Jan. 31, 2014
> Missouri Basketball will look for its third consecutive win on Saturday as the Tigers host the Kentucky Wildcats for the first time in series history ... Missouri and Kentucky played to an overtime decision (90-83 UK win) last year at Rupp Arena and the Tigers will look for their first win all-time against the Wildcats.
> Head Coach Frank Haith will continue to wear his sneakers on Saturday to help promote awareness for Coaches vs. Cancer ... Haith is on the leadership council for Coaches vs. Cancer, which was of course co-founded by Mizzou’s Norm Stewart ... The program began as “The 3-Point Attack... Norm’s Special Challenge” 20 years ago and was adopted by the NABC the following year at a national level ... In addition to the sneakers, Haith and his staff will wear blue pins to raise awareness for autism.
> Mizzou has been very good at home under Haith and is 43-2 at Mizzou Arena since Haith took over prior to the 2011-12 season ... Overall Missouri is an outstanding 40-5 at home in league play (SEC and Big 12) since the 2008-09 season and the Tigers have never dropped more than two home games in a year during that stretch.
> Haith is also a very good 10-4 vs. Top 25 opponents (regardless of site) as the head coach of Mizzou and is 5-3 vs. the Top 10 ... Kentucky enters Saturday’s game ranked No. 11 nationally and the Tigers are 7-4 vs. Top 12 opponents at Mizzou Arena since the facility opened in 2004-05.
> Was anyone in college basketball better than Jabari Brown in the month of January? ... The junior recorded six 20-point games in eight opportunities during the month and averaged 22.3 points on 56 percent shooting from the floor and 57 percent shooting from three-point range ... Brown has topped 20 points in five consecutive games overall, including 24 in the win at Arkansas on Tuesday when he hit 4-of-5 treys and poured in 19 second-half points to lift Mizzou to its first win at Bud Walton Arena.
> Over his last five games Brown is 20-of-29 from three-point range (.690) and in his last three contests the junior is a spectacular 13-of-17 (.765) from bonus distance, while averaging 25.0 points and 5.0 rebounds ... He currently leads the SEC in scoring (22.3), ranks No. 2 in field goal percentage (.540), and is tops in both three-point makes (3.6) and three-point percentage (.581).
> The tandem of Brown (19.8) and Jordan Clarkson (18.5) continue to lead the Tigers offensively this season ... The duo has reached double figures in all-20 games played this season ... The last Tiger to open a season with 20 consecutive double-figure scoring games was Kareem Rush (21 consecutive) in 2000-01.
> With Brown surging into league play the Tigers have three award candidates in the backcourt ... Clarkson was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list and Earnest Ross is one of the SEC’s most versatile players ... Clarkson was one of college basketball’s Top 25 players through the first half of the 2013-14 season and ranks among the SEC’s leaders in scoring (18.5) and assists (3.5), which includes a team-leading 10 20-point games (tied with Brown for the team lead).
> Mizzou is 16-4 on the season and its four losses are by a combined 16 points to Illinois (1), Vanderbilt (3), Georgia (6) in overtime and at LSU (6) ... The Tigers are accustomed to playing close ball games this year, with 12 of their last 13 outcomes being decided by 10 points or less.
Mizzou Basketball Cliffs...
> Mizzou Basketball returns home on Saturday as the Tigers host No. 11 Kentucky at Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are facing their second ranked foe at home this year ... Mizzou defeated then-No. 17 UCLA on Dec. 7 (80-71) and together UCLA and Kentucky have a combined 19 national championships.
> Saturday’s game will be a Gold Rush at Mizzou Arena ... Fans are encouraged to wear gold for the Noon contest.
> Following Saturday’s game the Tigers are back on the road for consecutive games at Florida and Ole Miss, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the SEC standings.
> Mizzou has improved its field goal percentage defense each season under Haith and the Tigers currently rank No. 1 in the SEC in FG% defense (.388) ... The last time the Tigers limited opponents to sub-40 percent shooting from the floor was Norm Stewart’s final year (1998-99), when opponents shot just 39.3 percent for the season.
> On Tuesday, Arkansas was averaging 82.9 points per game on the year and an impressive 89.3 points at Bud Walton Arena, but the Tigers held the Razorbacks to just 71 points on the road, Arkansas’ fewest this year at home ... This is becoming a trend for the Tigers ... In non-conference play the Tigers faced two of the nation’s top scoring teams, West Virginia and UCLA, and held the two clubs a combined 35 points below their scoring norms ... Mizzou also held Western Michigan 10.6 points below its season scoring average, Illinois 6.5 points below its norm, N.C. State 13.0 points below its average and Long Beach State 8.3 points below its average.
> Mizzou continues to be one of the top free throw shooting teams in the SEC, both by volume and percentage of makes ... The Tigers lead the SEC with 72.3 percent shooting from the foul stripe and Mizzou’s 19.6 free throw makes per game ranks No. 2 behind Kentucky (21.1) and ranks No. 28 nationally ... Mizzou was a perfect 16-of-16 from the foul line in the second half in the win at Arkansas to seal the victory.
