Mizzou Basketball Continues To Struggle


With three games remaining for Kim Anderson’s squad before beginning conference play, the Mizzou basketball team has been remarkably similar to what it was a year ago.

A year ago, the Missouri Tigers went 6-7 in non-conference play with an embarrassing loss to UMKC. This year, the Tigers are 5-5, and look to be on the way to yet another mediocre showing against teams outside the SEC.

What worries Mizzou basketball fans this year is the lack of development from the Tigers.

Simply put, there has been no growth from the returning players. It’s the same team from a year ago.

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  • Mizzou has already seen blowout losses at the hands of Kansas State, Xavier, and NC State, and with Illinois on the horizon prior to a break for Christmas; it looks like another tough loss is in store.

    Again, take last year’s team and compare it to this year. According to the Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, Mizzou is ranked 190th out of 351 Division 1 teams. Last year’s team ranked 149th in the country. Of course, this is still not a good ranking, but regardless, it’s better than this year where Missouri ranks 300th or worse in four categories.

    At the current rate, Mizzou is expected to finish 11-20, just two wins better than a year ago. Probably for the sake of his job, Kim Anderson needs to prove he can coach his team into being competitive in conference play.

    For example, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings-coached a team that played only seven scholarship players to a 7-11 conference finish in 2013-2014. Anderson has more talent than Stallings had and it’s been proven that even with a poor non-conference showing a team can perform well.

    Anderson has four very good freshmen at his disposal in Terrence Phillips, Kevin Purer, Cullen VanLeer, and K.J. Walton. These four freshmen lead the team in minutes and points, but these are young guys who have little experience and struggle on both offense and defense.

    Against Kansas State, Mizzou scored just 42 points while holding the Wildcats to 66 points. Against Arizona, however, the offense couldn’t get going, scoring just 55 points and giving up 88 while getting run out of the gym.

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    Looking at this team from a fan or analysts’ perspective, I can’t even begin to imagine what to do with this team.

    If I were Kim Anderson, I would definitely begin to focus my talents on theses, four players. Coach Anderson needs to make sure that he can keep these guys for at least four years because one of the problems in the off season was the transferring or two key players in Montaque Gill-Caesar and Torren Jones.

    If Coach Anderson can keep these four together and develop them, they could turn into what Texas A&M has done by building a veteran starting five featuring all upper classmen.

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    It’s yet another rebuilding year for the Tigers, and this is probably Kim Anderson’s last chance to prove that he can coach his dream program, he just needs to bring them back to national prominence like a few year’s ago.