The Missouri Tigers (15-3) head to Stillwater, Ok., to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-4). If Missouri can pull off a win inside the feared Gallagher-Iba Arena, it will give them consecutive wins on trips to Stillwater, and an invaluable first conference road win that would push their conference record to 3-1.
So far this season, Missouri is 3-3 outside Mizzou Arena, and a win in such a hallowed venue as Gallaghe-Iba, against a quality opponent would go a long way in proving their validity and getting their fan base fully behind them.
While consecutive wins in Stillwater would be impressive for third-year head coach Mike Anderson and company, it may not be a longshot. Some may argue the Tigers don't have a great chance to beat the Cowboys because they depend so much on young players, but that's consistent with the last time they won in Stillwater.
This year's Tiger squad consists of 10 players who've yet to step onto the court at Gallagher-Iba. And while that may be a concern for some, the last time Mizzou defeated Oklahoma State at home, their top scorer was freshman guard Keon Lawrence with 18 points, and then-sophomore Matt Lawrence chipped in 15 points.
Even though these Tigers haven't experienced the atmosphere in Stillwater yet themselves, they're not walking in blind.
"I know that Nebraska was a good environment, but I heard that Oklahoma State is like, a even bigger environment, and it's even harder to win there." said freshman guard Marcus Denmon. "So we got to buckle down and go in and try to come out with a win."
Anderson also tipped his hat to the crowds that usually turn out in Stillwater.
"Each game is a different game." said Anderson. "As we're going into the enemy territory and they're going to probably be fired up for that game. Tremendous atmosphere…Our new guys have never been to Stillwater, Oklahoma. They can get rocking in there, and so hopefully, we'll have the same mindset of playing defense, approaching the game from the mindset of playing defense, and hopefully we can disrupt what they want to do. They shoot the basketball. All five guys can step out and shoot the basketball, so our defense has really got to be good."
While junior guard Zaire Taylor is aware of Oklahoma State fans and the atmosphere they create, he's not scared.
"Hopefully the way we've been playing will just carry over, we've been playing good basketball." said Taylor. "And at the end of the day, I've never seen a fan block a shot. I've never seen a fan make a shot. I feel like what you need to do is just channel that negative energy into positive energy and keep this positive energy that we have here and keep it in your favor. I like playing in front of people whether they're cheering me or booing me, it's just fun, that's what you come to do. You just got to play basketball."