> Jabari Brown (96), Jordan Clarkson (92) and Earnest Ross (91) are each approaching 100 free throw makes this year ... The Tigers haven’t had three players with 100 makes in a season since 1995-96.
> Missouri has had at least one player score 20 or more points in 16-of-20 games this season ... Jabari Brown is coming off five consecutive 20-point efforts vs. Vanderbilt, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Arkansas ... Brown has topped 20 points 15 times in his career and Mizzou is 13-2 in those contests.
> The Tigers have a total of 23 20-point games this season, all coming from Clarkson (10), Brown (10) and Ross (3) ... Missouri had a player top 20 points 25 times last season.
> Missouri has been one of the leagues better rebounding teams as well, ranking No. 3 in the SEC with a +7.2 rebounding margin ... The Tigers average 27.6 defensive boards per game, No. 1 in the SEC, tied with Kentucky.
> Missouri recorded a rare ACC road win on Dec. 28 at N.C. State ... Although the Tigers haven’t played many road games in ACC territory, the win in Raleigh was the second in ACC country in program history ... Mizzou won 87-73 at Maryland on Jan. 24, 1989 ... It was the club’s first non-league road win since a 75-68 win at Old Dominion on Dec. 30, 2011.
> Head Coach Frank Haith will coach his 315th career game overall and is a spectacular 64-20 in three seasons at Mizzou ... Haith was the fastest coach in school history to 50 wins and has just one starter back for the second consecutive campaign.
> Haith is quickly approaching his 200th career victory ... He has 193 career wins heading into Saturday’s game.
> Missouri is being led in scoring by the dynamic junior tandem of Jabari Brown (19.8 ppg) and Jordan Clarkson (18.5) ... The duo is combining for 38.3 points per game, No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference, just ahead of the Auburn duo of KT Harrell and Chris Denson ... Brown leads the SEC in scoring during league play (22.3 ppg) and tops in the league overall with 19.8 tallies per night ... Clarkson ranks No. 6 in the conference in scoring and his 16.9 points in seven league contests ranks No. 9.
> The pair is one of three teammate tandems in high-major college basketball averaging 18.0+ points per game.
> Johnathan Williams, III is on pace to become the first Tiger freshman to lead the team in rebounding since Linas Kleiza (8.4) in 2003-04 ... Williams is coming off a 12-rebound effort at Arkansas and is No. 6 in the SEC in rebounding.
> Mizzou plays in the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena where the club is 43-2 since 2011-12 and went a perfect 17-0 at home last season.
> Mizzou boasts a 147-22 (.871) record at home since the building opened in 2004-05 ... The Tigers are also 94-5 at home since 2008-09, amounting to an incredible .950 winning percentage.
> Non-conference opponents have not enjoyed their stops in Columbia, Mo., over the last few seasons and the Tigers have raced to an incredible 81 consecutive wins at home vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... Missouri’s last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT, but since then, Missouri has gone nearly eight full seasons without a loss.
> That non-conference win streak is No. 2 nationally behind Duke ... Duke has won 109 consecutive non-ACC games at home.
> Jordan Clarkson recorded the first 30-point game of the SEC season on Nov. 12 and logged the 26th 30-point game during Missouri’s SEC / Big 12 eras ... Clarkson needed just 18 shots to reach 31 points (12-of-18 FGs), and is one of just two Tigers during the two eras to have 30+ points, 5+ assists and zero turnovers ... Clarence Gilbert had a ridiculous 43 points, nine assists and zero turnovers vs. Iowa State in a four overtime win on Jan. 13, 2001.
> Clarkson has topped 20 points in nine of his last 16 games ... The junior has topped 20 points 10 times in 20 games overall.
> Head Coach Frank Haith enters his third season at Missouri and will look to lead the Tigers to their third consecutive 20-win campaign ... Only Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder and Mike Anderson have enjoyed three 20-win seasons at Mizzou ... Stewart of course led the way with 17 20-win campaigns ... Snyder and Anderson each had three.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons ... In fact the Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last five seasons.
> The five consecutive 20-win seasons is a school record and Missouri’s five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament is the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference.
> Mizzou Arena has been the site of two undefeated home seasons in its history ... Missouri was 18-0 in 2008-09 and was 17-0 at home last season ... Hearnes Center, the former home of Missouri Basketball, was the site of five undefeated home campaigns (1974-75, 1980-81, 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1993-94).
> Since 2006-07 (72-0) the club’s margin of victory has been 25.8 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Mizzou has three transfers sitting out this season ... Zach Price transferred from Louisville, where the 6-foot-10 forward was a member of the Cardinals’ NCAA National Championship team ... Deuce Bello transferred from Baylor ... Both will be classified as redshirt juniors next season ... Most recently the Tigers added Cam Biedscheid from Notre Dame at semester break.
> Mizzou will be on national television a school-record 20 times this season ... That number has grown each of Mizzou’s two years in the SEC ... The Tigers were on national TV 18 times last season, which was also a school record.
> Mizzou was picked fifth in the Southeastern Conference’s preseason media poll ... Kentucky was the projected league champion.