Zaire Taylor returns to his home state of New York this week.
March 15, 2010
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10
#10 University of Missouri Tigers (22-10, 10-6 Big 12) vs.
#7 Clemson University Tigers (21-10, 9-7 ACC)
2009-10 Season Game 33 - March 19, 2010 - Buffalo, N.Y.
Tip-off: Approximately 1:45 p.m. CST (or 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 1)
Arena: HSBC Arena - Buffalo, N.Y. (18,500)
TV: CBS - (Gus Johnson play-by-play; Len Elmore analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: NR/NR, Clemson: RV/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Series tied 1-1 all-time; last meeting Nov. 30, 1996 Clemson win 47-45
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 176-86 overall (8th season); 87-45 at Mizzou (4th)
Clemson: Oliver Purnell (Old Dominion, `75); 394-278 overall (22nd season); 138-87 at Clemson (7th)
> Missouri Basketball returns to NCAA Tournament play for the second consecutive year after advancing to the Elite Eight in 2009 ... The Tigers are one of just three programs to return to the NCAA Tournament despite losing three 1,000-point scorers off their 2009 Tournament squad, joining fellow Buffalo podded school Syracuse and fellow East Region squad Marquette.
> Mizzou is making its 23rd trip to the NCAA Tournament overall ... The Tigers are 21-22 all-time in the Big Dance and have won four consecutive opening-round games dating back to an 84-70 loss to 8th-seeded North Carolina in 2000 ... That Carolina team ended up making the Final Four.
> Here is what you need to know about Mizzou ... Missouri's brand of basketball is called The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball and Head Coach Mike Anderson has used it to make five career trips to the NCAA Tournament in eight seasons as a head coach ... Missouri leads the nation in steals (10.9) and turnovers forced per game (19.7) and is one of the nation's most unselfish teams with nine players boasting 34 or more assists ... In addition, Missouri set the school record for fewest turnovers per game last year and this season's 13.0 turnovers per game is the second fewest in school history ... So while the brand of play is fast, it's fundamentally sound.
> Missouri is headed to the East Region for just the fourth time in school history ... The Tigers last went East in 2001 and defeated 8th-seeded Georgia (70-68) before falling to top seeded Duke (94-81) ... As Tiger fans know all too well, Missouri usually heads west in the Big Dance and has played in the West Region eight times ... MU is 2-3 all-time in the East.
> Two of the nation's most exciting teams will lock up on Friday ... Clemson is among the nation's leaders with 299 total steals this season, while Missouri leads the nation with 350 total thefts ... MU also forces a nation-best 19.7 turnovers per game and scores 23.0 points per game off of those miscues ... Over the last two seasons Missouri has ripped away 738 total steals, the highest two-season steal total in Big 12 history ... Kansas held the previous record with 706 steals in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
> Mizzou has won 53 games over the last two seasons, the 11th most wins in Division I hoops during that stretch ... Included in those 53 wins are three wins in last season's NCAA Tournament and senior guards Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller were starters on that 31-win squad one season ago.
> Missouri is of course known for its pressure defense and those huge steal totals, but the Tigers have been very good defensively in the half court all season long as well ... Mizzou is allowing opponents to shoot just 40.9 percent from the floor and 30.8 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.
NCAA Tournament East Region Schedule
(NOTE - All Times Are Listed As Local Time To The Regional Site)
Thursday, March 18th
at New Orleans, La.
#1 Kentucky (32-2) vs. #16 East Tennessee State (20-14) - 6:15 p.m.
#8 Texas (24-9) vs. #9 Wake Forest (19-10) - 8:45 p.m. (approx.)
at San Jose, Calif.
#6 Marquette (22-11) vs. #11 Washington (24-9) - 4:20 p.m.
#3 New Mexico (29-4) vs. #14 Montana (22-9) - 6:50 p.m. (approx.)
Friday, March 19th
at Buffalo, N.Y. - HSBC Arena
#2 West Virginia (27-6) vs. #15 Morgan State (27-9) - 12:15 p.m.
#7 Clemson (21-10) vs. #10 Missouri (22-10) - 2:45 p.m. (approx.)
at Jacksonville, Fla.
