Since the departure of Frank Haith two years ago, the Missouri Tigers have yet to record more than 10 wins. The Tigers have been at the bottom of the league the last two seasons, and unlike some of the other recent bottom feeders, they haven’t brought in talent to make people believe they can climb out of the cellar anytime soon.
Similarly to Mississippi State, Missouri will be joined by eight newcomers this season, but unlike Mississippi State, the Tigers won’t be reloading with 4-star recruits. There’s bee good things said about the newcomers for the Tigers from within the team, but not enough to convince me that Missouri will climb too far out of the bottom of the standings.
Luckily for Missouri, there are a few other teams in the SEC this year that could also be lacking talent. If Missouri can protect their home court and pile up a few wins in the non-conference schedule, things could turn out alright. Missouri has home SEC games against LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Alabama that could all end up being possible wins. There’s not a lot of room for error for the Tigers but big games from either Terrence Phillips or Kevin Puryear could bring a few positives.
Phillips and Puryear will be very key pieces this season for Missouri after several players were either dismissed from the team or chose to transfer after last season. The development of the new faces could fall slightly on Phillips and Puryear, and if they want to be true leaders, even as sophomores, they’ll have to lead by example. Missouri has just one senior and two scholarship juniors who weren’t even with the Tigers last season. Just another reason Phillips and Puryear will need to show experience beyond their years if Missouri is to have much hope this year.
The bottom line is that there will be a few bright spots for the Tigers this year but it seems that the rest of the league is improving at a much quicker rate. Kim Anderson and the Missouri Tigers need to get their act together quick or they could get left behind by the rest of the league as the SEC starts to step up their basketball play. Missouri joined the SEC with hopes of being a quality additional basketball school, but things are pointing more in the opposite direction so far.
I think Missouri can win a few of their home games against lower teams but that might be it. Another season under Kim Anderson and another season barely getting to double-digit wins on the year.
#2 Willie Jackson, 6’6” 3-star F from Garfeild Heights HS
#3 Frankie Hughes, 6’4” 3-star G from Garfeild Heights HS
#4 Jakoby Kemp, 6’9” 3-star F from Layton HS
#5 Mitchell Smith, 6’9” 3-star F from Van Buren HS
#13 Trevor Glassman, 6’3” G transfer from Manhattan
#14 Reed Nikko, 6’10” 3-star F from Maple Grove HS
#15 Jordan Geist, 6’2” G transfer from Ranger College
#21 Jordan Barnett, 6’7” F from Texas (will be eligible in the spring)
#1 Terrence Phillips, 5’11” G - Only returner who played more than 25 MPG, averaged 7.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.5 APG
#11 K.J. Walton, 6’3” G - Averaged 5.3 PPG and shot 37% from 3 last season
#15 Jordan Geist, 6’2” G - Named a 2nd team Junior College All-American after averaging 15.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.8 APG
#24 Kevin Puryear, 6’7” F - Led the team with 11.5 PPG last season and is the leading returning rebounder with 4.6 RPG.
#33 Cullen VanLeer, 6’4” G - Averaged 17.2 MPG in 31 games last season
2016-2017 Season Predictions
|vs Alabama A&M||W|
|vs Northwestern State||W|
|vs North Carolina State||W|
|vs Western Kentucky||L|
|vs Miami (OH)||W|
|vs Eastern Illinois||W|
|vs Ole Miss||W|
|@ Mississippi State||L|
|vs South Carolina||L|
|@ Texas A&M||L|
|@ Ole Miss||L|
|vs Texas A&M||L|