January 30, 2007

Behind enemy lines: Missouri Tigers

Missouri will be looking to avenge an earlier 85-81 loss to Kansas State when it visits Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday. To get a closer look at the Tigers we turned toPowerMizzou.com Editor Gabe DeArmond. DeArmond answered five questions, including one about the reception MU point guard Stefhon Hannah expects to receive in Manhattan.

What's different about Missouri now than the team K-State played a couple weeks ago?

The Tigers have gotten their confidence back. The first time around, Mizzou was coming off of blowing a 16 point lead against Iowa State and facing Kevin Durant and Texas on the road (that didn't go well, by the way). The Tigers were facing the first real adversity of the season and they didn't really know how to respond. Plus, Missouri has decided to rebound the basketball every few possessions. They aren't going to lead the league in that stat, but they probably won't get beat 41-17 either. They've actually outrebounded all three opponents (including KU) since facing Kansas State.

Stefhon Hannah is expected to get pretty rough treatment from the crowd in Manhattan; how would you expect him to respond to that type of environment?

Hannah actually told another reporter on Monday that he welcomes it. He said everyone else has been getting razzed on the road, it's about time he got his turn. Now, whether he says it and whether he believes it are two separate things, but I think he does. This is one tough kid. He has to be to play well in the Big 12 at his size. Hannah averaged 15 and 5 assists last week and Mike Anderson said he has been playing much better defense of late. I think the biggest thing is he finally trusts his teammates to help him out a little bit. Make no mistake, Hannah is the leader on this team, but there are some other guys that have started to make some plays.

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