#5 Temple (29-5) vs. #12 Cornell (27-4) - 12:30 p.m.
#4 Wisconsin (23-8) vs. #13 Wofford (26-8) - 3:00 p.m. (approx.)
Saturday, March 20th
at New Orleans, La.
Kentucky/E. Tenn. St. vs. Texas/Wake Forest - TBA
at San Jose, Calif.
Marquette/Washington vs. New Mexico/Montana - TBA
Sunday, March 21st
at Buffalo, N.Y.
Clemson/Missouri vs. W. Virginia/Morgan St. - TBA
at Jacksonville, Fla.
Temple/Cornell vs. Wisconsin/Wofford - TBA
Mizzou Quick Hitters
> Missouri is making back-to-back trips into NCAA Tournament play this week and faces #7-seeded Clemson Friday afternoon in Buffalo.
> Missouri is 0-1 all-time as the #10 seed ... The Tigers fell to #7 Temple (75-61) in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993.
> Mizzou is playing a rare game vs. the ACC ... The Tigers' last opponent from the conference was Maryland in the 2007 CBE Classic in Kansas City ... Missouri won 84-70 for third place in the event.
> Missouri is 1-2 all-time vs. current members of the ACC in the NCAA Tournament ... Missouri defeated Miami, 93-80, in 2002, but fell to Duke (94-81 in 2001) and North Carolina (84-70 in 2000).
> Mizzou's last game in the opening round as the higher seed was against Miami in 2002 ... The Tigers were the #12 seed and topped #5 Miami to fuel the club's Elite Eight run.
> Speaking of Elite Eights, Missouri was one of just 21 teams to advance to multiple Elite Eights in the past decade, advancing in 2002 and 2009.
> Buffalo holds a special place in the heart of Missouri Associate Head Coach Melvin Watkins ... He was drafted by the NBA's Buffalo Braves in the fourth round in 1977 after leading UNC-Charlotte to the Final Four.
> Missouri does have a New York native on its roster ... Zaire "Big Shot" Taylor is from Staten Island and Missouri's all-time leading scorer, Derrick Chievous, is from New York City ... Chievous finished his career with 2,580 points from 1984-88.
> In the months of February and March the last two seasons Missouri is an impressive 19-8 overall, including six total postseason wins (including three wins last season in the Big 12 Tournament).
> Mizzou is a solid 8-5 the last two seasons vs. ranked opponents, including three wins over ranked foes on neutral courts: #2 Memphis, 23 Marquette and #19 USC.
> Don't get fooled by the pace Missouri plays at, the Tigers are incredibly efficient ... Missouri does lead the nation with 10.9 steals per game and ranks #1 nationally in turnovers forced (19.7), but Anderson's club also ranks #37 nationally in assists per game (15.3), #2 nationally in turnover margin (+6.7) and is among the Top 50 nationally with a 1.2 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 350 steals ranks #2 all-time ... The 149 blocks are also #2 ... Missouri's 37.1 percent shooting from three-point range is #10 all-time, while the 72.5 percent free throw shooting is #8.
> Missouri is being led in scoring by THREE underclassmen, Kim English (14.1), Marcus Denmon (11.0) and Laurence Bowers (10.1) ... 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.
> Third Team All-Big 12 honoree 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 #37 nationally with 15.3 assists per game ... 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 (92), Zaire Taylor (83), freshman Michael Dixon (52) and sophomore Miguel Paul (51) ... 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 (10.9) and are led defensively by Big 12 All-Defensive Team member, 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 +6.7 ... With that great turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio (+1.2) the Tigers have taken 205 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 152 more steals this season than their opponents through 32 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 19.7 turnovers a game and is averaging 23.0 points per game off of those turnovers.
> 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 9.9 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri's pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 21-of-32 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 72.8 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 32.6 of their 77.6 points per game from the reserves ... Missouri's bench has actually outscored (or tied) their starters seven times this season and are outscoring their opposition's bench 32.6-to-18.0.
> 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 25 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 132 career games.
