Mizzou Basketball Hosts Colorado On Wednesday

MUTIGERS.COM Zaire Taylor and the Tigers look to get back on track Wednesday vs. Colorado.
Zaire Taylor and the Tigers look to get back on track Wednesday vs. Colorado.

Jan. 13, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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University of Missouri Tigers (13-3, 0-1) vs.

University of Colorado Buffaloes (8-6, 0-0)

2008-09 Regular Season Game 17 - January 14, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 8 p.m. CST

Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)

TV: ESPNU - (Doug Bell play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Colorado: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 94-52 overall; in Columbia the Tigers lead 54-11


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 136-72 overall (7th season); 47-31 at Mizzou (3rd)

Colorado: Jeff Bzdelik (Ill.-Chicago '76); 95-73 overall (6th season); 20-26 at Colorado (2nd)


For Openers

> Missouri basketball will look to rebound from a conference-opening loss as the Tigers host Colorado at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday in a nationally-televised contest on ESPNU.

> The Tigers scored a season-low 51 points on Saturday, but have found their home court to be much more inviting this season, as the club is averaging 89.7 points and is a perfect 10-0 at home this season.

> In fact, Missouri has won 11 consecutive home games dating back to last season, which is just two wins off the Mizzou Arena record ... The Tigers won 13 straight over the 2006-07 / 2007-08 seasons before a home loss to Kansas ended that run last winter.

> Despite the tough loss on Saturday, Missouri is still off to its best start (13-3) since the 1994-95 season ... A win on Wednesday would push Missouri's record to 14-3 and have them just two wins off their win total from the entire 2007-08 campaign.

> Missouri will have to try and get that win without the services of senior forward Leo Lyons ... Lyons is indefinitely suspended and will not play Wednesday ... However the absence of Lyons should open up opportunity for Missouri's young post players, including junior forward Keith Ramsey ... Ramsey has been a defensive menace for the Tigers and leads the club with 14 blocked shots, including at least one rejection in eight of his last nine games.

> Although we are now in conference play, some kudos are in order for another perfect home non-conference season for Mike Anderson and the Tigers ... Since his arrival at MU, Anderson has directed Mizzou to a perfect 30-0 home mark in non-league play over the past three seasons, which includes a whopping 24.5 ppg. margin of victory and key wins vs. non-conference foes like Arkansas, California, Davidson, Mississippi State, Murray State, Oral Roberts and Purdue.

> A huge key for Missouri will be the play of its bench... Missouri's "kamikaze line" is averaging 30.8 points a game this season and has outscored the entire teams of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (50-41), Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) ... Those 62 tallies vs. SIUE were a school record ... However in Mizzou's three losses, that second unit is averaging just 11.7 points per game.

> The Tigers rank among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories heading into Wednesday's game ... Mizzou is No. 7 nationally in scoring at 83.2 ppg, No. 3 in assists per game at 19.4, No. 3 in steals per game at 10.9 and No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 4 nationally with 64.1 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already shot 155 more FGs than their opponents through 16 games thanks to their impressive turnover margin (+6.6).

Mizzou Quick-Hitters

> Missouri basketball hosts Colorado in the club's Big 12 home-opener on Wednesday ... The Tigers are 10-2 in Big 12 home openers, including last season's win over No. 12 Texas.

> Mizzou is a perfect 10-0 at home this season and sports an incredible 29.1 ppg scoring margin in those games ... Of Missouri's 10 home games, eight have been decided by 20 points or more and nine of 10 have been by double-figure margins.

> In fact, Missouri is looking for its 12th consecutive home court win, which dates back to last season ... The Tigers also won their final home game of the 2007-08 campaign vs. Iowa State in double overtime.

> A huge key for the Tigers continues to be the play of their bench ... On the season, Missouri's reserves are averaging 30.8 points per game.

> The catalyst for Missouri's improved scoring punch off the pine is its five player freshman class ... So far this season that group is averaging 23.3 points.

