Mizzou Basketball Hosts Baylor on Saturday

MUTIGERS.COM Mizzou Basketball returns home to face Baylor.
Mizzou Basketball returns home to face Baylor.

Jan. 30, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09

University of Missouri Tigers (17-4, 4-2) vs.

Baylor University Bears (15-5, 3-3)

2008-09 Regular Season Game 22 - January 31, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 5:05 p.m. CST

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

TV: Big 12 Network - (Steve Physioc play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Chris Gervino play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)

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

Series: Missouri leads 10-9 overall; in Columbia the Tigers lead 7-2


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 140-73 overall (7th season); 51-32 at Mizzou (3rd)

Baylor: Scott Drew (Butler, ‘93) 92-96 overall (7th season); 72-85 at Baylor (6th)


For Openers

> Missouri Basketball returns home for a highly-anticipated match-up with Baylor on Saturday, as two of the Big 12’s top scoring clubs square off in a key Big 12 battle ... Missouri is second in the Big 12 in scoring at 84.8 points per game, while Baylor is one of the Big 12’s top three-point shooting clubs and averages 82.2 points a night.

> Missouri has won 14 consecutive home games dating back to a double-overtime win against Iowa State last season ... Those 14 straight home wins set a Mizzou Arena record ... The Tigers had won 13 straight over the 2006-07 / 2007-08 seasons before a home loss to Kansas ended that run last winter ... Missouri’s 14-game home court winning streak is the seventh longest in school history and a win Saturday would make it the longest home streak since 1993-94.

> Missouri has simply been dominant at home this season and is averaging an incredible 90.6 points per game at Mizzou Arena in running their home record to 13-0 in 2008-09 ... The Tigers boast a 29.4 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), a 31-point win over Iowa State (77-46) and a 27-point win (93-66) over a California team now hovering near the Top 25.

> Who will be Missouri’s top gun on Saturday? The balanced Tigers have had six different players lead (or tie for the team lead) in scoring over the last eight games, dating back to Mizzou’s first road win of the season at Georgia ... DeMarre Carroll has led or tied for the team lead four times during that run and Matt Lawrence has paced the club twice.

> A huge key for Missouri will be the play of its bench... Missouri’s second unit is averaging 33.1 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. 5 nationally in scoring at 84.8 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 19.6, No. 2 in steals per game at 11.0, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 5 in scoring margin at 18.5 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 6 nationally with 64.0 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 169 more FGs than their opponents through 21 games thanks to the nation’s No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.7).


Mizzou Quick-Hitters

> Missouri Basketball looks to continue its home court success on Saturday as it hosts the Baylor Bears at 5 p.m.

> The Tigers are off to their best start (17-4) since the 1994-95 season ... A win on Saturday would push Missouri’s record to 18-4, surpassing their win total from the entire 2007-08 campaign (16-16) and equaling 18 wins in Mike Anderson’s first season.

> Missouri has yet to lose back-to-back games this season and has responded well following their first three losses of the year ... In fact, Missouri is averaging a 39.0 ppg margin of victory in games immediately following their first three losses of the year.

> Keep track of Leo Lyons’ point total throughout the next couple of games ... The senior has 972 points and needs just 28 more tallies to reach the 1,000-point plateau ... Lyons played well at Baylor last season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

> The Tigers will be playing their final home game for more than a week ... Mizzou travels to Texas and Iowa State next week, before returning home to host Kansas on ESPN Big Monday on Feb. 9.

> Mizzou is 2-0 vs. members of the Big 12 South this season ... The Tigers won at Oklahoma State and defeated Texas Tech last week.

> Anderson and the Tigers are now 7-7 vs. the Big 12 over the past 2+ seasons.

> Mizzou has been a much-improved offensive team at home this year ... In running their record to 13-0, the Tigers are averaging 90.6 points and shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from three-point range.

> A huge key for the Tigers continues to be the play of their bench ... On the season, Missouri’s reserves are averaging 33.1 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 24.4 points.

> With those great bench-scoring totals, the Tigers have had a school-record 11 different players reach double figures this season, surpassing the 10 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 10.9 minutes a  game on the year, including five newcomers.

> Sticking with the balance theme, Missouri has had a school-record tying 10 different players dish out at least 20 assists this season ... 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 nine times already this season and have had six players do it three in the same game, including twice in Big 12 play vs. Colorado and Oklahoma State.

> The Tigers had four freshmen reach double figures vs. SIUE, which was a first in school history ... They almost did it again vs. Colorado as Miguel Paul finished with eight points.

> A major reason for Mizzou’s large scoring totals is because the club has taken 169 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 169 more FG’s ... Mizzou made 119 more FG’s than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 169 more FGs through just 21 games is a HUGE differential.

> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 14 times in 21 games this season and is 14-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 38 times in the Mike Anderson era (82 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 19.7 turnovers per game and is averaging 23.5 points off those opponent miscues each night.

> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (23.5-of-84.8).

> Another impressive stat regarding Missouri’s defense is that the Tigers force a turnover on 26.6 percent of their defensive possessions ... That means opponents are turning it over a little more than  once every four possessions vs. the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball.

> It’s only January, but ESPN Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has Missouri “in” the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed ... Lunardi has the Tigers facing No. 6-seeded Butler in Kansas City, Mo.

> 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.

> Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and in the Top 10 in steals.

> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,222 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 972 career points and needs just 28 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 146 more tallies as a senior to reach the mark.

> Over his last 22 regular-season games Lyons has six 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 21-of-23 contests.

> Lyons has actually reached double figures in nine consecutive Big 12 regular-season games, which is 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 18-of-21 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 16 times this year.

> Carroll has topped the 20-point plateau four times this season, including 27 points vs. Texas Tech, which is the highest scoring Big 12 game of his career.

> Carroll has three double-doubles on the year following his 13-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Colorado.

> Carroll has seven other games this season with either eight or nine rebounds, so he’s narrowly missed on a number of other double-doubles opportunities.

> Carroll has been especially active on the boards in Big 12 play, where he is averaging 8.0 rebounds a contest.

> The Junk Yard Dog also leads all Big 12 forwards with 38 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (9th), steals (5th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (8th).

> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in 11 of his last 16 outings.

> In fact, over his last nine games Lawrence is shooting 53 percent from bonus distance, hitting 28-of-53 treys.

> The news gets even better for Lawrence at home, where he is shooting nearly 50.0 percent (29-of-63) on the year from three-point distance and 54 percent (19-of-35) over his last seven home contests.

> The St. Louis native is already No. 3 in career three-point makes at MU with 212.

> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 21 steals, 20 assists and just seven 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.

> So far this season the Staten Island, N.Y., native has 73 assists and just 27 turnovers ... His 2.7-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 18 nationally.

> Since Big 12 play began, Taylor has dished 26 dimes and has just 10 turnovers (2.6-to-1).

> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 18-of-21 games this year and has 5+ assists nine times on the season, including a season high seven assists at Kansas State.

> Taylor scored a season high 17 points in the win over Georgia and helped lead Mizzou to the win over Iowa State by scoring 15 points and grabbing five boards.

> He continued his offensive exploits with 10 points at Oklahoma State in a win.

> 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 then-career high six steals vs. Xavier ... The six thefts tied a tournament record and is No. 7 in Missouri single-game school history.

> Tiller later moved to No. 2 on that list with seven steals vs. Texas Tech, which equals Rickey Paulding for the most ever by a Tiger in a Big 12 game.

> Tiller has had multiple steals in 11-of-21 games and is fourth in the Big 12 with 2.0 steals a night.

> Of Tiller’s 19 career double-figure scoring games, 10 have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including all-three road games this season, counting a season high 15 points and seven rebounds at Oklahoma State.

> 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 has been one of the team’s most steady performers over the last five games and is averaging 10.0 points on 47 percent shooting from the floor and 50 percent shooting from three-point range.

> His 16 points vs. Iowa State was a career high for the KC native and he followed that up with 14 tallies in the win over Texas Tech, 11 of which came in the final 20 minutes.

> 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.

> English has started the last five games and has reached double figures twice, first recording 12 points vs. Colorado, before tossing in 13 vs. Texas Tech.

> Since the start of Big 12 play, English is second on the club in three-point shooting (.450), hitting 9-of-20 attempts.

> In fact, English’s hot streak started weeks ago ... Over his last 15 games the Baltimore native is 23-of-50 (.460) from bonus distance and has treys in 11 of those 15 games.

> Junior Keith Ramsey has played improved basketball over the past few weeks, especially on the defensive end en route to earning five consecutive starts.

> Since entering the starting line up Ramsey is averaging 7.6 points and has hit 16-of-27 shots from the floor, while blocking 1.0 shots a game.

> The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native has blocked at least one shot in 10 of his last 13 games and has 10 blocks in his last eight contests overall.

> Ramsey scored 10 points vs. Iowa State, which included 2-of-2 shooting from three-point range, before registering a career high 12 tallies at Oklahoma State.

> For his efforts against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, Ramsey was named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 26.

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

> 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 (7), 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 Baylor Bears

Baylor (15-3, 3-3 Big 12) is coming off a pair of losses, most recently a 78-72 home loss to Texas on Tuesday ... The Bears started Big 12 play off 3-1, but have dropped back-to-back games to Top 25 foes Oklahoma and Texas and now stand 3-3 in the league ... Baylor is once again one of the Big 12’s most potent offensive units and are led in scoring by Curtis Jerrells, a preseason All-Big 12 First Team selection ... Jerrells is averaging 17.4 points a game, but also has 113 assists and is third on the team with 4.6 rebounds a night ... LaceDarius Dunn is the top sixth man in the Big 12 and averages 16.7 points, including an incredible 9-of-12 shooting night from three-point range at Kansas State last week ... Baylor is 2-2 on the road this season, including that road win in Manhattan ... The Bears also have impressive non-league wins against Providence, Arizona State and at Washington State.


