University of Missouri

Missouri-North Carolina State basketball preview

Updated: 2013-12-28T22:31:58Z

• WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Saturday at PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.

• TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)

• ABOUT MISSOURI (10-1) : Missouri has played four neutral-site games, but Saturday represents the first true road game of the season for the Tigers. It’s also a return to coach Frank Haith’s roots. He was born in Burlington, N.C., which is less than 60 miles from Raleigh, and played basketball at nearby Elon University. Haith also spent time on the coaching staffs at Wake Forest and UNC-Wilmington. In fact, Haith’s entire staff — associate head coach Tim Fuller (N.C. A&T, Elon, Wake Forest), Dave Leitao (Virginia) and Mark Phelps (N.C. State) — has ties to the ACC. … Junior Jordan Clarkson is coming off a 25-point, eight-assist, six-rebound performance in Missouri’s first loss, a 65-64 nail biter against Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights game.

• ABOUT N.C. STATE (9-2): The Wolfpack has won seven consecutive games since a stunning loss Nov. 20 to North Carolina Central. That streak includes a 65-58 win Dec. 18 at Tennessee and a 69-48 victory against Northwestern, a team Missouri beat 78-67 in Las Vegas. … N.C. State boasts the ACC’s leading scorer in 6-foot-8 sophomore forward T.J. Warren, who is coming off a career-high 32 points in a win against East Carolina. He also scored 30 points against Florida Gulf Coast and Eastern Kentucky. He’ll be a tough matchup inside for the Tigers, who are more perimeter-oriented. … The Wolfpack is 8-1 at home.

• BOTTOM LINE: Missouri will have a tough time matching up with Warren and company inside, especially now that 7-foot-1 center Jordan Vandenberg is entrenched in the paint. North Carolina State hasn’t lost since he returned from an ankle injury. … With the Tigers’ trio of outstanding starting guards, the Wolfpack will have a tough time matching up, too. Clarkson leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 19.9 points per game and junior sharpshooter Jabari Brown ranks seventh (18.2). Senior Earnest Ross checks in tied for 15th in the SEC at 14.1 points per game.

PNo.MissouriHt.Yr.PPG
F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.5
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.5.3
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.19.9
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.18.2
G33Earnest Ross6-5Sr.14.1

PNo.North Carolina StateHt.Yr.PPG
F10Lennard Freeman6-8Fr.4.5
F24T.J. Warren6-8So.23.9
C14Jordan Vandenberg7-1Sr.8.6
G2Anthony Barber6-2Fr.12.4
G5Desmond Lee6-4Jr.10.3

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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