Justin Safford and the Tigers host Iowa State on Saturday.
Jan. 15, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09
University of Missouri Tigers (14-3, 1-1) vs.
Iowa State University Cyclones (12-5, 1-1)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 18 - January 17, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.
Tip-off: 12:46 p.m. CST
Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)
TV: Big 12 Network - (Mitch Holthus play-by-play; Coach Rich Zvosec analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Iowa State: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri leads 141-84 overall; in Columbia the Tigers lead 80-21
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 137-72 overall (7th season); 48-31 at Mizzou (3rd)
Iowa State: Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, ‘88) 262-166 overall (15); 41-39 at ISU (3rd)
> Missouri Basketball returns to action on Saturday looking for back-to-back league victories, as the Tigers face Iowa State ... The Tigers and Cyclones played the longest game in Mizzou Arena history in last season’s league finale, with the Tigers coming away with an 81-75 double-overtime win.
> Missouri has won 12 consecutive home games dating back to that double OT win over the Clones last season ... Those 12 straight home wins are just one shy of 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 ... Missouri’s 12-game home court winning streak is the 14th longest in school history, but a win Saturday would push it up to No. 10.
> Talk about rallying in a big way! Missouri scored a season-low 51 points at Nebraska last Saturday, but regrouped to score a season-high tying 107 vs. Colorado on Wednesday (including 59 points in the second half alone) ... The 107 points were the most ever by the Tigers in a Big 12 regulation game and the most since scoring 112 vs. Iowa State in an epic four-overtime contest (112-109) on Jan. 13, 2001.
> Missouri is off to its best start (14-3) since the 1994-95 season ... A win on Saturday would push Missouri’s record to 15-3 and have them just one win off their win total from the entire 2007-08 campaign.
> Missouri has simply been dominant at home this season and is averaging an incredible 91.3 points per game at Mizzou Arena in running their home record to 11-0 ... The Tigers boast a 31.3 ppg margin of victory at home this season, including a 45-point win over Colorado (eighth-largest margin of victory ever in a Big 12 Conference game) and a 27-point win (93-66) over a California team now ranked in the Top 25.
> A huge key for Missouri will be the play of its bench... Missouri’s “kamikaze line” is averaging 32.6 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) and tied Colorado (62-62) ... The 62 tallies vs. SIUE and Colorado tied the school record.
> The Tigers rank among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories heading into Saturday’s game ... Mizzou is No. 8 nationally in scoring at 84.6 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 19.8, No. 2 in steals per game at 11.0 and No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.6 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 6 nationally with 63.8 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already shot 161 more FGs than their opponents through 17 games thanks to their impressive turnover margin (+7.1).
> Missouri Basketball jumps back into action, looking to build on its 45-point win over Colorado, as the Tigers host Iowa State on Saturday afternoon.
> In fact, Missouri is looking for its 13th 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.
> Mizzou set a number of records in Wednesday’s win over Colorado, including tying the Mizzou Arena record for points scored (107).
> It also set the Arena record for three-point percentage (60.0) and field goal percentage in a half (71.9).
> With their 26 assists in the win, Missouri now leads the nation in assists per game (19.8).
> Each of the last two games with Iowa State have come down to the wire ... Two seasons ago Iowa State won on a tip-in by Wesley Johnson at the buzzer, before the Tigers won in double overtime last season.
> In fact, four of the last five Mizzou-Iowa State tilts have been decided by seven points or less.
> A huge key for the Tigers continues to be the play of their bench ... On the season, Missouri’s reserves are averaging 32.6 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 25.2 points.
> Speaking of that freshmen group, Marcus Denmon is the leading scorer at 7.0 points per game and his uncle, Martinez Denmon, played collegiately at Iowa State and was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round (No. 52).
> 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 11.8 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 six times already this season and have had six players do it twice in the same game.
> The Tigers had four freshman reach double figures vs. SIUE, which was a first in school history ... They almost did it again vs. Colorado ... Miguel Paul finished with eight points.
> A major reason for Mizzou’s large scoring totals is because the club has taken 161 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 161 more FG’s ... Mizzou made 119 more FG’s than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 161 more FGs through just 17 games is a HUGE differential.
> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 12 times in 17 games this season and is 12-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 36 times in the Mike Anderson era (79 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 19.8 turnovers per game and is averaging 24.8 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (24.8-of-84.6).
