Missouri Tigers vs. Wichita St. Shockers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 3rd 2023

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With Missouri in the toughest portion of its nonconference schedule, coach Dennis Gates wants to see his players attacking the basket more aggressively.

That was a point of emphasis for the Tigers (6-2) prepared to host Wichita State (7-1) on Sunday afternoon in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri is coming off a 71-64 victory at Pittsburgh in the ACC/SEC Challenge. The Tigers prevailed despite getting outscored 25-9 at the free-throw line.

“We’ve gotta continue to attack the paint violently,” Missouri guard Tamar Bates said. “Make the refs make the calls. I mean, we know going on the road we’re probably not going to get the whistle as much, but that’s not gonna make us shy away from getting paint touches and you know, at home … we’ve just got to be more violent when we attack the rim, play off two feet.”

The Tigers are built to take a lot of 3-point shots in their offensive system, and they are shooting 35.3 percent from behind the arc. But Gates doesn’t want his players just settling for perimeter shots.

“I still want to be a 3-point shooting team, but I want guys to be able to take the right shots at the right time, and I think we’ve focused in on that,” Gates said.

Missouri is led by guard Sean East II, who averages 16.1 points per game, and forward Noah Carter, who averages 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Wichita State defeated Richmond 80-68 in its last game. The Shockers turned the ball over just six times, satisfying first-year coach Paul Mills’ push for cleaner play.

Guard Harlond Beverly turned the ball over 16 times and earned just 11 assists in his first five games. After sitting out the Shockers’ 88-69 victory over Saint Louis, Beverly had 15 assists and just one turnover in his last two games.

“Honestly, I feel like me sitting out and watching the game against Saint Louis really helped me,” Beverly said. “It’s just very different when you’re playing (versus) watching. I had to watch our offense instead of being in the offense, and I feel like that helped me a lot.”

The Shockers are led by guards Colby Rogers (16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds per game) and Xavier Bell (15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists). Forward Kenny Pohto averages a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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