Mizzou readying for another Georgia Dome game
03/12/2014 8:21 AM
03/12/2014 8:22 AM
There’s a chance Missouri’s next game at the Georgia Dome will be lower scoring than the Tigers’ last appearance.
Of course, we’re talking different sports here.
Missouri’s football team lost to Auburn 59-42 on Dec. 7 in the 2013 SEC Championship game, which set a record for the conference’s highest-scoring title affair.
Points will be at more of a premium when the basketball Tigers take the court at noon Thursday for a second-round game in the SEC men’s basketball tournament.
Part of it will be Texas A&M’s defense, but part of it also could be the setting.
When the Aggies played at Mizzou Arena last Wednesday, Missouri prevailed 57-56 — taking its first lead with 7.3 seconds remaining.
The Tigers only shot 34 percent from the field — and below 10 percent, one of 11, from three-point range — in that game and now face the prospect of shooting in the cavernous Georgia Dome, which can throw off a shooter’s depth perception.
“I’ve been in (domes) and it is tough,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “You have to get your guys out there and get used to it.”
The Tigers will practice Wednesday at the Georgia Dome, but that will be the only opportunity to hone in the shooting sites before a must-win game.
“The depth perception and all that is an issue,” Haith said. “It’s a little different, but I want our guys to go out there and just play. We’ve got to play how we’re capable of playing.”
Missouri junior Jordan Clarkson, who has never played in a dome before, said that’s the plan.
“This is my first time, but it’s just another arena,” Clarkson said. “All we need is a basketball and some hoops. … The stadium will be bigger and (affect) depth perception, but other than that, I don’t think it will be any different.”
Aggies coach Billy Kennedy suggested Monday during the weekly SEC teleconference that playing in the dome probably favored the Tigers, who are the better shooting team.
“That sucker,” said Haith, who doesn’t believe the setting benefits either team.
“Both teams are playing in that facility and on that floor in that dome for the first time, so I think it will be an adjustment for both of us,” Haith said.
Still, Missouri, which shot 45.8 percent for the season and 34.9 percent from long distance, should reasonably expect a better performance from the field.
Then again, the Tigers were two of 23 on jumpers in a 72-45 loss Saturday at Tennessee.
That’s why Haith wants to see a more aggressive offense that attacks the rim rather than settling for outside shots.
Besides, that’s the only way Missouri, which shot 24 of 30 at the line in the first meeting with A&M, survived last time.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.
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