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Missouri big man Jeremiah Tilmon out indefinitely with injury

Missouri v Temple

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 07: Jeremiah Tilmon #23 of the Missouri Tigers in action against Justyn Hamilton #21 the Temple Owls during a college basketball game at Liacouras Center on December 7, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Missouri defeated Temple 64-54. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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Missouri junior big man Jeremiah Tilmon will be out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left foot, the team announced on Monday night.

The 6-foot-10 Tilmon is a consistent presence on the interior for the Tigers the past three seasons. This season, Tilmon is putting up 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 20.9 minutes per contest. Tilmon’s offensive efficiency has seen growth in his third year with Mizzou. The junior increased his field-goal percentage to a notable 63.6 percent from his career average of around 55 percent as an underclassman.

But while Tilmon is a positive on the offensive glass and protecting the rim, he’s still having issues with fouls. Tilmon’s minutes have stayed down during his career in-part due to his inability to defend without fouling.

In Tilmon’s absence, Missouri should turn to senior big man Reed Nikko. Over the past few weeks, Nikko’s minutes have gone up to begin with. Forward Mitchell Smith could also see more time at the five if the Tigers opt to go for a faster and more athletic lineup.

At 8-5 on the season, the Tigers have been playing much recently better as they were on a recent winning streak until an SEC loss to Kentucky. The loss of Tilmon will certainly hurt Missouri’s chances in the SEC and making the NCAA tournament as he’s a vital member of their interior rotation.