Mizzou Basketball Player Preview: Matt Pressey

Mizzou basketball season unofficially tips off Friday night when the Tigers host Harris-Stowe in an exhibition game at Mizzou Arena. Leading up to tip off, KBIA Sports Extra reporters Ross Taylor and JJ Stankevitz will be discussing what they expect from each of the members on Missouri’s roster this season.

Ross: Well, he doesn’t quite have the recognition or the expectations of his younger brother Phil, but could newcomer Matt Pressey find himself playing a more important role for Mizzou than most people realize?

JJ: The role I can see Matt playing is one Miguel Paul vacated when he transferred to East Carolina following the 2009-2010 season. At his best, Paul contributed fresh legs to run opposing teams into the ground in the last 5-10 minutes of a half, maybe contributing points and assists, maybe not. We saw glimpses of Pressey’s scoring ability in the first half of the Black & Gold game, but he tailed off in the second half—which Mike Anderson guessed was due to fatigue. But, when Pressey isn’t tired, he’s a quick, fast guard who could be good for a few points a game. Does that sound right?

Ross: The beauty of Matt Pressey is his lack of burdening from expectations. If he lives up to the standard you just described, that’s great. If he falls below that standard, it’s nowhere near devestating. And if he somehow exceeds those expectations, it’s just yet another luxury for Anderson. Personally, I’m curious to see his defensive abilities. Missouri doesn’t really go deep into the bench late in the first half because it’s looking for points; the Tigers reach into the depth chart because that extra step is a huge advantage in Missouri’s full-court pressure system. Don’t you think Pressey can average less than two points per appearance this season and still be deemed a success if he contributes in some small way to the controlled chaos Anderson wants to create?

JJ: Absolutely. The role we both described involves Pressey creating havoc, mainly on the defensive end. If he scores, he scores. But as long as he forces turnovers while not turning the ball over himself, he’ll be a very solid asset to this team, even if it’s in a limited role.

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