> With those great bench-scoring totals, the Tigers have had a school-record tying 11 different players reach double figures this season, equaling the 11 players that reached double figures in 1961-62, 1974-75, 1994-95 and 2007-08.

> It's not just scoring where the Tigers are balanced ... Missouri has 10 different players averaging at least 11.6 minutes a  game on the year, including five newcomers.

> Sticking with the balance theme, Missouri is on pace to have 10 different players dish out at least 20 assists this season, which would tie a school record ... The 1987-88 Tigers also had 10 players with 20 dimes on the year, which is truly an incredible stat ... Last year's Tiger team, which was one of the most "unselfish" in school history, had eight players accomplish that feat.

> Missouri has had four or more players reach double figures in the same game five times already this season.

> The Tigers had four freshman reach double figures vs. SIUE, which was a first in school history.

> A major reason for Mizzou's large scoring totals is because the club has taken 155 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 143 more FG's ... Mizzou made 119 more FG's than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 143 more FGs through just 16 games is a HUGE differential.

> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 11 times in 16 games this season and is 11-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 35 times in the Mike Anderson era (78 games) ... To put that scoring in perspective, the Tigers topped 80 points just 37 times (in total 160 games) the five seasons before his arrival.

> One thing Tiger fans are enjoying this season is points off turnovers ... Missouri averaged 20.3 points per game off turnovers last season and forced one turnover every four possessions ... So far this season Missouri is forcing 19.4 turnovers per game and is averaging 24.4 points off those opponent miscues each night.

> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (24.4-of-83.2).

> Because of Missouri's limited 12.8 turnovers a game, its opposition is scoring just 14.2 points a night off turnovers.

> It's only January, but ESPN Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has Missouri "in" the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed ... Lunardi has the Tigers facing No. 7-seeded Gonzaga in Miami, Fla.

> Although the 2008-09 campaign is just getting started, Mizzou actually got an early jump on exhibition play over Labor Day weekend with a three-game exhibition tour in Niagara Falls, Ontario ... Missouri went 3-0 throughout the tour and averaged a 35.3 ppg. margin of victory.


Tiger Tidbits (Individual Notes)

> Senior forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons were named Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention picks prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.

> Lyons and Carroll are ranked among the nation's Top 15 power forwards by Rivals.com in their current position rankings ... Lyons checks in at No. 12, while Carroll is right behind at No. 13.

> Carroll, Lyons and Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin are the only players in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 15 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and in the Top 20 in steals.

> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,135 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 925 career points and needs just 75 points to become the 38th member of Missouri's 1,000-point club ... Fellow senior Matt Lawrence is also closing in on 1,000 points and would need 191 more tallies as a senior to reach the mark.

> Over his last 19 regular-season games Lyons has six 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 17-of-19 contests.

> Lyons has actually reached double figures in five consecutive Big 12 regular-season games, which ties the longest run of his career.

> The Kansas City, Kan., native enjoyed a season high 26 points and eight rebounds in the win over Oral Roberts and then led all Tigers with 22 points vs. Illinois.

> Carroll has reached double figures in 14 of 16 games this season and the tandem of Carroll and Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 13 times this year.

> The Birmingham, Ala., native led Missouri to a 2-1 mark in Puerto Rico and was named to the All-Tournament Team following his career high 29-point, 11-rebound effort against No. 19 USC.

> Carroll has topped the 20-point plateau three times this season, including a 21-point, 10 rebound double-double vs. SIU Edwardsville.

> Carroll has done outstanding work in the second half and is averaging 9.1 ppg in the second half alone.

> The Junk Yard Dog also leads the team (and all Big 12 forwards for that matter) with 31 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12's leaders in scoring (9th), steals (4th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (10th).

> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in eight of his last 11 outings.

> In fact, over his last eight outings Lawrence is shooting 47 percent from bonus distance, hitting 21-of-45 tries.

