Missouri-Mississippi State basketball preview

02/28/2014 1:56 PM

02/28/2014 6:13 PM


12:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia


KSMO (Ch. 62); KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)


The Bulldogs have lost 10 straight games and are 0-7 in SEC road games. In fact, Mississippi State has only lost by fewer than 10 points in one of those conference road games and is tied for last place at 3-12 with South Carolina. The Bulldogs are 0-2 in Columbia. Sophomore Craig Sword can be an explosive scorer. He erupted for 33 two weeks ago against LSU. Mississippi State isn’t a very good three-point shooting team at 30.4 percent for the season and making only 4.6 threes per game.

• ABOUT MISSOURI (19-9, 7-8 SEC):

The Tigers seemed to turn a corner with a three-game home win streak against Arkansas, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Of course, back-to-back road losses at Alabama and Georgia have left Missouri back on the bubble for a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers’ RPI will take a hit against Mississippi State, because it will hurt Missouri’s strength of schedule. The Tigers will take a third crack at reaching 20 wins for the sixth straight season behind juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, who are the nation’s third-highest scoring pair at 38.6 points per game.


A loss to Mississippi State would effectively cripple any NCAA Tournament hopes, barring a championship run in the SEC Tournament. Not that Tigers fans should worry too much against a Bulldogs team ranked No. 223 in the NCAA’s RPI. Missouri is 13-2 at home and believes that Mizzou Arena is the perfect prescription for ending the recent slide.

P No. Mississippi State Ht. Yr. PPG
F 20 Gavin Ware 6-9 So. 10.3
F 25 Roquez Johnson 6-7 Jr. 9.7
G 4 Trivante Bloodman 6-0 Jr. 6.7
G 15 I.J. Ready 5-11 Fr. 6.3
G 32 Craig Sword 6-3 So. 13.3
P No. Missouri Ht. Yr. PPG
F 3 Johnathan Williams III 6-9 Fr. 6.1
F 44 Ryan Rosburg 6-10 So. 4.8
G 5 Jordan Clarkson 6-5 Jr. 18.6
G 32 Jabari Brown 6-5 Jr. 20.1
G 33 Earnest Ross 6-5 Sr. 14.3

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