SC State-Missouri Preview

After a nine-day layoff, Missouri expects to have an exciting
new addition when it returns to the court.

Highly touted transfer Jabari Brown will be eligible to make his
first appearance for the No. 12 Tigers on Monday night when they
host South Carolina State.

After averaging 6.0 points in 25 1/2 minutes in two games at
Oregon in 2011-12, Brown decided to transfer to Missouri following
the first semester last season.

“I’m hoping to provide a burst of energy,” Brown said. “I’m a
competitor, a guy who can knock down shots and create for my

The redshirt sophomore guard was a Jordan All-American coming
out of Oakland High School after totaling 23.8 points per game as a

“He will not start, I can tell you that,” Missouri coach Frank
Haith said. “But he’ll get some court time.”

In some ways, Brown’s much anticipated debut might feel like a
fresh start for the entire Missouri team. The Tigers (8-1) had a
week off for final exams after easing past Tennessee State 68-38 on
Dec. 8.

Missouri returns to the court seeking a fifth straight victory
since its only defeat, 84-61 to then-No. 2 Louisville on Nov.

The Tigers also have a chance to improve to 9-1 for the third
season in a row and win their 24th consecutive game in December.
They also will be after a 72nd straight home victory against
nonconference opponents, a streak that dates to the 2005-06

After finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds against Tennessee
State, senior forward Laurence Bowers has averaged 22.3 points on
61.4 percent shooting in his last three games.

Bowers, the team leader with 16.9 points per contest, has made 6
of 8 from 3-point range during that stretch.

“He’s been real consistent,” Haith said. “And he’s been our
go-to guy thus far this season. But I do think we have a number of
guys who can score.”

Haith also has players who can crash the boards. Alex Oriakhi
leads one of the nation’s top rebounding clubs at 8.3 per game.

The Tigers dominated Tennessee State 52-27 on the glass, leaving
them second nationally with 45.9 per game and fourth with a
plus-13.2 rebounding margin.

That could spell trouble for a South Carolina State team that
has a minus-7.2 rebounding margin over its last seven games.

The Bulldogs (4-6) were outrebounded for a seventh straight
contest and lost their third in a row, falling 70-61 at Albany on

Matthew Hezekiah led the way with 18 points and eight rebounds
for South Carolina State, which has three players averaging at
least 12.2 points.

Khalif Toombs (14.1 points) and Adama Adams (14.0) will try to
bounce back after combining for 13 on 6-of-18 shooting against

The Bulldogs have a 37.3 shooting percentage over their last
three games after connecting on 46.4 in their first seven.

It doesn’t figure to get any easier against the Tigers, who held
Tennessee State to 23.8 percent (15 of 63) from the floor.

Missouri ranks 17th in the nation in field goal percentage
defense (36.7) and has held eight of nine opponents below 42.0

South Carolina State is 0-18 all-time against ranked opponents,
losing by an average of 27.6 points.