Mizzou Hosts Oklahoma State Saturday

MUTIGERS.COM Keith Ramsey and Mizzou host Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Keith Ramsey and Mizzou host Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Jan. 28, 2010

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10

University of Missouri Tigers (15-5, 3-2 Big 12) vs.

Oklahoma State University Cowboys (16-4, 4-2 Big 12)

2009-10 Regular Season Game 21 - January 30, 2010 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 1 p.m. CST

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

TV: ESPN - (Ron Franklin play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla analyst)

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

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Oklahoma State: RV/RV in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 74-39 all-time; last - MU won 67-59 on March 13, 2009 in Okla. City


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 169-81 overall (8th season); 80-40 at Mizzou (4th)

Oklahoma State: Travis Ford (Kentucky, ‘94); 229-162 overall (13th season); 39-16 at OSU (2nd)


For Openers

> Missouri Basketball returns home to face one of the Big 12’s hottest teams, the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a nationally-televised ESPN contest ... Missouri continues to be perfect at home this season with a 12-0 mark and is outscoring opponents 87.9-to-58.8 (+29.1) in those 12 home wins this year.

> Of course you can’t talk about the Tigers and not mention Missouri’s 31-game winning streak inside Mizzou Arena, which dates back to the home finale of the 2007-08 campaign against Iowa State … The Tigers rank #3 nationally with regards to home court winning streaks, one game behind Siena (32) ... Kansas leads the country in consecutive home wins with 54 ... Missouri’s current home win streak is the second longest in school history ... The school mark is 34 straight set from 1988-90 ... That run was actually broken by an Arkansas club in which Mike Anderson was an assistant coach for Nolan Richardson.

> The last time Missouri lost at home was to this same Oklahoma State club on Feb. 26, 2008, and James Anderson dropped in 13 points as a freshman ... Byron Eaton hit the game-winner in that 75-73 decision in the final second ... OSU has been very good away from home this year and halted Kansas State’s 14-game home winning streak last weekend, defeating the ninth-ranked Wildcats 73-69 in Bramlage Coliseum.

> While Oklahoma State’s top three scorers and rebounders are upperclassmen, the Tigers have 11-of-13 players in their first or second season playing for Mike Anderson ... Missouri is getting more than half of its 80.8 points per game from the sophomore class alone ...  The second-year Tigers are logging 41.2 points per game ... If you add the freshman class, Mizzou is getting 67 percent of its scoring (53.8 ppg) and 8.2 assists from underclassmen this season ... Oh and for good measure, Missouri is welcoming in the nation’s #7 recruiting class next year (per USA Today).

> Missouri has done an excellent job supplementing its scoring at the foul line in Big 12 play  ... Although the Tigers are shooting just 36 percent from the floor in league games, Missouri is shooting 81 percent at the line over the last four contests and has six players shooting above 70 percent in league action overall.

> The Tigers have also been very good at protecting the basketball over the last couple of games, averaging just 5.0 turnovers against solid defensive teams Nebraska and Kansas ... Missouri is averaging just 11.8 turnovers in league play in 2010, down from its season average of 13.3 ... Leading Missouri’s improved ball security is Zaire Taylor, who has an incredible 8-to-1 assist turnover ratio through five league games with 16 assists and just two turnovers ... Taylor hasn’t committed a turnover in 109 consecutive minutes of basketball dating back to the first half of the Jan. 13 win at Texas Tech ... During those flawless 109 minutes Taylor has 13 assists and zero turnovers.


Mizzou Quick Hitters

> Missouri Basketball returns home to face a talented Oklahoma State squad that has won three consecutive games in league action.

> Oklahoma State is the last team to win inside Mizzou Arena, claiming a 75-73 triumph on a Byron Eaton jumper in the final second of the game.

> Missouri and Oklahoma State have rotated three road wins in the series ... In addition to OSU’s win at Mizzou Arena in 2008, Missouri has won the last two in Stillwater and won in the semifinals of the 2009 Big 12 Tournament.

> Missouri and Oklahoma State have played some memorable games over the years and 15 of the last 21 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less, including 11 games decided by 4 points or less ... Missouri is 12-9 in the last 21 games.

> Mizzou is looking for its third consecutive win in the series for the first time since 1994.

> Mizzou has played three of its five Big 12 games away from Mizzou Arena this season, but will get three of its next four games at home ... The Tigers host Texas A&M on Wednesday.

> Missouri has been very good vs. league opposition over the last two seasons ... The Tigers are 18-5 in their last 23 games vs. Big 12 foes, including three wins in the Big 12 Tournament last year.

