Well, it's still early in the Missouri men's basketball season, but the internet is already filled with opinions on the team and what lies ahead for the season. The Tigers are off to a 3-2 start with two ugly losses under their belt, now is as good a time as ever to take questions from readers about this team and the season that lies ahead.

The Missourian asked readers to submit their questions, and here are some of those.

Some questions have been modified for clarity purposes.

Is Missouri headed for another single-digit winning season?

Asked by @colin_harrison on Twitter.

Missouri has struggled against supposedly lesser teams, and it doesn't take a career analyst to see that. Just look at the loss to Kansas City and the sleep-inducing performance against Northern Illinois.

However, the Tigers have shown flashes of being a solid team. Take the comeback win against Southern Methodist and parts of the game against Central Michigan as examples of that.

But when looking at the remaining schedule to see if there are seven more winnable games, the team's performances make that more difficult to answer.

Missouri is entering into the more difficult part of its nonconference schedule, which coach Cuonzo Martin said he thought was among the more challenging ones in the country. However, even then, the Tigers should get at least 10 wins this season.

The game against NAIA outfit Paul Quinn College should be a tap-in, as should the game against Eastern Illinois. Liberty isn't as good as it was last year, so that should be a winnable game. Wichita State is good, but is also beatable. Utah and Iowa State are both very beatable as well. Illinois in the Braggin' Rights Game is always winnable for the rivalry alone, though Kansas shouldn't be viewed in the same light. So there are six games that should be wins and one other winnable one, and that's before the SEC schedule.

Missouri should beat Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Georgia at the very least in conference play and oftentimes, there are surprises in the SEC.

In short, I would be very surprised if the Tigers finished with fewer than 10 wins.

What is the most important nonconference game outside Kansas and Illinois?

Asked by @zfish04 on Twitter.

I think it comes down to two games — Wichita State and Liberty, both of which were NCAA Tournament teams last season.

Overall, it has to be Wichita State. The Shockers come into Friday at 4-1 and have played well over the course of the season. They also boast NBA talent in Tyson Etienne, who is likely the best player fans will see at Mizzou Arena until SEC play begins.

Liberty, as previously mentioned, aren't as good as last season. The Flames are 1-3, with losses to Iona and Manhattan. That, paired with Wichita State's talent, makes Friday's game against the Shockers the more important of the two.

Who is Missouri's biggest SEC basketball rival?

Asked by @zfish04 on Twitter.

There are a few options here.

First, you have the definitely real, definitely not manufactured rivalries with Arkansas and South Carolina. Sure, an argument could be made for the Razorbacks, but I don't think that's the biggest SEC rivalry Missouri has on the basketball side.

My answer is probably Tennessee. The games are typically good ones, there seems to be a bit of bad blood between fan bases and there's the added element of Martin having coached the Volunteers in the past.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's nowhere near the level of Kansas or Illinois, but the rivalries haven't exploded onto the forefront since Missouri joined the SEC. Those aren't things that can be forced, they come with time and a continuous brewing of the rivalry.

What's your take on the comparisons between Cuonzo Martin and Kim Anderson?

Asked by Christian Voskuil on GroupMe.

Martin is a much better coach than Kim Anderson.

Anderson is a great Division II coach and was a good assistant at Missouri, but that doesn't translate to success in the SEC, as shown by the Tigers never winning more than three conference games in his tenure. The recruiting violations under Frank Haith and subsequent punishments didn't help Anderson's cause, but the simple answer is that he just wasn't a good coach for a team like Missouri.

While some may say Martin hasn't lived up to the expectations, I think making the tournament twice while picking up the pieces Anderson left behind isn't a terrible track record, especially given Missouri was the consensus worst Power Five team in the country when he came in. But fans clearly want more success.

At this point though, the question has to be asked as to whether this team, in his fifth season at the helm, is where it should be. The answer looks to be an unequivocal 'no.' However, there have been flashes of good basketball, so I wouldn't write this season off just yet.

What's going on with student attendance?

Asked by @zfish04 on Twitter.

From my vantage point, which my not be the best given where my assigned seat is for the games, student attendance is up from previous seasons. The student section seemed like it was pretty full at the most recent home games, which is better than previous seasons.

The main attendance concern seems to be in the general public seats, which haven't exactly been sold out this season. But when looking at the product on the court so far, it's not exactly a surprise to see it that way.

But from a student attendance perspective, so far at least, it's actually been pretty good. 

To have your questions answered in the next mailbag, send them to @AMFKristensen on Twitter or anthony.kristensen17@gmail.com.

  • Missouri soccer and men's basketball beat writer, Fall 2021. Reach me at anthony.kristensen17@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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