Mizzou Secures Opening Night Win Vs. Wofford, 83-74


Coming into the season, the Mizzou men’s basketball team faced a series of questions, largely stemming from two key offseason departures. Both Johnathan Williams III and Montaque Gill-Caesar, two of the team’s top scorers, transferred to other schools during the summer. So it remained to be seen who might pick up the scoring slack.

Enter freshman forward Kevin Puryear and sophomore G Namon Wright. Puryear had 20 points on the night, along with five rebounds and a steal. Puryear was 8-14 on the floor, and 3-4 from the stripe. Wright had a great night off the bench, tallying 18 points and seven rebounds, as well as shooting 3-4 from beyond the arc.

The big story for the Tigers was how well the team spread the love. While Puryear and Wright were the only players to score double digits, all ten players contributed at least four points to the victory. Missouri also rebounded well; the team garnered 37 in total, with the overwhelming majority coming on the defensive side; all but five of Missouri’s rebounds were on defense.

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If the Tigers want to hang with an elite team, they will have to work on their offensive rebounding. By no means were the Tigers lights out with their shooting; Missouri shot 56 percent from the floor. They were helped by Wolford, who were even worse shooting 38.2 percent from the floor. Against a better shooting team, the Tigers will have to get back their own chances much more often.

Gripes aside, this win is a promising one. The Tigers proved they can hang with team that reached the tourney, and they looked like a team that can reach the tournament themselves this year. Beyond this year, this is a young core that looks to stay for a few years, and can develop into a good team a few years down the line.

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