I was very impressed with him. I really was."

What I hope will happen: Booker shows up pissed off and decides to hustle for 40 minutes. Tanner Smith plays within his game and doesnt cost us with his poor ballhandling, and Potter hits about 3 3-point shots. Andre Young creates shots for himself and chips in about 10-12 points, and Stitt takes command of the game with his ability to attack the press and drives to the basket every play to dish to Booker/Grant or score himself.
What I expect will happen: One or two players will show up and play very hard and we'll scrap and fight our way through the game, with it never going more than 10 points in either team's favor. The Defense will play great in stretches but Mizzou will know how to attack it, like we should theirs. Clemson gets hot shooting for at least one half of the game from longer range and the rebounding ability of our team pushes us over the edge late in the game as we build up a small lead. If it doesnt come down to FTs, I think Clemson wins the game by no more than 5 points.

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