No. 25 Mizzou Tigers at North Carolina State Wolfpack
Date: Dec. 28, 2013
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. CT
Arena: PNC Arena (19,557)
TV: ESPN2 (Fran Fraschilla and Jimmy Dykes)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly and Gary Link)
Rankings: Missouri - 25 / 25 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll
N.C. State - NR / NR
Series: 4th meeting; N.C. State leads 2-1 all-time; last 87-68 N.C. State on Dec. 29, 1995 in Honolulu
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 187-118 overall (9th season); 58-17 at Mizzou (3rd season)
N.C. State: Mark Gottfried (Alabama `87) 335-181 overall (17th season); 3rd season at N.C. State, 57-26
North Carolina State leads the all-time series 2-1 with Missouri. The Tigers’ lone win against the Wolfpack came in Columbia on Jan. 9, 1983, a 49-42 victory. North Carolina State won the NCAA title that season under coach Jim Valvano.
BOTTOM LINE: Missouri will have a tough time matching up with Warren and company inside, especially now that 7-foot-1 center Jordan Vandenberg is entrenched in the paint.
Clarkson, a 6-foot-5 junior guard in his first season with Missouri (10-1) after transferring from Tulsa, is averaging an SEC-best 19.9 points while scoring at least 21 in six of his last seven contests.
Frank Haith wasn't exactly adept at building strong defensive units while he was in the ACC; his Miami teams were routinely mediocre-or-worse, and their perimeter defense in particular could be rough, which is why Herb Sendek could be seen giggling maniacally in anticipation of State's games against the Hurricanes.
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How do you guard Warren? Warren's Usage Rate is off the charts; the offense runs through him. He takes 14 2-pointers, three 3-pointers, and five three throws per game, and despite shooting so much, he's also decent on the offensive glass. He scored one-third of State's points and grabbed eight boards against Tennessee, and while he has occasional turnover issues, that's not something Missouri is likely to take advantage of. So how do you stop Warren from killing you while avoiding sacrificing any sort of size or matchup advantage elsewhere?