University of Missouri

Missouri-Kentucky men’s basketball preview

Missouri at No. 1 Kentucky

P

No.

Missouri

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

F

3

Johnathan Williams III

6-9

So.

13.7

F

23

Jakeenan Gant

6-8

Fr.

6.5

G

12

Namon Wright

6-5

Fr.

5.4

G

14

Keith Shamburger

5-11

Sr.

9.1

G

15

Wes Clark

6-0

So.

9.4

P

No.

Kentucky

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

F

12

Karl-Anthony Towns

6-11

Fr.

8.5

F

15

Willie Cauley-Stein

7-0

Jr.

9.5

F

41

Trey Lyles

6-10

Fr.

7.9

G

2

Aaron Harrison

6-6

So.

11.5

G

5

Andrew Harrison

6-6

So.

7.7

▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Tuesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.

▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN; KMBZ (980 AM)

▪ ABOUT MISSOURI (7-8, 1-1 SEC): The Tigers didn’t wilt down the stretch at Auburn, but MU’s propensity for turnovers, immaturity on offense that leads to bad shots, and lack of size in the paint conspired against coach Kim Anderson’s squad. Missouri has shown improvement in those areas during the season, but must be especially efficient on offense and opportunistic on the boards to have a chance against Kentucky. Sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III’s run of eight straight games with at least 15 points ended at Auburn. Beginning a new streak would be a good start for the Tigers.

▪ ABOUT KENTUCKY (15-0, 2-0 SEC): The Wildcats are the nation’s best defensive team based on KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 82.8 points per 100 possessions. Led by freshman Karl-Anthony Towns, who has 34 blocks, and junior Willie Cauley-Stein, an Olathe Northwest graduate who has 29 blocks, Kentucky leads the nation in swatted shots. Offensively, only two players, Aaron Harrison (11.5 points per game) and Devin Booker (10.7) average in double figures, but seven Wildcats average at least 7.7 points. Booker is the son of former Missouri great Melvin Booker.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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