Tiger Tip-Off Preview: Ole Miss

Although there were plenty of positives to take away from the match, Mizzou couldn’t overcome the absence of a first-choice striker Kobe Brown in an 85-64 loss to Alabama on Saturday. The Tigers will look to build on the promising signs they’ve seen and hope the Browns return as they continue to hunt for their first road win in an SEC game, with Ole Miss.

The Rebels haven’t looked all that impressive this year, currently sitting below 0.500. Although it was close to upsetting Tennessee in the conference opener, the team currently sits in last place in the league. Ole Miss has lost seven of its last eight games, the only win coming against South Carolina on January 17, 70-58. Only two teams have beaten KenPom’s Top 100 this year: FAU and Stanford.

If Brown is healthy, Mizzou will have the opportunity to test his roster to full strength and build on the strength as he heads into a big game at 12/SEC Challenge this weekend.

Information about the time

Missouri (14-5, 3-4 seconds) vs. Mississippi (9-10, 1-6)

when: 6 p.m. CT

where: Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi

television: SEC Network

a series: Ole Miss leads, 15-6

Kienbaum predicted: Ole Miss 75, Missouri 74

expected start

By the numbers

game keys

1. Keep a foot in the paint. Ole Miss is one of the worst in the country from the 3-point line, connecting on only 30.0% of her shots from long range, and ranks in the 50th lowest in the country. Of the players who attempt at least one triple-double per game, only three shoot above the NCAA Division I average of 33.8%. Junior striker Jaimen Brakefield He makes the highest percentage of threes, missing 40.0% of his attempts, but only pulls from the outside 2.4 times per game. Junior point guard Matthew Morrell He has more than twice the tries from depth than any other player on the list but only makes them drop by 29.5%. Morrell has had a few games this season in which he got hot, like the Rebels’ win over South Carolina when he hit 5-11 on three pointers. But if no one can consistently threaten Mizzou from outside the arc, the Tigers’ focus should be on protecting the paint—according to CBB Analytics, 38.7% of Ole Miss’s field goal attempts come at the edge, which is converted 62.1% of the time.

2. Put the ball into the pressure cooker. According to KenPom, opponents steal the ball away from the Rebels on 11.7% of the possessions, which is 19th in the nation. Gaining extra possessions by pressing Ole Miss has been beneficial to opponents in earlier games this season. Mississippi State, for example, made 12 steals against the team in the game on Jan. 7. The Bulldogs finished with 10 points on 15 forced turnovers in the 64-54 win. Missouri, which leads the nation with 11.4 steals per game, has to be aggressive in trying to block and score in the transition. The fast pace may annoy the Rebels, who have a slow averaged cadence of 66 kings per 40 minutes.

3. Restore the rhythm from 3. The Tigers are coming off their worst shooting performance of the season going 3-28 from long range against No. 4 Alabama. The team could try to remedy stagnant shooting by attacking the inside against Ole Miss, but that might not be the best idea. The Rebels block 12.6% of their opponents’ two-point shots according to KenPom and hold teams 44.8% inside the arc, which is 25th best in the NCAA. Mississippi isn’t great at defending three-pointers, allowing opponents to shoot 33.4% of depth, which is nearly identical to Mizu’s percentage as an outsider this season. The Tigers will have a chance to get back into formation and build their confidence again from a distance.

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