Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA — The Missouri basketball team plays its third game in five days and its first road game of the season today at Xavier (5:30 p.m., FS1), a team that reached the Sweet 16 last season.
Freshman Terrence Phillips isn’t worried.
“I really think we can really go in there and kind of steal one,” he said. “I think if we can go and get that, we can really open some eyes here.”
Hoping to avoid distributing bulletin-board material, coach Kim Anderson asked, “Can we amend that statement to ‘We hope we can go steal one’?”
“Terrence wasn’t here last year,” Anderson said. “I was here.”
Last year, meaning Xavier’s 74-58 defeat of Missouri at Mizzou Arena — a loss junior Wes Clark characterized as “a little bit of a spanking.”
Coming off wins against Wofford and Maryland Eastern Shore at home, the Tigers hope to avoid that same fate today.
“When you think Xavier, you think of a really good basketball program,” Anderson said, “and they’ve been very consistent over the years, and it’ll be a good test for our guys.”
Also a test, playing a third game since the season started Friday.
Freshman Kevin Puryear, the team’s leading scorer through two games, said he never played a stretch like that at Blue Springs South High School. He feels he is holding up physically.
“A little sore, but I’m good,” he said. “… I actually expected it to be a little bit worse than what it is. I’m actually feeling pretty good right now.”