No. 21 Texas A&M at Missouri
WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia
TV/RADIO: ESPNU, KMBZ (98.1 FM)
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Keys for Missouri (17-8, 7-5 SEC):
Get Kassius Robertson hot early: The graduate transfer has netted back-to-back SEC player of the week honors going into Tuesday’s game and was 1 for 11 from the field in the Tigers’ loss to the Aggies earlier this season. Robertson is more of a second-half player but has been scorching hot as of late as he continues to build a case for conference player of the year. If Robertson can keep up his recent play, Missouri should hold up better than it did the last time against the Aggies.
Feed Jeremiah Tilmon: Tilmon struggled against Texas A&M’s big men in the first half of Missouri’s Jan. 20 loss in College Station but heated up later in the game when Missouri’s offense was struggling. After the game, senior Jordan Barnett said he thought Tilmon deserved more touches in the second half because he was the only one scoring. Tilmon has played well as of late and a strong performance against an experienced Aggies frontcourt would mean a lot for both Tilmon and Missouri with March right around the corner.
Hits threes: In College Station, the Tigers shot 22 percent from beyond the arc with Barnett being the only Missouri player to hit multiple threes. Missouri was 4 for 18 for the game. If Missouri is shooting around its average of 38 percent from three, it could be a long night for the Aggies.
Keys for Texas A&M (17-8, 6-6 SEC):
Utilize the frontcourt: Texas A&M’s three-man line of DJ Hogg, Robert Williams and Tyler Davis is one of the most formidable in the country as Missouri learned last time. The trio combined for half of the Aggies’ points in the 60-49 win over Missouri. Missouri has some talent in its frontcourt in TIlmon and Jontay Porter but the Aggies hold the edge in experience. Expect those three to get a lot of touches on Tuesday.
Stay out of foul trouble: On Sunday the Aggies dismissed guard JJ Caldwell for a violation of team rules and indefinitely suspended freshman guard Jay Jay Chandler. Starting guards Admon Gilder and Duane Wilson are big parts of the Aggies’ offense, so keeping them on the court and out of foul trouble is a priority because coach Billy Kennedy now has a thinner bench.
Try and hit some threes: The Aggies hit nine or more threes in their upset wins over Auburn, Kentucky and West Virginia, about double the team’s per game average. A few early threes from Hogg and Wilson will make Missouri have its hands full on defense.