Orlando, FL – It was tightly contested game between the UCF Knights and the Missouri Tigers, as Missouri edged out UCF 62-59. With this being their first big non-conference game, there was a good crowd of 5,122 and a good energy and atmosphere throughout the game. Kassius Robertson was the leading scorer for the Tigers with 19 points, while the Knights were led by A.J. Davis with 14 points.
Both teams struggled to get their shooting going in the first half, but once Missouri started to pick up their tempo and push in transition more, they were able to generate more offense and scoring. They ended the half on 15-3 run to take a five-point lead into the half, and kept that lead throughout the second half. The second half was dominated by Missouri, pushing their largest lead to 11, but UCF fought back and got it back within two late in the half. Ultimately they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Missouri did well limiting Tacko Fall in this game to only 12 points and six boards. They always brought the double team when he got a touch in the post, and he struggled finding the open guy. Defensively, he wasn’t as impactful as he could have been. He was beat by good footwork by the Mizzou bigs in the post, as well as subpar PnR defense. He needs to challenge the PnR handler and use his length to his advantage in contesting shots and stopping entry passes to the PnR roller. On offense he needs to set his screens better, as he is getting very soft contact and not creating any advantages for him or the ball handler. Lastly, he is still in the habit of receiving a high entry pass and bringing the ball down before going back up with it, resulting in smaller defenders able to strip the ball from him. He is very much a raw prospect who will probably get an NBA shot due to his height.
For Missouri, Jeremiah Tilmon passed the eye test and just looked better than everyone on the court. He demonstrated a high basketball IQ throughout the game, being in great position on defense, getting three blocks, as well as letting the offense flow naturally through him. He had a total of 14 points and seven rebounds in addition to the blocks. Being a freshman, he has time to continue to develop his game, possibly stretching his range to increase his skill-set and increase his stock.
Missouri will now go back home and play Miami Ohio on December 5th while UCF will go on the road to take on Alabama this Sunday December 3rd.
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