Missouri-Mississippi basketball preview
02/07/2014 1:28 PM
02/07/2014 1:28 PM
|F||3||Johnathan Williams III||6-9||Fr.||6.5|
4 p.m. Saturday at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss.
• TV/RADI O:
Fox Sports Kansas City; KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)
• ABOUT MISSOURI (16-6, 4-5 SEC) :
The Tigers played well in a home loss last Saturday against Kentucky and Tuesday at Florida. Still, Missouri was saddled with two losses and slipped back below .500 in the conference. If coach Frank Haith’s team is going to make the NCAA Tournament, it probably needs to go on a sustained win streak starting at Mississippi. Missouri is projected as the final at-large bid in the field at the moment, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, so there is no room for error. Juniors Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown have reached double figures in scoring in all 22 games this season and will be asked to carry the load again.
• ABOUT MISSISSIPPI (15-7, 6-3 SEC):
For all the attention Marshall Henderson receives, junior Jarvis Summers is the Rebels’ rock. He is the only player who has started all 22 games this season. Summers averages 17.5 points, while shooting 52.2 percent from three-point range with a team-high 3.8 assists per game. Pay too much attention to Henderson, and Summers will make opponents pay. Since Dec. 22, Mississippi is 7-5, including losses to Mercer, Dayton and Mississippi State. The Rebels lead the SEC with 174 made three-pointers, but ranked last in the conference in rebounding margin (minus-3.1).
• BOTTOM LINE: Both teams are perimeter-oriented offensively, but whichever team wins the battle in the paint very likely will prevail. Missouri’s Johnathan Williams III and Ryan Rosburg average 11.2 points and 11.8 rebounds compared to Mississippi’s young forward tandem, Sebastian Saiz and Anthony Perez, which averages 11.5 points and 9.1 rebounds. The Rebels check in 57th in ESPN’s RPI ranking, one of three games remaining for the Tigers against teams in the top 60.