Southern basketball will play host to Meet the Lions this Thursday

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's and women's basketball teams will play host to their annual Meet the Lions Night this Thursday night at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

Doors will open to the annual introduction of the men's and women's basketball teams at 5:30 pm. Free hot dogs and Pepsi products will be available and admission, as always is free.

There will be autograph sessions for both teams, as well as an area to decorate pumpkins for the kids. 

The MSSU women will begin their warmup session at 5:50 with intros of the team and a 20-minute running clock scrimmage to follow. During the women's scrimmage, the men will sign autographs. 

New interim head coach Ronda Hubbard brought over former men's assistant Ronnie Ressel, as well as new assistant Victor Esparza to round out her staff. The Lions return eight players from last season, as well as three starters off a team that advanced to the MIAA Tournament. The team features five seniors and will mix in four new players. 

In-between the women's and men's scrimmage, the Southern Gold Dance Team will perform, and the MSSU athletic department will issue letter jackets to all new recipients. 

The MSSU men will begin their warmup at 6:45 pm with the women signing autographs during the men's scrimmage. There will be a combined three-point shooting contest with representation from both the men's and women's teams at 7 pm, and the intros for the men will begin at 7:15 pm. The men will have a 25-minute running clock in their scrimmage. 

The men return their entire team from a season ago, with the exception of senior center Bryan Adams. Adams suffered a leg injury last month and will miss the entire season. The Lions return All-MIAA performers in Marquis Addison and Jordan Talbert and welcome in a talented crop of newcomers. 

Come out early and get your freebies and enjoy your chance to get a sneak peak at the 2013-14 MSSU men's and women's basketball teams.