Alabama Basketball Opponent Preview: Missouri Tigers

Alabama v Vanderbilt
Alabama v Vanderbilt / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball vs Missouri will tip off at 6:00 CT (7:00 ET) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The game will be televised on ESPN. 

Alabama Basketball looks to remain undefeated in SEC play when it hosts the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday night. Bama is off to a 3-0 start in the league and, along with Auburn, is one of two undefeated teams left in the SEC. The Tide previously topped Vanderbilt and Mississippi State on the road, and beat South Carolina last Tuesday within the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum.

Bama will be back in front of a home crowd in this bout with Missouri, who is struggling in year two under Dennis Gates. The Tigers have posted an 8-8 overall record, made even worse by the fact they have dropped each of their first three conference games. Missouri is coming off losses to Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, and has lost six of its last seven games overall. 

Alabama Basketball: Missouri Backcourt Preview

The Tigers have solid guard play, led by four backcourt veterans. Guard Sean East leads the way, averaging over 17 points and nearly four assists per game. East is primarily a slasher from the perimeter, but is shooting over 50 percent from the three-point line on relatively low volume. 

Nick Honor adds grit and defensive tenacity to the Missouri backcourt. Honor has started over 100 career games in his time at Fordham, Clemson, and Missouri, and is very savvy on both ends of the floor. He is currently averaging over 10 points per game and shooting over 38 percent from the three-point line. 

A pair of transfers, former Indiana guard Tamar Bates and former Iowa State guard Caleb Grill, have given the Tigers some scoring punch on the wing. Bates is contributing a career-high 10.8 points per game while shooting a career-high 48.7 percent from downtown. Grill, known as a shooter, has been out for several weeks with a wrist injury. 

Missouri’s guards will have their hands full with Mark Sears, who is playing at an SEC Player of the Year level. 

Alabama Basketball: Missouri Frontcourt Preview

Missouri has opted to go small this season, and doesn’t have much to offer in terms of frontcourt scoring. 6’6” combo forward Noah Carter has been very solid, averaging nearly 13 points and grabbing a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game. 

7’3” Connor Vanover looms large as a presence off the bench, but is playing just 12 minutes per game. Bama hoops fans should remember Vanover from his time with Arkansas, where he started 37 games over two seasons from 2020 to 2022. 

Missouri has a couple of young, athletic forwards who provide frontcourt depth in 6’8” Aidan Shaw and 6’10” Trent Pierce. 

Bama’s length on the defensive end of the floor and on the glass could give the Tigers trouble. The Crimson Tide also wants to get Grant Nelson going again; the 6’11” forward is averaging just 6.0 points per game and has yet to hit double-figures in SEC play. This dropoff comes after he reached double-figures in 11 of 13 non-conference games. 

Coach Nate Oats seems to have Alabama Basketball rounding into form, and hopes to notch another league win in Coleman Coliseum.