> The St. Louis native is already No. 4 in career three-point makes at MU with 199.

> Lawrence drilled a season high six three-pointers vs. Coppin State and actually hit his first-six treys of the game to tie a season high with 18 points.

> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 17 assists and just six turnovers on the season.

> Zaire Taylor was named the nation's Preseason No. 2 impact transfer in all of college basketball by Rivals.com ... DeMarre Carroll was the preseason No. 1 on that same Rivals.com list last season and didn't disappoint by winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.

> Taylor played his first Division I basketball game in 669 days on Nov. 15 in the season-opener ... The Delaware transfer sat out all of last season and last played at the D-I level on Jan. 6, 2007, at Hofstra.

> So far this season the Staten Island, N.Y., native has 49 assists and just 18 turnovers ... His 2.7-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 3 in the Big 12.

> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 13 of 16 games this year and has 5+ assists six times on the season.

> Taylor is coming off a season high 17 points in the win over Georgia ... Taylor has typically played well on the road, including a 30-point outburst at Loyola (Md.) as a sophomore at Maryland in 2006-07.

> Junior guard J.T. Tiller made his ESPN SportCenter Top 10 debut and it's no shock the highlight came courtesy of his defense ... Tiller's swat of Lincoln's Joe Hutchingson with just over six minutes left in the second half checked in at No. 8 on the countdown ... Coach Norm Stewart's response on the telecast after the block "I like J.T. Tiller. If you take the ball to the basket (against him), you can't bring that weak stuff. You'll need a helmet."

> Tiller is one of Mizzou's most well-rounded players and recorded a career high six steals vs. Xavier ... The six thefts tied a tournament record and is No. 6 in Missouri single-game school history.

> Tiller has had multiple steals in 9-of-16 games and is fourth in the Big 12 with 1.9 steals a night.

> Of Tiller's 16 career double-figure scoring games, nine have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including his 10-point, seven assist, four-steal effort at Georgia and 11 points at Nebraska.

> Missouri Basketball is coming off a busy, but productive summer that saw all-13 Tigers remain on campus for workouts and classes ... Some members of the squad also had internships in town, including Tiller, who spent the summer as an intern at AFLAC.

> Perhaps the biggest improvement for Missouri this year is the play of its bench and that bench is being led by a host of young players.

> Sophomore forward Justin Safford recorded his first double-figure game of the year, as he dropped in 10 points and five boards in 13 minutes against Stetson ... Safford is also coming off a solid first half at Nebraska, where he scored four points and grabbed six boards in the first half.

> Freshman guard Marcus Denmon reached double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in his career vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Cal ... Denmon scored 11 points vs. Pine Bluff before chipping in 14 vs. California.

> Denmon officially opened his Missouri career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the Tiger win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15 ... That was the highest scoring effort by a Tiger freshman in a debut since Kelly Thames scored 19 against Central Missouri State on Nov. 27, 1993.

> Did you know that in his first game at Mizzou Arena Denmon actually cheered AGAINST Missouri? But you can't blame him, his brother Martane Freeman was playing for the Colorado Buffaloes, so we'll let that one slide.

> Freshman newcomer Kimmie English knows Mizzou Arena just about as well as the Arena managers and operators ... English made news this summer for sleeping overnight in the team's locker room and will often shoot in the club's 24-Hour practice gym in the early-morning hours.

> Just to prove he is insane about basketball, English went to Mizzou Arena at midnight on Dec. 31 / Jan. 1 to make the first shots of the New Year inside Mizzou Arena.

> The dedication is paying off for English, who scored 13 points vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, before scoring a career high 16 points vs. California in the Tiger's big win ... English scored 14 of his 16 in the second half, including 14 straight points for the Tigers in a span of just 4:16.

