Missouri is averaging 61.4 points this season, which ranks 311th among 351 NCAA Division I schools.
It is the Tigers’ lowest average since 1951-52 when Wilbur Stalcup’s squad, which went 14-10 and finished third with a 6-6 record in the Big Seven conference, averaged 56.3 points per game.
The only other times MU scored below 65 points per game in a season during that span was when it averaged 63.0 points in 1957-58 and 64.4 points in 2004-05.
The problem, for this year’s bunch, starts with a lack of scoring presence inside.
Missouri, 7-15 and 1-8 in the SEC, doesn’t get many easy looks because it lacks scoring options in the post, where senior Keanau Post and junior Ryan Rosburg average less than seven points per game combined.
Coupled with guards who struggle to break down defenses and get to the rim on their own, the Tigers have become reliant on mid-range jumpers and three-pointers, which obviously are lower-percentage shots.
That is down 8.2 percent from last season and well below the 42.4 percent of shots the Tigers took at the rim in 2012-13 and the 38.9 percent in 2011-12.
Last season, Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross all attempted at least 27.6 percent of their shots at the rim.
This season, sophomore point guard Wes Clark attempts 17.5 percent of his shots at the rim and senior Keith Shamburger attempts only 10.9 percent.
Freshmen Namon Wright and Montaque Gill-Caesar also attempt 20 percent or fewer of their shots at the rim.
The takeaway is that the Tigers’ guards aren’t getting penetration, which reduces the number of layups opportunities or layoffs to big men for easy buckets.
Worse yet, Missouri — which will try to snap an eight-game skid, the longest since 1973-74, at 5 p.m. Saturday against Texas A&M at Mizzou Arena — is shooting only 56.1 percent at the rim, a four-year low based on Hoop-Math’s database.
The Tigers shot better than 68 percent at the rim in 2011-12 and 61.8 percent each of the last two seasons.
Not only does Missouri struggle to get to the rim in the first place, finishing is an issue as well.
“We miss a lot of layups,” first-year Tigers coach Kim Anderson said. “We spent 15 minutes in practice (Monday) just shooting layups. Just layups, without a dummy or without the blocking pads. Just shooting layups.”
The result of Missouri’s woes at the rim is that Missouri has become much more reliant on the three-pointer.
This season, 35.9 percent of MU’s shots are from long range, which is up from 32.5 percent last season and 31.5 percent from 2012-13.
It is lower than the percentage of three-point shots taken in 2011-12, when 37.9 percent of all shots were from behind the arc.
Of course, that team made 39.8 percent of its threes compared to only 33.3 percent this season, another four-year low for MU.
The Tigers’ shooting percentage on mid-range jumpers also is the worst in the last four seasons at 33.2 percent.
In other words, from everywhere on the floor, Missouri struggles to make shots compared to recent seasons, so it’s no great surprise that scoring is historically low.
Missouri also turns the ball over on roughly one of every five possessions, according to StatSheet’s turnover percentage, further limiting the opportunities for an already struggling offense.
It also means there is no easy fix.