This could very well be the sound track for the Missouri Tigers this year. A team that appears to be just a schizophrenic as the Bearcats are. In a valiant attempt to make sense of it all I enlisted the help of Bill and Ross, the Big Dogs over at Rock M Nation to shed some light on this Tiger team. At the end of this you should have a much better idea about what to expect tomorrow night on TNT, or at the Verizon Center itself if you are lucky enough to be going to this game. Onward and upward.
Down The Drive: Marcus Denmon is the guy that the offense is run through. What are his strengths as a player and an area or two you think he needs work on?
RPT: "Marcus Denmon is the guy that the offense is run through." Let me stop you right there. Marcus Denmon is Missouri's primary offensive weapon and its most reliable scorer, but I'm not comfortable saying the offense runs through Marcus Denmon. When Missouri's offense it at its best, both the ball and the five players on the floor are in constant motion, so much that Mizzou doesn't appear to funnel the ball into any one single player's hands. Mizzou's first priority for offense will always be points generated by defense, but in lieu of those, they really don't ever seem to want to force the ball any one place. In fact, in any stretches in which Missouri is running the offense through someone (and it's generally Marcus), odds are that Missouri's having an off-night that forces one player to try to drag them along as far as possible.
In other words, there's a reason Mizzou's only played seven games decided by five points or less or in overtime. When it works, it really works ... and when it doesn't, it really doesn't.
DTD: In reading your site I have seen numerous references to a good Missouri and a bad Missouri. As a fan of a fairly schizophrenic team myself I am always interested in what differentiates the two sides of the same coin. What does it for Mizzou?
DTD: What is the focal point of the Tigers, what is the one thing they have to do well to win ball games.
DTD: Missouri is the only team in the country to be top 20 in turnover rate for both offense and defense. The defensive number is expected for a pressing team but how does this offense keep turnovers so low given the pace that they play at.
DTD: From what I can tell it's PG by committee for the Tigers with Michael Dixon and highly touted Freshman Flip Pressey splitting minutes almost 50/50. How is that working out? and is there any discernible difference in terms of how the team flows offensively switching from one to the other?
DTD: What is the all time starting five, and a sixth man, for the Tigers?
PG: Melvin Booker, Jon Sundvold, Larry Drew
SG: Willie Smith, Anthony Peeler
SF: Derrick Chievous, Ricky Frazier
PF: Doug Smith (really a center, but still), DeMarre Carroll
C: Steve Stipanovich, MONTE HARDGE PARTY BARGE