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MU backcourt expecting to log plenty of minutes today (VIDEO)

MU backcourt expecting to log plenty of minutes today (VIDEO)

November 16th, 2013 in News

Missouri's Earnest Ross gets fouled by Southern Illinois' Bola Olaniyan as he shoots during the first half of Tuesday's game in Columbia.

Photo by The Associated Press /News Tribune.

There's no break on the horizon.

Missouri's starting backcourt played all but four minutes during Tuesday's win against Southern Illinois.

Don't expect that to change when Missouri (2-0) takes on Hawaii (2-1) at 6 p.m. today (KOMU-TV) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

"Maybe when coach (Frank) Haith gets back he'll have a different remedy than me, but I'm going to let these guys ride it out," Missouri interim head coach Tim Fuller said of Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross. "I have three games left, and these guys are my go-to. I trust them and I know they're going to give everything they have and they can score the basketball."

The trio combined for 82 percent of Missouri's scoring while taking 79 percent of the Tigers' shots during that 72-59 victory against the Salukis.

Clarkson (22.5 points per game), Brown (18 ppg) and Ross (11.5 ppg) are the only Tigers to average double figures through Missouri's first two games.

The Tigers' frontcourt hasn't really joined in on the fun yet, as a forward or center hasn't recorded a double-digit scoring game early on.

"They'll find a way of getting their production," Clarkson said. "I feel like they're growing every game. We have a young frontcourt. It's only going to continue to get better."

That inexperienced frontcourt will get its toughest test yet in Hawaii. The Warriors feature a pair of 6-foot-8 posts in senior Christian Standhardinger and sophomore Isaac Fotu.

Fotu comes in averaging 16.7 points and nine rebounds in just 25 minutes per game, while Standhardinger, a Nebraska transfer, adds 15.3 points and seven rebounds.

"They are a quality ball club with big men that can go for 20 and 10, that can score with their back to the basket," Fuller said. "They press and run."

The Warriors also boast a pair of double-digit scoring guards in Garrett Nevels (15 ppg) and Quincy Smith (10.3 ppg).

Hawaii opened the season with a pair of wins against Tennessee State (85-55) and Western Michigan (78-68) before falling 95-88 to New Mexico State in a game played at 4 a.m. CST (midnight in Hawaii) as part of ESPN's 24-hour college basketball tip-off marathon.


After signing four-star forward Jakeenan Grant on Wednesday, Missouri inked four-star guard Namon Wright on Friday.

Wright, ranked 60th nationally by, signed his national letter of intent to play with the Tigers.

The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Wright plays for Pacific Hills in Los Angeles, and chose Missouri over schools like UCLA and USC. He averaged 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season while leading his squad to the Division IV state crown. He was ranked the No. 11 shooting guard in the class of 2014.

"Namon just has a great feel for the game and similar to Wes Clark, he is always on the attack, looking for a way to beat you," Haith said. "He is a bigger guard, which we like, and has great length that allows him to excel defensively. He has very good instincts and is very good at slashing and attacking the rim. His jump shot is still developing, but he can really get on a roll and will become much more consistent on the perimeter with repetition. He is still a good jump shooter and I think you will see that consistency settle in as the year

View Frank Haith interview about signings here if video fails to load automatically.