It’s been a rough year for Missouri. After losing Jontay Porter to a torn ACL and MCL in mid-October, the Tigers have struggled to find their footing, going 12-12 so far this season, 3-9 in conference play. Coming off a big win vs. No. 1 Tennessee, John Calipari isn’t about to let his team overlook Mizzou, telling reporters on today’s SEC Teleconference that he knows the Tigers are capable of pulling off an upset in Columbia tomorrow night.
“Whatever their record is, there were two or three other games they had a chance to win,” Cal said. “They played at Tennessee and had their chances and did a great job in a hostile environment. So, we know that they’re good enough to beat us; we know that. Having their best player go down early affected their team but they’ve recovered from that.”
Missouri is led by 6’10” forward Jeremiah Tilmon, who scored 21 points in the Tigers’ win over Arkansas last week. Cal singled him out when asked which players he was concerned about tomorrow night.
“Cuonzo’s coaching his team and playing the way they have to play to win. One, you know his teams are always going to be good defensively, they’re going to lock you down and they’re gonna turn down ball screens and they’re gonna fight you on pick and rolls and fight you on pin downs. Then what he’s doing offensively, they’re playing through Tilmon as much as they can yet they’re taking 25 threes a game. Making eight.”
Tilmon fouled out of Missouri’s loss to Ole Miss on Saturday after only 15 minutes; good thing Kentucky’s got four bigs they can rotate against him.