Jan. 7, 2013
Columbia, Mo. -
No. 10 Missouri Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date: Jan. 8, 2013
Tip-Off: 6 p.m. CT
Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler - Play by Play / Jimmy Dykes - Analyst / Shannon Spake - Sideline)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Missouri - No. 12/No. 12 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll
Alabama - NR/NR
Series: Sixth Meeting - Alabama leads 4-1 all-time - last Missouri won 75-68 on Nov. 20, 2001 in KC
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 170-108 overall (9th); 41-7 at Mizzou (2nd season)
Alabama: Anthony Grant (Dayton `87) 71-44 at Alabama (4th season); 147-69 overall (7th)
> Missouri Basketball opens its inaugural season of play in the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday as the Tigers welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide to Mizzou Arena for the first time ... The Tigers and Crimson Tide have met five times in series history and Alabama owns a 4-1 series advantage, but the teams have played just once (2001 Guardians Classic in Kansas City) since 1996.
> Mizzou will look to open league play with a victory for the second consecutive season ... The Tigers handled the Oklahoma Sooners, 87-49, in last year's league opener and have won five consecutive conference home openers dating back to the 2006-07 season.
> Missouri has won four consecutive home games vs. the Southeastern Conference leading into Tuesday ... The Tigers won games against Arkansas and Mississippi State in 2006-07, Georgia in 2009-10 and Vanderbilt in 2010-11.
> The Tigers have also been very good at home vs. league opposition overall since 2008-09, racking up a 29-4 mark (.879), including an 8-1 home record in league play last season.
> Speaking of home success, Mizzou capped its home record with a perfect 8-0 mark in non-conference play ... The Tigers have won 73 consecutive home games vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... The team's last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT ... Overall at Mizzou Arena the Tigers are 75-4 since 2008-09, an incredible .949 winning percentage.
> Missouri has been very good in the month of January over the last four seasons ... Since the 2008-09 campaign Missouri is 25-9 in January, including three wins over nationally-ranked foes.
> The SEC Player of the Week and Preseason SEC Player of the Year Phil Pressey leads the Tigers into Tuesday's league opener ... Pressey has set career highs in both assists and scoring in his last two games, most recently scoring a career high 26 points in a gritty 66-64 win over a veteran Bucknell team last Saturday ... Pressey scored 19 second-half points, including seven consecutive to fuel the comeback win ... On Dec. 28 at UCLA, Pressey shattered the school record and tied the SEC record with 19 assists ... It was the most dimes in a Division I game since 2008.
> Pressey has dished 35 assists over his last three games, including 11 vs. Illinois on Dec. 22 ... His 7.2 assists per game leads the SEC and ranks No. 9 in college basketball.
> In addition to Pressey's strong play, Laurence Bowers has emerged as a frontrunner for SEC Player of the Year ... One of college basketball's steadiest contributors, Bowers has reached double figures in scoring in eight consecutive games and in 20 of his last 22 games overall dating back to 2010-11.
> Bowers has been nothing short of awesome over that eight-game streak and is averaging 18.5 points on 57 percent shooting from the floor (64-of-112) and 53 percent shooting from three-point range (8-of-15) ... He has also averaged 8.0 rebounds in 29.9 minutes a contest.
> Missouri continues to dominate on the glass and has out-rebounded 12-of-13 opponents this season ... The Tigers are No. 1 nationally in rebounding at 46.7 caroms a game and are No. 2 with a +13.0 rebounding margin ... The Tigers already have 11 point-rebound double-doubles this season, bettering the team total (nine) for the entire 2011-12 season.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Missouri Basketball opens its second season on Tuesday as the Alabama Crimson Tide makes its first visit to Mizzou Arena for the 2013 SEC opener.
> Missouri is a perfect 8-0 at home this season and are one of four teams in the SEC (joining Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina) without a loss on the home floor.
> The Tigers last lost a league home opener in 2006 to Iowa State (67-66) on a last-second put-back.
> Mizzou used a strong second half to topple Bucknell on Saturday and has been very good in the second half of games all season ... In the second half of home games Missouri is averaging 45.6 points and is shooting 54 percent from the floor, 43 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the foul line.
> The club boasts a +16.0 scoring margin (45.6-to-29.6) in this second half of those games as well.
> Missouri continues a tough stretch of games after closing non-league play with tilts against Illinois (14-2), UCLA (12-3) and Bucknell (13-3) ... Including Alabama, who is 8-5 on the year, Missouri's last four opponents are a combined 47-13.
