Mizzou hosts Colorado at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Feb. 22, 2010
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10
University of Missouri Tigers (20-7, 8-4 Big 12) vs.
University of Colorado Buffaloes (12-14, 3-9 Big 12)
2009-10 Regular Season Game 28 - February 24, 2010 - Columbia, Mo.
Tip-off: 6:30 p.m. CST
Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)
TV: Mizzou Sports Network - (Chris Gervino play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Colorado: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri leads 97-52 all-time; last - Mizzou won 84-66 on Feb. 6, 2010 in Boulder
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 174-83 overall (8th season); 85-42 at Mizzou (4th)
Colorado: Jeff Bzdelik (Illinois-Chicago, `76); 108-103 overall (7th season); 33-56 at Colorado (3rd)
> The games get bigger in February and Missouri hosts an improved Colorado squad in an important Big 12 tussle Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are 15-1 at home this season and are looking for their 35th win in the last 36 home games dating back to the 2007-08 season.
> Despite being picked seventh in the league's Preseason Poll, Missouri is just one game out of second place heading into the final two weeks of the season ... The Tigers have never enjoyed back-to-back Top 4 league finishes since joining the Big 12 and finished #3 in the Big 12 just one season ago.
> Missouri won its 20th game of the season, 74-59, at Nebraska last weekend ... Missouri has now won 51 games over the last two seasons, the sixth most wins in Division I hoops during that stretch ... The Tigers are also 20-8 in league play during that time and only Kansas (26-2) has a better record vs. Big 12 foes ... If you include three wins in last season's Big 12 Tournament the Tigers are 23-8 in their last 31 Big 12 contests.
> Congratulations to Head Coach Mike Anderson for recording his sixth 20-win season as a head coach ... Anderson now boasts six 20-win campaigns in eight seasons, including four years of 20+ wins at UAB.
> Missouri is of course known for its pressure defense, but the Tigers have been very good defensively in the half court all season long ... Mizzou is allowing opponents to shoot just 40.2 percent from the floor and 30.5 percent from three-point range this season, the lowest field goal percentage defense totals since Norm Stewart patrolled the Hearnes Center sidelines in 1998-99.
> While the Tigers are advancing defensively in the half court, Missouri still leads the nation in both steals per game (11.1) and turnovers forced per game (20.2) ... Missouri has already recorded 301 steals this season and the 11.1 thefts per game are the most in Big 12 history, topping the 10.9 Nebraska recorded in 1998-99.
> Missouri is one of the Big 12's youngest teams this season and has 11-of-13 players in their first or second season playing for Mike Anderson ... Missouri is getting more than half of its 79.7 points per game from the sophomore class alone ... The second-year Tigers are logging 42.1 points per game ... If you add the freshman class, Mizzou is getting 66 percent of its scoring (52.6 ppg) and 8.3 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).
> One of those outstanding sophomores, Marcus Denmon, is coming off a career high 24 points in the win at Nebraska ... Denmon hit 5-of-7 treys and has a special bond with Colorado, as his family member Martane Freeman played for the Buffs from 2004-06.
Mizzou Quick Hitters
> Missouri returns home looking for its ninth Big 12 Conference victory as it hosts Colorado at 6:30 p.m. ... Missouri will have just one remaining home game following Wednesday's game vs. CU.
> Missouri has won seven consecutive games vs. Colorado with each of those wins coming under Mike Anderson ... Anderson is 3-0 at home vs. Colorado and 4-0 in Boulder.
> Speaking of "Divisional" success, Missouri is 5-1 vs. Big 12 North clubs this season... Only Kansas boasts a better record vs. the North.
> Did you know that Mizzou sophomore Kim English and Colorado sophomore Nate Tomlinson met several times while in prep school? English attended Notre Dame Prep, while Tomlinson "prepped" at Lee Academy.
> Missouri is looking for its third consecutive win in February ... The Tigers are 4-2 this month and were a perfect 6-0 in February last season en route to a 12-4 Big 12 Conference mark.
> The strong February showing has Missouri (8-4) tied for third place in the Big 12 standings and just one game behind Kansas State (9-3) for second ... The Tigers are currently tied with Texas A&M (8-4) in the league ledger.
> Don't get fooled by the pace Missouri plays at, the Tigers are incredibly efficient ... Missouri does lead the nation with 11.1 steals per game and ranks #1 nationally in turnovers forced (20.2), but Anderson's club also ranks #24 nationally in assists per game (15.8), #2 nationally in turnover margin (+7.0) and is among the Top 35 nationally with a 1.23 assist/turnover ratio as a team.
> The 2009-10 Tigers are looking to join the Mizzou records book in a number of statistical categories ... The 301 steals is already #3 all-time and the Tigers need just two more to move into second ... Missouri's 38.5 percent shooting from three-point range is #5 all-time, while the 72.9 percent free throw shooting is #7.
> Missouri is being led in scoring by THREE underclassmen, Kim English (14.6), Marcus Denmon (11.0) and Laurence Bowers (10.7) ... 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.
