University of Missouri

Missouri Tigers basketball vs. Vanderbilt: Time, TV, lineups and a prediction

Missouri’s Kevin Puryear (left) grabbed a loose ball in front of LSU’s Darius Days during Saturday’s game in Columbia.
Missouri’s Kevin Puryear (left) grabbed a loose ball in front of LSU’s Darius Days during Saturday’s game in Columbia. AP

When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena, Columbia

TV/radio: SEC Network; KMBZ (98.1 FM)

Projected lineups:

P

No.

Missouri

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

C

23

Jeremiah Tilmon

6-10

So.

10.4

F

24

Kevin Puryear

6-7

Sr.

7.8

F

4

Javon Pickett

6-4

Fr.

7.9

G

15

Jordan Geist

6-2

Sr.

13.8

G

1

Xavier Pinson

6-2

Fr.

5.8

P

No.

Vanderbilt

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

F

1

Yanni Wetzell

6-10

Jr.

5.3

F

11

Simisola Shittu

6-10

Fr.

12.5

F

24

Aaron Nesmith

6-6

Fr.

10.2

F

32

Matt Ryan

6-8

Jr.

9.3

G

0

Saban Lee

6-2

So.

13.5

About Missouri (10-9, 1-6 SEC): It’s the fourth annual Rally for Rhyan game for MU, named for former assistant coach Brad Loos’ daughter Rhyan, a survivor of pediatric cancer. After playing a strong first half against Auburn, Missouri collapsed in the second half and suffered the worst loss of the Cuonzo Martin era after Bruce Pearl’s Tigers beat them MU by 34. Jeremiah Tilmon led MU with 15 points and had managed to stay on the floor lately after a rough stretch in late December/early January where he couldn’t. Torrence Watson had 10 points in the first half while MU continued to get very little out of its power forward position. Kevin Puryear and K.J. Santos has struggled mightily during SEC play. Mark Smith did not practice on Friday and Cuonzo Martin is unsure of his status for Saturday.

About Vanderbilt (9-11, 0-7 SEC): What a tough year for Bryce Drew. Vanderbilt was expected to be a factor in the conference behind star freshman Darius Garland. Except Garland hurt his knee and has since left school to prepare for the NBA Draft. The Commodores are winless in conference play but went into overtime against No. 1 Tennessee and lost by three to South Carolina. Guard Saban Lee has been a steady presence as a scorer and freshmen Simi Shittu and Aaron Nesmith are a pair of top recruits who have contributed.

Prediction: Missouri is 3-0 in the annual Rally for Rhyan game and Vanderbilt is a beatable team at home. Kevin Puryear, a personal favorite of Rhyan Loos, breaks out of his slump with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Missouri 70, Vanderbilt 55

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.
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