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Game Preview: Missouri Tigers

The 'Cats are riding high after a big 87-85 win in Gainesville on Saturday and now welcome in the Missouri Tigers to the Mecca of Rupp Arena. They remained at No. 6 in the AP Poll this week but look to pick up another SEC win tonight to keep improving the record.


After a very promising first year last season for head coach Dennis Gates and the Missouri Tigers, they have not been able to replicate that success at all so far this season. The Tigers sit at 8-6 overall (0-1 in conference) with wins over Minnesota and Pitt, but also with terrible losses to Jackson State, Seton Hall, and Georgia. Recently they have also lost 4 of their last 5 matchups with the momentum trending downward. Missouri definitely earned their respect last year when they welcomed in the 'Cats and walked out with a double-digit statement win that sent this fanbase into frustration. I don't think that's going to be the case again this round.


Missouri has been a low-scoring and inefficient team so far this year through fourteen. They average just 76 points per game as a whole which comes in at 171st in the country, and also average 33.8 rebounds per game which is just 354th in the country. The Tigers just have not found their groove at all so far. Leading Dennis Gates' squad this season is guard Sean East II. He averages 17 points per game and is shooting 53.8% from three. He is their star and is very capable of having a big game. If Kentucky can limit that, then all should be well and we should be able to move on to Texas A&M with no harm done. Missouri has only stayed in games this year because of their defense. They have tall, long guys that can force you to take tough shots. The Wildcats have plenty of options to work around that.


The keys to the game are back to what they have been. Just get out in transition, that's the priority. Missouri will not be able to stop us if we keep shooting the three-ball and get out in transition and run. Guarding the three is also as important as ever. Their percentage is not great, but they have had games where they get hot and score in bunches. We cannot let that happen. If we get those done we will be happily heading down to College Station on Friday for another SEC road game.


The 'Cats will be on national television once again on ESPN at 7:00 PM from Rupp Arena. One game at a time, let's move to 2-0 in the SEC.

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