Tiger Host Aggies on Wednesday

MUTIGERS.COM Missouri puts its home court winning streak on the line.
Missouri puts its home court winning streak on the line.

Feb. 1, 2010

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10

University of Missouri Tigers (16-5, 4-2 Big 12) vs.

Texas A&M University Aggies (15-6, 4-3 Big 12)

2009-10 Regular Season Game 22 - February 3, 2010 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 8 p.m. CST

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

TV: ESPNU - (Carter Blackburn play-by-play; LaPhonso Ellis analyst)

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

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Texas A&M: RV/RV in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 11-7 all-time; last - A&M won 96-86 on March 7, 2009 in C. Station


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 170-81 overall (8th season); 81-40 at Mizzou (4th)

Texas A&M: Mark Turgeon (Kansas, ‘87); 217-146 overall (12th season); 64-27 at Texas A&M (3rd)

For Openers

> Missouri Basketball finishes off a brief, but difficult two game home stand on Wednesday as it hosts the Texas A&M Aggies in a nationally-televised ESPNU contest ... Missouri is already playing its fourth team from the Big 12 South and is coming off a 95-80 win against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

> Of course you can’t talk about the Tigers and not mention Missouri’s 32-game winning streak inside Mizzou Arena, which dates back to the home finale of the 2007-08 campaign against Iowa State … The Tigers rank #2 nationally with regards to home court winning streaks, tied with 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.

> Missouri broke out of its shooting slump in a BIG way on Saturday, shooting 52.3 percent from the floor and hitting 17-of-31 treys vs. Oklahoma State ... The 17 treys were the second most this year and the third highest total in school history ... Missouri hit 18 triples in a win against Chattanooga on Nov. 24.

> Missouri will face a veteran Texas A&M squad and the Aggies’ top two scorers are seniors (Donald Sloan and Bryan Davis), however Missouri is one of the leagues youngest teams with 11-of-13 players in their first or second season playing for Mike Anderson ... Missouri is getting more than half of its 81.5 points per game from the sophomore class alone ...  The second-year Tigers are logging 42.9 points per game ... If you add the freshman class, Mizzou is getting 67 percent of its scoring (54.3 ppg) and 8.6 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).

> Keep an eye out for Zaire Taylor, who has reached double figures in scoring five times in his last six games ... Taylor reached double figures just four times in the season’s first 15 games, but is now averaging 11.0 tallies during Big 12 play, well up from his average of 7.5 ppg during non-conference games.

> It’s not just scoring where Taylor has been productive ... The Staten Island, N.Y., native owns a 19-to-4 assist/turnover ratio in league games and is shooting an incredible 93.1 percent at the foul line (27-of-29) ... Taylor has just two turnovers in his last 137 minutes of playing time in the Big 12 to go with 18 assists.

> Don’t get fooled by the pace Missouri plays at, the Tigers are incredibly efficient ... Missouri does lead the nation with 11.9 steals per game and ranks #1 nationally in turnovers forced (21.2), but Anderson’s club also ranks #16 nationally in assists per game (16.5), #2 nationally in turnover margin (+7.9) and is among the Top 35 nationally with a 1.24 assist/turnover ratio as a team.


Mizzou Quick Hitters

> Missouri Basketball tips off an exciting week by hosting Texas A&M at 8 p.m. on Wednesday ... The Tigers are looking for their second consecutive league win and third Big 12 win in their last four tries.

> Mizzou is looking to remain in second place in the Big 12 standings as it approaches the midway point of the season ... Last year at this time Missouri was also 4-2 in the league en route to a 12-4 overall conference finish.

> Missouri has been very good vs. league opposition over the last two seasons ... The Tigers are 19-5 in their last 24 games vs. Big 12 foes, including three wins in the Big 12 Tournament last year.

> Did you know that Texas A&M is the lone Big 12 school Missouri has yet to defeat under Mike Anderson? ... Despite being 0-3 vs. A&M, Anderson is 29-25 vs. Big 12 opposition ... In the four full seasons before his arrival Missouri won just 30 Big 12 games (30-34).

> Missouri is being led in scoring by THREE underclassmen, Kim English (14.8), Marcus Denmon (10.9) and Laurence Bowers (10.9) ... 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 13-0 with a +28.0 ppg scoring margin inside Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are also shooting 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from three-point range and are turning teams over 22.0 times a game.

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

> Missouri ranks #16 nationally with 16.5 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 22 or more assists this season, led by Zaire Taylor (60), J.T. Tiller (56), freshman Michael Dixon (45) 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 seven 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 (11.9) 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 +7.9 … With that great turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio (+1.2) the Tigers have taken 153 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 122 more steals this season than their opponents through 21 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 21.2 turnovers a game and is averaging 25.7 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 9.7 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri’s pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 16-of-21 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 72.5 percent clip on the year, compared to 67.2 percent shooting last season.

> It’s hard to argue with the production of Missouri’s bench ... The Tigers are getting 36.1 of their 81.5 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 36.1-to-17.7.

> Mizzou has had a double-figure scorer off the pine in 17 games this season, including a season high three players in the wins against Oklahoma State, 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 26.9 points per game off the bench... That’s over 121 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 121 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 was hobbled early by a bone bruise in his left foot, but has still reached double figures in 7-of-18 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 287 career assists and needs 43 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 1.9 steals per game this season.

> 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 #42 nationally with a 2.5-to-1 ratio.

> Taylor has wasted little time picking up his assist totals this year and has dished 60 dimes while committing just 21 turnovers in his last 20 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 27-of-29 charity shots in league action.

> Thanks to the free throw production Taylor has reached double figures in five of his last six games and is averaging 11.0 points during that stretch.

