No. 8/11 Mizzou Heads To No. 15 Kansas

MUTIGERS.COM Kimmie English and the Tigers travel to Kansas on Sunday.
MUTIGERS.COM
Kimmie English and the Tigers travel to Kansas on Sunday.
MUTIGERS.COM

Feb. 27, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09

University of Missouri Tigers (24-4, 11-2) vs.

University of Kansas Jayhawks (23-5, 12-1)

2008-09 Regular Season Game 29 - March 1, 2009 - Lawrence, Kan.

 

Tip-off: 1 p.m. CST

Arena: Allen Fieldhouse - Lawrence, Kan. (16,300)

TV: CBS - (Ian Eagle play-by-play; Jim Spanarkel analyst; Ross Schneiderman producer)

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

Rankings: Mizzou: 11/8, Kansas: 15/15 in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Kansas leads 166-94 overall; in Lawrence the Jayhawks lead 85-33

Coaches:

Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 147-73 overall (7th season); 58-32 at Mizzou (3rd)

Kansas: Bill Self (Oklahoma State, ‘85) 372-142 overall (16th season); 165-37 at KU (6th)

 

For Openers

> The Border Showdown becomes a title fight on Sunday, as second place Missouri travels to top-seeded Kansas with first place in the Big 12 Conference on the line ... Missouri defeated Kansas 62-60 in Columbia on Feb. 9, handing the Jayhawks their lone league loss this season ... That victory has the Tigers within one game of first place heading into the weekend.

> Missouri has faired well vs. the Big 12’s top seeds this season, defeating first-place Kansas, No. 4 Texas on the road, No. 5 Kansas State and No. 6 Oklahoma State on the road ... Following Sunday’s tilt, the Tigers will face No. 2 Oklahoma at a sold out Mizzou Arena on Wednesday ... Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma have already locked up the top three spots in the Big 12.

> Missouri is going for its 12th Big 12 Conference win on Sunday, which would be its highest Big 12 win total in school history ... Mizzou won 11 games in Big 12 play in 1998-99, which just happened to be the last time the Tigers won in Allen Fieldhouse ... Missouri also sports a seven-game Big 12 winning streak, which ties the 1999-2000 club for longest run of league victories.

> It certainly has been quite the turnaround for Missouri Basketball this year, as the Tigers have already improved eight games from last season’s 16-16 record ... The eight-win improvement is Missouri’s best under third-year head coach Mike Anderson and is the best in the Big 12 this season, despite the Tigers being projected seventh in the preseason standings ... The Tigers went from 12 wins in 2005-06 to 18 wins in Anderson’s first season of 2006-07 ... The eight-win improvement is the most at MU since 1993-94, when the Tigers went from 19 wins in 1992-93, to 28 wins the next year.

> How about this for high-level basketball ... Missouri and Kansas are each 11-1 over their last 12 games, which is the second-best record in college basketball during that stretch ... Only Memphis (who plays in C-USA) is better at 12-0 and the Tigers and Jayhawks are tied with UConn and LSU (11-1) with the best record over the last 12 among high-major programs ... For the record, Memphis’ last C-USA loss came in 2006 to Mike Anderson and UAB.

> Missouri will try to pick up another quality win to enhance its postseason resume ... 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 ... The club is also 3-0 vs. ranked teams this year, defeating No. 19 USC in Puerto Rico, No. 16 Kansas and No. 16 Texas.

> The Tigers rank among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories heading into Sunday’s game ... Mizzou is No. 5 nationally in scoring at 82.6 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 19.0, No. 2 in steals per game at 10.9, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 2 in scoring margin at 17.2 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 5 nationally with 62.7 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 198 more FGs than their opponents through 28 games thanks to the nation’s No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.8).

Mizzou Quick-Hitters

> First place in the Big 12 Conference is on the line Sunday afternoon, as first place Kansas hosts second place Missouri.

> Missouri is coming off an undefeated February, which was just its fourth undefeated February in school history ... The Tigers went 6-0 in the second month after going 7-0 in February in 1993-94, 6-0 in 1939-40 and 8-0 in 1920-21.

