The Missouri Tigers, the No. 2 seed of the Minnesota regional will host No. 7 seed Davidson, the regular-season champions of the Southern Conference, in the opening round of the 2014 Postseason NIT. Winners of 13 out of their last 14, the Wildcats enter their sixth NIT and 19th postseason appearance 20-12 overall. Missouri has a 22-11 overall record. The Tigers posted a 9-9 record in conference play before falling to No. 1 Florida in quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers and Davidson will meet for the fourth time in series history. The Wildcats are 2-1 all-time vs. Mizzou, including an 84-81 win at Mizzou Arena on Nov. 19, 2004.
The Wildcats can shoot the basketball from the outside and that could cause problems for Missouri. They are 29th in the nation in points per game and 22nd in field goal percentage. The one area that Missouri can exploit them is on the glass. The Tigers will be a much better rebounding team, but they will be short handed.
6’7 senior De’Mon Brooks leads the Wildcats with 18.7 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Davidson’s other top scorer is 5’11 sophomore Brian Sullivan, averaging 12.2 ppg.
Seldom used Tony Criswell will not play in the NIT after not making the trip to Atlanta. Plus the Tigers will be without guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector who were suspended on Monday by Frank Haith, after a pot bust during a traffic stop in Columbia.
With seven scholarship players on the Mizzou roster, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson will be expected to shoulder the load tonight. Brown (19.8 ppg) and Jordan Clarkson (17.7) are the No. 5 scoring tandem in college basketball this season, combining for 37.5 points per outing. Brown and Clarkson trail Delaware’s Devon Saddler (19.7) and Davon Usher (19.4), VMI’s QJ Peterson (19.4) and D.J. Covington (18.7), SEMO’s Tyler Stone (19.3) and Jarekious Bradley (19.0) and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton (19.1) and Shawn Long (18.9).