> Because of Missouri’s limited 12.6 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)
> 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 1,148 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 182 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 15 of 17 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 now has three double-doubles on the year following his 13-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Colorado.
> Carroll has done outstanding work in the second half and is averaging 9.0 ppg in the second half alone.
> The Junk Yard Dog also leads the team (and all Big 12 forwards for that matter) with 32 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 (9th).
> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in nine of his last 12 outings.
> In fact, over his last five games Lawrence is shooting 55 percent from bonus distance, hitting 18-of-33 treys.
> The news gets even better for Lawrence at home, where he is shooting 50.0 percent (29-of-58) on the year from three-point distance and 63 percent (19-of-30) over his last six home contests.
> The St. Louis native is already No. 4 in career three-point makes at MU with 202.
> 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 55 assists and just 19 turnovers ... His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 2 in the Big 12.
> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 14 of 17 games this year and has 5+ assists seven 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-17 games and is sixth in the Big 12 with 1.8 steals a night.
> The Marietta, Ga., native has shown an improved scoring punch over his last four games where he is averaging 10.8 ppg.
> Of Tiller’s 18 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 scored a career high 13 points in the win over Colorado and has reached double figures twice this season.
> Freshman guard Marcus Denmon 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.
> Denmon is coming off a 13-point, four-assist night vs. Colorado this week.
> 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.
> The dedication is paying off for English, who scored 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.
> He also dropped in 12 points vs. Colorado in his first career start, while coming up with a pair of steals.
> English continues to shoot the ball well and hit two more treys vs. Colorado ... English has hit treys in four consecutive games and is shooting 47 percent (17-of-36) from bonus distance over his last 11 games.
> 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 and earned his first career start vs. Colorado, scoring five points and blocking a pair of Buffalo field goal attempts.
> 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 and scored a career high 16 points in the win over Colorado.
> Bowers hit a Missouri season-best 7-of-8 field goals, while dishing two assists, ripping two steals and blocking a shot.
> Bowers leads Missouri in dunks this season (6), including a pair of alley-oop slams vs. Coppin State ... 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 Iowa State Cyclones
Like Missouri, Iowa State comes into Saturday’s contest 1-1 in Big 12 play and is 12-5 overall following a 65-53 win over Nebraska this week ... The young Cyclones have steadily improved for Head Coach Greg McDermott and have won five of their last six heading into Saturday’s game at Mizzou Arena ... Iowa State is led by one of the Big 12’s most talented big men, Craig Brackins ... Brackins is averaging 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds on the season and his 38-point effort at Houston in an ISU road win is the most points scored in the league this season ... Sophomores Diante Garrett (10.5 ppg) and Lucca Staiger (9.3 ppg) round out the top scorers for Iowa State, who come to Columbia with a 2-3 road record this season.
Mizzou Arena - House of Horrors
Mizzou Arena has been a house of horrors for opponents this season as the Tigers have run their record to 11-0 and average 31.3 ppg margin of victory.
> The Tigers have won 10-of-11 games by double figure margins, 9-of-11 by 20+ points and have three wins by 45 points or more.
> The Tigers also have a huge quality win at home this year, stopping California by 27 (93-66) back on Dec. 7 ... The Bears are ranked in the Top 25 since that loss to Mizzou.
Balance Is Leading Tigers To Huge Scores
Missouri has had six players reach double figures in a game twice this season, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished twice in the same year since 2001-02.
> In fact, Missouri leads the Big 12 Conference and has tied a school record with 11 different players having reached double figures in at least one game this season.
High Scoring Tigers
The 2008-09 Tigers are the highest scoring squad at Mizzou in 20 years ... Missouri’s 84.6 ppg average is the highest since the 1988-89 squad registered 86.8 points per game en route to a 29-8 mark.
> This season’s club has topped the 80-point plateau in 12-of-17 games and has reached the century mark three times, including 107 points vs. Colorado, which is the most for Missouri in a Big 12 regulation game (no overtimes).
If You Build It ... They Will Come
Attendance has been a hot-button issue across the country, but Missouri is on the upward trend in Mike Anderson’s third season ... With great attendances expected throughout Big 12 play, Missouri is already averaging 652 more fans per game in 2008-09 than the Tigers did after the initial home game of Big 12 play last season.
