Mizzou Men’s Basketball Preview: A pair of Top-10 offenses tip off in Columbia

Missouri 89 | Coastal Carolina 51

The final

First Half Notes

  • D’Moi Hodge hits an early three, looking to stay hot from the field.
  • Tigers shooting 5/8 from the floor to start this game, sharing the ball nicely.
  • Chanticleers are getting out in transition, allowing them to chip into the Mizzou lead.
  • Kobe Brown with 6 early points, dominating in the paint.
  • After being beaten to some loose balls early on, the Tigers are beginning to ramp up the intensity.
  • Mizzou is currently on a 15-0 run. Coastal Carolina is forced to call a timeout, in large part due to Isiah Mosley taking over on the offensive end.
  • Mosley with an early 14 points to lead the way. The transfer guard seems to really be showing off the offensive arsenal tonight.
  • 42.7% shooting from the floor this half isn’t too shabby.

Second Half Notes

  • Kobe Brown is taking a beating down low, but he’s being rewarded at the free throw line. 5-for-6 on the evening.
  • Brown has taken over as the leading scorer with 16, and the defense has already forced 3 turnovers this half.
  • Sean East II and Isiaih Mosley have incredible touch off the glass with their floaters.
  • 19 assists and counting for the Tigers tonight.
  • D’Moi Hodge has gotten hot, now has 16 points on the night.
  • Hodge’s shooting, Mosley’s creativity and Brown’s physicality have been something to behold tonight.
  • The Tigers also had 12 steals tonight.
  • This game is turning into a track meet, as Mizzou keeps forcing turnovers and then getting out in the open floor.
  • Aidan Shaw with a crazy block right after he caught a lob on the other end.

Five Questions!

  1. Will the Tigers cover?
  2. Who will be the leading scorer?
  3. How many rebounds will Kobe Brown grab?
  4. How many points will Isaiah Mosley have?
  5. What will the final score be?

Fans of pure, high-scoring offense, behold.

The undefeated Missouri Tigers (5-0), who average 91.8 points per game, welcome the nation’s No. 6 scoring offense, also known as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (2-1), to Columbia this evening.

Coastal Carolina, a program that was selected to finish No. 8 in the Sun Belt Conference, will make its third trip to Mizzou as the latter half of a two-game road trip for the veteran-heavy Chanticleers. Their first game featured a heartbreaking 79-78 loss to USC Upstate, who made the game-winning layup with 10 seconds remaining.

The Tigers, meanwhile, welcome the sixth different team to Mizzou Arena in their early season homestand. Mizzou defeated Mississippi Valley State 83-62 in its previous game, and the Tigers are in the middle of a stretch of three consecutive victories by more than 20 points.

This matchup will pit KenPom’s No. 52 and No. 188 teams against each other, suggesting a possible blowout. The Chanticleers, however, are no stranger to pulling off an early-season upset. Last season, in a similar spot, Coastal Carolina dominated South Carolina in an 80-56 victory. Tonight, they will hope to do the same against another SEC challenger.


Game Info:

When: Wednesday, November 23

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia Mo.

Thus: 6:00 AM CST

TV: SECN+

Spread: Mizzou -13.5

KenPom Win Probability: 91%


The Starters

Mizzou:

PG: Nick Honor (City; 10.8 PPG)

SG: D’Moi Hodge (City; 17.0 PPG)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (City; 8.8 PPG)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR; 12.4 PPG)

C: Noah Carter (SR; 12.6 PPG)

Coastal Carolina:

PG: Henry Abraham (JR; 5.7 PPG)

SG: Josh Uduje (SO; 13.3 PPG)

SF: Linton Brown (SR; 15.7 PPG)

PF: Will Likayi (City; 5.7 PPG)

C: Essam Mostafa (JR; 16.3 PPG)

Note: these are projected lineups


Meet the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

What happens when you pair the nation’s No. 6 scoring offense with the fourth-best rebounding team in the country?

Coastal Carolina.

The Chanticleers are one of three programs to rank in the top-six of both categories, making them an opponent unlike any that Mizzou has faced thus far.