> Missouri and Kansas are the only Big 12 schools that control their own destiny in search of a Big 12 crown ... The Tigers face KU and Oklahoma this week and already knocked off then-fourth place Kansas State (94-74) to set up this three-game stretch.

> Missouri is looking for its fourth consecutive road win in Big 12 play and have road wins in tough environments like Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State already under their belts.

> Even with that road success, Missouri continues to be the nation’s most dominant team at home ... Mizzou is 17-0 at home this year and sports a 26.1 points per game (87.8-to-61.7) margin of victory.

> That scoring margin at home is No. 1 in America ... Memphis is second at 23.6 and North Carolina is third at 20.8 ppg.

> Mizzou’s 11-2 start in Big 12 play is its best in school history ...  The Tigers had previously started 7-2 in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 ... The last time Missouri started 11-2 or better in league play was the undefeated Big Eight Championship year of 1993-94.

> The Tigers are off to their best start overall (24-4) since that 1993-94 season as well ... A win on Sunday would push Missouri’s record to 25-4 and MU’s current total of 24 wins is its winningest season under Mike Anderson.

> In fact, Mike Anderson’s .644 winning percentage through three seasons (thus far) makes him the winningest coach in Missouri history during that “first three year stretch” ... Quin Snyder is second with a .620 winning clip through his first-three years.

> With his club’s resurgence this season, CBS analyst Seth Davis listed Mike Anderson as one of his Top 10 candidates for National Coach of the Year.

> A huge factor in Missouri’s success this season has been its defense and MU has a school record 304 steals through 28 games.

> In fact, Missouri is averaging 10.9 steals per game which ties the 1998-99 Nebraska team for the most in Big 12 history.

> This 2008-09 Tiger squad is the first in school history to have 500 assists, 300 steals and 100 blocked shots.

> As you can tell, the Tigers have been a much-improved offensive team at home this year ... In running their record to 17-0 (this season), the Tigers are averaging 87.8 points and shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 38.0 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 30.4 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 23.9 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 nearly 10 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 12 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.

> A major reason for Mizzou’s large scoring totals is because the club has taken 191 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 198 more FG’s ... Mizzou made 119 more FG’s than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 198 more FGs through just 28 games is a HUGE differential.

> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 17 times in 28 games this season and is 17-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 41 times in the Mike Anderson era (89 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 is forcing 19.5 turnovers per game and is averaging 22.9 points off those opponent miscues each night.

> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (22.9-of-82.6).

> Another impressive stat regarding Missouri’s defense is that the Tigers force a turnover on 27 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.

 

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 and looked poised to make postseason All-Big 12 honors at the end of the season as well.

> Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and steals and he was named a Mid-Season First Team All-Big 12 pick by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla.

> In league play Carroll has seen his scoring/rebounding numbers improve to 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, thanks to a career high 31 tallies at Iowa State on Feb. 7 and a 20.0 ppg scoring average over his last ten outings.

> The 31 points were the most on the road in a Big 12 game for a Tiger since Clarence Gilbert poured in 40 at Colorado in 2002.

> Carroll also joined Leo Lyons as 30-point scorers this season ... The last Tiger teammates to drop 30 in the same season were Arthur Johnson and Rickey Paulding in 2003-04.

> The last time Missouri had two forwards score 30+ points in the same season was 1984-85 when Derrick Chievous scored 32 vs. Arizona in Hawaii and Malcolm Thomas dropped in 33 vs. Oklahoma at home.

> Carroll has topped 20 points in five of his last nine outings, including 21.8 ppg in his last five home games.

> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,357 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 1,079 career points and became the 38th member of Missouri’s 1,000-point club following his career high 30-point night vs. Baylor.

> The ever consistent Carroll has reached double figures in 25-of-28 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 22 times this year.

> Carroll has four double-doubles on the year including his recent 21-point, 14-board effort against Kansas State and has 10 other games this season with either eight or nine rebounds, so he’s narrowly missed on a number of other double-doubles opportunities.

