When: February 28th, 8:00pm CT
Location: Columbia, SC
TV: SEC Network
Line: Missouri -9.5
On Thursday, the Missouri Tigers will travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks. Earlier this season, Mizzou beat South Carolina 71-65 in Mizzou Arena. The Tigers trailed for most of the game and had to rally from a 13 point deficit in the 2nd half.
Keion Bell and Laurence Bowers missed the first game against South Carolina due to injuries. Since returning from the injury, Bell has been on fire in the month of February. Bell has averaged 17.5 points and has shot 58.4% from the field this month. Bowers has struggled since returning from his injury, but it seems like he’s starting to find his game again. In the last two games against Florida and Kentucky, Bowers averaged 15 points and 7.5 rebounds.
The Tigers hope their road woes will end this week. Mizzou is 1-7 this season in true road games, and five of those losses are by single digits. Missouri has had several chances down the stretch in road games, they just haven’t had the ability to close out games. Mizzou has held a lead in the final minute of the game in four of their road losses.
South Carolina has struggled in SEC play, but they have been more competitive as of late. The Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss a week ago and took Georgia to overtime in a road game on Saturday. Frank Martin’s first season in Columbia has been a struggle. The Gamecocks are only 3-11 in SEC play, but in an interview on Wednesday with 810 WHB in Kansas City, Martin said he was happy with his team and how hard they are working over the last couple weeks.
The Gamecocks are led by Michael Carrera. Carrera leads the team with 10.2 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game. Brenton Williams is the only other Gamecock that averages over 10 points per game. Compare that to Missouri, who has six players averaging double digits in points.
Missouri Tigers Suffer Another Devastating Road Loss
The Tigers drop to 4-7 away from Columbia, and 1-6 in true road games. Mizzou blew a final minute lead in three of those games.
Keion Bell continues to be a bright spot for Mizzou. Bell scored a season high 25 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in the loss. Unfortunately, Bell fouled out with 19 seconds left and was unavailable on Missouri’s final two possessions.
Bell has been very aggressive on both ends of the court over the last five games. He has averaged 21.2 points and 5 rebounds over that time period. His success mixed with Pressey’s struggles has many fans begging for Bell to take over at the point guard position.
Pressey and Laurence Bowers were the two players on the Tiger’s roster that played under Mike Anderson while he was at Missouri. Both Pressey and Bowers struggled on Saturday combining to shoot 3-19 with only 11 points.
Things do not get easier for Missouri this week. On Tuesday, the Tigers will host No. 7 Florida and on Saturday, they travel to Kentucky.
2014 Basketball Recruit Decommits From Missouri
Point Guard, Anton Beard, from Little Rock, AR committed to Missouri in June, but announced on Twitter last night that he has decided to open up his recruitment.
Beard is currently ranked as the No. 78 player in the 2014 class according to 247sports Composite Rankings. Beard has offers from several SEC schools includding Arkansas, LSU, and Tennessee. He also has an offer from Florida State and Georgetown.
According to Scout.com, Beard is a quick guard that will fit best in a up-tempo system. He’s a player that can really score and handle the ball. Frank Haith would love to have Beard in a Tiger uniform to help replace Phil Pressey.
Me and my family have decided to reopen my recruitment and uncommitted from the Missouri university
— Anton Beard (@yolo_Ton33) February 13, 2013