> Missouri is being led in scoring by THREE underclassmen, Kim English (14.6), Marcus Denmon (10.8) and Laurence Bowers (10.6) ... The last time that happed was during the 1999-2000 campaign when Keyon Dooling (15.3), Kareem Rush (14.7) and Clarence Gilbert (13.7) paced the Tigers in scoring.

> Missouri itself has been downright inhospitable at home this year ... The Tigers are 12-0 with a +29.1 ppg scoring margin inside Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are also shooting 50 percent from the floor, 41 percent from three-point range and are turning teams over 21.8 times a game.

> The Tigers have won 11 consecutive home games vs. Big 12 opposition ... Missouri topped both #16 Kansas (62-60) and #4 Oklahoma (73-64) inside Mizzou Arena last season and defeated #10 Kansas State to start league play in 2009-10.

> The 11 consecutive Big 12 home wins is a school record and the last time the Tigers beat 11 straight league opponents at home came during the 1987-88 through 1990-91 seasons when MU topped 19 consecutive Big Eight foes.

> Missouri ranks #21 nationally with 16.3 assists per game … However the perfect illustration for the Tigers’ unselfishness is that Mizzou has ZERO players ranked among the Top 250 nationally in assists … No one player dominates that basketball and that fuels Missouri’s quick-strike offense … However nine different Tigers have 21 or more assists this season, led by Zaire Taylor (57), J.T. Tiller (50), freshman Michael Dixon (43) and sophomore Miguel Paul (40) ... And as a reminder, Missouri led the nation in assists last season with 18.4 dimes per contest.

> Missouri has topped 20 assists six times, including 28 dimes in the 106-69 win against Oregon and 25 vs. Georgia.

> Conversely the Tigers lead the nation in steals per game (12.0) and are led defensively by Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year front-runner, J.T. Tiller ... It’s not the steal total to watch with Tiller, it’s the deflections and overall havoc the senior causes on the floor.

> Missouri is #2 nationally in turnover margin at +7.8 … With that great turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio (+1.2) the Tigers have taken 146 more shots then their opponents this year … That statistic certainly helps to offset rebounding margin … In a crazy stat that speaks to great ball-security, the Tigers already have 117 more steals this season than their opponents through just 20 games.

> Did you know the Tigers actually turn their opponent over a nation-leading 30 percent of the time during a game? What does that mean? Well it means nearly one out of every three defensive possessions ends in a turnover.

> With that great turnover percentage Missouri is forcing 21.1 turnovers a game and is averaging 25.2 points per game off of those turnovers.

> It’s certainly early, but the Tigers sport excellent depth on their roster ... Nine different players have reached double figures in scoring and 10 different Tigers are averaging at least 9.8 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri’s pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 15-of-19 contests, including a school record 24 thefts vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 24.

> Missouri continues to be outstanding at the free throw line this season ... The Tigers are hitting at a 73.5 percent clip on the year, compared to 67.2 percent shooting last season.

> Over the last four games Missouri is shooting 81 percent at the foul line 81-of-100.

> It’s hard to argue with the production of Missouri’s bench ... The Tigers are getting 35.9 of their 80.8 points per game from the reserves ... Missouri’s bench has actually outscored their starters five times this season and are outscoring their opposition’s bench 35.9-to-17.2.

> Mizzou has had a double-figure scorer off the pine in 16 games this season, including a season high three players in the wins against Texas Tech, Oregon and UMKC.

> One thing about Mike Anderson’s clubs, they are built for the long haul ... Over his tenure “Coach A’s” teams have averaged 26.8 points per game off the bench... That’s over 120 career games.

> It’s nothing new to have the reserves outscore the starters either ... Including five games this season, the reserves have dropped in more tallies than the “initial five” 17 times (in 120 games) in Anderson’s tenure ... It just goes to show you, when the man says he has eight or nine starters, it means he has eight or nine starters!

> To help illustrate that point even further, Missouri has had eight different starting lineups this year.

> Missouri has typically played some tough schedules over the years and that trend will continue in 2009-10 ... Mizzou has 15 games against teams that have been ranked / receiving votes in the Top 25 this season ... Included in that list are some impressive non-conference games against, Illinois, Old Dominion, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Georgia and Richmond.


Tiger Tidbits

J.T. Tiller, 6-4, 200 Pounds

> J.T. Tiller (aka the Tasmanian Devil) has earned mention on virtually every preseason All-Defensive Team in 2009-10 … Tiller is of course the reigning Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 Conference and was named to All-Defensive Teams by Sports Illustrated and ESPN prior to the start of his senior season.

