#36 Missouri Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Missouri Tigers
Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
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Missouri has reached four straight NCAA Tournaments, but this will be a different team without Sophie Cunningham. During her senior season, Cunningham averaged 17.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals. She took all the big shots for the Tigers and was selected 13th overall in the WNBA Draft. The Tigers have some talent on this roster, but it remains to be seen if somebody is ready to step into the leadership role that Cunningham has embraced the last couple of years.
2018-19 Record: 24-11, 10-6
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Robin Pingeton
Coach Record: 171-118 at Missouri, 505-275 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Sophie Cunningham, Guard, 17.8 ppg
Lauren Aldridge, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Cierra Porter, Forward, 7.8 ppg
Akira Levy, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Emmanuelle Tahane, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Amber Smith, Senior, Guard, 12.4 ppg
Jordan Roundtree, Senior, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Hannah Schuchts, Senior, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Haley Troup, Sophomore, Guard, 3.3 ppg
Jordan Chavis, Senior, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Key New Players
Aijha Blackwell, Freshman, Guard
Hayley Frank, Freshman, Forward
Micah Linthacum, Freshman, Forward
Shug Dickson, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Tulsa, not eligible
Shannon Dufficy, Senior, Guard/Forward, Transfer from Utah State, not eligible
LaDazhia Williams, Junior, Forward, Transfer from South Carolina, not eligible
Senior guard Amber Smith is the obvious choice to lead this team. She averaged 12.4 points and a team high 6.9 rebounds and connected on 39 three-pointers. Smith is a tough guard who will attack the basket effectively, but she can turn into one of the more productive scorers in the SEC if she knocks down her outside shots more consistently. Jordan Roundtree and Hannah Schuchts are returning senior starters, but neither averaged over 18 minutes per game. Haley Troup and Jordan Chavis were part of the regular rotation and will be asked to do more in 2019-2020. Both are capable outside shooters and they should have an opportunity to boost their scoring output with more shots to go around. The Tigers have some key transfers coming in next year, but for now they will have to get some production from the incoming freshmen. Aijha Blackwell is one of the best recruits in this class and the 6-0 wing has the talent to be a double digit scorer this season. Forward Haley Frank will at least add some much needed frontcourt depth. And it is that depth that Missouri needs to find if they are going to continue their recent run of tournament appearances.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.9 (138th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.7 (44, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (29, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.0 (44, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (26, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (30, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.3 (46, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.9 (97, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (112, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (206, 11)
Madness 2020 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#19 Amber Smith
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#12 Aijha Blackwell
#49 Haley Frank