NEW ORLEANS — Missouri’s focus isn’t on the SEC right now.
Nor should it be, not with the possibility of winning the Big 12 tournament and greater glory within grasp right now.
But if it was keeping its eye on Thursday’s SEC tournament first round, the Tigers were likely smiling.
Of the eight teams that plied their trade on the opening day, Missouri would defeat each one of them. And they’d likely do it without dropping a game.
Please. Between poor shooting and a lack of inside defense, they’d barely keep up with the Tigers of a different stripe.
Come on. Between hitting photographers with errant passes and running up and down the floor like a dog chasing a ball, there was nothing Georgia showed that would lead one to believe it would have a chance against Missouri on a regular basis.
Ditto for Ole Miss and South Carolina.
Trent Johnson’s team might be somewhat scrappy, but they don’t have the depth and athleticism to keep up with Missouri nightly.
Alabama and Mississippi State certainly didn’t look like they could keep up for more than a half, either.
The Crimson Tide, as of now, can’t shoot from outside of five feet and Mississippi State doesn’t have the discipline to stay patient against far inferior teams let alone superior opponents.
Missouri will be a good addition to the SEC for basketball depth.
It’ll give the league two legitimate teams, including Kentucky, and two nearly legitimate ones in Vanderbilt and Florida.
But more than anything, Thursday showed just how far past the glory days of SEC basketball we are.
There was a time where you could bank on more than three teams making into the NCAA tournament and you could certainly expect at least three to make it into the Sweet 16.
You can’t count on that anymore and definitely not this year.
The SEC is a football conference. That we all know.
But basketball also used to be good.
Hopefully Missouri can bring that back.
If not, what we all witnessed Thursday will only get worse and that’s something nobody wants.