Campus Corner

Examining Missouri’s scoring imbalance

Updated: 2014-01-23T21:12:31Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Nearly 90 percent of Missouri’s 71 points at LSU on Tuesday came from juniors Jabari Brown (28) and Jordan Clarkson (19) and senior Earnest Ross (16).

The three Tigers guards accounted for the highest percentage of the team’s points in any single game this season during the 77-71 loss.

Missouri coach Frank Haith knows it’s a trend that must change.

The frontcourt needs to muster more scoring punch for the Tigers after entering the doldrums when SEC play kicked off.

During conference play, Missouri’s five frontcourt players — freshman Johnathan Williams III, sophomore Ryan Rosburg, senior Tony Criswell, junior Keanau Post and freshman Torren Jones — are 25 of 79 from the field, a 31.6-percent shooting percentage.

“We’ve got to get some more production out of those guys,” Haith said. “Those guys have got to make plays. They’re getting shots. … We need some guys to step up and score a little bit more. There’s no question about that.”

It’s a work progress, but, with Missouri sitting at 2-3 in the SEC and sliding to the first four out in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, there’s precious little time for the Tigers to turn things around.

“We’ll have to figure that out in practice,” Clarkson said. “We’ll be all right. We’ll go back to the drawing board and fix some things.”

Brown, Clarkson and Ross have accounted for 52 of Missouri’s 60 double-digit scoring games. No other Tiger has reached double figures since Williams’ 10-point performance Dec. 28 at North Carolina State.

Both Brown and Clarkson have reached double figures in each of the Tigers’ 18 games, while Ross had scored 10 or more in 16 games, including 12 in a row.

Williams has reached double figures four times — 10 against IUPUI, 13 versus Northwestern and 10 versus UCLA in addition to NC State — while senior Tony Criswell has reached double figures twice (11 vs. Hawaii, 10 vs. Western Michigan).

Finally, freshman Wes Clark scored 13 in the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana and sophomore Ryan Rosburg dropped 14 versus Northwestern in Las Vegas.

“We want everybody to get involved and score the ball,” Brown said. “I think it’s just matter of guys continuing to play hard and taking good shots. I feel like it will come around.”

Scoring imbalance

Collectively, Missouri’s Big Three of Brown, Clarkson and Ross has scored 69.8 percent of the team’s points. Here’s a game-by-game breakdown ranked by the highest percentage of MU’s points scored by the three:

Game (result) Points Pct.
1. LSU (L, 77-71)6388.7
2. Nevada (W, 83-70)7388.0
3. Southern Illinois (W, 72-59)5981.9
4. UCLA (W, 80-71)6378.8
5. Alabama (W, 68-47)5276.5
6. Illinois (L, 65-64)4875.0
7. West Virginia (W, 80-71)5973.8
8. Auburn (W, 70-68)5172.9
9. North Carolina State (W, 68-64)4972.1
10. Georgia (L, 70-64 OT)4671.9
11. Long Beach State (W, 69-59)4971.0
12. IUPUI (W, 78-64)5570.5
13. Vanderbilt (L, 78-75)5168.0
14. Gardner-Webb (W, 72-63)4461.1
15. Western Michigan (W, 66-60)3959.1
16. Northwestern (W, 78-67)4152.6
17. Hawaii (W, 92-80)4852.2
18. Southeastern Louisiana (W, 89-53)4550.6

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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