Missouri at No. 24 Florida
WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Thursday at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KMBZ (98.1 FM)
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P No. Missouri Ht. Yr. PPG
F 21 Jordan Barnett 6-7 Jr. 11.5
F 24 Kevin Puryear 6-7 So. 11.6
F 25 Russell Woods 6-8 Sr. 8.2
G 11 K.J. Walton 6-3 So. 6.8
G 15 Jordan Geist 6-2 So. 7.0
P No. Florida Ht. Yr. PPG
F 1 Devin Robinson 6-8 Jr. 11.1
F 23 Justin Leon 6-8 Sr. 7.1
C 15 John Egbunu 6-11 Jr. 6.1
G 0 Kasey Hill 6-1 Sr. 8.9
G 5 KeVaughn Allen 6-2 So. 14.3
ABOUT MISSOURI (5-15, 0-8 SEC): The Tigers have lost 12 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest losing streak in program history, and 13 in row in Southeastern Conference play, which is tied for the longest conference losing streak in program history. On the road, Mizzou’s struggles are even more profound — a 30-game skid overall and 27-game slide in conference road games. The Tigers’ winless start through eight conference games is the worst since a 0-11 start to Big Eight play under Bob Vanatta during the 1965-66 season. Turning that around won’t be easy for third-year coach Kim Anderson’s team at Florida’s newly renovated O’Connell Center, where Missouri has lost its only two previous games — 83-52 in 2013 and 68-58 in 2014. The Tigers have lost 16 consecutive games against ranked teams and haven’t won a road game against a ranked team since Jan. 21, 2012, at Baylor prior to joining the SEC.
ABOUT FLORIDA (16-5, 6-2 SEC): The Gators are a top-10 team nationally, according to kenpom.com, with the seventh-best defense in adjusted defensive efficiency. Second-year coach Mike White — whose brother, Brian, is Mizzou’s executive associate athletic director for external relations — has a deep bench, including College of Charleston graduate-student transfer Canyon Barry, who averages 12.6 points. Florida comes in waves, goes hard to the offensive glass and is a pesky defensive team in the paint with great length. Pay attention when Barry, who is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, goes to the free-throw line. He uses the same underhand style his father did. “I think it’s awesome,” Anderson said of Barry’s charity tosses. “I’ve actually been practicing it. (laughs) Of course, I grew up in his dad’s era and was always a Rick Barry fan.”