Five sights and sounds from Mizzou-UMKC
College Contributor Network
Nobody was expecting Missouri to lose 69-61 to Missouri-Kansas City in what was Kim Anderson's first regular season game as head coach. The Tigers had multiple chances throughout the second half to tie things up but were unable to even the score. Here are five sights and sounds from the game.
1. The Tigers couldn't make the easy baskets
Sophomore Johnathan Williams III missed a dunk early in the game and the Tigers missed a number of wide open three's and lay-ups throughout. Any of those could've made a difference and when you're playing in tight games, missing wide-open shots is only putting nails in the coffin. If the Tigers want to hang in late when teams like Florida and Kentucky come to town, they have to convert on the easy baskets.
2. Point guard it the strongest position on the team
Sophomore Wes Clark had a nice game, finishing with 13 points, five assists and six steals while freshman Tramaine Isabell finished with eight points in just 12 minutes played. Senior Keith Shamburger had a quiet eight points but helped set the tempo for the offense. With Shamburger being a senior, Clark needs to make a major leap this season both on the court and off. Isabell meanwhile, battled foul trouble most of the game but isn't afraid to shoot or try and make plays, which is something many freshmen lack.
Point guard is definitely a strength for this team.
3. Foul trouble
UMKC got to the line 29 times against Missouri and hit 23 of them, proving to be a big difference in the game. Anderson thinks his team fouled a lot when they shouldn't have, giving the Kangaroos baskets they could've easily prevented. Foul trouble can be a season-long problem for teams or a problem that shows up every few games. The Tigers need to make smarter decisions on defense if they want to kick the foul trouble.
4. Montaque Gill-Caesar is GOOD
The one they call "Teki" got off to a rough start for his first collegiate game, shooting two-of-nine to start off before finishing seven-of-12 with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Gill-Caesar hit a lot of shots throughout the second half to keep the Tigers in the game and had a put-back dunk you'll probably see on SportsCenter this week. The Canadian is the Tigers most-talented freshman in over ten years and should have a major impact on this team all season. Remember the name. It's not the last time you'll hear it.
5. The frontcourt has to do more
Williams III had only six points and five boards before fouling out in the game's last five minutes and junior Ryan Rosburg didn't really do much. Senior Keanau Post barely played and D'Angelo Allen was battling foul trouble. Freshman Jakeenan Gant is unable to play due to an investigation regarding his academic eligibility. Last year, Missouri's guards accounted for over 70 percent of their scoring. Will history repeat itself? If it does, it's going to be a long year in Columbia.
1. Anderson on coming up short when Mizzou could've tied it
"It seemed like anytime we'd get close ... we couldn't make the right play. We either turned it over or missed an open shot."
2. Anderson on missed shots
"We missed 18 three-point shots. They weren't all great shots, but a lot of them were good shots. We just missed them."
3. UMKC Coach Kareem Richardson on what the win means for the program
"I'm not going to sit and try to fool anybody. It's big for the program. But it can't be the biggest."
4. Clark on the loss
"We just didn't match their intensity. We were just a step slow. Chemistry wasn't there and we were just missing shots."
5. Gill-Caesar on the problems UMKC's zone caused
"I think at the beginning they kind of extended their zone so it was a hard to get open shots and it was a little bit harder to get the ball inside so when we did get looks we just weren't hitting."
Alex Schiffer is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Missouri and hails from Westfield, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSchiffMan