Missouri vs. Oklahoma State
Johnathan Williams III
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Sprint Center
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KMBZ (980 AM)
▪ ABOUT MISSOURI (5-6): Missouri needs to solve its early-game struggles. Slow starts have buried the Tigers too often, including a five-turnover barrage to begin the Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois on Dec. 20, a heartbreaking loss on a Rayvonte Rice buzzer-beater. Look for MU to deploy its smaller lineup with some combination of Johnathan Williams III, D’Angelo Allen and Jakeenan Gant in the frontcourt more frequently. Coach Kim Anderson likes the quickness that rotation brings on defense along with better scoring punch and energy. The Tigers need freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar to bust out of a seven-for-24 shooting slump over the last three games.
▪ ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (9-2): The Cowboys will have the best player on the floor in forward Le’Bryan Nash, a rare four-year star in today’s college game. Nash leads Oklahoma State with 17.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, but he doesn’t carry the load alone. Shooting guard Phil Forte can light it up from the perimeter. He shot 44.1 percent from three-point range last season, though he’s only shooting 37.2 percent on threes this season. Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford played one season at Missouri (1989-90) before transferring to Kentucky to finish his college career.
| Tod Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org