Sun, 05 Dec 2021

Humbled Missouri ready for SMU team still seeking improvement

Field Level Media
21 Nov 2021, 08:19 GMT+10

Missouri is set to depart the comforts of home for two games in the Jacksonville (Fla.) Classic, beginning with Sunday's matchup against Southern Methodist.

After topping Northern Illinois 54-37 on Thursday, the Tigers also hope to leave behind any sour feelings about a humbling, 80-66 loss to in-state foe Missouri-Kansas City on Monday night.

"I think it brought a level of humility to our team," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. "Not that they walked out arrogant or cocky ... I don't want to say that at all. But the thing I've said since June is, 'In November the ball will tip. And if we don't have a level of grit or toughness when the shot isn't falling, it'll be a long night.' I think that's what happens. We didn't come out with a level of edge or toughness. We were casual. We paid for it. It was painful, hard to sleep. But hopefully we learned from it."

Kobe Brown looks to lead Missouri (2-1) after contributing 13 points and 13 rebounds against NIU for his third career double-double. Jordan Wilmore, a 7-foot-3, 300-pound center, added personal bests in points (11) rebounds (six) and blocks (three) while playing a career-high 16 minutes.

SMU (3-1) has won two straight following a 23-point loss at Oregon, its latest victory coming Thursday, 78-61 against Southeastern Louisiana.

The Mustangs opened the game on a 13-0 run after beginning their previous game against Northwestern State on a 16-0 tear. Kendric Davis paced SMU with a season-high 25 points, and Marcus Weathers notched his second successive double-double, tallying 15 points and 12 rebounds.

"We feel pretty confident," SMU's Zhuric Phelps said. "There's things we've got to fix, you know, get better at. Missouri is probably a way more physical team than the team we just played, so that's a key thing, just being more physical."

To teammate Tristan Clark, that pursuit begins on the boards. The Mustangs outrebounded Southeastern Louisiana 46-37 but allowed 14 offensive rebounds.

"Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding," Clark said. "That's what we're definitely circling on our list of what we need to get better at."

--Field Level Media

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