Missouri coach Frank Haith announced Thursday that forward Tony Criswell will be a gametime decision for Saturday’s road test at Ole Miss.
Criswell, a 6-foot-9 junior, has missed Missouri’s last three games because of a broken middle finger on his left (non-shooting) hand. Haith said Criswell practiced some on Thursday.
“He did some work today; we’ll see how it goes tomorrow at practice,” Haith said. “It will be a gametime decision. He did some conditioning, getting up and down the court, some stuff on the court.”
Criswell, who is averaging six points and five rebounds a game, clearly emerged as MU’s best big man off the bench before he got hurt.
“The biggest thing for him is being able to go out there with the padding (on his finger) and (showing) the ability to catch the ball and play,” Haith said.
The Tigers could certainly use Criswell against Ole Miss, which enters the 7 p.m. showdown with a 12-2 record and features one of the Southeastern Conference’s most athletic frontcourts in senior forwards Reginald Buckner (10.9 points, 7.6 rebounds per game) and Murphy Holloway (15.7 points, 11 rebounds per game).
“Their frontline is as athletic as we’ve played this year,” Haith said.
Missouri will also be without its leading scorer in senior forward Laurence Bowers, who suffered a sprained right MCL in MU’s win over Alabama on Tuesday and is expected to miss the Tigers’ next two games. Bowers, of course, missed all of last season with an injury to his left knee.
“Laurence is doing great,” Haith said. “Obviously, he’s disappointedbut he’s handled it really well. He’s been through it before and is in good spirits. He was on the court the other day at practice, cheering his teammates on.”Pressey a Cousy Award finalist
Junior point guard Phil Pressey was named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award on Thursday, which is awarded to the nation’s top point guard.
Pressey, the SEC preseason player of the year, is averaging 13.6 points, 7.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. He scored 11 points and had 13 assists in MU’s 84-68 win over Alabama.