posted on January 08, 2013 13:43
Tenth-ranked Missouri tips-off the SEC season on Tuesday by hosting Alabama. Before the game, we're taking a look at the three keys for Missouri to run to a win.
1. Contain Releford. One of the best match-ups on Tuesday will be Alabama guard, and Kansas City-native, Trevor Releford against Missouri point guard Phil Pressey. Releford leads the Crimson Tide in scoring, but in Alabama's five losses, he shot under .450. In all other games, he shot under 45-percent just once. Releford is Alabama's most dangerous threat, and Pressey needs to hound him into bad, contested shots all day.
2. Get Brown back on track. Jabari Brown looked like he would have a seamless transition into Missouri's lineup after an 18-point game against Illinois in his second game as a Tiger. But in the two games since, Brown combined for 17 points on 6-22 shooting, including a 3-point, 1-9 night against Bucknell. Brown needs to help ease the scoring load on Pressey and Laurence Bowers, and getting him open looks early on Tuesday will go a long way for his confidence -- and an easy win.
3. Separate early. This is a game Missouri should win easily. It's Missouri's easiest matchup since Dec. 17, and the Tigers should be able to run Alabama out of the building. After three tight games against top competition, Missouri can't let this one come down to the end. It needs to get some rest for Pressey, and a big lead in the second half will do just that.