Missouri struggles to score at times. Without a go-to low post player and averaging just 5.6 made threes a game as a team, the Tigers (5-5) rely on getting out and scoring in transition and early offense. It will be very important to pick them up in transition to not give up easy points. Illinois (7-5) want to make them work on the offensive end.
This is also a very young Missouri team. Just like so many other young teams, this young Missouri team plays off of confidence. When they get down early, they struggle to get out of a hole. Illinois needs to get off to a great start to put the pressure on their young team.
F - #24 Kevin Puryear, Fr. (6-7, 236) - 12.1 Points – 50% FG – 16% 3P
Prefers to score around the rim. When he catches in the post make him score over his LEFT shoulder so sit on his right shoulder and don’t go for the fake. In the pick and pop situation close out short to him to make him shoot the jumper. Stay down on his drive and keep him in front of you.
G - #1 Terrece Phillips, Fr. (5-11, 175) – 9.4 Points – 47% FG – 38% 3P
He is good in transition and a good spot up shooter. We must pick him up early to not let him get open space or open shots. Go OVER ball screens and get into him to make him feel you. He wants to drive RIGHT so sit on his right hand and make him go left.
F - #12 Namon Wright, So. (6-5, 202) – 8.8 Points – 31% FG – 32% 3P
Good spot up shooter. Half of his shots come from beyond the arc. Must find him in transition and on spot up 3’s. Make him shoot off the move. When he drives he wants to go LEFT. Force him right. If he goes right he will shoot a pull up jumper.
G - #15 Wes Clark, Jr. (6-0, 180) – 7.7 Points – 30% FG – 29% 3P
He is not shooting it well. Make him make a few but don’t leave him completely open. In the ball screen action hard hedge and go over or under the screen (whatever is quickest). He wants to drive RIGHT, so sit on his right hand and make him go left.
F - #44 Ryan Rosburg, Sr. (6-10, 260) – 3.7 Points – 3.9 Rebs – 53% FG
Scores around the rim. He is a pick and dive player. When he picks and pops close out short to make him a shooter. When he catches it in the post make him score over his RIGHT shoulder so sit on the left shoulder. Box him out.
G - #10 K.J. Walton, Fr. (6-3, 197) – 6 Points – 41% FG – 16% 3P
Very good player in transition. Pick him up early so he doesn’t get open space. Go UNDER all ball screens and curl screens. Make him beat us from the outside. Play him straight up on the drive he will go either way.
G - #33 Cullen Vanleer, Fr. (6-4, 200) – 5.4 Points – 39% FG – 39% 3P
Shooter, Shooter, Shooter. 41 of his 48 shot attempts are from behind the arc. Find him in transition and spot up threes. Stay in his hip pocket coming off all screens. Fly at him and make him put the ball on the deck. Don’t over help on his drive make him be a finisher.
G - #4 Tramain Isabell, So. (6-0, 178) – 5.1 Points – 45% FG – 50% 3P
Good shooter with time. Not shooting a lot of 3’s. Scores in transition and off the ball screen. Find him early in the open floor. He prefers to go RIGHT. No midrange game, he is shooting a shot or getting to the rim.
F - #23 Jakeenan Gant, So. (6-8, 212) – 4.9 Points – 43% FG – 0-7 3P
Not shooting it well. Close out short on him and make him make a few shots. Make him score over you in the post. Stay behind and don’t give him any angles.
F - #25 Russell Woods, Jr. (6-8, 225) – 4.6 Points – 2.7 Rebs – 69% FG
Scores around the rim and takes high percentage shots. He will pick and dive to the rim looking for the ball. Don’t help uphill on the driver when you are guarding him (leaves open the drop down pass). When he catches in the post, wall up behind him and make him score over you.
Defensive Keys: Get back in transition and don't give up easy points. Make them work for their baskets in half court situations. Play the post straight up (no traps or double teams).
Offensive Keys: Get to the offensive glass. They don't box out well. Lots of ball and body movement, the Tigers struggle guarding movement. Don't settle for quick jump shots early in the possession.