#104 Missouri Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Missouri Tigers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #104
Conference Rank: #9 SEC

Missouri Team Page#104 Missouri Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Missouri Basketball Tickets

Mizzou hasn’t been the same since their loss to Norfolk State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, a year that they won their conference and only had four losses heading into the Dance as a 2-seed.  I picked the Tigers to go all the way in my bracket that year….I still haven’t forgiven them. In their first year as an SEC member in 2013, the Tigers did manage to sneak in to the tourney as a 9-seed, losing to Colorado in the Round of 64. Last season, they ended up on the wrong side of the bubble and were sent to the NIT, which everyone just loves to play in. So the question is: can new coach Kim Anderson turn his club back into contenders? That will be very hard to do this year.

2013-14 Record: 23-12, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Kim Anderson
Coach Record: 0-0 at Missouri, 0-0 overall

Who’s Out:
Mizzou is losing their top three scorers: Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson, and Earnest Ross. Brown and Clarkson declared for the NBA Draft as Ross, who was a senior, is currently filing a restraining order against former Missouri transfer, Zach Price. So yeah…the Tigers have a lot to worry about. Price sat out last season after transferring from Louisville, where he won the 2013 National Championship. Brown was the leading scorer last season as a junior, with 19.8 PPG, and went undrafted after deciding to leave Columbia a year early. Clarkson was drafted in the second round by the Lakers, after scoring 17.7 PPG in his junior campaign. Mizzou will have a lot to replace, but they will also have some good freshman coming in.

Who’s In:
Incoming freshman JaKeenan Gant has many Tiger fans excited as he was ranked 53rd overall in the 2014 class by ESPN. Gant averaged 19.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and yes, 4.1 blocks per game in his senior season at Effingham County High School. Classifying him as a ‘beast’ would be an understatement.  Three-star small forward D’Angelo Allen is also Mizzou bound after finishing his high school senior campaign with 13.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Another 3-star player, Namon Wright, will compete for the starting job at shooting guard after committing to Mizzou. Those three freshmen will really need to step it up if Mizzou wants to have a successful year.

Who to Watch:
Jonathan Williams III, also known as JW3, will be back in Columbia for his sophomore season after leading the team in rebounds last year.  He will be a key factor for Mizzou after losing three starters.  Ryan Rosburg will also be back but will have to fight for the starting job after the commitment of Jakeem Gant. I would expect JW3 to start at center and Gant at PF. They will probably use Rosburg as a key bench player down low this season. Be sure to watch Wes Clark also as he’ll most likely replace Jordan Clarkson at point.

Final Projection:
Don’t expect Mizzou to do much this season. After losing their starting PG, SG, and SF this season, the Tigers will struggle up top. But Kim Anderson is looking at the future for his team; they have three quality freshmen and some other good assets. They are a very young team, and it will be hard for Missouri to even make the NIT this season, but I believe if Jakeem Gant, D’Angelo Allen, and Namon Wright can develop, and Jonathan Williams III can continue to produce, the Tigers will be a force in a year or two. Kim Anderson is ready for this new challenge.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Wes Clark, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 points per game
Namon Wright, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
D’Angelo Allen, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
JaKeenan Gant, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Johnathan Williams III, Sophmore, Forward, 5.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.9 (107th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.7 (163, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (96, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (73, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (212, 7)
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: 34.4 (162, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.2 (34, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (32, 4)
Assists Per Game: 10.1 (322, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (208, 9)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#54 Jakeenan Gant
#95 Namon Wright


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