#21 Missouri Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Missouri Tigers
Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
With five starters returning to a team that won 22 games and beat BYU in the NCAA Tournament, the expectations are high at Missouri. Sophie Cunningham had an amazing freshman campaign and will again lead the Tigers. She averaged 14.0 points per game and added 5.8 rebounds. Cunningham has done a great job attacking the basket and she shot 50.2 percent from the floor and went to the charity stripe 136 times, where she shot 83.1 percent. With efficient scoring like that, Missouri is well on their way to another tournament trip.
2015-16 Record: 22-10, 8-8
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Robin Pingeton
Coach Record: 144-81 at Missouri, 436-246 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Morgan Stock, Guard, 6.8 ppg
Juanita Robinson, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Maddie Stock, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Michelle Hudyn, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Carrie Shepard, Guard, 0.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Sophie Cunningham, Sophomore, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Jordan Frericks, Senior, Forward, 12.1 ppg
Cierra Porter, Sophomore, Forward, 8.6 ppg
Sierra Michaelis, Senior, Guard, 8.5 ppg
Lindsey Cunningham, Senior, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Kayla McDowell, Junior, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Bri Porter, Junior, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Lianna Doty, Senior, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players
Lauren Aldridge, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Kansas, not eligible this year
Jordan Roundtree, Freshman, Guard
Jordan Chavis, Freshman, Guard
Hannah Schuchts, RS Freshman, Forward
Amber Smith, Freshman, Guard
The backcourt also boasts Sierra Michaelis and Lindsey Cunningham. Michaelis is the most prolific returning three-point shooter on the team and Cunningham dished out a team high 106 assists. Jordan Frericks and Cierra Porter are the returning frontcourt starters. Frericks, a 6-1 senior, averaged 12.1 points and a team high 7.7 rebounds, while Porter added 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. With depth coming from Kayla McDowell and Bri Porter, the Tigers have plenty of frontcourt depth. It has taken some time, but Coach Robin Pingeton has turned things around at Missouri. Following three straight trips to the WNIT since joining the SEC, this is a program that can build off their NCAA Tournament appearance and be a consistent contender in the always tough SEC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.0 (98th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.4 (53, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (41, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.6 (35, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (53, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.3 (118, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.3 (14, 1)
Rebound Margin: 7.0 (32, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (39, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.8 (275, 11)