The Missouri Tigers were losing at halftime to the Bucknell Bison by four, but had an offensive explosion in the second half to win by two. When looking at the stat sheet, Phil Pressey had an amazing game with 26 points. However, one stat jumps out: 10-22 field goal shooting. He took a huge percentage of the team’s total shots.
Pressey is one of the greatest players in the country week-in-and week-out. There may not be a better passer in the entire NCAA, and there is definitely no player more important to a team. But he is not Kobe Bryant and cannot take so many shots. However odd it may seem, when Pressey’s passes are down and his shots are up, Missouri doesn’t play as well.
10-22 is not a winning field goal percentage. Missouri is a great team, capable of winning a national championship, but Pressey is not capable of winning a national championship on his own, no matter how talented. The Tigers have to spread the ball around. Pressey knows this. During the game he had countless potential assists that Missouri did not shoot, but instead passed the ball right back. So no, Missouri’s woes are not due to Pressey having Kobe syndrome, but rather his team’s unwillingness to shoot.
Frank Haith needs to talk to his team and, more importantly Pressey needs to talk to the team, and tell the Tigers to stop being afraid to shoot. Everyone knows how good Pressey is, but if his team continues to watch him play instead of playing their own game, Missouri is once again susceptible to upsets.
Missouri can NOT win a national championship if more players aren’t averaging double digit games. Pressey and Laurence Bowers alone will not beat Florida or Kentucky. Even if the game is against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (the worst team in the SEC), and the Tigers play like this, they will lose.