University of Missouri

Missouri-Gardner-Webb basketball preview

Updated: 2013-11-22T19:06:35Z

PNo.Gardner-WebbHt.Yr.PPG
F35Jerome Hill6-5So.10.8
C54Mike Byron6-10Sr.5.0
G2Tyler Strange5-10Jr.12.0
G3Josh Castellanos6-1Sr.7.3
G11Naji Hibbert6-5Sr.13.0

PNo.MissouriHt.Yr.PPG
F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.7
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.6.0
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.19.3
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.19.7
G33Earnest Ross6-0Sr.11.7

• WHEN/WHERE: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena

• TV/RADI O: Fox Sports Midwest/KC; KMBZ (98.1 FM, 980 AM)

• ABOUT GARDNER-WEBB (2-2) : Texas A&M transfer Naji Hibbert finally found his niche. Hibbert, who spent three seasons with the Aggies, averaged 3.6 points during 93 games before opting to transfer in May 2012. Now, Hibbert averages 13.0 points a game for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. He’ll be a handful for Missouri’s perimeter defense. Gardner-Webb could get a boost if leading scorer Donta Harper, a 6-foot-7 forward who averages 15.5 points, returns from suspension. He has missed the last two games.

• ABOUT MISSOURI (3-0): Junior Jabari Brown has taken over as the Tigers’ leading scorer, but he and junior point guard Jordan Clarkson remain neck-and-neck. That will probably be the case all season. Missouri hopes the production it got from its big men against Hawaii will become the norm too. Led by senior forward Tony Criswell, who returned from a two-game suspension and scored 11 points with nine rebounds, the Tigers got 33 points and 24 rebounds from their power forward/center combination. It’s a trend Missouri wants to see more often.

• BOTTOM LINE: The Runnin’ Bulldogs lost to Xavier and Furman to open the season before rebounding with wins against Jacksonville and Allen, a NAIA Division I program from Columbia, S.C. Gardner-Webb shouldn’t pose much threat to Missouri, which handled a solid Hawaii team rather easily despite early foul trouble last Saturday. Expect a lopsided result.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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