> The Junk Yard Dog also leads all Big 12 forwards with 44 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (7th), steals (7th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (8th).

> Over his last 30 regular-season games Leo Lyons has seven 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 27-of-30 contests.

> Lyons has actually reached double figures in 16 of his last 17 Big 12 regular-season games thanks to his tremendous free throw shooting ... Since the start of Big 12 play Lyons is No. 2 in the Big 12 at the foul line at 84.7 percent.

> 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.

> Lyons recently chipped in his third double-double of the year at Colorado, scoring 13 points and grabbing a season high 15 boards in just 21 minutes.

> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in 14 of his last 23 outings.

> In fact, over his last 15 games Lawrence is shooting 47 percent from bonus distance, hitting 38-of-81 treys.

> The news gets even better for Lawrence at home, where he is shooting nearly 47 percent (22-of-48) over his last nine home contests.

> Lawrence has also been shooting it well away from home recently, as the 6-foot-7 sniper is 15-of-28 (.536) from bonus distance in his last four road games.

> The St. Louis native is already No. 3 in career three-point makes at MU with 222.

> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 26 steals, 26 assists and just 11 turnovers on the season.

> Zaire Taylor is Mr. Clutch for the Tigers, with game-winners at No. 16 Texas on Feb. 4 and the game-winner vs. No. 16 Kansas on Feb. 9.

> Taylor hit a driving lay-up at UT and was fouled with 5.5 seconds left and his 10-foot jumper with 1.3 seconds left lifted MU to a 62-60 win over Kansas and was the No. 1 play on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.

> Taylor is closing in on 100 assists this year following a seven-assist, six-steal, one turnover day at Colorado.

> His 2.8-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 12 nationally.

> Since Big 12 play began, Taylor has dished 51 dimes and has just 18 turnovers (2.9-to-1).

> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 24-of-28 games this year and has 5+ assists 11 times on the season, including a season high seven assists vs. K-State and at Colorado.

> Taylor enjoyed a season-high tying 17 points in that win at No. 16 Texas ... The Staten Island, N.Y. product also scored 17 points in the win at Georgia and helped lead Mizzou to the home win over Iowa State by scoring 15 points and grabbing five boards.

> 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.

> Junior guard J.T. Tiller is a strong candidate for the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year and was named to Fran Fraschilla’s Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

> Tiller was also named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman.

> 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 and held Kansas’ Sherron Collins to just nine points and six turnovers, nine points below his season average (18.0 ppg).

> Over his last seven games Tiller has 36 assists and just six turnovers.

> 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 14-of-28 games and is second in the Big 12 with 1.9 steals a night.

> Of Tiller’s 21 career double-figure scoring games, 11 have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including 4-of-7 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.

> 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.

> 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 12 consecutive games and scored a career high 16 points vs. California in the Tiger’s big win, before chipping in 16 more in the win at Iowa State.

> English has now reached double figures three times in Big 12 play, including those 16 tallies at Iowa State where he tossed in 4-of-5 treys, while adding four assists.

> In fact, English’s hot streak started weeks ago ... Over his last 21 games the Baltimore native is 30-of-72 (.416) from bonus distance.

> 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 16 of his last 20 games and has 19 blocks in his last 15 contests overall.

> Ramsey provided Missouri with a huge lift off the bench vs. Nebraska, blocking three shots vs. the Cornhuskers, while grabbing four boards and coming up with a steal.

> 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 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 tied that career high with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting vs. Kansas State in just 15 minutes ... He also added six boards and a blocked shot in the Tiger win.

> Bowers ranks among Missouri’s leaders in dunks this season (9), 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 Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas (23-5, 12-1 Big 12) is one of the nation’s hottest clubs and has won four consecutive games since a 62-60 loss to Missouri on Feb. 9 ... The Jayhawks are coming off a huge 87-78 win at No. 3 Oklahoma on Monday, which propelled them into first place in the Big 12 standings ... KU is led by the outstanding inside-out combination of Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins ... Aldrich leads Kansas with 10.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game, while Collins is logging 18.3 tallies and 4.9 assists ... Kansas is one of the Big 12’s best defensive clubs allowing just 64.8 points per game and now owns the nation’s longest home court winning streak at 39 games.

 

The Series With Kansas

Monday’s game marks the 261st all-time meeting between Kansas and Missouri, with the Jayhawks holding a 166-94 series advantage ... In Columbia, KU holds an 63-56 series lead and in Lawrence the Jayhawks have an 85-33 record ... Sunday’s game marks the 102nd year of Mizzou - Kansas Border War, with the initial contest coming nearly 102 years ago on March 11, 1907 in Columbia ... Mizzou won that contest 34-31 ... With Missouri’s win in Columbia back on Feb. 9, Mizzou is looking for its first regular-season sweep of Kansas since 1993-94, which incidentally was the last conference crown for Mizzou.

 

No Bigger Surprise Than Mizzou

Coaches around the Big 12 pegged Missouri seventh in the league’s preseason poll, but following their 94-74 win over fourth-place Kansas State on Wednesday, Mizzou moved into a tie for second with preseason favorite Oklahoma and just one game behind preseason No. 3 Kansas.

> With the win over K-State, the Tigers can now finish no worse than third in the league ledger and continue to control their own destiny for their first league title since 1993-94.

> No Big 12 team has been a bigger surprise than Mizzou as the Tigers are currently five spots higher in the current Big 12 standings than were previously predicted, despite adding a league-high tying seven newcomers to their current roster.

 

Coach of the Year Consideration Growing For Missouri’s Mike Anderson

Coach of the Year consideration is growing for Mizzou’s Mike Anderson following the number of firsts he has directed his Missouri club to this season:

> Has a team picked seventh in the Big 12’s preseason poll within a game of the Big 12 lead and is currently tied for second.

> The 2008-09 Tigers are the first to be ranked in the Top 25 since the 2003-04 team.

> Are the first to be ranked in the Top 10 the 14th week of the season or later since 1993-94.

> Are the first to win at Texas since the 1998-99 team.

> Are the first to win back-to-back games in Stillwater since the 1988 team.

> Are the first to defeat ranked teams at home, on the road and on a neutral court since the 2001-02 team.

> Are the first to win 20 games since the 2002-03 team.

> Are the first to win 11+ games in the Big 12 since 1998-99.

> Are the first to win on the road at an SEC school since the 1989-90 team.

> Are the first Missouri team ever to start 11-2 in Big 12 play.

> Are the first to start 4-0 vs. the Big 12 “South”.

> Are the first to sweep Iowa State since the 1998-99 season.

> Are the first ever to play as and defeat a ranked team inside Mizzou Arena.

> Has led Missouri to 24 regular-season victories, which is the second most in school history.

> Has improved eight games on Missouri’s win total from last season, which is the third biggest turnaround among BCS programs in America.

 

Tigers Among Biggest Turnarounds Among Big Six Conferences

Head Coach Mike Anderson has directed one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball this season ... Although three games still remain in the 2008-09 regular season, the Tigers have improved eight wins (from 16 to 24) on their 2007-08 win total, which makes this year’s club the third biggest turnaround among high-major teams this season.

 

                                               07-08 08-09

     Team               Conf.       Wins   Wins   Inc.

1.  LSU                   SEC          13        23        10

2.  Illinois                Big Ten     13        22        9

3. Missouri         Big 12      16        24        8

     Michigan           Big Ten     9          16        7

     Northwestern   Big Ten     8          15        7

     S. Carolina        SEC          13        20        7

7.  Bost. College    ACC         13        19        6

8.  Oregon St.        Pac-10     6          12        6

9. Oklahoma          Big 12       21        25        4

     Cincinnati          Big East    13        17        4

     California          Pac-10     15        19        4

 

Tigers Regular-Season Wins Nearing Record Levels

Missouri won its 24th regular-season game on Wednesday vs. Kansas State and now the Tigers will look for win No. 25 in the rematch at Kansas on Sunday ... The 24 regular-season wins are the most since 1989-90 and are the second most in school history before the post-season conference or NCAA tournaments.