> It’s important to note that Missouri uses actual attendance figures, not tickets sold.
> In fact, if you look at non-conference play alone, Missouri averaged 1,119 more fans per game in preseason play this season than they did one year ago, the highest figure since 2004-05.
L-Bow Ready To Go
His alley-oop vs. Coppin State was the No. 1 play on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day and he leads the Tigers in dunks (6) despite averaging just 9.8 minutes a game, but Tiger fans have been watching the steady growth of freshman forward Laurence Bowers and it reached new heights following a 16-point outburst vs. Colorado.
> Bowers played a career high 19 minutes vs. the Buffaloes and hit 7-of-8 shots from the floor, while dishing two assists, blocking a shot and recording two steals ... In fact, Bowers’ only miss of the night came on yet another alley-oop attempt, one that would have most likely earned him a repeat appearance on Plays of the Day.
Lyons’ Status Still Under Evaluation
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 sat out Wednesday’s game vs. Colorado and is still under suspension as we approach Saturday’s game.
> Lyons had started the first-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 15-3 on Saturday against Iowa State... This current 14-3 start is Missouri’s best since the 1994-95 campaign.
> Below is a look at some of Missouri’s fastest starts through 17 games over the last 30 years.
Season Start Finish
1981-82 17-0 27-4
1989-90 16-1 26-6
1993-94 15-2 28-4
1979-80 15-2 25-6
1988-89 14-3 29-8
1982-83 14-3 26-8
1991-92 14-3 21-9
1994-95 14-3 20-9
2008-09 14-3 ???
1980-81 13-4 22-10
2001-02 13-4 25-11
1992-93 13-4 19-14
The Good Tigers Giveth ...
As a basketball team, Missouri is about as unselfish as it comes ... The Tigers are averaging an impressive 19.8 assists per game, which is No. 1 nationally and have a 1.6-to-1 assist/turnover ratio as a team, which ranks No. 2 in America ... Missouri is logging assists on 63 percent of its buckets in 2008-09 and 11 players have a positive or even assist-to-turnover ratio so far this year ... In fact, Missouri is on pace to tie a school record by having 10 players record at least 20 assists this season, tying the 1987-88 Tigers as just Matt Lawrence (17 assists) and Keith Ramsey (16) are quickly approaching the mark.
... And Taketh Away
Missouri has no issues creating turnovers once again this season as they produce 19.8 turnovers a night and average 11.0 steals (No. 2 nationally) ... Missouri is averaging 24.8 points a game off turnovers and scores 30.0 percent of its points off opposition throw-aways.
Lawrence Heating Up
Senior guard Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up for the Tigers and has seen his scoring average increase to 12.2 points over the last five games, which includes four wins during that stretch ... Lawrence has twice tied season highs with 18 points during the run and is shooting 55 percent (18-of-33) 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 five-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 202, 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 15.9 points and 6.9 rebounds.
> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 15-of-17 games this season, including a career high 29 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 19 USC.
> J.Y.D. also ranks ninth in the Big 12 with three double-doubles, including a 13-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Colorado.
> Carroll is also one of the Big 12’s most well-rounded players, ranking No. 9 in scoring, No. 9 in rebounding, No. 3 in field goal percentage (.582), No. 4 in steals (1.9) and No. 8 in offensive rebounding (2.6) ... 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 32.6 points, 18.2 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 3.8 steals from its reserves this season, including 23.4 points per game from freshmen Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Miguel Paul.
> Missouri’s bench has been especially deadly over the last 11 contests as the reserves are averaging 36.5 ppg. and actually outscored Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) and tied Colorado (62-62) ... The 62 points vs. Colorado and Edwardsville tied the school record, topping the 58 points the MU 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. 2 nationally with a +21.2 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 45.5-to-33.9 in the second period alone and is allowing its opponents to shoot just 38.9 percent from the floor, 26.9 percent from the three-point stripe and yes, just 65.5 percent from the foul line ... In the first half of games Missouri owns a 39.1-to-29.5 ppg scoring margin, but opponents are shooting an improved 41.0 percent from the floor, 33.8 percent from three-point range.
Mizzou Opponent’s Numbers by Half
Statistics 1st / 2nd
Scoring Margin +9.6 / +11.6
FG 41.0 / 38.9
3FG% 33.8 / 26.9
FT% 65.6 / 65.5
Points 29.5 / 33.9
Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home
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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