At the center of their success stands Essam Mostafa, who averages 16.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. The junior lives in the post, utilizing his 6-foot-9 frame to corral rebounds and light up the points in the paint category on the box score.

Joining Mostafa is Coastal Carolina’s leading scorer, Jomaru Brown. A super-senior transfer guard from Eastern Kentucky, Brown, averages 21.7 points per game off the bench. His hot start from the field (58.3%) and three-point range (61.5%) make him a lethal threat from anywhere on the court.

Behind those two forces, the Chanticleers offer two more double-digit scorers in Josh Uduje and Linton Brown, as well as another strong rebounder in Will Likayi. The former duo has combined for 29.0 points per game, while Likayi adds 8.3 rebounds per game.

Leading the veteran-led Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, who feature only one freshman and two sophomores, is head coach Cliff Ellis. For the past 48 seasons, Ellis has coached college basketball, and he enters his 16th season at Coastal Carolina this year. The experienced veteran coach has 819 victories, which is the third-most among active coaches and 10th among all NCAA Division-I College basketball coaches.

Behind Ellis and a six-day break since its last game, Coastal Carolina will pose a serious threat. Experience, a high-powered offense and a strength that builds upon one of Mizzou’s main weaknesses (rebounding) will test the Tigers in an unfamiliar way later this evening.


3 Keys to the Game

  1. Attack the three-point line early and efficiently

Coastal Carolina held opponents to only 27.1% from beyond the arc, but in its only loss, USC Upstate shot 50% from long distance. If Mizzou wants to expose the Chanticleers’ defense and continue its high-tempo pace, an early key will be to knock down those points.

The Tigers have the ability to score from that range, courtesy of D’Moi Hodge and Nick Honor, so those two will need to step up in a big way. An early spree from three-point land will not only allow Mizzou to establish its own tempo, but it’ll force Coastal Carolina to play catch-up.

  1. Make the battle of the boards competitive

Rebounds, rebounds and even more rebounds.

That’s the recipe for Coastal Carolina, which holds a +19 rebounding margin. The Tigers, meanwhile, showcase a -0.6 rebounding margin, emphasizing a clear weakness for a team that hasn’t displayed much power off the glass.

This game could easily become ugly for Mizzou on the boards, so making it competitive will be a significant factor in determining who comes away with the victory. The Tigers lost the rebounding battle to MSVU last time out, and they’ll need a stronger performance this time around.

Expect Mizzou to utilize either Mohamed Diarra, Mabor Majak – or both – earlier in the game, but also look for Aidan Shaw and Kobe Brown to take a step up in the rebounding department. If the Tigers fail to come within at least 10 rebounds of the Chanticleers, beware, Mizzou fans…

  1. Continue controlling the turnover margin

One of the biggest positives for Mizzou in this young season is its ability to force opponent turnovers and limit its own turnovers, helping the Tigers jump out to the 21st-best assist/turnover ratio mark in the country.

Defensive pressure will be crucial against the high-scoring offense that Coastal Carolina features, so forcing mistakes and capitalizing on those missed opportunities could turn the tide of the game. Once again, Hodge and Honor will be the main leaders in this category, so they’ll need to continue their early-season success to prevent an upset.


Game Prediction

KenPom Prediction: Mizzou 84 | Coastal Carolina 69

My Prediction: Mizzou 98 | Coastal Carolina 86

This’ll be a fun one.

On this eve of Thanksgiving, Mizzou and Coastal Carolina will bring all the intensity of a family gathering as well as a high-powered eating scoring contest. Points will come about as quickly as the scoops of potatoes and stuffing onto plates nationwide, so good luck to those who bet the over.

In the end, however, it’ll be the Tigers’ defense that seals the victory. Hodge and Honor will add another stout defensive performance, utilizing that pressure to capitalize on fast break opportunities once again. I think it’ll take a strong effort from Kobe Brown too, especially on the boards, and Mizzou will give you another thing to be thankful for come Thursday when the Tigers are feasting at 6-0.

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