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New Mizzou coach faces new D-I program Southern Indiana in opener

Sportsnaut
Oct 19, 2022; Birmingham, Alabama, US; Missouri Tigers head coach Dennis Gates during the SEC Basketball Media Days at Grand Bohemian Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

New coach Dennis Gates will make his regular-season debut for Missouri as the Tigers host Division I newcomer Southern Indiana on Monday night in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri defeated Division III Washington University of St. Louis 89-61 on Thursday night in their home-court exhibition tune-up.

Forward Kobe Brown, Missouri’s leading returning scorer, poured in 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Isiaih Mosley, a transfer from Missouri State, had 11 points, four assists and three rebounds.

The Tigers return just three players from last year’s 12-21 team: Kobe Brown, his brother Kaleb Brown and Ronnie DeGray III.

Gates will rely heavily on transfers, including Mosley, point guard Nick Honor (Clemson), Noah Carter (Northern Iowa), DeAndre Gholston (Milwaukee), D’Moi Hodge (Cleveland State), Tre Gomillion (Cleveland State) and Sean East II (John A. Logan College in Illinois).

“I don’t think we have a team where I can sit here and play with the same lineup every game,” Gates said. “I think we’ll see a team that you’ll see guys starting based off the matchups. I think there are seven, eight guys that can start without a doubt.”

Mosley, who led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring the past two seasons, was the key addition. He averaged 20.4 points per game in 2021-22 while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 42.7 percent from 3-point range and 90.2 percent from the foul line.

“Probably one of the best scorers that I’ve ever seen in person,” Gomillion told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s so quick. … He knows how to hold the line and get to the goal when he needs to. And it’s so hard to guard him because he’s such a good shooter. He’s got the best of both worlds.”

Southern Indiana moved up from Division II to join the Ohio Valley Conference this season. The school was picked in finish seventh in the league’s preseason poll.

In their exhibition tune-up, the Screaming Eagles dispatched NAIA school Midway University 85-50 at home on Wednesday. Southern Indiana hit 12 of 35 3-point attempts in the victory.

“We were wide open, we made the right reads,” coach Stan Gouard said, according to the Evansville Courier & Press. “Last year we took a lot of tough shots, a lot of tough threes. These guys are not afraid to play late into the shot clock. It really blended across the board through everybody else.”

Guard Isaiah Swope led the way with 18 points and six assists. Forward Trevor Lakes scored 17 points, and guard Gary Solomon added 16 points.

Guard Jelani Simmons played just 11 minutes while continuing his recovery from a knee injury. He averaged 14.2 points and 4.5 rebounds last season and earned Preseason All-OVC honors from the league coaches and media.

In addition to playing at Missouri, the Screaming Eagles scheduled tough nonconference games at Notre Dame, St. Bonaventure and Bowling Green.

“It’s going to get harder before it gets easier,” Gouard said, per the Courier & Press. “We can’t get consumed with who we’re playing. We have to focus on the task at hand — get better and be prepared for the OVC.”

–Field Level Media