Mizzou at Utah
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City
TV: Pac-12 Networks
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Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
About Missouri (2-0): The Tigers have won their first two games by 15 points or more despite the absence of top freshman Michael Porter Jr., who spent Monday’s game against Wagner in the locker room while he nursed a left leg injury. Porter Jr.’s status remains unclear for Thursday’s game in Utah and coach Cuonzo Martin said Monday that he wasn’t sure if Porter Jr. would travel with the team. In the meantime, the Tigers have been led by Jordan Barnett and Kevin Puryear. Graduate transfer Kassius Robertson had a strong game against Wagner, scoring a team-high 23 points, which included five threes and a 70 percent shooting performance. Missouri’s bigs also had a good showing despite foul trouble from freshman Jeremiah Tilmon. Sophomore Reed Nikko had eight points and eight rebounds off the bench and freshman Jontay Porter stuffed the box score with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Freshman point guard Blake Harris, who left Monday’s game with a leg injury, is “probable” for Thursday’s game.
About Utah (2-0): The Utes have a very veteran team, with four seniors in the starting lineup. Since being hired from the New Jersey Nets shortly before the team moved to Brooklyn, Larry Krystkowiak has taken the program to NCAA Tournaments and has already had a pair of first-round NBA picks in Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma. But this year’s Utes team doesn’t have the NBA-level talent like in years past. Forwards David Collette and Kyle Lawson are a force inside the paint and always a threat to go for a double-double. Sedrick Barefield, a SMU transfer, scored 22 points is his team debut but missed the Utes’ most recent game because of illness. His status also remains unclear for Thursday. Guard Gabe Bealer is a seasoned veteran and a constant scoring threat.