(Missouri Basketball App) - In a 1939 speech, Winston Churchill described Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside in an enigma.” That phrase could also apply to the 2012-2013 Missouri Tigers. (A strange way to open a sports column, but at least I have your attention).
On paper, this squad seems to be easy to figure out. It is very talented, tall, and has many experienced players on the floor. Watching this team play, you can easily draw a different conclusion, and Wednesday night’s upset loss to LSU further adds to the mystery.
Sure, they’re a few things that you can surmise. Without Laurence Bowers this team can’t score and without Phil Pressey it looks lost on the floor. Even when Flip is quarterbacking the offense, there are plenty of possessions where it appears everyone else has no idea what is going on.
The roles of several players seem to be undefined. Alex Oriakhi is scoring more than he did at UCONN but he is not the force many thought he would be. Jabari Brown is still developing and Earnest Ross and Tony Criswell are both works in progress.
Despite having good size, there are many games where the size advantage seems to disappear when it shouldn’t. This occurs because the larger players are not always being utilized properly. (Pressey’s playmaking has occasionally masked this).
We have also seen this team perform very well in the paint and on the glass. Statistically, only one team in Division I has a better rebound percentage.
The Tigers have excellent shooters from the outside but you don’t always get that impression when you see them in action.
This team can best be described as __________.
Can you figure them out?