The Student Voice of MU Since 1955
Friday, August 29, 2014

Maneater staff makes basketball predictions

Mark Levit, sports columnist

1) Overall and Big 12 Record: 20-12 (8-8).

2) Average attendance: 9,000.

3) Missouri will make the NCAA Tournament if: Marcus Denmon can have an immediate impact and the Tigers can win a game or two in the Big 12 Tournament.

4) The leading scorer will be: Leo Lyons.

5) What does Mike Anderson need to prove? This is his year to improve. He must prove he can get his team to be consistent.

6) What does this season mean to the program? This is Anderson's third season at the helm. He has his first full recruiting class on campus. We could look back at this year as the turning point for the basketball program.

JJ Stankevitz, sports columnist

1) Overall and Big 12 Record: 19-14 (8-8). Wins over Kansas and Illinois as the big ones of the season.

2) Average attendance: 12,000, and that is based on absolutely nothing.

3) Missouri will make the NCAA Tournament if: the Big 12 turns out to be so weak that a young Missouri team will be able to get hot and win the Big 12 Tournament.

4) The leading scorer will be: Leo Lyons, with Zaire "Toto" Taylor right behind him.

5) What does Mike Anderson need to prove? That he and his coaching staff have an eye for talent. Even if all the freshmen and Zaire Taylor don't have a major impact, they need to at least show some signs of hope for the future to prove that Anderson can recruit talent in a power conference.

6) What does this season mean to the program? Missouri basketball has been rebuilding since Quin Snyder and Co. carpet-bombed the program. This season signals a new direction of rebuilding with a hefty group of freshmen likely seeing significant playing time. If the team can finish above .500 and be competitive throughout conference play, it will at least mean there's hope for the future.

Nick Forrester, football and wrestling beat reporter

1. Overall record: 23-8 (10-6).

2. Average Attendance: 10,000, but the only sellout will be against Kansas.

3. Missouri will make the NCAA Tournament if: it can stay out of jail.

4. The leading scorer will be: the Columbia Police Department for total arrests.

5. What does Mike Anderson need to prove? That his players are not only good on the court, but off the court as well. He also needs to prove that his team can finish games.

6. What does this season mean to the program? This season means everything to the program. Anderson's players are finally all in there, and they need to prove the Quin Snyder era is over. If they are unable to do that, then Mike Anderson might be out soon. If they can bounce back after a disappointing season last year, stay out of jail and win the close games, then this season will mark the beginning of a new and exciting era in Missouri basketball.

Ross Taylor, volleyball and men's basketball beat reporter

1) Overall record: 18-12 (8-8). These numbers could jump either way depending on how the newcomers adjust to life on the road in the Big 12.

2) Average Attendance: 8,500. New faces generate student interest, resulting in the highest turnout of the Anderson era.

3) Missouri will make the NCAA Tournament if: the Tigers establish a presence in the paint to match their new talent in the backcourt.

4) The leading scorer will be: Marcus Denmon.

5) What does Mike Anderson need to prove? It's all about progress. Anderson must show this class of newcomers is a foundation Missouri basketball can build on.

6) What does this season mean to the program? Everything. This season determines what the program will be for the next few years: a rising team with lots of athleticism or a panicking program still climbing out of Quin Snyder's shadow.

Lenny Goldman, sports editor

1) Overall record: 20-12 (8-8). This team is going to shock people with some big wins.

2) Average Attendance: 8,000. Despite all the hype of the new guys, Missouri just doesn't care about basketball right now. With some success, things can change.

3) Missouri will make the NCAA Tournament if: the Tigers quickly figure out how to work together and win with their defense.

4) The leading scorer will be: Marcus Denmon.

5) What does Mike Anderson need to prove? He needs to show he can take a team to the postseason. He's won some big ones, but we're craving a dance.

6) What does this season mean to the program? A whole lot. A successful season would mean a lot of fun this year and in the years to come.

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