Georgia, Ole Miss games offer swan songs for Geist, Puryear

Puryear is one of six players in school history to start 116 games in his career.
Missouri guard Jordan Geist reacts to a near-make, buzzer-beating shot just before the first half's end in MU's 79-78 win over Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri men’s basketball seniors are reaching the end of their journeys at MU. Ahead of their game at Georgia this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., seniors Jordan Geist and Kevin Puryear talked about what it means for them to finish out their careers in the black and gold.

“I came in as an 18-year-old boy, and I’ll be walking out a 22-year-old man.” Puryear said. “I’m really just soaking in every last moment. The plane rides are winding down, so I’m excited to have some comradery on the trip.”

Puryear recorded a season-high 18 points in Missouri’s win against South Carolina Saturday. His big night was also highlighted by becoming the sixth player in school history to start 116 games and moving to No. 28 on the all-time scoring list at MU.

“To see Kevin score 18 points, I was so happy for him,” coach Cuonzo Martin said at media day Tuesday. “Not just getting out of that so-called funk to score 18 points, but against the zone. I thought he did a great job to see a zone like that the entire game and be productive.”

For Geist, who’s been considered a leader throughout the season, he will continue to have the opportunity to teach his younger teammates.

“He do a great job of leading us, showing us what ways to take, what ways to not take,” freshman Javon Pickett said.

One of Geist’s biggest shots of the season came in overtime against Central Florida on Dec. 2, heaving a 3 at the buzzer to win the game. He also recorded his first career double-double on Jan. 26 in an overtime loss to LSU, racking up 25 points and pulling in 11 rebounds in 40 minutes.

The upcoming games, as well as postseason games which will include the SEC Tournament, will be Geist’s final opportunities to play with the team he’s put on his back throughout the season.

“I’m just excited to play with these guys the last couple games,” Jordan Geist said.

In addition to Missouri’s remaining contests, Puryear was asked about the possibility of another type of game: Geist in a one-on-one game against women’s basketball senior Sophie Cunningham, who played in her senior night Sunday against Alabama.

“I don’t know about that one, that’s tough,” Puryear said. “I’d pay some money to watch that one, I got my popcorn ready for that. That’s a nice matchup.”

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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