Puryear’s stock rising in latest stock watch

Puryear turning in quality performances while Mizzou continues to struggle on the road.

The Missouri Tigers (8-11, 1-5 SEC) men’s basketball team is in the midst of its longest losing streak of the season, and there does not appear to be an end in sight.

On Saturday, Mizzou traveled to College Station in an attempt to upset the No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies. While the team hung around for the first half, they succumbed to lengthy runs in the second half and eventually fell 66-53.

Up next: the Tigers will travel to Rupp Arena to take on No. 23 Kentucky (15-4, 5-2 SEC) on Wednesday and then return to Columbia for a two-game home stand where they will face Mississippi State (8-10, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday and Ole Miss (12-7, 2-5 SEC) on Feb. 3.

Stock Up

Kevin Puryear: Arguably the most consistent performer for the Tigers this season, the freshman forward has done nothing but impress in his inaugural season. Puryear scored 11 points against A&M, eight of which came in the second half. He is leading the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game and has also scored in double digits in 13 of Missouri’s 19 games. Puryear also leads the team in rebounding, averaging 4.7 boards per game.

For Missouri to get back on track, Puryear will need to continue pouring in high quality performances from his post position. When Puryear scores at least 10 points, the Tigers are 7-6.

Tramaine Isabell: Despite not having started a single game this season, the sophomore guard has been one of Missouri’s most explosive players on the court. Isabell had been steadily gaining minutes throughout the season, but he did not see action against A&M. The Tigers missed his presence, especially when it came to turnovers. Missouri finished the game with a dismal 15 turnovers, 11 of which came from Mizzou’s guard play. Isabell is averaging 1.39 turnovers per game and has only given the ball away four times in Missouri’s last five games.

Expect Isabell to play a more significant role against Kentucky as Missouri will need to cut down its turnover margin to stand a chance against the 2015 SEC Champions.

Stock Down

Cullen VanLeer: All players go through cold streaks, especially those who make a living launching shots from behind the 3-point line. The freshman guard is in the midst of one such cold streak. Since entering SEC play, VanLeer is only 3-17 from beyond the arc and has seen his 3-point percentage drop to 31.7 percent.

Missouri needs VanLeer to start producing from behind the line, as without him, the Tigers have struggled to keep pace when teams start to heat up from the floor.

Road play: It has been ugly for Missouri on the road. The Tigers have not won a single game in neutral or hostile sites (0-8) and are being outscored by an average of 15 points on the road. Mizzou has not won an away or neutral game since they played Chaminade University in Maui, Hawaii, on Nov. 26, 2014. The 74-60 victory is coach Kim Anderson’s only win away from Mizzou Arena during his tenure. With half of their remaining games on the road, the Tigers need Anderson to find some inspiration on their travels.

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