Missouri Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Missouri Tigers

SEC (20-12, 10-8)

Missouri entered the 2017-2018 season with very high expectations. But most of that was on the shoulders of incoming freshman Michael Porter, Jr. Porter played a couple minutes in the opening game of the season, but missed the rest of the season with an injury until the SEC Tournament. He played 23 minutes in the loss to Georgia. He will continue to play, but no matter how talented he is, and he is extremely talented, it is tough to come back and get right into game shape following microdiscectomy surgery.
Big Wins: 1/17 Tennessee (59-55), 2/3 Kentucky (69-60), 2/13 Texas A&M (62-58)
Bad Losses: 12/23 vs Illinois (64-70), 2/17at LSU (63-64), 2/20 Mississippi (87-90)
Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Cuonzo Martin deserves a lot of credit for rallying his team despite the Porter injury. However, Michael Porter, Jr. was not the only Porter on the team. His little brother, freshman Jontay Porter, is averaging 10.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. The younger Porter is just one piece of a talented frontcourt though. Jordan Barnett, a 6-7 senior, is having another solid season. He is a major threat to stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability, but Barnett is also very efficient scoring in the paint. Kevin Puryear is a physical presence on both ends of the court and can battle his way into good scoring position. At 6-10 and 252 pounds, Tilmon is another big body who can battle in the paint. This is a frontcourt that can do a lot of scoring and Missouri will need them to continue to do so in March.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The frontcourt may have four proven scorers, but the best scorer on the team is senior guard Kassius Robertson. He leads the team with 16.2 points per game and connects on 42.5 percent of his many, many three-point attempts. Jordan Geist and Cullen VanLeer fill in the rest of the minutes on the perimeter. VanLeer can knock down some three-pointers and Geist has been forced into a larger role due to a variety of departures and suspensions that have happened throughout the season. That has left the backcourt quite slim and it has become quite apparent in the turnover department.
Probable Starters:
Kassius Robertson, Senior, Guard, 16.2 ppg, 2.4 apg
Cullen VanLeer, Junior, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Jordan Barnett, Senior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Kevin Puryear, Junior, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Jeremiah Tilmon, Freshman, Forward, 7.4 ppg, 2.9 apg, 3.9 rpg
Key Role Players:
Jontay Porter, Freshman, Forward, 10.1 ppg, 2.2 apg, 6.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Jordan Geist, Junior, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 2.9 apg, 3.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (182nd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.3 (72, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (124, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (25, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.4 (41, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.7 (35, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.7 (82, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (49, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (168, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (299, 14)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT     First Round win over Davidson
2014    NIT     Second Round loss to Southern Mississippi
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Colorado State
2012    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Norfolk State
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Cincinnati
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Clemson
2010    NCAA Round of 32 loss to West Virginia
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Cornell
2009    NCAA Round of 32 win over Marquette
2009    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Memphis
2009    NCAA Regional Final loss to Connecticut
2005    NIT     First Round loss to DePaul
2004    NIT     First Round loss to Michigan
*all team stats through 3/4