> English continues to shoot the ball well and hit another three-pointer at Nebraska on Saturday ... English has hit treys in three consecutive games and is second on the team with a 40-percent shooting stroke on the season

> English has hit 18-of-45 three-point tries this season, with six of those 18 treys coming over his last three contests.

> Fellow freshman Miguel Paul is averaging 16.7 minutes over his last 13 games ... Paul has also hit a three-pointer in eight of those 13 contests as well.

> Paul led all Tiger freshmen with 12 points vs. SIU Edwardsville, while chipping in four assists ... He is also coming off an 11-point effort vs. Coppin State, including a dunk.

> Junior Keith Ramsey has played improved basketball over the past few weeks, especially on the defensive end ... Ramsey blocked a career high three shots vs. Cal and poured in eight points and five boards in the win over Stetson.

> Ramsey ignited Missouri's road win at Georgia, with a pair of blocked shots, two assists, two steals and four points.

> The JUCO transfer did it again vs. Coppin State, blocking two more shots, while scoring six points and grabbing five boards in an efficient 14 minutes.

> Ramsey initially scored a career high eight points in just nine minutes vs. No. 19 USC and corralled seven boards (career high) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 14 minutes.

> Laurence Bowers, another of Missouri's exciting freshmen, is making steady progress ... Bowers set career highs of 10 points and seven boards in the win over SIU Edwardsville in just 14 minutes of play.

> Bowers now leads Missouri in dunks this season (6), including a pair of alley-oop slams vs. Coppin State on Tuesday ... Bowers' second dunk was listed #1 on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day on Jan. 6 ... We recommend you check it out ... Note that Bowers is right-handed, but caught the pass with his left hand and then flushed it all in the same motion.


About The Colorado Buffaloes

Wednesday's game marks the Big 12 opener for Colorado as the Buffs were off last weekend and haven't played since a Jan. 7 triumph over Western State (65-52) ... CU is led by talented sophomore guard Cory Higgins, who is averaging 17.9 points and 6.5 rebounds on the year ... Dwight Thorne is second on the club with 11.9 points for Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik's second club ... CU is searching for its first road win of the year ... The Buffaloes fell at Stanford (76-62) and SMU (70-67) ... The Tigers and Buffaloes have also shared a pair of common opponents, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Coppin State ... The Buffaloes defeated Coppin State 80-63 at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu and beat UAPB 76-56 in the season-opener.


Mizzou's English, CU's Tomlinson Have A History On The Hardwood

Wednesday's meeting on the hardwood won't be anything new for Mizzou's Kim English and Colorado's Nate Tomlinson ... The pair met four times on the hardwood last season, with English leading Notre Dame Prep to a 4-0 mark vs. Tomlinson's Lee (ME) Academy squad ... Many of the games were close, including the third meeting, which needed triple overtime to get a final outcome.


Lyons Out vs. Colorado

Mizzou Head Coach Mike Anderson suspended senior forward Leo Lyons indefinitely after the Kansas City native was arrested for failing to pay a traffic ticket back in 2006 and not having proof of insurance during a Sunday night traffic stop for improper lights.

> Lyons will sit out Wednesday's game vs. Colorado and would be allowed to return once his obligations were met.

> Lyons had started all 16 games for Missouri this season and was second on the club in both scoring (14.6) and rebounding (6.2).


Quick Starts For Mizzou

Missouri is off to its fastest start this century, as the Tigers look to improve to 14-3 on Wednesday against the Colorado Buffaloes... This current 13-3 start is Missouri's best since the 1994-95 campaign.

> Below is a look at some of Missouri's fastest starts through 16 games over the last 30 years.


Season        Start        Finish

1981-82       16-0         27-4

1989-90       15-1         26-6

1993-94       14-2         28-4

1982-83       14-2         26-8

1979-80       14-2         25-6

1991-92       14-2         21-9

2008-09       13-3         ???

