Missouri Preview Capsule
Last season: 8-24.
Coach: Cuonzo Martin.
Conference: Southeastern Conference.
Who’s gone: G Frankie Hughes (transfer to Duquesne), G K.J. Walton (transfer to Ball State), F Russell Woods, F Willie Jackson (transfer to Toledo).
Who’s back: F Jordan Barnett; F Kevin Puryear; G Terrence Phillips. The trio combined to average 34.4 points per game last season for the Tigers as they struggled to an 8-24 record, but Martin considers their experience is considered vital this season to help bring along a talented group of newcomers.
Who’s new: F Michael Porter Jr., F Jontay Porter, G C.J. Roberts, G Kassius Robertson, F Jeremiah Tilmon, G Blake Harris. The most heralded signing class in school history is highlighted by the arrival of Porter Jr., the preseason pick for SEC Player of the Year after averaging 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior in high school. Younger brother Jontay Porter and Tilmon bring much-needed size to the Tigers, while Roberts, Robertson and Harris complete the overhaul for first-year coach Martin.
The Skinny: For a team that has finished last in the SEC in each of the last three seasons, Missouri appears to have pulled off an amazing Kentucky-like transformation in one offseason. It’s very likely the Tigers will be ranked to start the season, and they’ve made no secret they expect to reach the NCAA Tournament this season.
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