March 9, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09
University of Missouri Tigers (25-6, 12-4) vs.
Texas A&M (23-8, 9-7) -or- Texas Tech (13-18, 3-13)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 32 - March 12, 2009 - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. CST
Arena: Ford Center - Oklahoma City, Okla. (18,878)
TV: ESPN2 - (Ron Franklin play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: 14/12, A&M / Tech : 27/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri leads Texas A&M 11-7 overall; Mizzou leads Texas Tech 9-8 overall
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 148-75 overall (7th season); 59-34 at Mizzou (3rd)
Texas A&M: Mark Turgeon (Kansas, ‘87) / Texas Tech: Pat Knight (Indiana, ‘95)
> Missouri heads into postseason play with a rare first-round bye and will face Wednesday’s winner between sixth-seeded Texas A&M and 11-seed Texas Tech ... Missouri closed the regular season with a loss at A&M and defeated Texas Tech 97-86 back on Jan. 24 at Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri was one of the Big 12’s surprise clubs this season in earning a first-round bye ... The Tigers were pegged seventh in the preseason poll and were only two votes from ninth place, making Mike Anderson’s group the biggest movers in the league standings this season.
> The “Late Game” at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship is nothing new for the Tigers ... Missouri has played its opening contest at 8:30 p.m. eight times in 13 years at the Big 12 Championship (including this season), but this year’s game will mark Mizzou’s first-ever as a No. 3-seed.
> Oklahoma City is sure to be a homecoming for Head Coach Mike Anderson and his wife Marcheita ... Coach Anderson and his wife met while at the University of Tulsa and their daughter, Yvonne will play in OKC as a point guard for the University of Texas (vs. Missouri on Thursday at 5 p.m.) ... Of course their son Michael and nephew, DeMarre Carroll, are members of Missouri’s squad.
> It’s certainly been quite the turnaround for Missouri Basketball this year, as the Tigers have already improved nine games from last season’s 16-16 record ... The nine-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.
> Missouri cleaned up on a number of postseason All-Big 12 awards this week ... Senior forward DeMarre Carroll was named First Team All-Big 12, Leo Lyons was picked Third Team and J.T. Tiller was an honorable mention selection ... Tiller also shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with Kansas’ Cole Aldrich and was a unanimous pick to the All-Defensive Team, while Matt Lawrence was pegged Co-Sixth Man of the Year with Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn and Zaire Taylor was named to the All-Rookie Team.
> The Tigers rank among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories heading into this week’s Big 12 Championship ... Mizzou is No. 6 nationally in scoring at 81.8 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 18.8, No. 2 in steals per game at 10.8, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 5 in scoring margin at 14.7 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 5 nationally with 62.8 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 194 more FGs than their opponents through 31 games thanks to the nation’s No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.8).
> Just a reminder that Missouri’s postseason history and records are available in the 2008-09 media guide on pages 117-121.
> Missouri heads to postseason play this week, as the Tigers have earned the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Championship and will face either Texas A&M or Texas Tech on March 12 at 8:30 p.m.
> If the Tigers face the Aggies, it will be the second time in four seasons that Missouri will play back-to-back games vs. the same opponent ... Missouri defeated Nebraska 64-63 to close the 2005-06 regular season, but fell to the Cornhuskers 71-64 in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship in Dallas.
> Missouri has been solid in neutral-court settings this year (2-2) ... The Tigers defeated then No. 19 USC and Fairfield in San Juan, P.R. for their two wins.
> Missouri has earned just its second opening-round bye in Big 12 history ... The Tigers were the No. 2 seed in 1999 after finishing with an 11-5 league mark.
> The Tigers are looking for their first win at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship since 2005.
> Missouri is 2-0 all-time vs. Texas A&M at the Big 12 Championship, defeating the Aggies 74-68 in 2004 and 77-62 in 2001 ... Missouri is 1-0 vs. Texas Tech, toppling the Red Raiders 80-47 in 2000.
> It’s always important to leave things better than you found them and seniors Matt Lawrence and Leo Lyons have helped more than double Missouri’s win total from their freshmen campaigns ... In 2005-06, Missouri went 12-16, but now the Tigers are 25-6 just three years later ... MU was the No. 11 seed that season and now the Tigers are the No. 3 seed, thanks to the help of fellow seniors DeMarre Carroll and Mike Anderson, Jr.