 

Rk.  Year               R.S.         Total Wins

1.     1989-90         26           26

2.     2008-09         24           ??

        1988-89         24           29

        1993-94         24           28

        1982-83         24           26

        1975-76         24           26

6.     1981-82         23           27

7.     1979-80         22           25

 

Second Half Surges Leading Ole Mizzou

Missouri is earning recognition as being one of the country’s best second-half clubs due to their style of play and over the last seven contests, Missouri is outscoring teams 41.9-to-31.6 over the final 20 minutes of games.

> In the second period Missouri is holding opponents to just 40.9 percent shooting from the floor and a paltry 23.6 percent from three-point range.

> The Tigers are also enjoying an incredible 2.0-to-1 assist/turnover ratio in the second half during that stretch, while creating 9.2 turnovers in the second period alone.

 

Vote Taylor-Tiller 2009

The backcourt tandem of Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller ranks among the most versatile guard duos in Missouri history ... The pair has combined for 95 steals this season and could become the first Tiger teammates to have 50+ steals in the same season since Mike Sandbothe (50) and Lynn Hardy (76) in 1986-87 ... Sandbothe and Hardy also did it in 1985-86 and are the only teammates (thus far) to accomplish the rare feat.

> Taylor and Tiller are also just a few assists shy of surpassing the 100-assist plateau ... Tiller has already reached the milestone with 100 assists this year, while Taylor has 98 ... The pair has also combined for an incredible 2.5-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.

> In fact, Missouri is close to having three players with 50+ steals this season ... DeMarre Carroll has 44 thefts on the year and as a team, Missouri has never had three players top 50+ steals in the same season.

 

Defend The Rim

Missouri’s incredible steal and turnover totals make most of the defensive headlines, but did you know that the 2008-09 Tigers have the most blocked shots since the 2003-04 club, which was led by Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant?

> Missouri has 116 “swats” this season, which is the seventh most in school history and the Tigers need just 12 more blocked shots this season to move into the single-season Top 5 ... Keith Ramsey (27), DeMarre Carroll (20) and Leo Lyons (21) lead the way, but 10 different Tigers have multiple blocks this year.

 

Tiller, Carroll Earn Early Fraschilla Awards

J.T. Tiller and DeMarre Carroll received some nice mid-season props from ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, as Tiller was named to his Big 12 All-Defensive Team and Carroll was named an All-Big 12 First Team pick.

> Carroll has been dominating in Big 12 action, leading the Tigers with 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds through 13 league games ... The forward scored a career high 31 points at Iowa State and has scored 21 point or more in five of his last nine outings.

> Tiller has been a devastating defender all year and has held Kansas’ Sherron Collins, Texas’ A.J. Abrams and Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells a combined 27.3 points below their scoring average in three games.

 

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 was named to Fran Fraschilla’s Mid-Season All-Big 12 First Team after averaging 17.1 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.

> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 25-of-28 games this season, including a career high 31 points in a key Big 12 road win at Iowa State, 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 eighth in the Big 12 with four double-doubles.

> Carroll is one of the Big 12’s most well-rounded players, ranking No. 7 in scoring, No. 8 in rebounding, No. 3 in field goal percentage (.572), No. 7 in steals (1.6) 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.

 

Tiller Earning Mentions As Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year

There are a number of great defensive players in the Big 12 this season, but junior guard J.T. Tiller has earned national mention as the Big 12’s top defender following some outstanding defensive efforts against some of the league’s top perimeter players.

> Statistically, Tiller ranks second in the Big 12 with 1.9 steals per game, but also averages close to five deflections a night thanks to his relentless ball pressure ... He has also shut down some outstanding offensive talents:

 

Curtis Jerrells, Baylor       17.4 PPG

5 pts, 9 turnovers, 2-10 FGs

A.J. Abrams, Texas           16.9 PPG

11 pts, 4-9 FGs

Sherron Collins, Kansas   18.0 PPG

9 pts, 6 turnovers, 4-13 FGs

Steve Harley, Nebraska    11.5 PPG

0 pts, 2 turnovers, 0-4 FGs

 


 

 

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