Missouri State Bears Preview
Date: Monday, November 19th
Time: 6:00pm CST
Location: Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO
Head Coach: Dana Ford (1st Season)
2017-18 Record: 18-15 (7-11 Missouri Valley Conference)
2018-19 Record: 3-0 (0-0 Conference)
Last year was an uneventful season for the Bears. They ended in a 7th place tie in the Missouri Valley Conference. Coach Paul Lusk was fired at the end of the season. This was his 7th year coaching the Bears and never finished higher than fourth in any year at the helm. He has been replaced by former Tennessee State head coach Dana Ford.
New coach, new season. Coach Ford currently has Missouri State humming at a very nice 3-0 start and a lot of new faces on the roster. While none of these wins were against anyone spectacular they were all by double digits. Oral Roberts, Robert Morris, Stetson are all nice starters they are no where near the talent level that the Bears will see against Nebraska.
They are lead by Jarred Dixon at guard. The 6’4” guard is averaging 18.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He’s not the most effective beyond the arch as he is just 33% on the year so expect him to get close to put down any points for the Bears. His and will be the main threat to the Huskers as the night goes on.
Keandre Cook is right next to Dixon at guard. He has had a stellar three game performance this season. Keandre spent his first years at Odessa College before transferring to Missouri State. Right now he is averaging 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. This all while shooting 55% from the floor. He has had a good first year so far with the bears and will be a threat to the Huskers.
Also of note is Obediah Church. The senior forward is a monster in the paint as he has averaged over 5 rebounds a game all four years as a Bear. This will be game #100 for the 6’8” forward. Expect him to hog the paint and be a major threat when on defense.
In fact, this team is becoming known for their defense. They are currently 9th in the nation in field goal defense and in the top 30 for three point defense. If Nebraska want’s to get comfortable they will need to be pinpoint in their shooting early on and not get into a scoring drought. They’re also fast. The Bears go full speed up and down the court. Hopefully Nebraska is conditioned for a full game of this.
Missouri State has yet to be tested this year. Their not terrible at shooting and their defense will most likely test the Huskers. Most of everyone on this roster is new but seems to have geld well so far as they have beaten up everyone they’ve played so far. I would expect the Huskers to be pushed offensively early on before talent and coaching take over.
This is neutral ground for both team as they are playing in the Hall of Fame Classic down in Kansas City so neither team should have a huge advantage there. But, don’t be surprised if there are a fair amount of Husker faithful who make the trek out tonight.
Nebraska will be tested, but nothing to worry about in their fourth win of the season.
University of Nebraska 68 Missouri State University 57