> Tiller has been hobbled by a bone bruise in his left foot, but has still reached double figures in 7-of-17 games played.

> Tiller has notched seven assists in a game three times this year, including seven dimes at Vanderbilt, seven in a win against Old Dominion and seven in a home win against Georgia.

> The Marietta, Ga., native has 281 career assists and needs 49 more dimes to move into the career Top 10.

> He also owns 140 career steals and 11 more thefts would push him into the Top 10 in that category as well, surpassing former teammate Jason Horton (2004-08), who had 150 … In fact his career steals per game average of 1.2 already ranks in Mizzou’s career Top 10.


Zaire Taylor, 6-4, 189 Pounds

> Zaire Taylor has been one of America’s top defensive players so far in 2009-10 and is #2 in the Big 12 and ranked among the Top 100 nationally with 2.0 steals per game this season.

> Taylor ripped a career high seven steals vs. Fairleigh Dickinson in just 18 minutes of action ... Taylor was in the game for 31 defensive possessions and stopped FDU 26 percent of the time with either a steal or a blocked shot.

> The seven steals are tops in the Big 12 this year, tied the Mizzou Arena record and are the second most in school history ... Had he played all 40 minutes vs. the Knights he was on pace to record 15.6 steals in the game.

> Not only is Taylor excellent at swiping the basketball, he is one of the country’s best at protecting the rock as well ... Last year he ranked among the Top 5 nationally with a 3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ... This season he is #36 nationally with a 2.6-to-1 ratio.

> Taylor has wasted little time picking up his assist totals this year and has dished 57 dimes while committing just 19 turnovers in his last 19 games, including a career-best eight assists and zero turnovers at Oklahoma.

> Of course its hard to talk about Taylor and not mention his “Big Shot” moniker ... Taylor hit game-winners last year vs. #16 Kansas and at #16 Texas and then broke a 66-66 tie vs. #10 K-State on Jan. 9 with a deep triple with just 33 seconds remaining ... All three of those game-winners were vs. ranked teams.

> Taylor has done an excellent job supplementing his scoring at the foul line in Big 12 play and has made 26-of-27 charity shots in league action, including 20 consecutive dating back to the second half of the K-State win.

> Not only do Taylor and Tiller form one of America’s best backcourts, but the pair is incredibly visible in the community and volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, which supports the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital ...  The duo answered phones on the phonebank and made special visits to patients.


Laurence Bowers, 6-8, 205 Pounds

> Laurence Bowers is one of Missouri’s most efficient players this season and is third on the team in scoring (10.6), second in rebounding (5.8) and tops in blocked shots (1.7) in just 20.6 minutes a game.

> Bowers scored a career high 23 points in the Jan. 2 win against Georgia, hitting 11-of-14 FGs for his first career 20-point night and has now reached double figures in four of his last seven games, including 13 points and eight boards vs. K-State and 10 points and nine boards at Tech.

> Bowers is averaging 7.0 rebounds a game during Big 12 play, well ahead of his season average.

> Over his last eight games Bowers is a combined 36-of-60 from the floor (.600) and is averaging 12.2 points a night, including his first career double-double at Oklahoma (15 pts, 10 boards).

> Don’t be surprised by Bowers’ efficiency ... That’s part of his game ... The Memphis native maximizes his minutes played ... Last season as a freshman he was the team’s most efficient rebounder and shot-blocker in just 6.9 minutes a game.

> The Memphis native has blocked at least one shot in 16-of-20 games this season, including a career high four swats in the wins against Austin Peay and Tech.


Kim English, 6-6, 200 Pounds

> Kim English was named one of the nation’s Top 5 Most Improved Players by Dick Vitale in USA Today.

> English leads Missouri with 13 double figure scoring games this season, including seven 20-point efforts.

> English has scored 20+ in four of his last 12 games, including 24 tallies in the win against Illinois and 20 more at Texas Tech.

> English grabbed a career high 10 boards for his first double-double at Texas Tech.

> He also grabbed six rebounds and ripped two steals vs. the Fighting Illini ... English has at least one steal in 16-of-17 games this season, including 19 steals in his last 10 contests.

> English was named the Big 12’s Player of the Week on Dec. 28 after leading the team to wins against Illinois (24 points) and Austin Peay (23 points).


