March 11, 2013
Columbia, Mo. -
Missouri Tigers vs. Texas A&M / Auburn
Date: March 14, 2013
Tip-Off: 9 p.m. CT
Arena: Bridgestone Arena (18,160)
TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal - Play by Play / Jon Sundvold - Analyst / Shannon Spake - Sideline)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Missouri - RV/NR - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches’ Poll
Texas A&M or Auburn - NR/NR
Mizzou vs. A&M - Tigers lead 13-11; Last 70-68 win by A&M on Feb. 7, 2013, in College Station, Texas
Missouri vs. Auburn - Tigers lead 1-0; Last 91-77 win by Mizzou on Feb. 2, 2013 in Columbia
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon ‘88); 181-115 overall (9th); 52-14 at Mizzou (2nd)
> Missouri Basketball heads to Nashville, Tenn., for its first experience in the Southeastern Conference Tournament as the sixth-seeded Tigers will face either the No. 11-seeded Texas A&M Aggies or the No. 14-seeded Auburn Tigers ... Missouri split the meetings against Texas A&M and Auburn this year, falling at A&M (70-68), but winning vs. Auburn (91-77) in Columbia.
> The last time Missouri played in its initial league tournament, Norm Stewart’s (Mizzou’s 2013 SEC Legend) club advanced to the finals of the 1997 Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. ... That Tiger squad was the No. 10 seed and knocked off No. 7 Nebraska, No. 2 Texas and No. 6 Oklahoma before falling to top-seeded Kansas in the finals.
> Missouri has two league tournament titles over the last four years, winning the 2009 and 2012 Big 12 crowns ... Missouri senior Laurence Bowers was a member of those two squads.
> Missouri is undefeated under Head Coach Frank Haith in league tournament action ... The Tigers were the No. 2 seed in last season’s Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City and won three consecutive games by double figures to win the final Big 12 title.
> The Tigers have been outstanding under Haith on a neutral court during his two seasons ... Missouri is 3-1 in those settings this year with wins over Stanford (78-70) and VCU (68-65) and a loss to then-No. 2 Louisville (84-61) in the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas ... Missouri also beat No. 10 Illinois (82-73) in St. Louis ... Overall Missouri is 10-2 in neutral-site games under Haith.
> Sophomore Jabari Brown did not see in action in those three games in the Bahamas and finished the league season averaging a team-best 14.6 points while shooting 38 percent shooting from three-point range.
> Missouri’s last postseason tournament loss actually came to Texas A&M, a team the Tigers could face on Thursday, during the 2011 Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City ... That game was in the quarterfinals.
> Senior Laurence Bowers will be back in his home state this week ... Bowers was outstanding at Tennessee last weekend scoring 20 points and blocking four shots in 24 minutes despite foul trouble ... He is averaging 22.3 points on 28-of-42 (.667) shooting over his last three games with three consecutive 20-point efforts ... Bowers is also averaging 8.7 rebounds with two double-doubles during that stretch.
> Mizzou is the lone high major team in college hoops with six players averaging double figures in scoring ... The Tigers have been one of college basketball’s more balanced scoring teams since 2010-11 having five players in double figures in 2010-11 and 2011-12 before having six in double figures this season.
> Phil Pressey is the lone Tiger ever to play a complete season for Head Coach Frank Haith and if you break down the numbers Missouri is getting 84.6 percent of its scoring and 91.9 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action for the club last season.
> Pressey has 561 career assists and is in “no man’s land” with regards to career dimes and conference rank, but he would be seventh all-time in Big 12 history and just 63 assists shy of the Top 10 in SEC history ... He is also just three assists shy of the single-season record for assists at Mizzou, breaking his own mark set last year.
> Keion Bell continues to have an All-SEC type season and is averaging 15.7 points in his last 11 games, while also shooting 58 percent from the floor and contributing 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
> Missouri is one of college basketball’s winningest teams since 2008-09 ... The Tigers have 129 wins over the last five years, which is ninth among high major programs nationally.