1994-95       13-3         20-9

1988-89       13-3         29-8

1980-81       13-3         22-10

1992-93       12-4         19-14


Lawrence Heating Up

Senior guard Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up for the Tigers and has seen his scoring average increase to 13.0 points over the last four games, including three wins over  Centenary, at Georgia and against Coppin State ... Lawrence has twice tied season highs with 18 points during the run and is shooting 59 percent (13-of-22) from beyond the arc during that stretch.

> Lawrence has also been an excellent passer this season and has eight assists with just three turnovers during that four-game stretch, thanks to his improved driving ability and added strength.

> For his career, the former walk-on is already No. 4 at Missouri in career three-point field goals with 199, despite making just nine triples his entire freshman season.


Mizzou's J.Y.D Ruling The Lane

He plays the game with such passion and ferocity that Missouri senior forward DeMarre Carroll has earned the moniker Junk Yard Dog ... Considered by some to be undersized in the rough-and-tumble Big 12, Carroll has starred in the league due to his blue-collar style of play and earned the League's Newcomer of the Year title in 2008 ... Carroll appears to be shooting for more in 2009, as he is averaging 16.1 points and 6.6 rebounds.

> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 14-of-16 games this season, including a career high 29 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 19 USC.

> Carroll is also one of the Big 12's most well-rounded players, ranking No. 9 in scoring, No. 10 in rebounding, No. 3 in field goal percentage (.580), No. 4 in steals (1.9) and No. 7 in offensive rebounding (2.7) ... Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, boards and steals in the Big 12.


Missouri's Second Wave...

Head Coach Mike Anderson has consistently tried to build depth with his basketball teams and the 2008-09 Tigers may be his deepest club since arriving in Columbia two years ago.

> Missouri is averaging an impressive 30.8 points, 18.4 rebounds and 8.1 assists and 3.6 steals from its reserves this season, including 18.0 points per game from freshmen Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Miguel Paul.

> Missouri's bench has been especially deadly over the last 10 contests as the reserves are averaging 32.3 ppg. and actually outscored both Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) ... The 62 points vs. Edwardsville was a new school record, topping the 58 points the Tigers reserves scored in a double-overtime win vs. Iowa State last season.

> Last season Missouri averaged 25.4 points per game from its bench after setting the school record in 2006-07 with 26.4 ppg from reserve performers ... That mark is in serious jeopardy this season.


Wear & Tear Of The Fastest 40 Minutes

While Missouri leads the Big 12 and ranks No. 7 nationally with a +19.8 ppg scoring margin, the Tigers are doing extraordinary work extending their advantages in the second half this season ... With the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball taking full effect, Missouri is outscoring its opposition 44.6-to-33.5 in the second period alone and is allowing its opponents to shoot just 38.1 percent from the floor, 25.9 percent from the three-point stripe and yes, just 65.0 percent from the foul line ... In the first half of games Missouri owns a 38.6-to-29.9 ppg scoring margin, but opponents are shooting an improved 42.2 percent from the floor, 34.1 percent from three-point range.


Mizzou Opponent's Numbers by Half

Statistics                      1st / 2nd

Scoring Margin             +8.6 / +11.1

FG                                   42.2 / 38.1

3FG%                             34.1 / 25.6

FT%                                64.3 / 65.0

Points                            29.9 / 33.5


Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home

(Knock on wood) Mike Anderson is a perfect 30-0 all-time in non-conference home games at Missouri and the Tigers recently completed their third consecutive undefeated non-conference run under Anderson ... Not only have the Tigers won 30 consecutive in the preseason, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 24.5 ppg margin of victory.

> The Tigers have played some impressive foes during Anderson's run as well, and own quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Purdue, Murray State, Mississippi State, Oral Roberts and others during that 30-game stretch.


Year                Record          Margin of Victory

2006-07         11-0               18.7 ppg

2007-08         9-0                  27.5 ppg

2008-09         10-0               29.5 ppg                               

Total       30-0        24.5 ppg.




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