No. 7/6 Tigers Face Tough Road Test at K-State

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Michael Dixon has been one of the nation's top sixth men this season.</i>
Michael Dixon has been one of the nation's top sixth men this season.

Jan. 5, 2012

#7/6 University of Missouri Tigers (14-0) vs. #22/23 Kansas State (11-2)
Game Notes - vs. Kansas State Get Acrobat Reader

TIP-OFF: 12:30 p.m. CT.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)
Radio: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, play-by-play; Gary Link, analysis)
TV: Big 12 Network (Dave Armstrong, play-by-play; Jon Sunvold, analysis)
MU: 7/6
KSU: 22/23
Series: Mizzou leads, 117-116 (Last meeting: MU 70, KSU 80; Feb. 26, 2011
MU: Frank Haith (Elon '88), 143-101 overall (8th year) and 13-0 at Mizzou (1st year)
Kansas State: Frank Martin (FIU `93); 106-45 overall/at OU (5th season)

For Openers...

    > As one of four unbeatens nationally, the No. 6/7 Mizzou basketball team will continue Big 12 play as it will square off against No. 22/23 Kansas State in its second true road game of the season at Bramlage Coliseum Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the Big 12 Network.

    > Mizzou and K-State have met 233 times in history and the series is separated by just one game with Mizzou owning a slight edge at 117-116. The Tigers have won three of the last five meetings but have not won at K-State since Feb. 28, 2004, when Jason Conley led Mizzou with 20 points in a 79-69 win. Mizzou rallied from down 10 in that game.

    > Heading into the contest with the Wildcats, Mizzou remains as one of four unbeatens nationally (joining Syracuse, Baylor and Murray St.) as the Tigers are rolling under first-year coach Frank Haith. In fact, Mizzou is 14-0 for the first time since 1981-82 and is the only unbeaten team under the direction of a new head coach ... Additionally, Frank Haith is the first Tiger coach to win his first 14 games since Craig Ruby in 1920-21 ... Mizzou's 14-game win streak is the seventh-longest in program history.

    > Last time out against Oklahoma, the Tigers had plenty of noteworthy accomplishments in their 87-49 victory over the Sooners on Tuesday ... In fact, Mizzou limited the Sooners to less than 50 points, marking the first time a Tiger team has done that since Jan. 6, 2010, against Savannah State (45 points) ... It also marked the first time since Feb. 14, 2009, that Mizzou held a Big 12 foe under 50 (Nebraska, 47) ... The 38-point win was also the Tigers' largest over OU since 1922 and their second-largest over a Big 12 team, second only to a 45-point win over Colorado in 2009.

    > The Tigers currently lead the nation in field goal percentage at 52.2 percent ... The team also ranks second in scoring (86.2), first in assist-turnover ratio (1.71), eighth in steals per game (9.64), ninth in 3-point field goal shooting (.417) and second in steal-turnover ratio (0.99). Mizzou is also eighth nationally in free throw percentage (.767), connecting on 243-of-317 free throws this season

    > Although the Mizzou offense seems to be getting a lot of notoriety nationally, the defense has been pretty good this season as well. In fact, Mizzou has held teams under 60 points eight times and under 70 points in 12 of 14 games ... Only Illinois (74) and Villanova (71) have scored more that 70 against the Tigers this season ... The Tigers even held Notre Dame, Cal and Oklahoma under 60 points ... That defense has led to 12 double-digit wins for the Tigers in 14 games as Mizzou's average margin of victory is 25.3 ppg.

    > Staying on the topic of defense, Mizzou has limited teams to just 61.8 ppg over its last four contests while ripping 33 steals and blocking 17 shots. The Tigers have also limited opponents to just .261 shooting from distance in that span.

    > Senior big man Ricardo Ratliffe leads the nation in field goal percentage with his .767 clip this season ... If he keeps at his current rate all season, the senior would obliterate MU's single-season FG% record of 67.6 by Jeff Warren in 1990-91 ... He is one of two players nationally shooting better than 70-percent.

