Hoops season is back and the Missouri Tigers are hoping to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. They open the season against Incarnate Word.
Tip off: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia
TV: SEC Network plus (Streaming link)
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
Line: Missouri by 29 1/2
*PPG from last season
About Incarnate Word (0-0): The Cardinals are young; 11 of their 15 players are underclassmen. They also struggled mightily last season, going 6-21 and 2-16 in the Southland Conference. According to KenPom, they’re the 347th ranked team out of 354 in Division I. Injuries ravished the team last season; sophomore Morgan Taylor was second on the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game.
About Mizzou (0-0): While the Tigers bring back a wealth of returners, there will be some new faces in the trio of freshmen and guard Dru Smith, who sat out last season because of transfer rules. Perhaps MU coach Cuonzo Martin’s deepest team, forward Jeremiah Tilmon is the clear star of the team with complementary pieces at guard and on the wing like Mark Smith, Xavier Pinson, Torrence Watson. They hope to make the NCAA Tournament and impress after being picked to finish 13th of 14 in the preseason SEC media poll.
Prediction: This should be a game MU handles easily against arguably the worst team on the schedule. The Cardinals don’t have much talent. Going on the road doesn’t make things any easier. Martin should hope to tinker more with rotations and play stout defense. Missouri 75, Incarnate Word 48.