Tiger Tip-Off Preview: Southeast Missouri State

Fresh off an overtime win on the road against Wichita State on Tuesday, Missouri returns home for a pair of games. The Tigers will first take on Southeast Missouri State, one of the team’s two in-state opponents this year.

The Redhawks were most recently dealt a pair of losses by UC Davis and Milwaukee and will look to break the losing streak against Mizzou.

“We’re gonna get SEMO’s best shot, there’s no doubt about it,” head coach Dennis Gates said. “That game has to be one that we have to get better to do the things that we need to do.”


Missouri (8-0) vs. Southeast Missouri State (5-3)

WHEN: 3 p.m.

WHERE: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Missouri


SERIES: 8-0, Mizzou



Southeast Missouri State Redhawks



1. Force SEMO to shoot inside. Though Redhawks are a little below average from outside, canning 31.4% of their 3-pointers this season, they like to pull up from long-range, with 41.3% of their field goals attempted coming from distance. More importantly, they have been one of the worst-shooting teams inside the arc, getting just 39.0% of their 2-pointers to drop — sixth-worst in the country — and getting 14.0% of their shots swatted away. Mizzou’s defense has been solid inside, allowing opponents to make 45.7% of their 2s, ranking 72nd in the nation. If the Tigers can deny open looks outside, they should be able to slow SEMO’s offense down.

2. Take care of the basketball. The Redhawks’ identity is similar to Missouri’s. The team likes to push the pace, rated as a top-100 team in adjusted tempo according to KenPom. They also like to pressure the ball to force a high number of turnovers, forcing opponents to cough it up on 21.6% of possessions, ranking 74th in the NCAA. Turnovers haven’t been much of an issue for the Tigers. For instance, the team committed just eight on 81 possessions against Wichita State on Tuesday. But that’ll need to continue to be the case on Sunday.

3. Get Phillip Russell into foul trouble. SEMO’s starting point guard may be the team’s best offensive player, leading the team in points and assists. But Russell is also committing an exorbitant 5.5 fouls per 40 minutes. He’s fouled out twice this season and registered four fouls two other times. The Redhawks lost three of those games — the other was a close 67-64 win over South Florida in the season opener in which Russell buried a trey to give his team the lead with 29 seconds left on the clock. Defending SEMO will get a lot easier for Mizzou if it can keep Russell on the bench.

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