Shooting at classic woefully inadequate

Friday, November 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:08 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

It’s no secret that the shots have stopped falling for the Missouri basketball team.

That was painfully obvious to everyone in Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday. The Tigers lost to Houston 57-55. The question is what to do now.

Missouri shot 32.2 percent from the floor and made only two of 16 attempted 3-pointers.

“There’s no way to explain it,” junior guard Jimmy McKinney said. “Guys have been having tough nights and tough times putting the ball in the basket. There’s really nothing you can do about that. You go out there and shoot the ball and sometimes it just won’t fall. “You just got to continue to shoot the ball. Hopefully, eventually it will go in.”

What remains to be seen is how, or if, Missouri will overcome this shooting drought.

“When they won’t fall, we just have to try to get our teammates shots, rebound and defend,” sophomore guard Thomas Gardner said. “Those are the things we can control. Tonight we did that and we just came up short.”

Ultimately, coach Quin Snyder will have to find a way to pull the Tigers from their funk.

“We just have to hang in there,” Snyder said, “keep grinding and I know we’ll get better.”

“Grind” seems right for the Tigers. Missouri looked reluctant to push the ball into the low post for points under the basket in its first four games but made a concerted effort to do so against Houston.

The Tigers scored 28 points in the paint on Wednesday and used the interior game to keep it close. If the outside shooting troubles continue, the inside game will have to compensate even more.

Perhaps a change in atmosphere will lend itself to a changed team. The Tigers shot 34 percent from the floor in two games at Municipal Auditorium.

“We’re not coming back here,” senior guard Jason Conley said. “I don’t like this gym.”

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