Posted On: 06/16/18 3:16 PM
In most cases, the difference in a player’s confidence from his freshman to sophomore season obvious. For Gilman’s Malik Missouri, this should once again be the case considering the spring and summer that he is putting together in both summer league with Gilman and Team Thrill on the Under Armour Circuit.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Missouri said as he reflected on his time with Team Thrill the past few months. “We’ve been playing for a long time together, so the chemistry is already there. We just focus on defense and let the scoring come to us and we’ve been winning, so I’d say we’ve been doing pretty good.”
The 6-foot-5 wing had an immediate impact for the Hounds last season in the MIAA A Conference. As any team does, they experienced some ups and downs throughout, as did Missouri, but ended the season on a high note.
“In the beginning I felt like I was a little behind everybody else physically,” he said. “But as the season progressed, I feel like I got a little bit stronger and faster, which made everything easier. This upcoming year I feel like I’m going to be more of a leader. Now that I’m not a freshman, I should be more of a leader, more comfortable, more defense and more everything.”
Missouri has an excellent shot from the mid-range area. It may be somewhat of a lost art in today’s style of play, but Missouri has hit some big shots from the short corner and high post area. Not only that, but it allows him to be a threat at all three levels considering he is an efficient catch-and-shoot option from three and does a nice job utilizing his length to score when around the rim.
As he continues to develop and focus on weaknesses this offseason, he’ll need to implement more of an off the dribble game.
“I’ve been working on playing with a downhill type of mentality,” Missouri continued, “I think having more of an aggressive mindset off the dribble will make me worth even more. In transition or on one-on-one situations in the half court, I want to be able to create not only for myself, but also for my teammates.”
Missouri, who maintained a 3.5 GPA throughout his freshman year, is looking forward to the upcoming season not only as an individual, but as a team who gained confidence from playing time last year.
“I think we’re expected to be pretty comfortable since everything isn’t new anymore,” Missouri continued, “everyone knows what their role is and I think we’ll rack up a lot more wins as a result.”
— Team Thrill (@TeamThrillUAA) February 11, 2018