> Mizzou continues to be one of the country’s better rebounding clubs, ranking No. 2 nationally with 41.1 boards per game ... Missouri has done a great job on the backboard in its last 13 contests, boasting a rebounding margin of +11.5 ... The Tigers have outrebounded 25-of-31 opponents this year.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Missouri Basketball returns to Tennessee as the Tigers begin play in the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament for the first time ... Missouri will be the No. 6 seed at this weekend’s tournament and will face the winner of the Texas A&M vs. Auburn matchup on Wednesday night.
> Missouri dropped its only meeting with Texas A&M (70-68) in College Station on Feb. 7 and topped Auburn at home (91-77) on Feb. 2.
> The winner of that contest would face No. 3-seeded Ole Miss ... Missouri fell in Oxford, 64-49, before rebounding with a 98-79 win in Columbia on Feb. 9.
> Mizzou recently put the finishing touches on an undefeated home campaign last week and will look to continue its strong play in neutral-court settings this season ... Missouri is 3-1 in neutral site games including quality wins over then No. 10 Illinois, VCU and Stanford ... Missouri did not have the services of Jabari Brown in the wins over VCU and Stanford and in their one neutral-court loss to Louisville.
> The Tigers are 10-2 under Head Coach Frank Haith on a neutral court over the last two years, including an impressive 4-1 mark vs. Top 25 opponents.
> Missouri is also 3-0 under Haith in the conference tournament highlighted by last season’s Big 12 title.
> Missouri is in the midst of its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign, a new school record ... The Tigers have actually won 23+ games each of the last four seasons and need one more win to match that feat as well.
> MU had also won 20+ games in four consecutive years from 1988-92 and 1979-83 before eclipsing that mark.
> Overall head coach Frank Haith is a very good 9-4 vs. Top 25 opponents at Mizzou and is 5-3 vs. the Top 10.
> Missouri is 5-2 vs. Top 10 opponents at home since 2008-09 and is 8-4 vs. Top 12 opponents since Mizzou Arena opened in 2004-05.
> Missouri is coming off a 64-62 loss at Tennessee last Saturday ... The Tigers got 20 points from Laurence Bowers in his return to his home state and the senior is on a run of three consecutive 20-point scoring nights.
> Missouri finished second in the SEC in scoring at 76.2 points per game ... The Tigers finished the regular season averaging 80.8 points over its last nine contests, shooting a solid 49.7 percent from the floor ... That average is up to 83.4 points on 53 percent shooting over the last five games of the regular season.
> Mizzou is No. 7 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage at 39.4 percent (KenPom.com) and have used that great rebounding to rank No. 9 nationally in offensive efficiency ... Mizzou of course led the country in offensive efficiency a season ago.
> Missouri, Indiana, Creighton and Florida are the lone teams to rank among the Top 10 in offensive efficiency the last two years ... What makes that stat even more impressive is the fact the Tigers have just one player returning from last season’s team, Phil Pressey, and are getting nearly 92 percent of their scoring production from fresh faces.
> Mizzou is also much improved in its defensive efficiency over last season ... Per Kenpom.com, the Tigers are No. 69 in defensive efficiency compared to No. 115 last year.
> Head Coach Frank Haith won his 50th game at Mizzou on Feb. 28 at South Carolina (63 total games) ... He was the fastest to 50 wins in school history.
> To put that in perspective Mike Anderson won his 50th game in his 81st try, Quin Snyder won No. 50 in his 80th game and Norm Stewart grabbed win No. 50 at Mizzou in his 92nd game ... George Edwards is actually No. 2 on the list, winning his 50th game in his 79th attempt ... Wilbur Stalcup won his 50th in game 86 tries.
> Missouri has tied a school record with six different players having scored at least 20 points in a game this season ... The last time that happened at Mizzou was during the 2008-09 season.
> Overall Missouri has 25 20-point efforts from those six players after having 33 20-point nights last year.
> Mizzou has played just 13 games this season with its regular rotation ... The Tigers are 9-4 in those contests and three of those eight wins are vs. ranked opponents (No. 10 Illinois, No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 4 Florida).
