WHERE: Memorial Gymnasium (Nashville, Tennessee)
TV, TIME: ESPN2, 6 PM CDT
The Missouri Tigers travel to Nashville tonight to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in their third SEC match up. Missouri (13-2, 1-1) is coming off a great bounce back win from last week when they took down the Auburn Tigers in dramatic fashion. Mizzou shot very poorly last week (32.7 percent at Auburn) but made up for that with a season-high 20 offensive rebounds and 41 free throws.
Jordan Clarkson, the SEC’s leading scorer (18.9 per game,) and guard, Jabari Brown, (18.2 per game) have both scored in double figures in all 15 games for the Tigers this season. Earnest Ross has been the other key contributor, giving Mizzou a solid trio of offense from their guards.
Senior forward, Tony Criswell, was not allowed to play last week at Auburn after violating an undisclosed team rule. Mizzou skated by with out him and head coach, Frank Haith, said he was still unsure about whether or not his senior will be playing tonight. Criswell only averages 6.1 points per game but his big frame is missed in the rebounding and defensive side for the Tigers.
Vanderbilt is really struggling to find wins at the start of conference play, and it should be expected. Their roster has been depleted to only 7 scholarship players after the dismissal of their leading scorer, Eric McClellan.
The Commodores (8-6, 0-2) have lost their first two SEC match-ups to Alabama and Kentucky.
A player to watch for tonight for Vandy is freshman center, Damian Jones, who posted his first career double-double in their loss against Kentucky. Jones had 18 points and 11 rebounds in that contest and he should be a focal point for the Tigers defense this evening. The other player who could hurt Mizzou is senior guard, Kyle Fuller, who also posted a double-double with his 17 points and 10 assists.
This is a game that the Tigers should win but, then again, so was the Georgia game. If the Missouri Tigers can continue to build off what they did last week with their 20 offensive rebounds, they should be able to out match Vandy with talent and size, giving the Tigers their 14th win of the season, and moving to 2-1 in conference play.