> It's nothing new to have the reserves outscore the starters either ... Including seven games this season, the reserves have dropped in more tallies than the "initial five" 19 times (in 132 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, including the Big 12's Postseason All-Defensive Team ... Tiller was the 2009 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was named to All-Defensive Teams by Sports Illustrated and ESPN prior to the start of his senior season.
> Tiller was recently named to the Big 12's All-Academic Team and will graduate in May with a degree in Business.
> Tiller has played excellent basketball for Missouri in the second half of Big 12 play and is averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in his last 11 games.
> During that stretch Tiller scored a season high 17 points twice vs. Iowa State and dished a career high nine dimes and grabbed a season high seven boards vs. Colorado.
> Tiller suffered a fractured nose in the road win at Colorado and wore a protective mask for about 30 seconds in the first 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.
> He then hit 6-of-12 shots in Ames on March 2 to record 17 tallies for this second time this year vs. the Cyclones.
> The Marietta, Ga., native has 323 career assists and needs seven more dimes to move into the career Top 10.
> Once he gets those seven assists Tiller will be the only player in Mizzou history to rank among the Top 10 in games played, assists and steals for a career.
> He also owns 159 career steals and is #8 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 1.8 steals per game this season.
> Thanks to his versatility, Taylor was named an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection this season.
> 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 #68 nationally with a 2.2-to-1 ratio (83 dimes, 38 turnovers).
> Taylor has wasted little time picking up his assist totals this year and has dished 83 dimes while committing just 35 turnovers in his last 31 games, including a career-best eight assists and zero turnovers at Oklahoma.
> 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 ... He then won the game at Iowa State on March 2 with three huge shots in the final :17 seconds of regulation and five minutes of overtime.
> Taylor has done an excellent job supplementing his scoring at the foul line in Big 12 play and has made 41-of-48 charity shots in league action (.854).
> 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.
Keith Ramsey, 6-9, 217 Pounds
>Keith Ramsey continues to surge for Missouri as he concludes his collegiate career and has reached double figures in scoring in three of his last seven games.
> Ramsey has hit 26-of-44 shots (.591) during that stretch and is a very solid 8-of-12 from the foul line.
> Ramsey has also been solid on the glass over that same time frame, averaging 7.6 rebounds, while blocking 1.4 shots and ripping away 1.5 steals a game.
> Ramsey has become Mizzou's Iron Man since the loss of Justin Safford to injury, playing a team-leading 139 of a possible 165 minutes vs. Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas and Nebraska.
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 (10.2), second in rebounding (5.6) and tops in blocked shots (1.3) in just 21.8 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 the first meeting.
> In fact Bowers' rebounding average is up to 5.8 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.
> 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 25-of-32 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 became just the third Missouri underclassmen to earn All-Big 12 First, Second or Third Team honors as he was selected to the Third Team by the league coaches.
> English was also named to the All-District squad by the National Basketball Writers Association.
> English leads Missouri with 20 double figure scoring games this season, including nine 20-point efforts.
> English has 62 treys this year and needs just 13 more to move into the Mizzou single-season Top 10.
> While he has been very good from the perimeter, English is evolving into a well-rounded scorer and leads the club in free throw attempts (123) and makes (91).
> Although he scored just nine points against Iowa State in the first meeting due to foul trouble, the Baltimore native drilled the game-clinching 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 six rebounds and ripped two steals vs. the Fighting Illini ... English has at least one steal in 26-of-32 games this season.
> 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 full strength after off-season knee surgery and has reached double figures 16 times this year.
> Denmon is #3 in the Big 12 in three-point percentage (.425) and is hitting 44 percent of his treys over the last 25 games (55-of-126), including 17-of-25 games with multiple three-point makes.
> In games away from Mizzou Arena Denmon is shooting an impressive 49 percent from three-point range and the sophomore hit one of the NCAA Tournament's more memorable shots in 2009, a 65-footer to end the first half vs. #2 Memphis in the Sweet 16.
> Denmon was recently named to the All-Reserve Team by a panel of Big 12 sportswriters.
> Denmon has been one of Mizzou's most consistent scorers with those 16 double-figure efforts and has topped 20 points four times in league play.
> He 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 and followed that with 21 points in the win against Colorado for the first back-to-back 20-point games of his career.