> With injuries and a near complete roster turnover, Missouri has used eight different starting lineups this year ... Haith used the same starting lineup throughout the 2011-12 campaign.
> The Tigers lead the SEC in free throw shooting, hitting 76.0 percent of their charity tosses in league play ... Overall this season the Tigers have made 486 free throws and their opponents have attempted just 521.
> Nationally the Tigers rank No. 30 in free throw percentage (.744) and are the No. 5 high major free throw shooting team in America ... Oklahoma is No. 11 nationally (.758), Oklahoma State in No. 22 (.748), Utah is No. 23 (.747) and Indiana is No. 24 (.745).
> A big reason for those free throw numbers is the senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who is shooting a career best 73.9 percent at the line on the year and is hitting 76.9 percent of his attempts in league play.
> Oriakhi is the first Tiger to average 8.0+ rebounds and shoot 70+ percent from the foul line since Doug Smith in 1990-91.
> Over the last four seasons Missouri is shooting 74.3 percent (2099-of-2824) from the foul line as a team and the Tigers have not been below 72.4 percent as a team since 2008-09.
> Mizzou has been very good in the second half of games all season ... The Tigers are averaging 41.2 points and are shooting 49.9 percent from the floor, 36.8 percent from three-point range and 76.3 percent from the foul line in the second half this year.
> The club boasts a +6.2 scoring margin (41.2-to-35.0) in this second half of those games as well.
> Mizzou’s defense was outstanding at home this season, as just three teams topped 70 points vs. the Tigers (Auburn, Ole Miss and LSU) and opponents averaged just 62.4 points on 38 percent shooting at Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri has been one of the country’s top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded 25-of-31 foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri tied its largest rebounding margin of the year on March 5 (+25) vs. Arkansas and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantages in 16-of-31 games, including four straight vs. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Florida.
> The Tigers also average 13.6 offensive rebounds per game (No. 22 nationally) and turn that into 13.9 second-chance points per contest.
> Missouri has had six different players record double-figures in rebounds in a game this season, which is the most since six Tigers accomplished the feat during the 1995-96 campaign ... The school record for the number of players recording at least 10 rebounds in one game is seven, set during the 1959-60 season.
> In addition, Missouri already has a total of 21 point-rebound double-doubles between four different players (Bowers, Oriakhi, Ross and Bell), bettering the nine team double-doubles for Mizzou in 2011-12.
> Although the Tigers have a number of familiar faces due to transfer years with the program, just one player, Phil Pressey, has played for Head Coach Frank Haith ... Missouri is getting 84.6 percent of its scoring and 91.9 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action at Mizzou a season ago.
> Missouri continues to get strong bench production thanks to the consistent play of Tony Criswell, Earnest Ross and the addition of Jabari Brown ... Missouri is averaging 18.4 points per game from its bench on the year.
> On the season Missouri has 20 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Ross - 11, Bell - 4, Criswell - 2, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 31 games with eight players averaging at least 16.5 minutes a contest ... Nine different Tigers have also reached double figures in scoring in a game this season and seven different Tigers have recorded at least 7+ boards in a game.
> Missouri has won 73 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (66-0) the club’s average margin of victory has been 26.7 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri is 16-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and 15 of those 16 wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 24-2 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 18 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.
> Haith was of course named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, taking the Tigers to their second 30-win season in school history and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.
> Mizzou got an early start to its 2012-13 campaign, playing five games in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... However none of Missouri’s current players saw action overseas, proving to be a great opportunity for the MU newcomers to get extended playing time.
> The Tigers played games in Amsterdam, Belgium and France.
> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards.
> In the front court Alex Oriakhi was ranked No. 35 and Laurence Bowers checked in at No. 38.
> Newcomer Jabari Brown was ranked among college hoop’s top wing players, checking in at No. 48.
> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country’s No. 5 most-important player.
> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.
> Missouri’s transfer class of Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross is being considered as one of the best in basketball history by the Sporting News.