The 20th ranked Missouri Tigers hit the road for the first of back-to-back road games, as the Tigers travel to Manhattan, KS to face the Wildcats who have won five of their last six. My big concern is an 11 a.m. start, which will be the earliest of the year for Missouri.
While I’m concerned, I also think this could play to Missouri’s advantage. If the Tigers can impose their strong defense on the Wildcats and take the crowd at Bramlage Coliseum out of the game early, it sets up a better scenario for Mizzou to grab their second road win in the Big 12.
If the Tigers have to dig themselves out of a hole because they are in a late morning slumber, forget it. At this point, all indications are pointing to the fact that the Tigers are beginning to gel defensively, another good sign for Saturday morning’s game
In the last two games, Mizzou held both Baylor and Iowa State to just 64.5 points per game. The Tigers allowed the Bears and Cyclones to shoot just 31 percent from three-point range and outscored both clubs 30-to-9 at the free throw line.
One of those key players in this two game stretch is Ricardo Ratliffe. He’s picked up double-doubles in both games. On Wednesday he scored 11 and grabbed 13 including 12 in the first half against Baylor. They lit a fire under Ratliffe in that game doing a bit of trash talking. You don’t trash talk Ratliffe.
What else is there to say about Marcus Denmon. Back to back solid offensive games against Texas Tech and Iowa State and then he showed he can play defense, shutting down the league’s top scorer LaceDarius Dunn to a season low 12 points with nothing in the first half. Denmon will be up for several Big 12 post-season honors.