The obvious is working MPJ into the rotation. Clearly he will make the team better and the notion that he hurts chemistry, or anything like that is absolutely insane. But it is important that they get some games together, and adjust to MPJ being the focal point of the offense. Defensively, the Tigers have been very solid all year, and is something they will have to use to carry them through this tournament and the NCAA’s next week. At this point, without a true ball handler, it’s hard to imagine we will see a decrease in turnovers. It will be our achilles heel and something we will have to overcome.
Our biggest opportunity may come off the court this week. St. Louis has been a recruiting problem spot for both the football and the basketball team. Barry Odom hyped the Missouri 2018 class to be one that could change the program, specifially regarding the talent in St. Louis. Basketball has had its own woes in the 314 area code region. Kim Anderson brought in Corey Tate, a St. Louis native, in hopes to help recruiting efforts in STL. That move flopped. Big players like Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal decided to forego their in-state schools and attend blue bloods. Perhaps the bigger indictment is losing high level college players (Tyler Cook, Xavier Sneed) to out of state schools.
Cuonzo Martin is known as a great recruiter and he’s from the St. Louis area, making recruiting success in St. Louis vital to the success of the Mizzou basketball program. We know that winning or having a good showing in the SEC Tournament won’t yield a commitment from Courtney Ramey (who is likely off to Villanova), but it will provide a national spotlight in the city that is vital to sustainable success for the program going forward. Especially with poor performances in the season's Braggin’ Rights game, the Tigers have a fantastic opportunity to put themselves center stage this weekend.
Finally, there is an opportunity for fans this weekend. Mizzou is currently +1100 to win the SEC tournament, not a bad value when you consider the questionable status of Kentucky’s Jordan Vanderbilt by Friday. Wet the beak, Go Tigers.