A-Train and PBM made our way down to Columbia Mo. last night to see Michael Porter Jr. and the rest of the new look Tigers take on Iowa State. What exactly did we see?
For one, we saw a team that bore little resemblance to the team that went 8-24 last year.
Kassius Robertson: The graduate transfer brings a veteran presence that the team badly needed. He is the straw that stirs the drink right now, but needs to stop taking ill-advised 3 pointers early in the shot clock if this team wants to go far.
Blake Harris: I love our true freshman PG. This guy has a lot of potential, he might be the best passer on the team already. He’s small, but doesn’t get intimidated. I expect this guy to ball at Mizzou for years to come.
Jeremiah Tillmon: Our freshman center was even better than expected. He is strong on the boards for such a young guy. He is athletic too, he spun out of a double team on the baseline, going right by two defenders. My fear with this guy is that he is so good that he only plays one season at Mizzou and leaves for the NBA.
Michael Porter Jr: He played two minutes and scored two points before leaving after tweaking his hip. The fact that Mizzou was so dominant without their preseason 1st team All-American, is a great sign for this team going forward. They took him out as a precaution, I don’t expect MPJ to miss too much time.
Jontay Porter: Young (17), raw, lots of potential. He is a good passer, that was the first thing I noticed from the big man. He needs to work on his decision making, footwork, and get in better shape. Jontay and Harris will be stars on this team in three years.
CJ Roberts: Did not play, might not play much this year.
Back from last year:
Kevin Puryear: Puryear was the tigers best player last night. He’s a veteran leader with a decent game both inside and outside.
Jordan Barnett: Barnett is the only other player from the team last year that I trust. I don’t think he’s great at any one aspect of the game but he’s a solid all around player, that gives great effort.
The Rest: Van Leer, Geist, Phillips and Rau all saw minutes last night. They can’t continue to give all these guys minutes if MPJ is healthy, one of these three needs to really step up to help fill out the rotation.
The Defense: Active on defense, the tigers were blocking shots, getting steals, and frustrating Iowa State, who struggled to score with any consistency. They need to do a better job of defending without fouling, and turning mistakes by the opponent into easy baskets.
The Offense: Mizzou is a strong team on the inside, they are gonna get a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks. Outside shooting is going to be a question especially when they go on the road. The real problem is bad shots and turnovers, clean those up and this team can score on a lot of teams.