SEC Tournament preview: Missouri (8) vs. Texas A&M (9)

03/12/2014 4:16 PM

03/12/2014 4:16 PM

P No. Missouri Ht. Yr. PPG
F 3 Johnathan Williams III 6-9 Fr. 5.8
F 44 Ryan Rosburg 6-10 So. 4.7
G 5 Jordan Clarkson 6-5 Jr. 18.1
G 32 Jabari Brown 6-5 Jr. 19.7
G 33 Earnest Ross 6-5 Sr. 13.5
P No. Texas A Ht. Yr. PPG
F 14 Kourtney Roberson 6-9 Jr. 9.7
F 24 Antwan Space 6-8 So. 5.7
G 5 Jordan Green 6-5 Jr. 7.2
G 21 Alex Caruso 6-5 So. 8.6
G 23 Jamal Jones 6-8 Jr. 13.4

• WHEN/WHERE:

Noon Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta

• TV/RADI O:

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

• ABOUT MISSOURI (21-10):

Juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson combined for 34 points on 10 of 25 shooting in the Tigers’ first meeting against the Aggies, but the rest of the team was only six of 22 from the field. That has to change, and senior Earnest Ross, who was scoreless until the final 1:06, must be more productive. The good news is that thanks to A’s deliberate style, foul trouble wasn’t an issue for Missouri’s interior players. That’s important with senior forward Tony Criswell’s absence. The Tigers must cut down on the 17 turnovers to avoid being one-and-done in Atlanta.

• ABOUT TEXAS A (17-14) :

The Aggies only have one player with a double-figure scoring average, but three players finished with at least 10 points in last week’s 57-56 loss at Mizzou Arena. Junior Jamal Jones led the way with 16 points, but sophomore Alex Caruso was a one-man wrecking crew with 13 points, five steals and four assists. Junior Kourtney Roberson barely missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. A youthful Texas A squad will know that it blew a chance to beat Missouri and should play with confidence in the rematch with even more at stake.

• BOTTOM LINE: Missouri destroyed Texas A on the glass, winning the rebounding 39-24. Undoubtedly, that will be a point a emphasis for the Aggies when the teams meet for the second time in eight days. Every Tiger that played had at least two rebounds in that meeting, a repeat performance with the entire roster committed to crashing the boards would go a long way toward ensuring a quarterfinals berth. Missouri freshman Johnathan Williams III was particularly active with seven points, eight rebounds and a career-high five blocks. The Tigers would be wise to get him involved early and get his confidence flowing.

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