Missouri-Gardner-Webb basketball preview

11/22/2013 1:05 PM

11/22/2013 1:06 PM

P No. Gardner-Webb Ht. Yr. PPG
F 35 Jerome Hill 6-5 So. 10.8
C 54 Mike Byron 6-10 Sr. 5.0
G 2 Tyler Strange 5-10 Jr. 12.0
G 3 Josh Castellanos 6-1 Sr. 7.3
G 11 Naji Hibbert 6-5 Sr. 13.0
P No. Missouri Ht. Yr. PPG
F 3 Johnathan Williams III 6-9 Fr. 6.7
F 44 Ryan Rosburg 6-10 So. 6.0
G 5 Jordan Clarkson 6-5 Jr. 19.3
G 32 Jabari Brown 6-5 Jr. 19.7
G 33 Earnest Ross 6-0 Sr. 11.7


2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena


Fox Sports Midwest/KC; KMBZ (98.1 FM, 980 AM)


Texas A 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.


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.

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