Missouri at Mississippi State basketball preview
basketball Edit

Tiger Tipoff Preview: Mississippi State

Prior to each of the major non-conference games and every SEC game for the Tigers, we will post the Tiger Tipoff Preview to get you set for the matchup. Here is our preview of today's matchup at Mississippi State.

Ever go home after a long day and want to mix yourself a fancy cocktail, but don’t have the time or ingredients? Let Boulevard Beverage Company be your bartender! Introducing ready to drink Fling Craft Cocktails in a can. These flavorful spirit-based drinks are made with all natural ingredients and offer low calories and carbs. Try our blood orange vodka soda, cucumber lime gin and tonic, mai-tai and margarita. Click on the logo above for more information.

Fling Cocktails, the official game day sponsor of PowerMizzou.com Go Tigers!

GET THE INSIDE SCOOP EVERY DAY WITH YOUR PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION!

                                         TIP TIME INFORMATION

Missouri (9-6) vs Mississippi State (9-6)

WHEN: 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Humphrey Coliseum

TV: SEC Network

RADIO: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly, Chris Gervino)

SERIES: Mississippi State leads 7-5 (Mississippi State won 68-49 last season)

KenPom Prediction: Mississippi State 66-63

                                       THE STARTING LINEUPS

Mississippi State Probable Starters
Player Class Height PPG RPG APG

Nick Weatherspoon

JR

6-2

14.0

3.0

2.6

Reggie Perry

SO

6-10

15.5

10.0

2.4

Robert Woodard

SO

6-7

11.5

7.9

1.5

Tyson Carter

SR

6-4

13.5

2.5

3.7

Abdul Ado

JR

6-11

5.9

7.2

0.5

Mizzou Probable Starters
Player Class Height PPG RPG APG

Dru Smith

JR

6-3

12.0

4.2

4.3

Mark Smith

JR

6-5

11.3

4.8

0.7

Mitchell Smith

JR

6-10

4.7

3.6

0.6

Reed Nikko

SR

6-10

2.6

2.3

0.4

Kobe Brown

FR

6-7

5.8

3.0

0.7

Dru Smith and Missouri will look to build on Saturday's win over Florida against Mississippi State on the road.
Dru Smith and Missouri will look to build on Saturday's win over Florida against Mississippi State on the road. (Cassie Florido)

                                                  BY THE NUMBERS

Statistical Matchup
Mizzou Category Mississippi State

68.3

PPG

72.0

58.9

PPG Allowed

66.3

50.4

Field Goal %

50.2

32.4

Three-Point %

32.9

+3.5

Rebound Margin

+7.0

14.1

Turnovers

14.8

81

Offensive Efficiency Rank

36

45

Defensive Efficiency Rank

96

280

Tempo

310

86

Strength of Schedule

65

                                        MIZZOU KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Win the battle of the boards. Mississippi State's strength this season has been its offensive rebounding. Led by Reggie Perry and Robert Woodard, the Bulldogs rank second nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 40.9 percent of their own misses. Missouri has been out-rebounded in all three of its SEC games so far this season, and the Tigers gave up 13 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds against Florida on Saturday. Boxing out and limiting Mississippi State to one shot will be key, especially when Missouri goes small with only one of Mitchell Smith and Reed Nikko in the lineup.

2. Cut down on fouls. Aside from surrendering second-chance points, the only other cause for concern to come out of Missouri's rout of Florida was the fouls. Missouri got whistled for 26 total fouls, which resulted in 32 free throw attempts for the Gators. While some of the calls may have been debatable, this isn't a new issue for the Tigers; it marked the second time in three games that Missouri's opponent has shot 30 or more free throws. The Tigers' foul rate of 28.9 percent ranks 332nd nationally. Meanwhile, Mississippi State has been solid at getting to the line this season, ranking 41st in free throw attempts per field goal attempt. Given Mississippi State's size, Missouri will be in trouble if its bigs get into significant foul trouble, especially without Jeremiah Tilmon in the lineup.

3. Keep attacking. The day before Missouri's offensive explosion against Florida, players and coaches alike outlined two goals for the Tiger offense: take advantage of transition opportunities and attack the rim. The team executed, and the result was the best offensive performance of the season, and maybe the best under Cuonzo Martin. We wouldn't expect Missouri to continue to shoot better from 60 percent from the field and from three-point range, but the offense clearly looked more dynamic and energetic against Florida, and the Tigers need to keep that going by continuing to attack in the two areas outlined above. Mississippi State can score; the Tigers likely won't be able to scratch out a road win if they return to scoring fewer than 60 points.

                                     POWERMIZZOU PREDICTION

Mississippi State is in a similar position to where Missouri found itself three days ago. The Bulldogs are still looking for their first SEC win, and they just lost a game they probably should have won 60-59 against LSU. Ben Howland's team will likely be desperate, and that will make it dangerous. Missouri needs to match Mississippi State's intensity and avoid prolonged stretches of offensive ineptitude. We view this as a true toss-up, but if some of Missouri's offensive success from Saturday can travel with it on the road, we'll give the Tigers the slight edge.

FINAL SCORE: Mizzou 68, Mississippi State 64