Sean East II was playing some of his best basketball in mid-February. The senior point guard had three consecutive games in which he scored at least 14 points. But the Louisville, Ky. native’s output has fallen off a bit since then.
In his last four games, East has scored 13 points combined. His shooting numbers didn’t get any better against LSU in Wednesday night’s 81-76 road win. East went just 1-5 from the field, posting four points.
But unlike the three games that preceded Wednesday’s contest, East made up for it with sharp passing, handing out six assists with zero turnovers. It’s the highest assist-to-turnover percentage he’s had in any game this season.
Among qualified players, East has the best assist rate on Missouri’s roster, accounting for 20.4% of his team’s dimes while he’s on the floor, which ranks in the top 400 nationwide. Mizzou as a team had 13 assists and seven turnovers against LSU, meaning its assist-to-turnover ratio wouldn’t have been positive without East.
All but one of East’s dimes led to 3-pointers for the team, a result of his ability to penetrate the defense and kick the ball out to the open man. His assists were timely, too. Three of them were directed toward D’Moi Hodge, the first two tying the game up at 59-59 and the third one giving Missouri its first lead at 77-74.
MU head coach Dennis Gates said earlier this season he considers East to be the Tigers’ best risk-taker when it comes to sharing the ball. But all of East’s risks paid off on Wednesday.
“Sean East impacted the game in a great way with his six assists,” Gates said. “And obviously his pasd to D’Moi — I think that was the go-ahead or to break the tie 3-pointer. It took vision but also it took confidence and belief in his teammates.”
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