    > With seven assists and just one turnover vs. Oklahoma Tuesday, sophomore Phil Pressey now has nine consecutive games with at least five assists, a Mizzou record ... The previous record was seven by Anthony Peeler in 1989-90.

Mizzou Quick Hitters

    > Senior Kim English has been red hot over his last four games, shooting 54-percent from the floor (20-of-37) while connecting on an amazing 65-percent of his 3-pointers (11-of-17) and 13-of-14 free throws. The senior is averaging 16 ppg and a 6.75 rebounds per game in that span as well. English scored 23 points against Oklahoma on Tuesday, due in large part to 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, good for his seventh career game with five 3s and third this season.

    > Staying on the topic of Kim English's 23-point outing against Oklahoma, his classmate Marcus Denmon also scored 20 in that game. That duo has now scored 20 points each in the same Big 12 game three times in their careers. No other Tiger duo has accomplished that feat in the last six seasons.

    > After Tuesday's win over Oklahoma, Mizzou is now 14-2 in Big 12 home openers with its only two losses coming to Iowa State.

    > Another notable stat from Tuesday's win over the Sooners was that the Tigers won the battle on the glass, 38-23. Despite running with a four-guard lineup, Mizzou topped the Sooners - who entered the game as the fourth-best rebounding team in the country - by 15 in the game.

    > Staying on the topic of rebounding, the Tigers own a +4.0 rebounding edge over opponents this season despite running a four-guard lineup in which a 6-6 Kim English plays the No. 4 spot on the floor. The reason has been a team-approach on the glass. Ricardo Ratliffe leads the team with 7.3 rpg while English, Denmon and Matt Pressey each average just under five at 4.8, 4.9 and 4.5, respectively. Even the Tiger point guard tandem of Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey averages a combined 5.1 boards per game.

    > Junior Mike Dixon has been arguably the nation's top sixth man this season as he is averaging 12.6 points per game and 3.1 assists per contest off the bench ... His 12.6 ppg average this season is tops among Big 12 players with no starts this year ... In fact, he ranks among the nation's top sixth men as his 12.6 ppg rank ahead of other notable sixth men: Pierre Jackson of Baylor, Ryan Boatwright of Connecticut, Will Sheehy of Indiana and Dion Waiters of Syracuse, all of whom, like Dixon, have no starts this year.

    > Dixon combines with sophomore Phil Pressey to give the Tigers arguably the best 1-2 punch at point guard in the nation. The tandem averages a combined 22 ppg and 9.1 assists per game with an assist-to-turnover margin of 2.56 with a combined 56 steals. In fact, that duo averages more steals per game than turnovers with a combined 56 steals and just 50 turnovers.

    > Staying on that topic of steals vs. turnovers, Mizzou is second nationally with a steal-turnover margin of 0.99, trailing only No. 1 Syracuse in that department. The Tigers have 135 steals and just 137 turnovers, the latter of which gives Mizzou just 9.79 turnovers per game, ranking fourth nationally. Mizzou is eighth nationally in steals per game at 9.64.

    > Mizzou's win over Old Dominion on Dec. 30 gave the Tigers an unblemished 13-0 non-conference record ... It marks only the second time in program history that the team had an undefeated non-conference mark, joining the 1972-73 squad.

    > Heading into Saturday's contest, the Tigers rank second nationally and lead the Big 12 with their 86.2 points per game this season ... The Tigers are one of the nation's and Big 12's best shooting teams as the squad ranks first nationally and first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.522) ... The team also ranks eighth nationally and first in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.767).

    > In the national rankings, Mizzou also leads the country in scoring margin (+25.3), is tied for first in assist-turnover ratio (1.71), fourth in turnovers per game (9.8) and eighth in steals per game (9.64).

    > On an individual level, senior Ricardo Ratliffe leads the nation in field goal percentage (.767), senior Kim English is first in 3-point field goal percentage (.553) among players with 2.5 makes per game and junior Michael Dixon ranks 12th nationally in free throw percentage (.915).

