#91 Missouri State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Missouri State Bears

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #91
Conference Rank: #5 Missouri Valley

Missouri State Team Page#91 Missouri State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Missouri State Basketball Tickets

Missouri State went to the CIT last year and should be able to build off of that success. Coach Paul Lusk is growing talent in the program. There are some losses from a team that won 20 games and reached the CIT, but this team should be better than they were last year. Marcus Marshall should be the team’s top scorer if he can get over the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. In a dozen games as a sophomore, Marshall averaged 14.3 points per game and knocked down nearly 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.   

2013-14 Record: 20-13, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Paul Lusk
Coach Record: 47-51 at Missouri State, 47-51 overall

Who’s Out:
Marshall will replace Jarmar Gulley as the team’s top scorer. Gulley slashed his way to 14.4 points per game and a team high 6.4 rebounds. The 6-5 forward was asked to do a lot for the Bears and he was usually up for the challenge. Keith Pickens was not around for much of the year, but he was a good rebounder off of the bench. Emmanuel Addo, Nathan Scheer and Devon Thomas all earned some starts in 2013-2014, but averaged just about 14 minutes per game. Gulley is not going to be easy to replace, but Coach Lusk has players who can step into bigger roles and likely outperform the departures.

Who’s In:
Junior college transfers Camyn Boone and Loomis Gerring will add some more experience to the squad. Boone had a superb sophomore season at Mesa Community College in Arizona. He averaged 16.5 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading his team to the NJCAA Region I title game. Gerring is a little more versatile and can knock down a few three-pointers. The 6-5 forward spent last season at Vincennes University and averaged 13.7 points and 8.8 boards on one of the best juco programs in the country. The four freshmen are led by shooting guard Chris Kendrix. He is a big time scorer and should at least be able to provide an offensive spark off of the bench. Shawn Roundtree and Cameron Maes can both handle the ball and will battle for minutes. Forward Robin Thompson is a tough enough rebounder to spend time at the power forward spot. He is a bit undersized at 6-6, but Thompson makes up for it with his athleticism.

Who to Watch:
What the Bears need is more scorers. After Gulley and Marshall, the top scorer for Missouri State last season was Austin Ruder with 8.6 per game. The 6-3 sophomore did most of that damage from beyond the arc and he could dramatically improve that number if he can become a threat to attack the basket. Dorrian Williams will not be asked to score too much since the junior will be busy running the point, but it would certainly be helpful if he could average more than 5.6 points per game. Wing Ron Mvouika has the potential to be a dynamic scoring threat. He can shoot and use his 6-6 frame to attack the basket. However, consistency will be key for Mvouika. He can go nuts and drop 28 points one game and basically disappear the next.

Final Projection:
It would be much easier for Missouri State to find a scorer on the perimeter if there was a threat to score in the paint. Christian Kirk was the best interior scorer a year ago, yet averaged 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Back in 2012-2013, Kirk was a starter who put up much better numbers. Tyler McCullough started 20 contests and is a decent shot blocker, but the 6-11 sophomore was not a threat to score as a freshman. Gavin Thurman can score from the outside and will stretch out the defense at least. The options are here for an improved offense, especially if Marshall can stay healthy. However, this team is probably a year away from seriously competing in the MVC.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Dorrian Williams, Junior, Guard, 5.6 points per game
Austin Ruder, Sophomore, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Marcus Marshall, Junior, Guard, 14.3 points per game
Camyn Boone, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Tyler McCullough, Sophomore, Center, 3.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.5 (238th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.2 (120, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (229, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.4 (212, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (103, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (112, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (143, 6)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (233, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (213, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (54, 3)


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