Five sights and five sounds from Mizzou-Tennessee
College Contributor Network
After getting blown out by the No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats Tuesday evening the Missouri Tigers played a team similar to themselves Saturday afternoon in Tennessee. Much like the Tigers, the Volunteers also have a coach in his first season, in former Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall. The Tigers hung with the Vols all game before falling 59-51 to fall to 1-3 in conference play. The Tigers dropped to 7-10 on the season and next play Arkansas at home. Here are five sights and sounds from Saturday's loss.
Bounce-back game for J3: Tigers coach Kim Anderson said earlier in the week that Williams forced things against Kentucky and struggled with the Wildcats' massive frontline. Despite only taking one shot in the second half, the Memphis native finished with eight points and six rebounds, playing a much better game than on Tuesday.
The return of Teki: Tigers star freshman Teki Gill-Caesar returned to the lineup after missing all of conference play with back spasms caused from a foul in the game against Illinois. Gill-Caesar was zero-of-four from the floor for the game, but having him back in the lineup was still a boost for the Tigers.
Tramaine "Make It Rain" Isabelle: Kim Anderson said after the game that he suspended Isabelle for the first half of the game due to a lack of effort in practice the past week. Isabelle seemed to have gotten the message, scoring eight points in his first eight minutes of play in the second half, two baskets being big threes for the Tigers.
Freshman mistakes: The Tigers handled the Vols' zone defense well all game before committing three consecutive turnovers late in the game. A few of the Tigers' passes and shots could have been better and were caused by some of the freshmen playing for the Tigers. Fans have to remember this is a young team and mistakes like that will happen.
Attendance picked up: Mizzou Arena has had a lot of empty seats in it throughout the season and has struggled to get fans into the seats. This year 7,000 has been the average number of fans but Saturday's crowd drew a year high of about 10,000. With the students coming back next week and a few big opponents coming to town, numbers should be trending up for the rest of the season.
Vols coach Donnie Tyndall on Anderson: "I think Kim Anderson is doing as good of a job as anyone in our league. His team has made a ton of progress and they competed for 40 minutes."
Anderson on the game: "A game that we had an a opportunity to win, we fought back. Struggled early, couldn't make shots. I thought we made a nice run right before the half, second half we get the game tied up and make some defensive mistakes. I'm not sure what positive I would take out of this. Our effort was good. "
Tigers guard Namon Wright on the inability to hit shots early in the game: "We didn't really have a good shooting night so we weren't really hitting anything early."
Anderson on Isabelle: "Tramaine has had a below average practice performance the past couple days and I decided I wasn't going to play him in the first half. But he came in the second half and made some shots and for us that really helped us. "
Anderson on the team's margin for error: "Small it's small. I said this a few weeks ago. This team needed something good to happen and we beat LSU and now we're kind of in a rut again. This game wasn't a pretty game and we weren't able to get over the hump."
Alex Schiffer is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Missouri and hails from Westfield, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSchiffMan