Mizzou Searches For Win No. 20

MUTIGERS.COM J.T. Tiller and Missouri head to Iowa State.
J.T. Tiller and Missouri head to Iowa State.

Feb. 5, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09

University of Missouri Tigers (19-4, 6-2) vs.

Iowa State University Cyclones (12-10, 1-6)

2008-09 Regular Season Game 24 - February 7, 2009 - Ames, Iowa


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

Arena: Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa (14,356)

TV: MSN - (Chris Gervino play-by-play; Norm Stewart analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Tom Ackerman play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)

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

Series: Missouri leads 142-84 overall; in Ames the Cyclones lead 56-45


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 142-73 overall (7th season); 53-32 at Mizzou (3rd)

Iowa State: Greg McDermott (N. Iowa, ‘88) 262-171 overall (15th season); 41-44 at ISU (3rd)


For Openers

> Missouri Basketball wraps up a stretch of back-to-back road games on Saturday as the Tigers travel to Iowa State looking for their third consecutive win over the Cyclones ... Missouri hasn’t won three consecutive against ISU since 2001-02 / 2002-03 and Mizzou is looking for its fourth road win of the year following Wednesday’s win at No. 16 Texas.

> Missouri has shown incredible balance this season and the Tigers have had six different leading scorers since the start of Big 12 play ... Zaire Taylor became the most recent Mizzou player to lead the club with his 17 points at Texas on Saturday ... Taylor is also the third different newcomer to lead MU in league action, with Laurence Bowers (16 points) pacing the Tigers against Colorado and Marcus Denmon dropping in 16 in the first meeting with Iowa State.

> Missouri will try to pick up another quality win in a tough road environment on Saturday at Iowa State ... The Tigers are 5-2 vs. the RPI Top 50 this year, including RPI Top 50 road wins at Oklahoma State and No. 16 Texas.

> Missouri is off to a 6-2 start in Big 12 play at the halfway point of the season, which is just one win off its best start EVER in Big 12 play ... The Tigers started 7-2 in both 1998-99 (finished T-2nd, 11-5) and 1999-2000 (finished 6th, 10-6) ... In addition, Missouri is now shooting for its 21st 20-win season in school history on Saturday ... It would be Missouri’s first 20-win campaign since 2002-03 ... 20-win seasons are nothing new for Head Coach Mike Anderson however ... Anderson led UAB to four consecutive 20-win years.

> A huge key at Iowa State will be the play of Missouri’s bench... Missouri’s second unit is averaging 31.4 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. 4 nationally in scoring at 84.3 ppg, No. 2 in assists per game at 19.1, No. 2 in steals per game at 10.8, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 3 in scoring margin at 18.5 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 6 nationally with 63.7 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 171 more FGs than their opponents through 23 games thanks to the nation’s No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.7).

Mizzou Quick-Hitters

> Missouri Basketball hits the road once again as it travels to Ames, Iowa, in search of a season sweep against the Cyclones ... However four of the last six Mizzou-Iowa State tilts have been decided by seven points or less.

> Head Coach Mike Anderson is looking for his second win in Ames in three tries ... The Tigers won at ISU in 2006-07, but fell last year.

> Mizzou’s 6-2 start in Big 12 play is its best since the 1999-2000 campaign (7-2).

> The Tigers are off to their best start overall (19-4) since the 1993-94 season ... A win on Wednesday would push Missouri’s record to 20-4 and MU’s current total of 19 wins is its winningest season under Mike Anderson.

> Missouri has used a multitude of formulas in their three road wins this season ... The Tigers turned in a gritty defensive effort in a 69-65 road win at No. 16 Texas, outscored Oklahoma State 97-95 and wore down Georgia 83-76.

> The 65 points allowed in Austin on Wednesday were the fewest scored by UT in a home game this season.

> In fact, Missouri is now 5-4 away from home this year (including neutral court games) and has rallied from behind to win four of those five games.

> A huge factor in those road wins was defense and this season Missouri has 249 steals through 23 games ... Last season the Tigers had 259 steals in 32 games, so that steal total is about to be passed.

> In spite of those five wins away from Mizzou Arena, the Tigers have been a much-improved offensive team at home this year ... In running their record to 14-0, the Tigers are averaging 90.5 points and shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 39.3 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 31.4 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 23.6 points.

> Speaking of that freshmen group, Marcus Denmon is the leading scorer at 7.4 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).

> Martinez was in attendance in the first meeting between Iowa State and Missouri and watched his nephew score a season high 16 in the Tiger victory.

> 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 10.2 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 10 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 167 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 171 more FG’s ... Mizzou made 119 more FG’s than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 171 more FGs through just 23 games is a HUGE differential.

> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 15 times in 23 games this season and is 15-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 39 times in the Mike Anderson era (84 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 19.4 turnovers per game and is averaging 23.0 points off those opponent miscues each night.

> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (23.0-of-84.3).

> 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 February, but ESPN Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has Missouri “in” the NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 seed ... Lunardi has the Tigers facing No. 10-seeded Florida State in Minneapolis.

> 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, field goal percentage and steals.

> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,260 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 1,016 career points and became the 38th member of Missouri’s 1,000-point club following his career high 30-point night vs. Baylor ... Fellow senior Matt Lawrence is also closing in on 1,000 points and would need 140 more tallies as a senior to reach the mark.

> Over his last 25 regular-season games Lyons has seven 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 23-of-25 contests.

> Lyons has actually reached double figures in 11 consecutive Big 12 regular-season games, which is the longest run of his career.

> The Kansas City, Kan., native enjoyed a memorable night vs. Baylor, as he hit 8-of-11 field goals and 14-of-15 free throws en route to a career high 30 points.

> Lyons became the first Tiger to top 30 points since former teammate Thomas Gardner dropped in 40 against Kansas in 2005-06 on ESPN Big Monday.

> It was the 138th 30-point game in Mizzou history.

> Carroll was just as spectacular vs. Baylor, as he scored 25 points, grabbed nine boards and ripped away a pair of steals in the win.

> Carroll has been a scoring machine over his last five games and is averaging 20.6 points during that stretch to lead the Tigers to a 4-1 record during that run.

> Carroll has reached double figures in 20-of-23 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 17 times this year.

> Carroll has topped the 20-point plateau five times this season, including 27 points vs. Texas Tech and those 25 vs. Baylor.

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

> Carroll has eight 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 7.6 rebounds a contest.

> The Junk Yard Dog also leads all Big 12 forwards with 41 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (7th), steals (6th), 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 18 outings.

> In fact, over his last 10 games Lawrence is shooting 48.3 percent from bonus distance, hitting 29-of-60 treys.

> The news gets even better for Lawrence at home, where he is shooting nearly 45.0 percent (29-of-66) on the year from three-point distance and 50 percent (19-of-38) over his last eight home contests.

> Lawrence has also been shooting it well away from home recently, as the 6-foot-7 sniper is 11-of-19 (.579) from bonus distance in his last three road games at Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas.

> The St. Louis native is already No. 3 in career three-point makes at MU with 213.

> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 21 steals, 20 assists and just eight 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 79 assists and just 30 turnovers ... His 2.6-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 18 nationally.

> Since Big 12 play began, Taylor has dished 32 dimes and has just 13 turnovers (2.5-to-1).

> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 20-of-23 games this year and has 5+ assists nine times on the season, including a season high seven assists at Kansas State.

> Taylor is coming off a season-high tying 17 points in a win at No. 16 Texas, including the game-winner with 5.5 seconds to play.

> The Staten Island, N.Y. product also scored 17 points in the win at 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 is a strong candidate for the Big 12’s All-Defensive Team and was named to Fran Fraschilla’s Big 12 All-Defensive Team during the Tigers’ win at Texas.

> Tiller is relentless on defense and turned in one of the great defensive efforts this season vs. Baylor, when he helped hold Curtis Jerrells to a then-season low five points and nine turnovers ... Jerrells entered the game leading the Bears in scoring at 17.4 ppg ... He also helped hold Texas All-American candidate A.J. Abrams to just 11 points.

> Over his last two games Tiller has 13 assists and zero turnovers and has committed just one turnover in his last 82 minutes of court time.

> 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 12-of-23 games and is third in the Big 12 with 1.9 steals a night.

> Of Tiller’s 20 career double-figure scoring games, 11 have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including 4-of-5 road games this season, counting a season high 15 points and seven rebounds at Oklahoma State and 10 points and five assists at Texas.

> 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 seven games and is averaging 9.1 points on 45 percent shooting from the floor and 52 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 has started six consecutive games and 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.

