#12 Missouri Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Missouri Tigers
Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
 Missouri Logo
Missouri comes into the 2018-19 season looking to take that next step into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have made three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament but have not been able to break through and get out of the opening weekend. Head Coach Robin Pingeton and her staff have done a nice job of turning Mizzou Arena into a bit of a fortress as they knocked off South Carolina and Tennessee last season in Columbia. Now, the key for Missouri will be to finish stronger down the stretch as they lost three of their last four games.
2017-18 Record: 24-8, 11-5
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Robin Pingeton
Coach Record: 147-108 at Missouri, 482-265 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Jordan Frericks, Forward, 11.8 ppg
Cierra Porter, Forward, 9.8 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Sophie Cunningham, Senior, Guard, 18.5 ppg
Amber Smith, Junior, Guard, 9.3 ppg
Lauren Aldridge, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Jordan Chavis, Junior, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Hannah Schuchts, Redshirt Junior, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Jordan Roundtree, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Emmanuelle Tahane, Sophomore, Forward, 1.2 ppg
Nadia Green, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Elle Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 1.0 ppg
Kelsey Winfrey, Sophomore, Guard, 0.8 ppg
Key New Players
Akira Levy, Freshman, Guard
Grace Berg, Freshman, Forward
Brittany Garner, Freshman, Forward
Haley Troup, Redshirt Freshman, Guard
Sophie Cunningham is back for her senior season and is one of the better all-around offensive players in women’s college basketball. Cunningham averaged 18.5 points per game, shot 54.2 percent from the floor, and knocked down 83.6 percent of her free throws. Amber Smith is coming off a solid 2017-18 season as she averaged 9.3 points per game and did a nice job rebounding the basketball as well. Lauren Aldridge is the floor general who set a school record last season with a 2.2 assist to turnover ratio. If Smith and Aldridge can bump up their scoring averages by a combined five to seven points per game, then Missouri will be very dangerous offensively. The schedule will have plenty of opportunities for the Tigers to build a strong NCAA Tournament resume. Green Bay visits on November 16th then Missouri will head to the Gulf Coast Showcase to face a strong field starting with Michigan in game one. A sneaky tough road trip to West Virginia is another potential landmine for the Tigers. Home games with Georgia, Texas A&M, and Tennessee are going to be critical games to win if Missouri is going to contend for the SEC title. Look for the Tigers to win around 23-25 games and be in the mix for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.8 (82nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense:61.0 (76, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (18, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (28, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (53, 2
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (20, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.2 (29, 2)
Rebound Margin: 8.6 (15, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (41, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (115, 7)
Madness 2019 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Sophie Cunningham
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#86 Brittany Garner
#97 Grace Berg
#125 Akira Levy