By: James Stanley
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou basketball is heading to Fayetteville, Ark. this Saturday to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks after coming off a 72-67 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
However, before Tuesday’s game, Missouri Athletics released the following statement: “Wes Clark has failed to meet the academic expectations of the Mizzou Athletics Department and is no longer a member of the men’s basketball program.” In Clark’s place, freshman guard Cullen VanLeer got his first career start as a Missouri Tiger against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Despite Clark’s untimely dismissal, Head Coach Kim Anderson said, “I wish him the best going forward. I appreciate all he has done for the University and our basketball program.”
The team is currently on a two game win streak, which began after their win during the #RallyforRhan game on Feb. 13 against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Some of this newfound success has been Missouri’s ability to get the ball into the paint to which Anderson said, “We scored 55 points whenever we got the ball in the paint, and they scored 37. I think that is a real key to the game.”
The Razorbacks defeated the Tigers earlier this year at Mizzou Arena 94-61. In that loss, Missouri only had 27 rebounds, eight of them being offensive boards. Since then, Missouri has averaged 35.9 rebounds per game, and in three of those games the team rebounded the ball more than 40 times.
Anderson was optimistic about his team’s trip to Fayetteville, especially since they are riding a two-game win streak. “I’m really proud of the way the guys have responded, beating Tennessee and then beating South Carolina,” Anderson said. “Those are two good basketball teams. Hopefully we can build on this and shows a sign of maturity.”
Senior forward Ryan Rosburg has averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per outing over the last four games. Rosburg is leaving Columbia with a bang, and said the following: “I’m just giving it my all. I know I only have a couple [games] left. I’m just trying to get some wins and leave the program in a good place.”
A win at Arkansas on Saturday would be the first road win against a Division 1 opponent in over two years, which was against the Razorbacks under the direction of former Missouri basketball Head Coach Frank Haith. Tipoff for the Battle Line Rivalry is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. All the action can be caught on KCOU 88.1 Columbia with pregame starting at 6 p.m.