The Missouri Tigers will be playing the Texas A&M Aggies in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday at 1pm. In their first matchup of the season, the Tigers defeated the Aggies 57-56 after Earnest Ross hit two free throws with 7.6 seconds left in the game.
The first game was played a week ago and Missouri head coach Frank Haith says his team is prepared for the Aggies since they just played.
?You just faced a team, you kind of got a feel for how they play, the things that they do and guys will have a remembrance of that because you just prepared them,? Haith said. ?The disadvantages are obviously it was a dog fight. It was a game that went down to the wire, could?ve gone either way and I think both teams fought hard and we anticipate it being that kind of game.?
Missouri was held to 57 points in the first matchup against the Aggies, which was lower than their season average. The Tigers ranked fifth in the SEC in scoring averaging 73.1 points per game. Haith says that Texas A&M limits the possessions in a game since they try to use a lot of the shot clock.
?They grind you on the offensive end, and from a defensive standpoint it?s hard to speed them up and that?s where they get you,? Haith said.?
Texas A&M comes into the game losing three out of their last four games. The Aggies do have a stingy defense that ranks third in the SEC in scoring defense allowing 62.5 points per game. They also are third in the conference in field goal percentage defense, as opponents have shot just over 40 percent from the field. On the offensive end, A&M is 13th in the conference in scoring offense, scoring 64.6 points per game. Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy says that Missouri might have an advantage playing in a dome, because of their perimeter players.
?I would give them advantage as good a shooting team as they are, and as good as their perimeter guys are offensively,? Kennedy said. ?We?re going to have to have a really good performance to beat them defensively again, which I thought in the first half?we played really good defense against them, and in the second half we wore down.?
Kennedy also added that he expects both teams to not have a lot of preparation since they just played each other recently.?
The Florida Gators will face the winner of the game on Friday.
For audio on the coaches click below: