On Wednesday night, the Missouri Tigers lost in overtime to the Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 70-64 in ugly fashion. With sloppy performances by both teams, the Bulldogs escaped with a win by playing slightly less terrible basketball than the Tigers. Mizzou shot just 39.3 percent, played spastic and unorganized basketball, and were outfought on the boards 43-34.
Georgia shot just 50 percent from the line and gave the Tigers every opportunity to win, but fortunately for the Bulldogs they didn’t take it. The 21st-ranked Tigers will certainly fall out of the polls this week, and rightfully so after falling to a 6-6 team at home. A Georgia squad that had yet to win a game on the road ended the nation’s longest home winning streak at 26 games.
The Tigers have the talent to succeed, but the sloppy, unorganized play that plagued their first season in the SEC has already reared its ugly head in the team’s conference opener. Coach Frank Haith has done a tremendous job recruiting and snagging some of the nation’s best transfers, but getting those pieces to play a disciplined, controlled game has been a struggle since the team joined the SEC.
Hopefully for Mizzou’s sake, this game will be a much-needed wake-up call. The Tigers were embarrassed on their home court by a team who they should have blown out, and they need to use this as a learning experience. Missouri is a solid defensive and rebounding team. They also have some great scorers in Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross, but they are terrible at sharing the ball with an average of just 11 assists per game.
Mizzou has the tools to make a serious run in the NCAA Tournament, but if they don’t wake up and learn how to play smart basketball as a unit, they may not even make the big dance at all.