Last night, the Missouri basketball team returned to “The House that Norm Built” for the first exhibition game of the 2013-14 season. Legendary Missouri coach Norm Stewart spoke to the crowd, and, sadly, that was the most exciting part of the night.
The new-look Tigers, led by transfer Jordan Clarkson, freshmen Wes Clark and Jonathan Williams III, and returning starters Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross, looked like they struggled to mesh in the first half. The second half, on the other hand, Mizzou played excellent basketball, eventually winning 73-48. Jabari Brown led the Tigers in scoring with 15 points. Clarkson tallied six assists along with seven points and no turnovers, in just 21 minutes. Wes Clark added 4 assists, but committed 6 turnovers. Jonathan Williams may have been the most impressive, especially as a freshman. JW3 scored 10 points while scooping up 7 rebounds.
I really wish I could have a prediction for this season, but I really don’t. While last night was the first game, the team didn’t look like an SEC Championship team, but there is a LOT of basketball left to be played. Brown and Ross have to take smart shots this year, and make them. Clarkson has to be both an excellent scorer and distributor. Wes Clark MUST handle the ball well and make smart passes, limiting turnovers.
Truman’s Tales Game Awards-
Best Freshman- Jonathan Williams III
Best Scorer- Jabari Brown
Best Passer- Jordan Clarkson
Overall Most Impressive- Jonathan Williams III: JW3 really impressed me last night. He looked the most comfortable of the freshmen, looking more like an upperclassman. JW3 has a lot of potential to be great this year, and for years to come.