> Denmon then poured in 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds at Iowa State in the huge victory in Ames.
> 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.
> He also scored 14 second-half points at Iowa State on March 2.
Justin Safford, 6-8, 230 Pounds
> Justin Safford is out with a torn ACL in his left knee ... Safford will be continually monitored throughout the season.
> Safford suffered the injury vs. Colorado and actually opened the game with a flurry, scoring eight points in the first seven minutes.
> The Bloomington, Ill., native was enjoying a career year and was averaging 10.2 tallies per game, with seven double-figure scoring contests over his last 12 games.
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 51 dimes and just 22 turnovers (2.3-to-1).
> The sophomore is also shooting an excellent 40 percent from three point range this season, including a pair of treys in back-to-back games vs. Colorado and at Kansas State.
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.
> Moore recently blocked a career high five shots at Kansas State and those five swats were the most by any Tiger this season.
> Moore has 12 blocked shots over his last five games, with four multi-block games.
> The Kansas City native enjoyed a tremendous outing at Colorado, scoring four points and grabbing three boards in the first half vs. the Buffaloes.
> Moore then played a career high 21 minutes in the return game vs. CU at Mizzou Arena, scoring two points, grabbing three boards, blocking two shots and ripping two steals.
> Since the injury by fellow forward Justin Safford, Moore is averaging 14.0 mpg and has logged those team-leading 12 blocks during that stretch.
Michael Dixon, 6-1, 175 Pounds
> Michael Dixon has been one of the Big 12's top freshmen this season and is averaging 7.3 points on 46 percent shooting this year.
> Dixon has reached double figures in 11 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 Clemson Tigers
Clemson (21-10, 9-7 ACC) heads into the NCAA Tournament after a solid 9-7 season the tough ACC ... The Tigers play an up-tempo brand of basketball similar to Mizzou, but boast one of the nation's top front court players, Trevor Booker, who is averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game ... A 6-foot-7, 240 pound senior, Booker has reached double figures in scoring 28 times in 31 games and owns eight double-doubles en route for first team all-ACC honors ... Demontez Stitt is second on the club in scoring at 11.1 points a night and Clemson boasts one of America's deepest teams with nine players averaging 11.4 minutes a game.
The Series With Clemson
Missouri and Clemson will meet for the third time in series history on Friday and have split the previous two meetings ... Oddly enough, this will be the first meeting on the U.S. mainland ... Missouri won the first meeting 69-64 in Honolulu on Dec. 29, 1985, in the Rainbow Classic, while Clemson took the most recent meeting, 47-45, in San Juan, P.R., in the San Juan Shootout on Nov. 30, 1996.
Winner Date Score Location
Missouri 12-29-85 69-64 Honolulu
Clemson 11-30-96 47-45 San Juan
1,000 Ways To Show Your Program Is Building
Of the 65 teams to qualify for the 2009 NCAA Tournament, only Syracuse, Marquette and Missouri will qualify for the 2010 Tournament after losing three 1,000-point scorers.
> Each of those three departures for the Tigers are now playing professionally, including DeMarre Carroll, who was a first round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies.
It All Began in Buffalo
Missouri's impressive run of 53 wins over the last two seasons actually started with a flight to Buffalo ... Missouri played three games in Canada over Labor Day Weekend in 2008 and flew from St. Louis to Buffalo to get an early jump on the year, an advantageous move for a team loaded with seven newcomers (all seven are on this 2010 roster).
> That club just happened to shock the NCAA world last season and go from the Big 12's preseason #7 pick to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and record a school-record 31 wins.
> This season's club was also picked #7 in the Big 12 and is now 22-10 and finished #5 in the Big 12 standings.
Mike Anderson in the NCAA Tournament
Mizzou's Mike Anderson enters his fifth NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach and second with the Tigers ... Prior to his back-to-back runs at Mizzou, Anderson guided Alabama-Birmingham to the Big Dance from 2004-06 and boasts a 6-4 all-time mark in the tourney.
> Anderson also made 15 other NCAA Tournament appearances as a longtime assistant coach for the legendary Nolan
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