> Kim English recorded his ninth 20-point game of the year on Feb. 6, scoring 21 points at Colorado ... That's the most 20-point games by a sophomore since Linas Kleiza accomplished the feat (also nine times) in 2004-05 ... In case you were wondering, Kareem Rush scored 20+ as a sophomore 16 times in 2000-01, Anthony Peeler did it eight times, Derrick Chievous 15 times and Ricky Frazier 12 times.
> Missouri has had a school record five different players hit four (or more) treys in a game this year ... Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Zaire Taylor, Miguel Paul and Michael Dixon have all hit 4+ triples in a game this season ... Don't forget that four of those five players are underclassmen!
> Missouri ranks #24 nationally with 15.8 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 34 or more assists this season, led by J.T. Tiller (73), Zaire Taylor (72), freshman Michael Dixon (48) and sophomore Miguel Paul (44) ... And as a reminder, Missouri led the nation in assists last season with 18.4 dimes per contest.
> Missouri has topped 20 assists eight 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 (11.1) and are led defensively by Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate, 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 +7.0 ... With that great turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio (+1.2) the Tigers have taken 168 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 133 more steals this season than their opponents through 27 games.
> Did you know the Tigers actually turn their opponent over a nation-leading 30 percent of the time during a game and score 30 percent of their points off turnovers?
> With that great turnover percentage Missouri is forcing 20.2 turnovers a game and is averaging 23.7 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 9.1 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri's pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 19-of-27 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 72.9 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 34.6 of their 79.7 points per game from the reserves ... Missouri's bench has actually outscored their starters six times this season and are outscoring their opposition's bench 34.6-to-18.1.
> That bench scoring total leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks #2 among the national leaders.
> Mizzou has had a double-figure scorer off the pine in 23 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 27.3 points per game off the bench... That's over 127 career games.
> It's nothing new to have the reserves outscore the starters either ... Including six games this season, the reserves have dropped in more tallies than the "initial five" 18 times (in 127 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.
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 made 24 starts and is averaging 22.7 minutes a game.
> Tiller suffered a fracture in his nose in the road win at Colorado and wore a protective mask for about 30 seconds in the win against Iowa State ... Tossing the mask aside proved to be a good idea, as the senior scored a season high 17 points, grabbed four boards, dished three assists and ripped two steals in the win.
> The Marietta, Ga., native has 304 career assists and needs 26 more dimes to move into the career Top 10.
> He also owns 150 career steals and is #10 all-time in that category in school history.
> Tiller is just the seventh player in school history with 300 dimes and 150 thefts over his career.
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.
> Taylor ripped away four steals in the win at Colorado, his highest total in a Big 12 game this season and followed that up with two more vs. Iowa State.
> 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 #41 nationally with a 2.2-to-1 ratio.
> Taylor has wasted little time picking up his assist totals this year and has dished 72 dimes while committing just 30 turnovers in his last 26 games, including a career-best eight assists and zero turnovers at Oklahoma.
> The Staten Island native is coming off a season high 18 points in the win at Nebraska ... The guard hit 4-of-7 treys and grabbed a career high eight rebounds in the convincing win.
> 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 37-of-43 charity shots in league action (.860).
> 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 (10.7), tops in rebounding (5.7) and tops in blocked shots (1.3) in just 21.1 minutes a game.
> Bowers is tops on the club in double-doubles with three ... He recently logged 10 points and a career high 12 rebounds vs. Iowa State.
> In fact Bowers' rebounding average is up to 6.0 rpg in league play thus far.
> 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 eight of his last 12 games, including 13 points and eight boards vs. K-State and 16 points and three steals vs. Oklahoma State.
> Over his last 15 games Bowers is a combined 65-of-108 from the floor (.602) and is averaging 11.4 points a night, including those three double-doubles vs. Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Iowa State.
> 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 21-of-27 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 18 double figure scoring games this season, including nine 20-point efforts.
> English has scored 20+ in six of his last 19 games, including 20 against Oklahoma State and 21 at Colorado.
> Although he scored just nine points against Iowa State due to foul trouble, the Baltimore native drilled the game-cinching three-pointer vs. Iowa State with 1:44 remaining and the Tigers ahead just 56-53.
> He also scored nine consecutive points in the second half of Mizzou's win against Texas (18 for the game) to help the Tigers pull away and earn the win.
> 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 22-of-26 games this season, including 25 steals in his last 16 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 14 times this year.
> Denmon has been one of Mizzou's most consistent scorers with those 14 double-figure efforts and poured in 22 points in the first meeting with Colorado.
> He recently scored a career high 24 points at Nebraska thanks to 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
> Denmon is averaging a very good 13.5 ppg in Big 12 road games this season, including 20-point outings in wins at Colorado, Texas Tech and Nebraska.
> The team-leader in three-point field goals, Denmon is shooting 47 percent from three over his last 20 games, hitting 49-of-105 triples, including 15-of-20 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 the 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.
> 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 - seventh) and three-point percentage (.446 - fourth).