    > Sophomore Phil Pressey has nine consecutive games with at least five assists, which is a Mizzou record (11 vs. Binghamton, 6 vs. Northwestern State, 12 vs. Villanova, 5 vs. Navy, 10 vs. Kennesaw State, 5 vs. William & Mary, 5 vs. Illinois, 7 at Old Dominion and seven vs. Oklahoma). ... The previous record was seven by Anthony Peeler in 1989-09 ... He currently leads the Big 12 in assists (6.0), assist-turnover ratio (2.8) and steals (2.3) ... Pressey has three 10-assist game this season, the last Tiger to do that in a season was Scott Sims in 1976-77.

    > Ricardo Ratliffe recorded his second double-double of the season in his homecoming at Old Dominion with 14 points and 11 rebounds ... The forward also had a double-double against Villanova this year ... He now has seven in his Tiger career.

    > With its win over No. 24 Illinois on Dec. 22, Mizzou is now 2-0 against top-25 teams this season and is 3-0 against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the top 25 ... Mizzou's other wins over teams among the national elite came against then No. 18-ranked Cal and Notre Dame (RV) at the CBE Classic in Kansas City. K-State on the road Saturday will arguably be the Tigers' biggest test of the season so far as the Wildcats check in at No. 22/23 nationally.

    > In fact, Mizzou has been amazing against teams from the power six conferences (Cal, Notre Dame, Villanova, Illinois, Oklahoma). In those five games, Mizzou is holding its opponents to 61 ppg while boasting an average margin of victory of +24. In those games, Mizzou is also shooting 51.9-percent from the floor, highlighted by Ricardo Ratliffe who is shooting 80-percent (32-40) from the floor in those games.

    > Overall, Missouri leads the Big 12 in nine different statistical categories: scoring offense (86.2), scoring margin (+25.3), free throw percentage (.767), field goal percentage (.522), 3-point field goal percentage (.417), assists (16.9), steals (9.6), turnover margin (+6.2) and assist-turnover ratio (1.72).

    > Missouri finished the home non-conference schedule with an unblemished record for the sixth straight season ... The Tigers were 8-0 this year, 10-0 in 2010-11, 9-0 in 2009-10, 10-0 in 2008-09, 9-0 in 2007-08 and 11-0 in 2006-07.

    > Mizzou has been amazingly efficient this season, averaging 1.19 points per field goal attempt this season, a Big 12-best by a wide margin ... Ratliffe leads the team in that category as he is averaging 1.53 points per field goal attempt, while English averages 1.39 and Denmon 1.26.

    > The Tigers lead the Big 12 with 9.64 steals per contest, a mark that ranks eighth nationally ... This continues a recent trend as over the past three seasons, Missouri has either led the nation or finished second in steals per game ... The team led the nation in 2009-10 with 10.94 and finished second in 2008-09 (10.56) and 2010-11 (10.94).

    > Seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English have combined to make 85 of the Tigers' 120 3-point field goals so far this season ... The duo ranks 1-2 in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 3.07 and 3.00, respectively ... They are only the fourth and fifth Tiger players to ever have at least 30 3's in the first nine games.

    > Seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English continue to move up Missouri's all-time scoring list ... Denmon now has 1,419 in his career, which puts him 15th all-time at Mizzou ... Denmon needs two more points to tie John Brown for 14th ... English stands at 1,286 points, good for 24th place ... He needs three more points to tie Kim Anderson for 23rd.

    > This year's seniors mark the winningest class in Missouri Basketball program history...Heading into the year, the class' 77 wins over the last three-plus seasons mark the most in a three-year stretch at Mizzou...The Tiger clubs from 1980-83 and 1988-91 won 75 games over a three-year stretch ... The class now has a record of 91-27.

    > The Tigers recorded 23+ wins in each of the last three campaigns for the first time in program history...Mizzou won 31 games in 2008-09 and went 23-11 in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

    > Senior Laurence Bowers will be forced to redshirt the 2011-12 season after suffering a season-ending knee injury (ACL) in October ... Bowers averaged 11.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a year ago.



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