Latest Sports Scores

Scoreboard

  • ALL
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    OTT0
    NJ0
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    PIT0
    CAR0
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    MTL0
    NYR0
  • 2/21 7:30 PM EST
    EDM0
    TB0
  • 2/21 7:30 PM EST
    WPG0
    TOR0
  • 2/21 7:30 PM EST
    NYI0
    DET0
  • 2/21 8:00 PM EST
    CGY0
    NSH0
  • 2/21 8:00 PM EST
    CHI0
    MIN0
  • 2/21 9:00 PM EST
    LA0
    COL0
  • CBK
  • Live
    PURDUE29
    PSU33
  • 2/21 6:00 PM EST
    URI0
    LASAL0
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    SC0
    FLA0
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    OKLA0
    BAYLOR0
  • 2/21 7:00 PM EST
    CLEM0
    VATECH0
  • 2/21 8:00 PM EST
    EVAN0
    WICH0
  • 2/21 8:00 PM EST
    NW0
    ILL0
  • 2/21 9:00 PM EST
    KTY0
    MIZZOU0
  • 2/21 9:00 PM EST
    IND0
    IOWA0

Gant makes long awaited debut in loss to Xavier

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
By ALEX SCHIFFER
College Contributor Network

It was a long time coming; nine games to be exact, but on Saturday afternoon Jakeenan Gant finally made his debut for their Missouri Tigers during their 74-58 loss to Xavier.

"He came in and just kind of fit right in," Tigers head coach Kim Anderson said after the game. He was aggressive offensively but he wasn't selfish. He had shots; he took them, he made them. He made some plays."

Gant was unable to play during the Tigers first nine games due to an investigation regarding his eligibility, which centered on whether or not he was a recipient of improper benefits. News broke early Saturday morning that Gant had been cleared, allowing him to suit up in the black and gold for the first time this season.

"He's bringing scoring and rebounding and we really need that right now," Tigers sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III said. "He's just a great player."

Gant checked into the game with a little over nine minutes remaining in the first half to a loud ovation with the Tigers trailing by double-digits and provided an instant spark for the team, scoring seven points in five minutes including a baseline jumper on his first touch, and a long three a few minutes later. The Georgia native was the main force behind an 11-4 run by the Tigers, which cut the Musketeers lead to single digits and sent Missouri into the half only down 32-27.

"He gave us a big spark, we're happy to have him back," Missouri senior guard Keith Shamburger, said. "He's a big part of our team. He just works so hard and we're really going to need him."

Gant was the Tigers first commit in the 2014 class, pledging to the Tigers last August when Frank Haith was still coaching the team and was considered a consensus four-star prospect and top-60 nationally ranked player out of high school. Gant honored his commitment to the Tigers after Haith left for Tulsa and Anderson was hired and was even invited to the prestigious USA Basketball U-18 National Team's training camp.

"He's a good guy," Anderson said. "He's a great kid. I thought he might be a little nervous but he came in and took right off."

Gant returned about halfway through the second half with the Tigers down six and gave Xavier coach Chris Mack's squad all they could handle. The 6-foot-8 forward added his first college dunk on a one-handed jam a few minutes after checking in and added a steal, a rebound and a pair of blocks by the end of the game, finishing with 13 points in his first college game, good for second on the team behind Williams' 17 points.

Defensively, Gant struggled a bit, fouling quickly after getting in during the first half and also being a step behind the player he was guarding at times but overall Anderson was pleased with how the reigning Mr. Basketball in Georgia played on both sides of the ball.

He's athletic, he's going to make mistakes," Anderson said. But he's not going to be the only one. I thought he did a very fair job. We had him guarding some pretty big guys. The knowledge was good."


Alex Schiffer is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Missouri and hails from Westfield, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSchiffMan


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners