Busting Brackets

Missouri at Ole Miss: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

Missouri v Kentucky
Missouri v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Coming off a rough loss to Kentucky, Ole Miss looks to continue the losing streak of Missouri, still winless in league play.

TV Schedule: Saturday, February 17, 8:30 pm ET (SECN)
Location: SJB Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi

Missouri (8-16) is still looking for its first SEC win. The Tigers are currently in the midst of an 11-game losing streak. Mizzou lost its last game 75-51 to Mississippi State. Nick Honor led the team in scoring with 15 points and three made threes. Tamar Bates was the only other Tiger to score double figures in the loss, ending the game with 11 points.

The Tigers have struggled on offense the last three games, just over 57 points per game, well below a season average of 72. There have been times throughout the season that Missouri’s offense has struggled, but recent scoring issues have coincided with leading scorer Sean East II (15.6 ppg) getting injured at Vanderbilt and missing the last two games.

Tamar Bates (14.0 ppg) has come on strong since entering the starting lineup midway through the season, scoring in double figures in 14 straight games. Noah Carter (11.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Nick Honor (10.8 ppg) are the only other players for Missouri who have scored with any consistency.

On the defensive end, other than 7.8 steals and 5.1 blocks per game, there isn’t much going right for this Missouri team. The Tigers are giving up over 74 points per game this season, but in conference games, this number is closer to 78 points.

The Tigers give up a ton of second-chance opportunities as well as scoring opportunities with the clock stopped. Mizzou is one of the worst rebounding teams in the county, grabbing 31.5 per game while allowing opponents to come down with over 37 per game. To make matters worse, Missouri allows over 22 free throw attempts on 19.2 fouls per game.

Ole Miss (18-6) is looking to break a losing streak of its own. The Rebels have dropped the past three games, all to ranked opponents. The most loss was 75-63 on the road to No. 22 Kentucky. Matthew Murrell and Jaemyn Brakefield were the top two scorers in the game, with 16 points each. Allen Flanigan added 10 points in the loss.

The Rebels have been solid on offense this season, averaging 76.4 points per game. Matthew Murrell (16.8 ppg) leads the team in scoring. Allen Flanagan (15.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Jaylen Murray (14.0 ppg, 4.0 apg), and Jaemyn Brakefield (11.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg) all join Murrell in averaging double-digit points. Shooting 38 percent from behind the arc, Ole Miss is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country.

Defensively Ole Miss is giving up 71.6 points per game, allowing opponents to make 43.1 percent from the field. The Rebels aren’t the best rebounding team, grabbing only 34 per game. At six blocks per game, Ole Miss is the sixth-best team in the country in that category. The Rebels are also one of the better teams in the county at getting steals with 8.5 per game.

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I don’t see Ole Miss having any issues with this Missouri defense. The Tigers have struggled to stop teams all season, and now that injuries are piling up for Mizzou, the lack of depth on the interior isn’t helping matters. The biggest factor for Missouri is whether or not Sean East II can go. The offense is lost without him on the court since he is the only player who has found success creating shots. If East can play, the Tigers might be able to hang around in this one. If not, it might be a long night for Missouri.