Marcus Denmon, 6-3, 185 Pounds

> Marcus Denmon is nearly full strength after off-season knee surgery and has reached double figures 11 times this year.

> Denmon has been one of Mizzou’s most consistent scorers with those 11 double-figure efforts and poured in a career high 20 points in the win at Texas Tech.

> In fact Denmon has reached double figures in six of his last nine games and is averaging 11.8 ppg during that run.

> The team-leader in three-point field goals, Denmon is shooting 46 percent from three over his last 12 games, hitting 30-of-65 triples, including 10-of-12 games with multiple three-point makes.

> Denmon has been very good late in games recently ... The Kansas City native is coming off a 14-point effort against #10 Kansas State where he scored eight of his team-high tying 14 points in span of 3:43 late in the second half to hand the Tigers their 30th consecutive home court victory ... The Tigers were down 55-49 at the 5:37 mark when Denmon nailed back-to-back treys and then hit a baseline runner off glass that had “Old Skool Basketballers” reminiscing.

> During the win at Texas Tech Denmon scored five points in overtime, including the first bucket of the extra frame and a 24-foot trey to break an 85-85 tie.

> Denmon currently ranks among the Big 12 leaders in three-point field goals per game (2.2) and three-point percentage (.440).


Justin Safford, 6-7, 230 Pounds

> Justin Safford has been a steady force in the rebounding department for Missouri over the last three games, averaging 7.7 boards vs. Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.

> Safford grabbed a career high 11 boards in the win against Nebraska and narrowly missed a double-double with nine points.

> The Bloomington, Ill., native then scored a career high 19 points at Kansas thanks to 8-of-10 foul shooting.

> Safford has been excellent at the line over his last four games, hitting 14-of-17 charity shots (.824).


Miguel Paul, 6-1, 172 Pounds

> Miguel Paul scored a career high 15 points to lead Mizzou in the win against Nebraska ... Paul hit two treys and 5-of-6 total field goals in 16 minutes.

> Paul owns an excellent assist/turnover ratio this season with 40 dimes and just 17 turnovers (2.4-to-1).


Steve Moore, 6-9, 264 Pounds

> Fans will notice a slimmed down version of Steve Moore this year … Since his arrival Moore had dropped 40 pounds and has now began to regain the weight in the form of muscle … Moore credits Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning David Deets with adjusting his eating habits, allowing the “Extreme Makeover”.

> Moore turned that weight loss into production, as he has recorded career highs in virtually every statistical category this season.


Michael Dixon, 6-1, 175 Pounds

> Michael Dixon has been one of the Big 12’s top freshmen this season and is averaging 8.1 points on 45 percent shooting this year.

> Dixon has reached double figures in eight of his last 15 games and was excellent in “high major” non-conference games, averaging 11.2 in contests against Illinois, Oregon, Georgia and Vanderbilt.

> The rookie showed his moxie in Missouri’s recent road win at Texas Tech, hitting four free throws in the final :17 seconds of OT for the triumph.

> The Kansas City native leads Mizzou in FT percentage at 88.2 percent and has hit 27 consecutive free throws dating back to the Dec. 5 game against Oregon.

> Dixon was recently named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 28, the first league honor of his young career.


About The Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State (16-4, 4-2 Big 12) enters Mizzou Arena on a three-game winning streak following a 76-69 win against Texas A&M on Wednesday ... The Cowboys are led by the Big 12’s top scorer, James Anderson, who is averaging 22.1 points per  game  ... Anderson has scored his points in a variety of ways, including scoring about seven points per game at the free throw line ... Senior Obi Muonelo is second with 13.0 tallies a night and is very dangerous outside the three-point line with 46.4 percent shooting on the year ... Marshall Moses gives the Cowboys solid rebounding ... The 6-foot-7 forward ranks among the Big 12’s best with 9.9 rebounds per game, including 11 boards vs. Texas A&M ... The Cowboys outrebounded the Aggies 30-to-19 on Wednesday and Muonelo’s 24 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting was the difference.


The Series With Oklahoma State

Missouri leads the series 74-39 overall and 43-7 in Columbia ... Oklahoma State did escape Mizzou Arena with a 75-73 win on Feb. 26, 2008, on a Byron Eaton jumper at the buzzer, which is Missouri’s last home loss ... The Tigers won a pair of games against the Cowboys in 2009 and both came within the state of Oklahoma ... Missouri outlasted a furious OSU rally to win 97-95 in Stillwater and the Tigers topped OSU 67-59 in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City.


