Busting Brackets

Missouri vs South Carolina: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

South Carolina looks to continue its strong start to the season with another SEC win. Can Missouri hold serve at home?
Seton Hall v Missouri
Seton Hall v Missouri / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

South Carolina looks to continue its strong start to the season with another SEC win. Can Missouri hold serve at home?

TV Schedule: Saturday, January 13, 3:30 pm ET (SECN)
Location: Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri

As we enter the second weekend of SEC play, Head Coach Dennis Gates and the Missouri Tigers are still looking for their first conference win. The Tigers have struggled to put together wins this season and are 1-5 in their last six games, with the lone win coming against Central Arkansas.

Missouri (8-7) dropped their most recent game at Kentucky 90-77. Mizzou kept it close for about 30 minutes and found themselves down seven points with just under ten minutes to play. But things didn’t improve for the Tigers from that point on, as they made one field goal over the final ten minutes, a Noah Carter layup with 40 seconds left in the game. 13 made free throws during that stretch kept the Tigers in striking distance. Carter led Missouri with 20 points in the 13-point loss on the road.

Missouri’s offense has looked better as of late. The Tigers currently have four players averaging double-digit points. Sean East II continues to lead Missouri with over 17 points per game. Noah Carter is averaging 12.1 points. Tamar Bates and Nick Honor are both adding 10.7 points per game. The defense on the other hand has struggled. In three of the last five games, Missouri has given up 90 points or more. They only allowed an opponent to top 90 twice last season.

South Carolina (13-2) is coming off an absolute beatdown on the road at Alabama. The Gamecocks only managed 18 points in the second half of a 27-point loss to the Crimson Tide. Meechie Johnson led South Carolina with 16 points in the loss. Johnson has been the team's leading scorer all season, averaging 18 points per game. B.J. Mack is adding 12.9 points per game. Myles Stute rounds out the Gamecocks averaging double figures with 10.2 points.

The Gamecocks have been solid on defense this season, allowing just under 64 points per game. South Carolina has only allowed more than 70 points three times this season. They lost two of those games and eked out a two-point win in the third. It’s hard to know just how good this South Carolina defense is since a majority of their non-con games were against teams outside of the power conferences. Regardless of prior opponents, this Gamecock defense should cause issues for most teams moving forward.

I think Missouri should be able to do enough on the defensive end to disrupt a South Carolina offense that has averaged just over 60 points per game in true road games. The Tigers are still top ten in the nation in blocks per game with 6.1. And Missouri is averaging 8.5 steals per game. Alabama forced South Carolina into 17 turnovers and numerous bad shots and disrupted their rhythm. Missouri should look to that game as a blueprint for how to take down the Gamecocks.

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This has turned into a must-win game for the Tigers. Missouri has been solid on offense for most of the season, they just need to lock in on the defensive end. This is Missouri’s best chance for a win for a little while. Starting 0-3 in conference is something that Missouri can’t afford to do if they still have their sights set on a return to the NCAA Tournament. I like Missouri to turn things around and get the win on their home court.