January 21, 2010

Tigers need turnover turnaround

During his team's week off, there was little doubt in Mike Anderson's mind which area of the game would draw his focus in practice.

"Hopefully get a little bit more efficient," Anderson said. "Especially offensively."

Missouri's game plan is based heavily on getting turnovers. But through three league games, the Tigers have turned it over themselves nearly as often as they've taken it away.

"These last three games have been very uncharacteristic, I think we're averaging 16 turnovers a game in conference play," Kim English said. "That's definitely gonna drop drastically."

Mizzou is giving the ball up 16.3 times a game in conference play. They have forced 18.3 turnovers by their opponents, but that margin of plus-2 is less than a third of the Tigers' season average. On the year, Mizzou leads the Big 12 by forcing 7.28 more turnovers per game than they commit. According to the coach, it's an easy fix.

"A lot of it happens in the half court and so we've got to get more back to the up tempo," Anderson said. "I think when we play faster, up tempo, it gives you less time to think about what's taking place and I think you play instinctively. That's what I want to see."

The numbers back Anderson up. During Mizzou's nine-game winning streak, the Tigers scored fewer than 81 points just once. This season, Missouri is 1-and-3 when scoring fewer than 74 points. The Tigers are 13-and-1 when they score 74 or more.

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