Without your leading scorer, second leading rebounder and the soul of your team its hard to win many ballgames in CBB but, the Missouri Tigers managed to do just that versus the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. Senior Laurence Bowers has been a factor for the Tigers dating back to 2008-09 when he reached double digits in points three times as a freshman.
Without Bowers the club has struggled which was evident by the team’s embarrassing 15 point loss versus Mississippi on Saturday. However, when players like Alex Oriakhi and Vincent Williams step up for the Tigers like they did on Wednesday the blow of losing Bowers is softened as, Georgia coach Mark Fox said that “In some ways, it makes them more difficult to defend when he’s not in the game.” Whether that is true or not remains to be seen however the team can only get better when the 2012 Big-12 All Defensive team member returns–Bowers has not been ruled out of the teams next game.
Now, it remains to be seen what kind of team Missouri is without Bowers. Are they the team that gets blown out of the water by Mississippi or are they the 17th team in the country that can beat top caliber teams? Fortunately, the Tigers will find the answer to that question when they take on #10 ranked Florida Gators on Saturday. Missouri has been unbeatable at home under head coach Frank Haith with a 26-1 record in Mizzou Arena but, it is the road that has given this team trouble in his time at the helm.
In order for Missouri to get a win on Saturday they will need Earnest Ross to step up like he did versus Mississippi as he scored a much needed 15 points.