#54 Missouri Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With four of their top five scorers gone from a year ago, the Missouri Tigers enter a bit of a transition season. They do add some quality talent including Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson but will it be enough to get Mizzou back to the Big Dance?

MISSOURI TIGERS
Last Season: T-5th, 11-7 in SEC, 23-11 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Keanau Post (Jr)/Ryan Rosburg (So)
PF: Tony Criswell (Sr)/Stefan Jankovic (So)/Torren Jones (Fr)
SF: Earnest Ross (Sr)/Jonathan Williams (Fr)
SG: Jabari Brown (Jr)
PG: Jordan Clarkson (Jr)/Wes Clark (Fr)/Shane Rector (Fr)

Gone: PG-Phil Pressey, F-Laurence Bowers, C-Alex Oriakhi, SG-Keion Bell, G/F-Negus Webster-Chan (transfer-Hawaii), G/F-Dominique Bull (transfer-George Washington)

2013-2014 Outlook:
With Phil Pressey leaving early for the NBA, Clarkson should emerge as Mizzou’s point guard. He is more of a combo guard than a true point but started 40 games at Tulsa, averaging 14.2 points during his time there. A pair of freshmen, Wes Clark and Shane Rector will compete for minutes at the one as well and if they can acclimate themselves to the college game, will allow Clarkson to spend more time playing off the ball.

A pair of former transfers will flank Clarkson on the wing. Jabari Brown became eligible after the first semester and finished second on the team in scoring. He relies heavily on his outside shooting and if he can become a more well-rounded offensive threat, should be the Tigers’ go-to scorer. Earnest Ross split time as a starter and a sixth man in his first year at Missouri and averaged double figures. He is built like a tank but is also a very efficient outside shooting.

Inside, Frank Haith must replace the experienced duo of Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers. Tony Criswell will step into the starting line-up at power forward and likely be joined by JUCO transfer Keanau Post. That duo will bring plenty of size, strength, and toughness to the interior but will they be able to provide low post scoring to open space on the perimeter for the shooters?

Sophomores Ryan Rosburg and Stefan Jankovic were seldom used during their freshmen campaigns. Rosburg brings more size to the paint while Jankovic can stretch defenses with his perimeter shooting. Due to his versatility, Jonathan Williams should see immediate minutes at either forward position while Torren Jones brings some athleticism to the frontcourt.

As usual, Heath picked up a pair of transfers in Louisville big man Zach Price and crazy athletic wing Deuce Bello of Baylor. Neither guy played a major role at their respective universities and will sit out this season. Both Price and Bello will have two years of eligibility remaining once they are allowed to suit up for Mizzou in the 2014-15 season.

It looks like the SEC should get four or five teams into the NCAA Tournament this year. The Missouri Tigers underachieved figure to be in the conversation as the fourth or fifth team but must have some new faces step into big roles in order to bounce back from last year’s underachieving performance.

Player to Watch: Keanau Post
The 6-11 big man was considered one of the top junior college players in the country last year and has the potential to be one of the better rim protectors in the SEC. His offensive repertoire has developed nicely the past couple of years and if he can average double figures, Post could be the x-factor Mizzou needs to get back to the dance.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/28 vs. Northwestern (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/29 vs. Nevada (Las Vegas Invitational)
12/5 vs. West Virginia (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
12/7 vs. UCLA
12/21 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis)
12/28 at N.C. State
1-4 vs. Long Beach State

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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Comments

  1. Stan Heath? big 12 last year? Good quality stuff here. Really make you respect these rankings.

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