What will Rock M Nation's Ross Taylor be watching for when Mizzou and Iowa State meet for the second time this season?
1. Ratliffe Watch
With Mizzou, there seems to be the prevailing belief that, "If they can just come home, everything will get back on track." In hockey, there's the mentality that there's often no better medicine than playing on the road. Away from home, teams often simplify their games, commit to physicality and focus on fundamentals.
Mizzou as a team subscribes to the first philosophy, but to the naked eye, forward Ricardo Ratliffe seems built for that hockey mentality. While many of Mizzou's primary contributors at home often seem to disappear on the road, Ratliffe seems most assertive in big games and/or away from home.
But contrary to the naked eye observation, Ratliffe shoots more free throws, pulls down more rebounds and commits fewer fouls in games played at Mizzou Arena. He scores 1.7 more points per game on the road, but it's efficiency that might drive the narrative: Ratliffe's road shooting percentage is 15.7 percent higher than his percentage at home.
2. Garrett Watch
I don't imagine many athletes enter the athletic spectrum looking for sympathy. A healthy combination of respect and fear is probably a combination far more desired by most athletes.
But Iowa State guard Diante Garrett got almost nothing but sympathy during Mizzou's 87-54 thumping of the Cyclones in Columbia on Jan. 22. A talented guard on an Iowa State team searching desperately for a spark, Garrett simply couldn't get anything going at Mizzou Arena. Garrett went 3-for-16 (18.8 percent) from the field in 35 minutes as Missouri outscored Iowa State by 27 during his time on the floor. Not helping matters was Iowa State's 27.1 shooting percentage as a team for the entire evening.
Garrett probably would have preferred "OHHHH" to "Awwww," but such was the story a month ago.
3. 1,000 Watch
Kim English did everything he could to get to 1,000 career points on Tuesday against Texas Tech. English shot six free throws in the final 33 seconds of the game, but hit only 3-of-6 to leave himself at 998 points for his career. Tiger fans will be on Kimmie Watch waiting for No. 1,000 in the first half in Ames.