Why My Team Didn’t Win the National Championship: Missouri

January 13, 2016: any dreams of a magical postseason run for Missouri ended then. A self-imposed postseason ban due to NCAA violations made it so the Tigers would not play in the SEC Tournament or any other postseason competition and would not receive any revenue from those competitions.

Missouri’s lone senior, Ryan Rosburg, would end his career at home vs. Florida and not in Nashville in the SEC Tournament. “I was very upset,” Rosburg said on January 13. “A lot’s happened in my last four years. If I was a better writer, I’d probably write a book. … Obviously, not playing in the SEC Tournament is tough, a hard pill to swallow. I know I had a lot of family that was making reservations and flights to come see my last couple games. That hurts, but we’ve just got to make the most of what we’re given. We still have 15 games left and a lot of chances to win and improve.”

The next 15 games didn’t go as well as Rosburg and the rest of the team would have probably liked. Missouri started the season 8-8 but went 2-13 after the self-imposed postseason ban was announced to finish the season at 10-21 (3-15 in the SEC). Although they were ruled out of the NCAA Tournament by the self-imposed ban, they never really had a shot at making the tournament let alone winning a championship this past season.

The team did have a two game winning streak in conference play when they defeated both Tennessee and South Carolina at Mizzou Arena, but for the most part, the season was a tough watch. Youth and size held back Missouri all season long, but there also seemed to be a lack of confidence. The team had some solid assets in Namon Wright, Jakeenan Grant and Kevin Puryear, but it never really clicked after the ban besides those two games vs. Tennessee and South Carolina. Teams were able to go on easy runs throughout the year against Missouri, and that is a recipe for disaster. When Missouri played Mississippi State, a team that is next to them at the bottom of the SEC Standings, Missouri was beaten 76-62. They allowed runs of 13-3, 14-3, 13-6 and 10-2 during that game.

It’s understandable that Missouri struggled this year. This team was insanely young with only one senior and two juniors leading the way while five freshmen and two sophomores were forced to take on a lot of minutes. So, it makes sense why Missouri wasn’t contending for a tournament berth or a national championship this season. That would be unfair to the team. It’s not unfair to ask them to be better than what they were though. They finished 182nd in the kenpom rankings while ranking 182nd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 185th in adjusted defensive efficiency. That won’t get you very far in the SEC, and it most certainly won’t get you even close to a tournament berth.

Coach Kim Anderson will start his third year as head coach of Missouri this upcoming season. Missouri doesn’t need to win a championship. Heck, they don’t even need to make the tournament next year, but there needs to be improvement. That’s really all Missouri fans can fairly ask for at this point.

Cole Bollinger

Photo: newstribune.com

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