Missouri freshman declared eligible after missing nine games

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Missouri will get a boost on Saturday as freshman forward JaKeenan Gant has been reinstated and declared eligible, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

Gant missed the first nine games of the 2014-15 season as he was held out and questioned for impermissible benefits. Missouri investigated the matter and reinstated last year’s Mr. Basketball in Georgia and he’ll be able to play against Xavier on Saturday.

The 6-foot-8 Gant was a four-star prospect and the No. 52 overall player in the 2014 national class, according to Rivals, and should give an immediate boost to the 5-4 Tigers inside.

Missouri struggled against bigger teams in losses to Arizona, Purdue and Oklahoma this season and Gant should give depth behind Ryan Rosburg and Jonathan Williams III off of the Tiger bench. Gant is productive as a rebounder and also has a decent offensive arsenal if his mid-range game is going. Gant can also settle for too many jumpers, however, and should stay active attacking the rim when possible.