COLUMBIA – The face of the Missouri men’s basketball has started to sag.
J.T. Tiller, the team’s only four-year player and the one whose blue-collar play best represents Missouri’s style, hasn’t been himself since the start of the Big 12 Conference season Jan. 9. In Missouri’s three conference games, Tiller has collected more of the bad statistics than the good ones, such as his 11 turnovers compared to five assists.
Tiller hasn’t had much luck during the stretch, particularly evident in a key play at the end of Missouri’s 66-61 loss at Oklahoma on Saturday, the Tigers’ first Big 12 defeat. With Missouri (14-4, 2-1 Big 12) down two points and 16 seconds left, Tiller stole the ball off Oklahoma’s inbounds pass while falling to the ground. He was whistled for traveling, a questionable call considering Tiller didn’t look to have full possession of the ball as he fell. The ball went back to the Sooners, who iced the game with free throws.
“I think he’s pressing a little bit,” coach Mike Anderson said. “…In the next stretch I think you’ll see the real J.T., I really do. Sometimes your senior year, you want to do something so bad it doesn’t turn out like you want to. It’s not because of the effort with him.”
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