University of Missouri

Missouri-Long Beach State basketball preview

Updated: 2014-01-03T23:54:48Z

• WHEN/WHERE: 4 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena

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

• ABOUT LONG BEACH STATE (4-9) : Don’t be fooled by the 49ers’ less-than-glossy record. Coach Dan Monson’s squad has played a tough schedule. Among those nine losses, Long Beach State got beat twice by Kansas State, lost to Michigan and VCU in Puerto Rico, fell against Arizona and Creighton and dropped a double-overtime battle at Washington. The 49ers also lost by 10 at North Carolina State, where Missouri needed a late rally for a 68-64 victory last Saturday. … Long Beach State has won three straight, including victories against USC and Nevada in overtime.

• ABOUT MISSOURI (11-1): In some ways, Missouri’s last victory, a come-from-behind win at North Carolina State, was its best of the season. It wasn’t as artful as some other wins and the Wolfpack wasn’t ranked like UCLA. Still, it was a true road game in front of a surprisingly frisky holiday crowd. The Tigers weren’t firing on all cylinders yet gutted out a win on the heels of a disappointing loss to Illinois the week before. Missouri passed the gut check and will try to build off that momentum behind its talented backcourt trio of senior Earnest Ross with juniors Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Ross, who average 51.9 points per game collectively.

• BOTTOM LINE: Missouri has won 80 consecutive home games against nonconference opponents and owns the nation’s longest home-court win streak at 25 games. … Long Beach State is 3-0 since Tyler Lamb became eligible. He is averaging 22 points per game and makes the 49ers’ backcourt much more formidable. Monson’s guard crew isn’t as talented as Missouri’s on balance, but there is a lot of scoring punch there with Mike Caffey and a motivated A.J. Spencer in the mix.

PNo.Long Beach StateHt.Yr.PPG
F11David Samuels6-7Jr.6.7
F35Dan Jennings6-9Jr.11.6
G1Tyler Lamb6-5Jr.22.0
G5Mike Caffey6-0Jr.17.5
G15A.J. Spencer6-3Jr.9.3

PNo.MissouriHt.Yr.PPG
F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.8
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.5.0
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.20.0
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.18.1
G33Earnest Ross6-5Sr.13.8

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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