Johnathan Williams III
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KMBZ (980 AM)
▪ ABOUT MISSOURI (5-4): The Tigers struggle at rebounding. Elon snagged 19 offensive boards against Missouri on Thursday, a game coach Kim Anderson’s squad led by 19 at halftime before holding on for a 78-73 win. Xavier boasts a plus-7.6 rebounding margin, so Missouri must compete better on the glass and limit turnovers to give itself a chance. The Tigers also have to handle the Musketeers’ 1-2 inside punch of senior Matt Stainbrook and freshman Trevon Bluiett, who average a combined 28.9 points and 11.8 rebounds. MU freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar is the SEC’s leading scorer among freshmen.
▪ ABOUT XAVIER (7-2): The Musketeers are playing their first true road game, though a 73-70 loss against Long Beach State on Nov. 30 in the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif., might as well have been a road game. Xavier had trounced the 49ers by 23 only two weeks earlier at home. Coach Chris Mack’s squad already has one win against an SEC foe, beating Alabama last Saturday in Cincinnati. The Musketeers are tied for eighth in the nation with a sterling 1.61 assist-to-turnover ratio and point guard Dee Davis pilots one of the nation’s most efficient offenses.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com