> During his start streak English has reached double figures twice, first recording 12 points vs. Colorado, before tossing in 13 vs. Texas Tech.

> In fact, English’s hot streak started weeks ago ... Over his last 17 games the Baltimore native is 24-of-56 (.428) from bonus distance and has treys in 12 of those 17 games.

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

> The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native has blocked at least one shot in 11 of his last 15 games and has 11 blocks in his last 10 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 Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State (12-10, 1-6 Big 12) is returning home following a 65-50 loss at Kansas State on Tuesday ... The Cyclones and Wildcats were locked in a tight contest before K-State was able to pull away at the end ... Iowa State is led by Craig Brackins, who is averaging 19.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game ... Brackins topped 40 points on Jan. 24 vs. Kansas and has been a standout throughout the season ... Despite the tough stretch, Iowa State has been very tough at home and took Oklahoma down to the wire last weekend in Hilton Coliseum ... Diante Garrett is a second Cyclone in double figures at 10.0 points a game and paces ISU with 118 assists on the year.


Tiller Has A History of Great Road Performances

J.T. Tiller has a knack for great performances away from home and on Saturday, the Marietta, Ga., native leads his Tigers into Ames, Iowa, for a match-up with the Iowa State Cyclones.

> Although he is known as a defensive stalwart, the junior guard has reached double figures 20 times in his career, with 11 of those games coming away from Mizzou Arena ... The 6-foot-3 guard has eight double-figure scoring games this season and six have come away from home.

> Tiller has reached double figures in 4-of-5 road games in 2008-09, including a season high 15 points in the win at Oklahoma State and 10 at No. 16 Texas during Wednesday night’s win.


Stealing Away The Wins

Missouri is forcing an incredible 19.6 turnovers per game over its last seven outings (6-1) and is logging 10.6 steals a night ... The Tigers forced a season high 29 turnovers in the win against Texas Tech 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 and an 18-turnover night vs. Baylor and their host of talented guards.


Lyons Enters February Like a Lion

Leo Lyons returned to the starting lineup in Missouri’s 89-72 win against Baylor and scored a career high 30 points thanks to a 14-of-15 shooting night at the foul line and 8-of-11 shooting from the floor.

> Although he has reached double figures in his seven Big 12 games this season, Lyons had yet to score more than 13 points in a game in league play, so his 30-point outburst was a welcomed sign as Mizzou earned the huge win in front of a sold out arena.

> Lyons continued the trend in the Tigers’ win at No. 16 Texas, as he hit 7-of-11 shots and dished a pair of assists en route to 14 tallies.


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 16.7 points and 6.9 rebounds.

> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 20-of-23 games this season, including a career high 29 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 19 USC, 27 points in a win over Texas Tech and 25 in the win against Baylor.

> 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. 6 in scoring, No. 8 in rebounding, No. 3 in field goal percentage (.571), No. 6 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.


Trey-Mendous Defense

Missouri is the Big 12’s top club with regards to defending the arc this season and the Tigers have put forth some stellar defensive efforts against some of the nation’s best three-point shooting clubs in 2008-09.

> So far this season teams are shooting just 31 percent from bonus distance against Mizzou and that includes games against California (No. 1 - 47.6%), Oklahoma State (No. 2 - 41.7%) and Baylor (No. 15 - 38.9%).

> The nation’s top three-point shooting club, Cal, hit just six treys vs. the Tigers in Mizzou’s 27-point win, while Oklahoma State hit just 8-of-24 treys (.333) in the MU road win in Stillwater ... Last Saturday, the Tigers held Baylor’s potent three-point attack to just 6-of-23 shooting (.261), including just 2-of-15 shooting in the final 20 minutes to earn the 17-point triumph.


No Fear Zaire

He’s the Elmer’s Glue of Mizzou Basketball with his steady assist, rebound and steal numbers, not to mention his defensive prowess, but in road wins at Georgia, Oklahoma State and No. 16 Texas, Zaire Taylor has flexed some offensive muscle, reaching double figures in all three of the Tiger road wins, including season-high tying 17 tallies vs. the Bulldogs and Longhorns.

> Taylor also scored 10 points at Okie State, but his 17 points and game-winning “and-1” layup vs. the Longhorns propelled MU to the upset win and prompted Taylor to be named national Player of the Day by Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman.



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