> Missouri's offense has been more explosive over its last four games, averaging 86.0 points while shooting 47 percent from the floor ... Of course that four-game stretch coincides with the addition of Jabari Brown to the roster and Brown is third on the club with 11.8 points per game during those four contests.
> In the five games prior to Brown's addition Missouri averaged just 70.0 points on 46.5 percent shooting.
> Head Coach Frank Haith is a very good 7-3 vs. Top 25 opponents as the head coach of Mizzou and is 4-2 vs. the Top 10.
> The Tigers will look to continue their impressive defensive trend ... Only three teams have scored more than 70 points on Missouri this year.
> At home, no team has topped 70 points vs. Missouri and opponents are averaging just 56.4 points on 33.9 percent shooting at Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri is currently ranked No. 19 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.375).
> Defensively, Missouri has held 11 of 13 opponents (Louisville and UCLA) below 42 percent shooting.
> Missouri has been one of the country's top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded 12-of-13 foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri enjoyed its largest rebounding margin of the year on Dec. 8 (+25) and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantage in nine of 13 games.
> The Tigers also average 16.5 offensive rebounds per game (No. 1 nationally) and turn that into 15.7 second-chance points per contest.
> The Tigers are currently rebounding 47 percent of their missed shot attempts this year.
> Missouri has had six different players record double-figures in rebounds in a game this season, which is the most since six Tigers accomplished the feat during the 1995-96 campaign ... The school record for the number of players recording at least 10 rebounds in one game is seven, set during the 1959-60 season.
> In addition, Missouri already has a total of 11 point-rebound double-doubles between four different players (Bowers, Oriakhi, Ross and Bell), bettering the nine team double-doubles Mizzou in 2011-12.
> Although the Tigers have a number of familiar faces due to transfer years with the program, just one player, Phil Pressey, has played for Head Coach Frank Haith ... Missouri is getting 82.4 percent of its scoring and 92.3 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action at Mizzou a season ago.
> Missouri has started to build its bench over the last three weeks thanks to the play of Keion Bell, Tony Criswell, Earnest Ross and the addition of Jabari Brown ... Missouri is averaging 20.4 points per game from its bench on the year, including 25.0 points over the last seven games.
> On the season Missouri has 10 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Bell - 3, Criswell - 2, Ross - 2, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
> Criswell (before his injury) was on an impressive five-game run off the pine averaging 8.0 points on 61 percent shooting (19-of-31) in 19.2 minutes a game.
> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 13 games with eight players averaging at least 17.8 minutes a contest ... Nine different Tigers have also reached double figures in scoring in a game this season and seven different Tigers have recorded at least 7+ boards in a game.
> Missouri has won 73 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (66-0) the club's average margin of victory has been 26.7 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri is 16-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and 15 of those 16 wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 24-2 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 18 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons and continues its search for a record-setting fifth consecutive 20-win campaign ... The Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last four seasons.
> MU also won 20+ in four consecutive years from 1988-92 and 1979-83.
> Haith's 2011-12 offense was known for its efficiency and the early returns are good this season as well ... Missouri is averaging 1.152 points per possession this year after averaging 1.187 a year ago.
> Missouri was college basketball's most efficient offensive club a year ago (according to KenPom.com) ... And how about this for an exciting SEC schedule, Kentucky was ranked No. 2 and Florida was No. 3.
> Frank Haith's offense also ranked No. 1 nationally in field goal percentage (.504), assist/turnover ratio (1.6) and among the Top 10 in scoring (6th - 80.4), scoring margin (5th - 14.1), three-point percentage (9th - .398), turnovers (5th - 10.2) and turnover margin (7th - 4.1).
> Haith was of course named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, taking the Tigers to their second 30-win season in school history and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.
> Missouri begins its first season of play in the Southeastern Conference ... League play officially begins on Jan. 8, 2013, vs. Alabama ... That game is actually the official opener to the 2013 SEC season.
> Mizzou got an early start to its 2012-13 campaign, playing five games in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... However none of Missouri's current players saw action overseas, proving to be a great opportunity for the MU newcomers to get extended playing time.
> The Tigers played games in Amsterdam, Belgium and France.
> Missouri will be seen on TV like never before thanks to the move to the SEC ... The Tigers will have a school record 18 games appearing on national TV during the regular season.
> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards.
> In the front court Alex Oriakhi was ranked No. 35 and Laurence Bowers checked in at No. 38.
> Newcomer Jabari Brown was ranked among college hoop's top wing players, checking in at No. 48.
> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country's No. 5 most-important player.
> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.
> Missouri's transfer class of Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross is being considered as one of the best in basketball history by the Sporting News.
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