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Black and Gold Scrimmage previews this season's Missouri basketball team

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 | 11:14 p.m. CDT; updated 11:26 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Missouri Black team guard Jordan Clarkson goes up for a shot against Gold team guard Jabari Brown during the Black and Gold scrimmage Tuesday at Mizzou Arena. Gold defeated Black 63-61.

COLUMBIA — Normally, a coach takes a player out of the game if he's in foul trouble. Missouri forward Keanau Post wasn't afforded that luxury Tuesday night. Post was still playing eight fouls in.

"Who had eight fouls?" Missouri coach Frank Haith said after the game.

Throw in the eight points Post scored, and he came comically close to recording perhaps the strangest double-double in basketball history.

"Oh, good job Keanau," Haith joked.

Thus is the nature of the annual Black and Gold Scrimmage, which a Gold team led by Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown won 63-61 at Mizzou Arena.

There will be many nights this fall and winter where technicalities like foul trouble matter to Haith and his players. Tuesday wasn't one of those nights. Tuesday was a night when parking lot-long shots were fired, basic basketball rules were thrown away and every Tiger got a chance to play.

"I enjoyed it," Brown said. "I'm looking forward to playing with this group."

That includes, and might very well center around, junior point guard Jordan Clarkson. He scored 19 points in his Missouri debut after sitting out a year because of transfer rules.

"Jordan is a quick and athletic point guard," Haith said. "You have to look at it, he hadn't played in over a year in front of people."

Three and a half weeks before the season officially starts, fans also got a first look at the players Haith will count on to fill the spots left in the frontcourt by departed seniors Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi.

The candidates are forwards Tony Criswell, Johnathan Williams III, Ryan Rosburg and Post. Collectively, their effort in the preseason has put their teammates at ease.

"They are filling the void pretty good," Ross said. "As you see, they are active on the glass. J3 (Williams III) is very active on the glass. Keanau is getting stronger, making post moves. Rosburg is good at rebounding."

Haith said he could see the freshman Williams III starting thanks to his work ethic and his ability to rebound and score.

"Not that I put a premium on starting," Haith said. "But he does all the little things. He plays so hard. He is always in the gym."

Haith was impressed also with Rosburg, who scored 16 points on an efficient 7-for-9 shooting and added eight rebounds. 

"He has worked his tail off," Haith said. "He has given himself a chance to be a really good player."

The win for the Gold team served as a friendly revenge for Ross and Brown. Gold lost to Clarkson, Rosburg, Williams and the rest of the Black team in a closed scrimmage recently in an effort Brown described as "pretty bad."

Haith had other words for it: "Not pretty bad. They beat them by 20."

But add the lights of Mizzou Arena and a crowd, and the Gold team improved enough to get its revenge.

"We had to come out and do something about that," Brown said.

Supervising editor is Erik Hall.


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