Players huddle around Kim Anderson during a timeout (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

After the non-conference schedule, Mizzou’s Kim Anderson said there was no way his Tigers would be successful playing double-digit minutes with 11 players.  He’s cut that back to seven, with only nine players seeing the floor.  Yet, Auburn marched into Columbia with an 0-3 SEC record and recorded their first win of conference play, 77-72 with 11 players seeing a minimum of ten minutes.

Mizzou led again at the half (albeit just one point), but down the stretch could make the run they needed and watched as the other Tigers hit big shots and big free throws when it mattered.

“I’m proud of our effort,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “It’s a frustrating loss, but I thought our guys played hard…We’re a team that doesn’t have a lot of margin for error. We have to play within ourselves.”

Missouri forward Jordan Barnett led all scorers with 20 points to go with six rebounds. Terrence Phillips had 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Jordan Geist added 10 points.

No matter how many hours the team puts in the gym, after 15 games shooting no longer becomes a slump…it becomes an epidemic.

“I just think we’re a group that we don’t have a lot of confidence right now and we’re not very tough mentally right now. I think we could be, but there’s not a whole lot you can do from a motivational standpoint,” said Anderson. “You get in the gym and start shooting. It doesn’t do any good to yell at them and say, ‘Hey, quit missing shots.’ They know they’re missing shots. The only thing I know to do is keep coming in, keep working at it.”

My take.  If the shooting hasn’t improved half-way through the season, it’s not going to pick up in the second half either against tougher conference defenses.  This ultimately could be what dooms Anderson’s tenure.