The Missouri Tigers face their first road test of the season when they go to Williams Arena to face a 2-0 Minnesota Golden Gophers team facing their toughest foe of the season to date.
Missouri Tigers (-1.5, 151.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota entered Wednesday 24th in the nation in points scored on a per possession basis after ranking 335th in this category a season ago, much of which is a byproduct of their two games this season coming against Bethune-Cookman and UT San Antonio.
On the other end, Missouri is 141st in points scored per possession, but had a challenging game in the first week of the season against Memphis and were 17th in points scored per possession with the majority of guards from last season’s team back this season.
After struggling on the boards last season, Missouri added 7-foot-5 center Connor Vanover, who makes his debut with the Tigers on Thursday after being suspended the first three games of the season.
Vanover and the Tigers get to face a Minnesota team that through two games is allowing opponents to get an offensive rebound on 31% of their missed shots, which ranked 236th among the 357 Division I teams that had played at least on qualifying game against another Division I opponent this season.
Minnesota is also in transition at the point guard position with Ta’Lon Cooper gone from a season ago after averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 assists per game with just 2.1 turnovers per game.
Howard transfer Elijah Hawkins as a result has had the ball in his hands a lot to begin the season and will moving forward after registering 12.9 points and six assists per game while making 46.6% of his 3-point attempts, but also led all qualifying Division I players in turnovers with more than four per game last season.
With Missouri ranking third in the country in steals forced per defensive play last season, the Tigers will also steal a win on the road and hand Minnesota their first loss of the season.
The Play: Missouri -1.5