Justin Safford, 6-8, 230 Pounds
> Justin Safford has reached double figures in four of his last six games, including 10 points in the first meeting with Colorado.
> The Bloomington, Ill., native scored a career high 19 points at Kansas thanks to 8-of-10 foul shooting.
> Safford grabbed a career high 11 boards in the first meeting against Nebraska and narrowly missed a double-double with nine points.
> The near miss occurred again vs. Iowa State last week when he scored 13 points and grabbed nine more boards vs. the Cyclones.
> Over his last 12 games Safford is averaging 10.2 tallies per game, with seven double-figure scoring contests.
> Safford has been excellent at the line over his last 11 games, hitting 34-of-41 charity shots (.829).
Miguel Paul, 6-1, 172 Pounds
> Miguel Paul scored a career high 15 points to lead Mizzou in the win against Nebraska back in Columbia ... Paul hit two treys and 5-of-6 total field goals in 16 minutes.
> Paul owns an excellent assist/turnover ratio this season with 44 dimes and just 20 turnovers (2.2-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.
> The Kansas City native enjoyed a tremendous outing at Colorado, scoring four points and grabbing three boards in the first half vs. the Buffaloes.
Michael Dixon, 6-1, 175 Pounds
> Michael Dixon has been one of the Big 12's top freshmen this season and is averaging 7.5 points on 46 percent shooting this year.
> Dixon has reached double figures in 10 of his last 22 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 85.4 percent.
> Dixon hit a career high 4-of-4 treys against Oklahoma State, while adding two assists, two steals and zero turnovers.
> He also reached double figures in the win against Texas, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with a pair of steals.
> Dixon was named the Big 12's Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 28, the first league honor of his young career.
About The Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado (12-14, 3-9 Big 12) comes to Columbia following a 94-74 setback at #1 Kansas over the weekend ... The Buffs got 17 points from Grandview, Mo., native Alec Burks and CU recorded 10 steals in the contest ... Colorado is being led in scoring by junior guard Cory Higgins (17.9 ppg) ... Higgins also leads CU with 50 steals ... Burks is second on the club in scoring at 16.8 ppg and is tops in rebounding at 4.8 caroms a contest ... The local product is shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and is a strong free throw shooter at 79 percent ... CU is 1-9 on the road this season, but has had a number of near-misses away from the Coors Event Center, including a 67-63 loss at Texas A&M and a 64-63 loss at Iowa State without Burks.
The Series With Colorado
Missouri and Colorado meet for the 150th time in series history on Wednesday and Mizzou holds a 97-52 series lead ... The Tigers have won seventh consecutive games in the series and Head Coach Mike Anderson is a perfect 7-0 vs. the Buffs since his arrival in Columbia ... Mizzou is 55-11 vs. CU at home all-time, with three straight victories.
College Basketball's Most Wins Over Last Two Years
Guess who is among college basketball's winningest programs the last two seasons? ... It's the Missouri Tigers ... Mizzou has won 50 games the last two seasons, the sixth highest win total in college hoops since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
Duke, Kansas, Memphis and Syracuse
Mizzou, Butler, Pittsburgh and Michigan State
Gonzaga and Purdue
Mizzou Defense Among School's Best
It's easy to get enamored by Missouri's tremendous turnover and steal totals, but the Tigers have been very good with their half court defense this season, holding foes to just 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 30.5 percent from beyond three-point range.
> The 40.2 percent field goal defense is the best at Mizzou since 1998-99 season, when the Tigers held teams to just 39.3 percent shooting for the year.
> The 30.5 percent three-point field goal defense is the second lowest in school history and the previous low is 30.2 percent set by last season's squad.
> And last but not least, Missouri is holding opponents to just 65.2 points per game this year, the lowest at Mizzou since 1998-99 when the Tigers allowed just 62.2 ppg.
Tiger Bench the Best in the Big 12
Missouri leads the Big 12 in bench scoring this year at 34.6 points per game, a figure that will eventually break the school record of 27.0 (2008-09) ... Missouri is #2 nationally in that category, trailing only Virginia Military:
Rk. Team Scoring
1. Virginia Military 39.4
2. Missouri 34.6
3. Texas 32.6
4. Western Carolina 32.4
5. Cal State Northridge 32.2
6. Northwestern State 30.0
Missouri has had three different sophomores top the 20-point plateau this season, as Kim English, Marcus Denmon and Laurence Bowers have topped 20 points in a game a combined 13 times ... English has accomplished the feat a team-best nine times, while Denmon (3) and Bowers (1) have done it as well.
> Denmon and English have each topped 20 points three times in Big 12 play, including games at Colorado and Texas Tech where they each topped 20 points in the same game.
> The point totals have been a good indicator of success as well since Missouri is 10-1 in games where Bowers, Denmon or English hit for at least 20 points.
Mizzou In A Special Two-Year Stretch
Missouri has played a special stretch of basketball over the last two seasons, going 51-14 during that time ... The 51 wins over two seasons is the third 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
2008-10 51 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
2001-03 46 Wins
1989-91 46 Wins
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