Stealing Away The Wins

Missouri is forcing an incredible 20.8 turnovers per game over its last five outings (4-1) and is logging 11.4 steals a night ... The Tigers forced a season high 29 turnovers in the win against Texas Tech last Saturday and produced a season-best 20 steals en route to the 97-86 win ... The 20 steals were the second most in school history and J.T. Tiller’s seven steals vs. the Red Raiders were the second highest single-game total in school annals.

> Those 20 thefts followed 12 steals efforts vs. both Colorado and Oklahoma State, with the Buffaloes committing 26 turnovers themselves in a 107-62 defeat to the Tigers.


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 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.

> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 18-of-21 games this season, including a career high 29 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 19 USC and 27 points in a recent Big 12 win over Texas Tech.

> 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. 8 in rebounding, No. 3 in field goal percentage (.584), No. 5 in steals (1.8) and No. 6 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.


Ramsey Flourishing For Mizzou

Since joining the starting line-up Keith Ramsey has flashed improved versatility for the Tigers, including a better offensive punch in his last four outings.

> Already considered one of the club’s best defenders and the team-leader in blocked shots (19), Ramsey produced back-to-back double-figure scoring nights vs. Iowa State (10 points) and Oklahoma State (12 points), before scoring nine points and tying a season high with seven boards vs. Texas Tech.

> Since joining the starting line-up Ramsey is averaging 7.6 points and is shooting 59.3 percent from the floor, which includes hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers, dishing five assists and blocking five shots in 20.0 minutes a game.


Tigers Earning Record-Setting Wins

Missouri enjoyed a pair of impressive wins to open Big 12 play, as the Tigers topped Colorado 107-62 in the home-opener and beat Iowa State 77-46 just three days later.

> The combined 76-point margin of victory vs. CU and ISU is the largest in school history in back-to-back conference games and are the top two margins of victory for Missouri since joining the Big 12.


Biggest Big 12 Wins For Mizzou

Date       Opponent              Score     Margin

1-14-09  Colorado               107-62   45

1-17-09  Iowa State             77-46     31

1-29-00  Texas A&M            93-62     31

2-13-99  Colorado               87-56     31

2-28-98  Kansas State       89-59     30


Tigers Boast Home Winning Streak

Missouri has won a Mizzou Arena-record tying 14 consecutive home games dating back to the 2007-08 regular-season finale vs. Iowa State ... The 14 wins are the seventh longest streak in school history ... Details of Missouri’s home winning streaks can be found on page 113 of the 2008-09 Media Guide.


1.     34    1988-90          6.      17   1993-94

2.     29    1980-82          7.      14   2002-03

3.     23    1974-76                   14   1995-96

4.     22    1919-21                   14   1976-77

5.     21    1987-88                   14   2008-09


Freshman Impact

Despite having a great group of senior scorers, Missouri has received great production from its freshmen in league play.

> Rookie forward Laurence Bowers led Missouri with 16 points vs. Colorado and Marcus Denmon poured in a career high 16 tallies vs. Iowa State.

> It’s been nearly 30 years since the Tigers were led in scoring by freshmen in back-to-back league games ... Steve Stipanovich scored 20 points in a win over Oklahoma, while Jon Sundvold followed with 17 points in a win at Kansas State.

> More recently, the Tiger freshmen duo of Marcus Denmon (14) and Kim English (13) combined for 27 tallies in the Tiger win over Texas Tech.


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 13-0 and average 29.4 ppg margin of victory.

> The Tigers have won 12-of-13 games by double figure margins, 10-of-13 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.


Balance Is Leading Tigers To Huge Scores

Missouri has had six players reach double figures in a game three times this season, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished three times in the same year since 1988-89.

> DeMarre Carroll (21), Miguel Paul (12), Marcus Denmon (11), Leo Lyons (11), Laurence Bowers (10) and Kim English (10) accomplished the feat vs. SIU Edwardsville.

> Bowers (16), Carroll (13), Justin Safford (13), Denmon (13), J.T. Tiller (13), and English (12) also did it vs. Colorado.

> Missouri most recently accomplished the feat at Oklahoma State with Carroll (19), Lawrence (19), Tiller (15), Ramsey (12), Lyons (10) and Taylor (10) all reaching double figures.

> In fact, Missouri leads the Big 12 Conference and has a school record with 11 different players having reached double figures in at least two game this season.



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