The Aggies didn’t have long to celebrate their win over Texas Tech on Saturday. It’s been less than 48 hours since that game, but the A&M team is now on the road in Missouri for one of their toughest challenges of the season.
Number nine Missouri has just one loss on the season, a 75-59 defeated on the road in Manhattan, Kansas. At home though, the Tigers are a perfect 12-0 with the smallest margin of victory being their 11 point win over Texas.
Frank Haith’s team has been good everywhere, but they’ve been absolutely dominant at home, and they’re coming off of a home game on Saturday so they should be rested for the game.
The first year coach hasn’t changed much from Mike Anderson’s style of the last few seasons. Missouri is a smaller team so they try to take advantage of their speed and quickness. With that style, and the crowd behind them at Mizzou Arena, A&M faces an incredibly tough challenge on Monday.
Three Keys for A&M
Hold on to the basketball
A big part of Missouri’s success is the rate at which they force turnovers. At almost plus six per game, Missouri has the fifth best turnover margin in the country. With the way that the Aggies struggle to score, they can’t let Missouri get easy baskets in transition.
Use it or lose it
Missouri is going to likely start the game with a small lineup. Phil Pressey, Matt Pressey and Marcus Denmon all come in at 6-3 or under. Meanwhile the Aggies have just one like starter under 6-4, and that’s Dash Harris. The Aggies will have a big size advantage on the offensive end, but unless they take advantage of that, they may also be forced into a small lineup. Traditionally you want to force your opponents into your game, but A&M can’t afford to watch Missouri’s quick guards tear them apart. If they can’t get a decisive advantage with their size, they’ll need to quickly make a move to another lineup.
Find your man
Unlike most of the teams A&M has faced, Missouri has multiple shooters who can cause havoc on the three point line. As a team they shoot an incredible 40% from beyond the arc, and are led by Kim English who’s hitting at a mind blowing clip of 52%. Denmon isn’t too shabby either, hitting at an also impressive 44%.
A&M’s Player to Watch
Missouri has enough guards to give the A&M backcourt fits in this game, but what they don’t have is a player who can guard Ray Turner if David Loubeau is also on the court. Turner is going to have opportunities to get shots, and he’s going to need to be an impact player on offense if the Aggies have any chance at all of winning this game.