MUTIGERS.com


 
 

Linas Kleiza 41
Linas Kleiza

Class:
Junior

Hometown:
Kaunas, Lithuania

High School:
Montrose Christian

Height / Weight:
6-8 / 245

Position:
Forward


Outlook

* All America Candidate *

* All-Big 12 Candidate *

Has the capability to be one of the dominant post players in the Big 12 Conference ... Has effectively recovered from a shoulder injury which occurred half-way through his freshman season ... Is a tenacious rebounder who likes to mix it up inside, but can also step outside and knock down an occasional three ... At 6'8, is a very versatile player that can play the 3,4 and 5 positions ... Is an intense competitor and can be an emotional leader this season ... Has great skill and can score points in bunches ... Is also a relentless rebounder ... Skilled passer who posses a great feel for the game ... Has put in several hours in the weight room this off-season to increase his already imposing strength level ... Came to America for his junior and senior seasons at Montrose Christian High School in Rockville, Md., the same high school shooting guard Jason Conley attended.

2003-04 Season

* Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team *

* Finalist for Big 12 Freshman of the Year *

Was a major contributor in the low post for Mizzou before dislocating his right shoulder at Colorado ... Received votes for Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors ... Played in 16 contests averaging 23.1 minutes per contest off of the bench ... Averaged a team-high 8.4 boards per contest prior to his season-ending injury ... Recorded three double-doubles in his first four games as a Tiger ... Reached double figures in scoring in nine of the 16 games he played in and pulled down nine or more boards 10 times ... Was the Tigers' third leading scorer through the first 16 games averaging 11.1 points per contest ... Scored 10 points against Colorado before leaving the contest with a separated right shoulder ... Had eight boards and eight points in only 19 minutes against Nebraska ... also handed out four assists against NU ... Scored 14 points and pulled down five boards in the Texas game ... Equaled a season high with 29 minutes against UT ... Scored 13 points and pulled down nine boards against Oklahoma ... Was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the week of Jan. 19 ... Just missed his fourth double-double of the year with nine points and 12 rebounds against Syracuse ... Pulled down nine boards for the third time in four games and scored seven points in the Tigers' win over Texas A&M ... Scored nine points and grabbed six boards in his first game in the Big 12 against Iowa State ... Equaled a career-best with 18 point and nine rebounds against Iowa ... Just missed his fourth double-double of the year with a career-best 18 points and nine rebounds agains Belmont ... Had four rebounds against Memphis ... Scored six points and pulled down four rebounds in 18 minutes ... Hit 4-of-5 free throws and nabbed two steals against Illinois ... Was limited due to foul trouble against the Illini ... Was phenomenal once again scoring a career-best 17 points while pulling down nine boards against UNC Greensboro ... Recorded his third double-double of the season with a then career-high 16 points and 13 rebounds against Gonzaga ... Also handed out an assist and a block against the Bulldogs ... Was on fire against Indiana scoring 15 points while pulling down eight rebounds ... Earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 8-15 ... Ignited a Tiger comeback against Coppin State with a huge dunk in the second half ... Had a double-double in his first game as a Tiger with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Oakland.

High School: A tremendous competitor with great upper body strength, Kleiza averaged 20.5 points and 12.2 rebounds per contest last year at Montrose Christian ... was ranked as the No. 12 power forward in the country by both ESPN.com's Mark Mayemura and by RivalsHoops.com and the 23rd player in the country overall by RivalHoops.com ... named the Washington Post's High School Player of the Year ... selected as a "freshman that will make an immediate impact" by FOXSports.com's Frank Burlison ... selected to play in the Michael Jordan Brand Capital Classic that was played in Washington, D.C. in late April with several other top prospects from around the country and registered a monstrous 16 points and 11 rebounds in the contest ... played on the Lithuanian Junior National Team, that took second place at the World Junior Championships in July ... led all players by averaging 29.1 points per game for eight contests ... made 58.4 percent of his shots from the field and 84 percent of his free throws at the Championships and averaged nine rebounds per game.

Personal: Favorite musical artist is Eminem ... enjoys eating New York Strip Steak ... picked Mizzou over North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia ... favorite video game is NBA 2003 ... High school coach was Stu Vetter ... hopes to one day earn an Olympic Gold Medal in basketball.