Missouri might open the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball season without freshman guard and second-leading scorer Montaque Gill-Caesar.
Gill-Caesar, who averages 11.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, did not practice Monday and Anderson isn’t sure if he’ll be available when the Tigers play host to LSU at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mizzou Arena.
“He had an MRI on Saturday after the game and then I believe he had a bone scan today, and I don’t know the results,” Anderson said. “The MRI was nothing serious.”
Gill-Caesar took a hard spill during Missouri’s 62-59 loss Dec. 20 in the Braggin’ Rights Game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on a flagrant foul at the rim by Illinois’ Leron Black.
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He played Dec. 30 against Oklahoma State at the Sprint Center, scoring 15 points with five rebounds in 30 minutes, but Gill-Caesar was limited to nine minutes Saturday against Lipscomb when he experienced back spasms during pregame warmups.
“He’s still hurting pretty bad, so, at this point, I would say he would be — I don’t know what the NFL term would be — doubtful, questionable,” Anderson said. “Whichever one it is, improbable.”
Bello remains suspended
Junior guard Deuce Bello will remain suspended for Thursday’s LSU game, Anderson said during a news conference Monday at Mizzou Arena.
Bello, a transfer from Baylor playing his first season with Missouri, averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes during the season’s first 11 games.
He was suspended before the Oklahoma State game last week for academic reasons and also missed Saturday’s victory against Lipscomb.
Anderson has not given a timetable for Bello’s return.
Anderson enters charity challenge
Anderson is one of 48 coaches across the country in the Coaches’ Charity Challenge.
The winner will be determined by four rounds of voting by fans in a bracket-style elimination format.
Anderson’s chosen charity, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia, would receive $100,000, which has earmarked as seed money for a capital campaign to build a new recreation center, if he receives the most votes.
“If you would, encourage as many people as possible (to vote),” Anderson said. “While it’s a great publicity opportunity for the University of Missouri, it’s an even greater opportunity for those kids that need a new gym.”