Ford Began Career As A Tiger

Although he is best known for his playing days at Kentucky, Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford began his career in a Mizzou uniform ... Ford played in 30 games for Missouri during the 1989-90 season and dished out 105 assists to such Tiger greats as Doug Smith, Anthony Peeler, Lee Coward and others ... Mizzou earned a No. 1 national ranking twice that season and finished the year 26-6 and 12-2 in the Big Eight Conference, culminating with a league crown.


Quick Starts For Mizzou

Missouri is off to one of its fastest starts this century, as the Tigers look to improve to 16-5 on Saturday against Oklahoma State.

> Below is a look at some of Missouri’s fastest starts through 20 games over the last 30 years.


Season           Start         Finish

1981-82         19-1          27-4

1989-90         19-1          26-6

1993-94         18-2          28-4

2008-09         17-3          31-7

1988-89         17-3          29-8

1982-83         17-3          26-8

1991-92         17-3          21-9

1994-95         17-3          20-9

1979-80         16-4          25-6

2009-10         15-5          ???

2001-02         15-5          25-11


Mizzou In A Special Two-Year Stretch

Missouri has played a special stretch of basketball over the last two seasons, going 46-12 during that time ... The 46 wins over two seasons is the ninth most in school history and the school record is 54 wins over two seasons set by the 1988-89 team (29 wins) and the 1989-90 club (26 wins) ... In fact Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford was a part of that 26 win team in 1989-90.


Top Two-Year Stretches at Mizzou

Years                       Win Totals

1988-90                   54 Wins

1981-83                   53 Wins

1980-82                   49 Wins

1993-95                   48 Wins

2007-09                   47 Wins

1992-94                   47 Wins

1979-80                   47 Wins

1975-77                   47 Wins

2008-10                   46 Wins

2001-03                   46 Wins

1989-91                   46 Wins


Dixon One Of Mizzou’s Best Frosh Point Guards

Michael Dixon has made a huge splash for Mizzou early in his Tiger career and below is a quick look at how the Lee’s Summit freshman compares to some other Tiger point guards during their freshman campaigns.


Tiger                             Year             PPG   APG    TPG   A/T Ratio

**Michael Dixon  2009-10    8.1     2.2      1.0     2.3

Keyon Dooling       1998-99    8.7     3.0      2.0     1.5

Melvin Booker       1990-91    8.3     3.5      2.7     1.3

Travis Ford               1989-90    6.4     3.5      1.8     1.9

Lee Coward             1986-87    6.5     1.7      1.4     1.3          

Prince Bridges       1981-82    6.8     3.3      2.2     1.5

**Jon Sundvold     1979-80    6.3     2.1      1.9     1.1

**Larry Drew          1976-77    6.9     2.8      N/A    N/A


** Kansas City natives


Bench Making The Difference

Missouri is known for using its deep, effective bench to help fuel the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball and the Tiger reserves have outscored their opposition’s bench in 19 games this season ... In fact, Missouri’s second wave has outscored its starters five times this season, including recent games against UMKC and Georgia.

> Seven times this season the Tiger bench has scored 40+ points in a game and owns a 35.8-to-17.2 scoring margin against its opponents in 2009-10.

> Missouri has had six different Tigers come off the bench to score in double figures this season: Kim English, Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon, Michael Dixon, Zaire Taylor and Miguel Paul.


Top Bench Scoring Totals of 2009-10

Opponent                             Bench Scoring

vs. Texas-Pan American   57

vs. UMKC                             57

vs. Georgia                         54

vs. Oregon                          50

vs. Chattanooga                49

vs. Tennessee-Martin      45

at Texas Tech                     41


Noting Mizzou’s 31-Game Home Winning Streak

> Missouri has won 26-of-31 games by double figures.

> Has won 19 of 31 games by 20+ points, 11 games by 30+, six games by 40+ and two games by 50+.

> Own an average margin of victory of 21.8 points per game and is scoring 87.2 points in those 30 wins, while allowing just 65.4 points.

> Has topped 100 points five times and 90 points 12 times.

> Has won 11 consecutive games vs. Big 12 opposition during the run.

> Has defeated three ranked foes (#4 Oklahoma, #10 Kansas State and #16 Kansas).

> Own an average margin of victory of 32.0 points in a pair of Big 12 / Pac-10 Hardwood Series wins against California (93-66) and Oregon (106-69).

> During the streak the Tigers are shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, 38.2 percent from three-point range, are averaging 18.8 assists, 12.3 steals, have just 12.8 turnovers and own a 1.4 assist/turnover margin.




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