> Missouri has played well against ranked teams this season and is 4-1 vs. Top 25 foes, including last week’s win over Oklahoma.
> That victory over OU gave the Tigers four Top 25 wins this year, which is the most since the 2001-02 club defeated six ranked teams.
> Did you know, Missouri’s win over OU was the first time the Sooners have lost with both Blake Griffin and Juan Pattillo active and healthy for a full 40 minutes?
> Mizzou’s 12-4 record in Big 12 play is its best in school history ... The last time Missouri had 12+ league wins was during its undefeated Big Eight Championship year of 1993-94.
> The Tigers are off to their best start overall (25-6) since that 1993-94 season as well ... A win on Thursday would push Missouri’s record to 26-6, moving this year’s group into the Top 4 for single-season wins at MU.
> In fact, Mike Anderson’s .634 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.
> Anderson was also named a finalist for the prestigious Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
> ESPN’s Pat Forde named Anderson a finalist for National Coach of the Year.
> Missouri is coming off an undefeated February, which was just its fourth undefeated February in school history ... The Tigers went 6-0 after going 7-0 in February in 1993-94, 6-0 in 1939-40 and 8-0 in 1920-21.
> A huge factor in Missouri’s success this season has been its defense and MU has a school record 335 steals through 31 games.
> In fact, Missouri is averaging 10.8 steals per game which is just behind the 1998-99 Nebraska team for the most in Big 12 history.
> This season’s club is also No. 2 all-time in school history with 18.8 assists per game ... The 1988-89 Tigers are tops with 19.0 dimes ... However Missouri leads the country in assists per game this season.
> This 2008-09 Tiger squad is the first in school history to have 500 assists, 300 steals and 100 blocked shots.
> Another key for the Tigers continues to be the play of their bench ... On the season, Missouri’s reserves are averaging 29.0 points per game, which is a school record.
> 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 21.2 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 14 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.
> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 18 times in 30 games this season and is 17-1 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 42 times in the Mike Anderson era (92 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 19.3 turnovers per game and is averaging 22.2 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (22.2-of-81.8).
> 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, but both enhanced their stock throughout the year ... Carroll was named a First Team choice by the coaches, while Lyons was pegged Third Team.
> Carroll also became the first Missouri player to ever be named First Team All-Big 12 and First Team Academic All-Big 12 in the same season.
> Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and steals.
> In league play Carroll has seen his scoring/rebounding numbers improve to 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, thanks to a career high 31 tallies at Iowa State on Feb. 7 and a 19.6 ppg scoring average over his last 12 outings.
> Carroll’s 8.1 rebounds per game in league action is the most for a Tiger since Arthur Johnson’s 9.3 rpg 2002-03.
> 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 12 outings, including 21.0 ppg in his last six home games.
> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,406 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 1,125 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 28-of-31 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 25 times this year.
> Carroll has six double-doubles on the year including three double-dips in his last four games ... Carroll also 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 leads all Big 12 forwards with 49 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (6th), steals (6th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (7th).
> Over his last 33 regular-season games Leo Lyons has eight 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 30-of-33 contests.
> Lyons has actually reached double figures in 19 of his last 20 Big 12 regular-season games thanks to his tremendous free throw shooting ... Since the start of Big 12 play Lyons is No. 7 in the Big 12 at the foul line at 82.0 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.
> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in 15 of his last 26 outings.
> With that tremendous shooting and solid all-around play, Lawrence was named the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year by the league coaches.
> In fact, over his last 17 games Lawrence is shooting 47 percent from bonus distance, hitting 43-of-92 treys.
> Lawrence has also been shooting it well away from home recently, as the 6-foot-7 sniper is 19-of-36 (.528) from bonus distance in his last five road games.
> The St. Louis native is already No. 2 in career three-point makes at MU with 227 and needs six more treys to move into the Big 12’s career Top 10.
> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 27 steals, 27 assists and just 14 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 has reached the 100 assist plateau this season and needs 16 more dimes to move into the Missouri single season Top 10.
> His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 10 nationally.
> Here’s a funny note about Taylor ... He’s been named to the All-Rookie Team in two different conferences ... He was named All-Rookie in the Colonial Athletics Association in 2006 as a freshman and was named All-Rookie this year in the Big 12.
> Since Big 12 play began, Taylor has dished 60 dimes and has just 20 turnovers (3.0-to-1).
> Despite being a slashing/crafty point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 27-of-31 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 has reached double figures in scoring nine times this year, including season highs of 17 points in that win at No. 16 Texas and at Texas A&M ... 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 became Missouri’s first Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous pick to the All-Defensive Team.
> Tiller shared Defensive P.O.Y. with Kansas’ Cole Aldrich, but was also an honorable mention choice to the All-Big 12 team.
> Tiller was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman.
> Tiller was named the captain of Seth Davis’ (CBS & Sports Illustrated) 10th Annual All-Glue Team.
> The Marietta, Ga., native ranks No. 25 nationally with a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio this season.
> 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, Kansas’ Sherron Collins to just nine points and six turnovers and Oklahoma’s Willie Warren to just seven points.
> Over his last nine games Tiller has 48 assists and just 12 turnovers, for an incredible 4.0-to-1 ratio.
> 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 15-of-31 games and is fourth in the Big 12 with 1.8 steals a night.
> Of Tiller’s 22 career double-figure scoring games, 11 have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including 4-of-8 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 is making a late-season surge and scored a career high 15 points at Texas A&M on 4-of-4 three-point shooting ... Safford also grabbed three boards in a career high 21 minutes vs. the Aggies.
> The Bloomington, Ill., native opened that week with six points and three boards vs. Oklahoma and has hit six of his last seven shots from three-point range.
> 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, started 13 consecutive games (before going to the bench on Senior Night) 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 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.
> 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 17 of his last 23 games and has 20 blocks in his last 18 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 Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M (23-8, 9-7 Big 12) tied for fourth in the Big 12 Conference this year, but earned the No. 6 seed in this week’s Phillips Big 12 Championship ... A&M closed the regular season with six consecutive wins, including a 96-86 home win over Missouri ... Donald Sloan led five Aggies in double figures in that contest, as A&M shot an incredible 62 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three-point range to earn the Senior Day victory ... On the year, Texas A&M is being led in scoring by senior Josh Carter (14.0 ppg) and Sloan (11.4) ... Bryan Davis (10.4 ppg / 6.4 rpg) and Chinemelu Elonu (10.1 ppg / 7.5 rpg) help the Aggies form a tremendous inside-outside combination.
About The Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech (13-18, 3-13 Big 12) enters the 2009 Big 12 Championship as the No. 11 seed and sports a balanced scoring attack paced by guards John Roberson and Alan Voskuil ... Roberson leads TTU with 13.9 points and 6.5 assists per game, while Voskuil is one of the Big 12’s best three-point shooters at 45 percent and is averaging 13.8 points per game on the season ... Wing player Nick Okorie has played much improved basketball down the stretch averaging 12.2 points in Big 12 play, while Mike Singletary gives the Red Raiders some muscle underneath, averaging 11.1 points and a team-leading 5.7 rebounds per game.
Tigers Earn Postseason Honors From Big 12 Conference
Missouri had five players earn All-Big 12 accolades this week, as DeMarre Carroll (First Team), Leo Lyons (Third Team) and J.T. Tiller (honorable mention) earned spots on the All-Big 12 squads, while Tiller (Co-Defensive Player of the Year) and Matt Lawrence (Co-Six Man of the Year) earned specialty awards and both Tiller (All-Defensive Team) and Zaire Taylor (All-Rookie Team) earned recognition on the Big 12’s specialty teams.
> Tiller became the first Tiger ever to win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year recognition, while Carroll is the first Missouri player ever to win First Team All-Big 12 and First Team Academic All-Big 12 in the same year.
J.T. Named Captain of All-Glue Squad
Missouri junior guard J.T. Tiller earned another honor on March 4, when the Tigers’ defensive stopper was named the Captain of Seth Davis’ 10th Annual “All-Glue Team” ... Tiller is a leading candidate for National All-Defensive honors and paces Missouri with 57 steals and 112 assists ... He also ranks among the nation’s Top 30 with a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio and is among team leaders with a 76 percent shooting stroke from the free throw line.
Tigers Enjoy First Undefeated Home Season at Mizzou Arena
It hadn’t happened since the 1993-94 season, but Missouri Basketball secured an undefeated home campaign following a 73-64 win against No. 4/5 Oklahoma.
> MU finished 18-0 at home this season and its 19-game winning streak is the nation’s sixth longest active home stretch.
> The undefeated season is Missouri’s sixth since 1972-73 (first season at Hearnes) and the 18 home wins this season is the most in school history, surpassing the 17-1 mark the Tigers had at home in 1982-83.
Year Home Record
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 104 steals this season and are the only teammates in America to rank among the Top 30 nationally in assist/turnover ratio.
> Both Taylor and Tiller have each dished 100 assists this season, and Taylor’s 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover mark ranks No. 10 nationally, while Tiller (2.3-to-1) ranks No. 27.
> In addition, both players are on the verge of swiping 50 steals apiece and could become the first Tiger backcourt 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.
> In fact, Missouri is close to having three players with 50+ steals this season ... DeMarre Carroll has 49 thefts on the year and as a team, Missouri has never had three players top 50+ steals in the same season.
No Bigger Surprise Than Mizzou
Coaches around the Big 12 pegged Missouri seventh in the league’s preseason poll, but Mizzou finished third in the league standings.
> Mike Anderson’s squad earned the program’s highest finish in Big 12 action since the 1998-99 campaign (T-2nd).
> No Big 12 team has been a bigger surprise than Mizzou as the Tigers are currently four 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:
> Directed a team picked seventh in the Big 12’s preseason poll to third in the final league standings.
> Has Missouri 4-1 vs. Top 25 clubs this season, including a win over No. 4/5 Oklahoma, which was MU’s first win over a Top 5 team since 2002-03
> Led Missouri to 25 regular season wins, which is the second most in school history.
> Led Missouri to 12 Big 12 Conference wins, which is the most in school history.
> The 2008-09 Tigers are the first to be ranked in the Top 25 since the 2003-04 team.
> 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 on the road at an SEC school since the 1989-90 team.
> 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 improved nine 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 ... The Tigers have improved nine wins (from 16 to 25) on their 2007-08 win total, which makes this year’s club the fourth biggest turnaround among high-major teams this season.
Team Conf. Wins Wins Inc.
1. LSU SEC 13 25 12
2. Illinois Big Ten 13 23 10
Michigan Big Ten 9 19 10
4. Missouri Big 12 16 25 9
Northwestern Big Ten 8 17 9
6. S. Carolina SEC 13 21 8
Bost. College ACC 13 21 8
8. Oregon St. Pac-10 6 13 7
9. Oklahoma Big 12 21 27 6
2008-09 Tigers Wins Nearing Record Victory Levels
Missouri won its 25th regular-season game on March 4 vs. Oklahoma, which is the seventh most wins in school history ... Missouri hadn’t won 25+ games since the 1993-94 season, but Mizzou’s next victory will put this year’s bunch into the single-season Top 5.
Rk. Year Total Wins
1. 1988-89 29
2. 1993-94 28
3. 1981-82 27
4. 1975-76 26
7. 2008-09 25
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 121 “swats” this season, which is the seventh most in school history and the Tigers need just seven more blocked shots to move into the single-season Top 5 ... Keith Ramsey (28), DeMarre Carroll (22) and Leo Lyons (22) lead the way, but 10 different Tigers have multiple blocks this year.
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 All-Big 12 First Team after averaging 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds during the regular season.
> The Birmingham, Ala., native has reached double figures in 28-of-31 games this year, 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 seventh in the Big 12 with six double-doubles.
> Carroll is 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 (.567), No. 6 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 Earns Co-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 fourth in the Big 12 with 1.8 steals per game, but also averages six deflections a night thanks to his relentless ball pressure ... He has also shut down some outstanding offensive talents:
Willie Warren, Oklahoma 15.1 PPG
7 pts, 4 turnovers, 3-11 FGs
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
Missouri returned to the 20-win category thanks to its 82-68 win at Iowa State ... Missouri now has 21, 20-win seasons in school history and this 24-5 start makes it MU’s first 20-win campaign since the 2002-03 season.
> The 25 victories are also the most at MU since the 2001-02 campaign when the Tigers won 25 games and advanced to the elite eight.
> The 20 wins mark the fifth 20-win campaign for Head Coach Mike Anderson ... Anderson led UAB to four consecutive 20-win seasons at the start of his head coaching career before coming to Mizzou.
Lyons Enters Spring 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 14 of his 15 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 carried his great play over into the month of March as well, scoring 20 points, grabbing six boards and dishing three assists on March 1 at Kansas and went toe-to-toe with National Player of the Year frontrunner Blake Griffin, dropping in 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.