> 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 second on the team in scoring (10.9), tops in rebounding (5.7) and tops in blocked shots (1.6) in just 20.5 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 five of his last eight games, including 13 points and eight boards vs. K-State and 16 points and three steals vs. Oklahoma State.

> Over his last nine games Bowers is a combined 40-of-66 from the floor (.606) and is averaging 12.4 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 17-of-21 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 14 double figure scoring games this season, including eight 20-point efforts.

> English has scored 20+ in five of his last 13 games, including 20 against Oklahoma State.

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

> He also grabbed a six rebounds and ripped two steals vs. the Fighting Illini ... English has at least one steal in 19-of-21 games this season, including 20 steals in his last 11 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 12 times this year.

> Denmon has been one of Mizzou’s most consistent scorers with those 12 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 seven of his last 10 games and is averaging 11.8 ppg during that run.

> The team-leader in three-point field goals, Denmon is shooting 47 percent from three over his last 14 games, hitting 35-of-74 triples, including 11-of-14 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 (2.3) and three-point percentage (.444).


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 7.3 boards vs. Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma State.

> 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 15-of-19 charity shots (.789).


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 19 turnovers (2.1-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 8.2 points on 46 percent shooting this year.

> Dixon has reached double figures in nine of his last 16 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 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.

> He recently hit a career high 4-of-4 treys against Oklahoma State, while adding two assists, two steals and zero turnovers.

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


About The Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M (15-6, 4-3 Big 12) is coming off a resounding 85-70 home win against Texas Tech last Saturday and has won three of its last four games in Big 12 Conference play ... The Aggies are led by All-Big 12 candidate Donald Sloan and his 18.5 ppg scoring average ... Sloan is shooting 47 percent from the floor and averages seven trips to the foul line per game  ... Brian Davis is also back and forms a great senior 1-2 punch for Mark Turgeon’s club ... Davis averages 9.8 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game ... David Loubeau has played excellent basketball of late for the Aggies, including 19 points and nine boards vs. Tech in College Station.


The Series With Texas A&M

Texas A&M has won five consecutive against Missouri including two straight in Columbia ... Missouri leads the overall series 11-7, but hasn’t won since a 74-68 triumph on March 11, 2004, in Dallas, Texas, in the Big 12 Tournament ... Missouri is 5-2 vs. the Aggies all-time in Columbia.


Quick Starts For Mizzou

Missouri is off to one of its fastest starts this century, as the Tigers look to improve to 17-5 on Wednesday against Texas A&M.

> Below is a look at some of Missouri’s fastest starts through 21 games over the last 30 years.


Season           Start         Finish

1981-82         20-1          27-4

1989-90         20-1          26-6

1993-94         19-2          28-4

1988-89         18-3          29-8

1982-83         18-3          26-8

1991-92         18-3          21-9

1994-95         18-3          20-9

2008-09         17-4          31-7

1979-80         17-4          25-6

2009-10         16-5          ???

2001-02         15-6          25-11


Mizzou In A Special Two-Year Stretch

Missouri has played a special stretch of basketball over the last two seasons, going 47-12 during that time ... The 47 wins over two seasons is the fifth 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).


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

2008-10                   47 Wins

2007-09                   47 Wins

1992-94                   47 Wins

1979-80                   47 Wins

1975-77                   47 Wins

2001-03                   46 Wins

1989-91                   46 Wins


Missouri Boasts Great Record vs. Big 12 Foes

The Missouri Tigers have one of the best records vs. Big 12 foes over the last 20 games, just two games behind the Kansas Jayhawks during that stretch ... Mizzou is 15-5 vs. league opposition, which includes three wins in last year’s Big 12 Tournament.


Team                              Last 20 vs. Big 12 Foes

Kansas                   17-3

Missouri                 15-5

Kansas State                13-7

Oklahoma State          13-7

Texas A&M                   12-8

Oklahoma               12-8

Texas                     11-9

Baylor                            9-11

Nebraska                7-13

Iowa State                   5-15

Texas Tech                   5-15

Colorado                 3-17


Time To Take Notice of Anderson

Mike Anderson has done remarkable work rebuilding Missouri Basketball over his four seasons and since his arrival Anderson is 81-40 in Columbia, with his .669 winning percentage ranking #1 among the huge class of coaches that entered before the 2006-07 season ... That class includes Jeff Capel at Oklahoma, Doc Sadler at Nebraska and Greg McDermott at Iowa State.

> Anderson was the lone head coach to take over a losing program ... The Tigers were just 12-16 in 2005-06 and were 11th in the Big 12 with a 5-11 mark.

> Bob Huggins was also a part of that coaching class, but he left for West Virginia after one season in Manhattan, Kan.


Coach, Team                     Record     Pct.

Mike Anderson, MU      81-40       .669

Jeff Capel, OU                 82-41       .667

Doc Sadler, NU               68-48       .586

Greg McDermott, ISU     57-59       .491


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    8.2     2.1      0.9     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 20-of-21 games this season ... In fact, Missouri’s second wave has outscored its starters five times this season, including games against UMKC and Georgia.

> Eight times this season the Tiger bench has scored 40+ points in a game and owns a 36.1-to-17.7 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

vs. Oklahoma State          42

at Texas Tech                     41


Noting Mizzou’s 31-Game Home Winning Streak

> Missouri has won 27-of-32 games by double figures.

> Has won 19 of 32 games by 20+ points, 11 games by 30+, six games by 40+ and two games by 50+.

> Own an average margin of victory of 21.7 points per game and is scoring 87.4 points in those 32 wins, while allowing just 65.5 points.

> Has topped 100 points five times and 90 points 13 times.

> Has won 12 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 48.5 percent from the floor, 38.8 percent from three-point range, are averaging 18.9 assists, 12.3 steals, have just 12.8 turnovers and own a 1.4 assist/turnover margin.




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