Missouri Basketball Faces Missouri Southern Sunday in Exhibition
COLUMBIA -- A 2 p.m. Sunday exhibition game against Missouri Southern State University will allow the new talent of the Missouri men's basketball team to keep getting comfortable in coach Frank Haith's system.
The Tigers, ranked 15th in the Associated Press preseason poll, are coming off a blowout exhibition victory Monday against Northwestern Missouri State. In that game, Auburn transfer and redshirt junior guard Earnest Ross scored 22 points while Keion Bell, a guard transfer from Pepperdine, chipped in 20. Alex Oriakhi, a 6-foot-9-inch transfer forward from Connecticut, scored 8.
There were also familiar faces on the floor. Laurence Bowers, a redshirt senior forward who missed last season because of a knee injury, chipped in 21. Phil Pressey, the junior point guard voted Southeastern Conference preseason player of the year, handed out 11 assists in 15 minutes.
The last time Missouri and MSSU met was last season for the One State, One Spirit Classic, an event held to raise money for Joplin after a tornado ripped through it in May 2011. The Tigers won 114-68, marking the beginning of Missouri's 30-5 season that ended with a first-round NCAA-tournament loss to Norfolk State.
Sunday's game is Missouri's last exhibition contest. Nov. 10, the team opens its regular season against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and nearly two months later, the Tigers will play their first-ever SEC game against Alabama. Journalists in a preseason poll chose Missouri to finish third in the conference.
Haith announced Thursday that senior guard Michael Dixon will sit out for his second-straight game because of a violation of team rules. Freshman Dominique Bull also sat out against Northwest Missouri State, but Haith said he'll be available Sunday.