March 24, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
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#3 University of Missouri Tigers (30-6) vs.
#2 Memphis University Tigers (33-3)
2008-09 Season Game 37 - March 26, 2009 - Glendale, Ariz.
Tip-off: 8:37 p.m. CDT
Arena: University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, Ariz. (39,263)
TV: CBS - (Dick Enberg - Play by Play; Jay Bilas - Analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: 9/9, Memphis: 3/2 in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Memphis leads Missouri 7-4 overall; First Meeting in NCAA Tournament play
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 153-75 overall (7th season); 64-34 at Mizzou (3rd)
Memphis: John Calipari (Clarion St. '82); 445-139 overall (17th season); 252-68 at Memphis (9th)
> Missouri Basketball heads off to its seventh Sweet 16 in school history this week, as the Tigers face the #2-seeded and #2 nationally-ranked Memphis Tigers on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.
> Missouri is enjoying a record-breaking 2008-09 season that has the Tigers sitting as the nation's most improved team (+14 wins - tied with LSU) ... Missouri went from 16-16 last season, to 30-6 this year and a berth into the Sweet 16 ... MU also has a school record 30 wins this year ... The previous record was 29 wins in 1988-89.
> Head Coach Mike Anderson has some history with Memphis ... Anderson was the last Conference USA Head Coach to beat John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers ... That win came during the 2005-06 season, Anderson's final year at UAB.
> Missouri's defense has been stellar during the "Championship" season ... Mizzou is 5-0 thus far in postseason play and is allowing just 63.4 points per game during that stretch ... Only Marquette has been able to surpass the 60-point mark vs. MU this postseason, but 28 of their 79 points came from the free throw line ... Missouri is allowing those 63.4 points on just 37.1 percent shooting from the floor and 25.5 percent shooting from three-point range.
> Missouri is a rare senior-laden club in this year's NCAA Tournament and has gotten great offensive production from Leo Lyons (15.6 ppg), DeMarre Carroll (14.2) and Matt Lawrence (11.0) in their five postseason wins this year ... Both Lyons and Lawrence have seen improved scoring numbers this postseason, while Carroll leads the team in steals (8), field goal percentage (.528) and ranks third with 11 assists ... 40.8 of Missouri's 76.4 points in postseason play are coming from that three-headed senior trio and junior guards J.T. Tiller (9.6 ppg) and Zaire Taylor (9.2) give MU one of the more veteran groups remaining in NCAA play.
> Missouri cleaned up on a number of postseason All-Big 12 awards at the end of the regular season ... Senior forward DeMarre Carroll was named First Team All-Big 12, First Team Academic All-Big 12 and was the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player ... Leo Lyons was picked Third Team All-Big 12 and J.T. Tiller was an honorable mention selection ... Tiller also shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with Kansas' Cole Aldrich, while Matt Lawrence was pegged Co-Sixth Man of the Year.
> The Tigers rank among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories heading into this week's West Regional ... Mizzou is No. 5 nationally in scoring at 81.1 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 18.4, No. 2 in steals per game at 10.3, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 4 in scoring margin at 14.5 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 5 nationally with 62.3 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 222 more FGs than their opponents through 36 games thanks to the nation's No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.4).
Mizzou Quick Hitters
> Just a reminder that Missouri's postseason history and records are available in the 2008-09 media guide on pages 116-121.
> Missouri is returning to Sweet 16 play for the first time since 2002 as MU faces Memphis on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.
> Missouri is 5-0 this postseason, including three wins in the Big 12 Championship and two more last week in the NCAA Tournament's First and Second Rounds.
> Missouri has been solid in neutral-court settings this year (7-2), which includes Big 12 Championship and NCAA Tournament play ... The Tigers also defeated then No. 19 USC, the Pac-10 Tournament Champ, on a neutral court in San Juan ... Memphis was also in that same tourney and the Tigers are an impressive 7-1 this year in tournament formats.
> Missouri Basketball is playing its latest game (calendar-wise) in school history ... The Tigers also played on March 26 in 1994.
> Of course March 26, 2006, is the hiring date of Mike Anderson at Mizzou.
> 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 30-6 and Big 12 Champions, just three years later.
> Missouri has played well against ranked teams this season and is 5-1 vs. Top 25 foes, including their 83-79 win over #23 Marquette in the Round of 32.
> 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 own 30 wins this season, which is the most in school history ... Missouri won 29 games in 1988-89.
> In fact, Mike Anderson's .653 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.
> A huge factor in Missouri's success this season has been its defense and MU has a school record 369 steals through 36 games.
> This season's club is also No. 2 all-time in school history with 18.4 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 27.4 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 20.3 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 16 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 20 times in 36 games this season and is 19-1 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 44 times in the Mike Anderson era (97 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 18.4 turnovers per game and is averaging 21.1 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (21.1-of-81.1).
> Another impressive stat regarding Missouri's defense is that the Tigers force a turnover on 25 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 ... To cap off the incredible year, Carroll was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Championship.
> Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and steals.
> Carroll's 8.1 rebounds per game in league action were the most for a Tiger since Arthur Johnson's 9.3 rpg 2002-03.
> Carroll has topped 20 points in six of his last 17 outings, including 20 points in the Big 12 Championship Game against Baylor.
> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,477 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 1,203 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 32-of-36 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 29 times this year.
> Carroll has six double-doubles on the year including three double-dips in his last nine games ... Carroll also has 12 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 57 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 37 games Leo Lyons has nine 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 34-of-39 contests.
> Lyons has played huge in NCAA Tournament action this year, averaging 20.5 points in two games, including a 23-point, 10-board double-double vs. Cornell in the opening round.
> Lyons then scored a team-high 18 points in the win against #23 Marquette, including a go-ahead "and-one" with 48 seconds left and the Tigers trailing by two.
> The Kansas City, Kan., native also 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 19 of his last 31 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.
> Lawrence has also been shooting it well away from home recently, as the 6-foot-7 sniper is 30-of 68 (.441) from bonus distance in his last 11 road/neutral-court games.
> The St. Louis native is already No. 2 in career three-point makes at MU with 238 and is No. 9 all-time for three-point makes in Big 12 history.
> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 32 steals, 33 assists and just 15 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 is No. 11 in school history with 123 dimes this year.
> Taylor was named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 boards and 4.3 dimes in three wins ... He also scored a season high 19 points vs. Oklahoma State in the semifinals.
> His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio leads the Big 12 and No. 9 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.
> Despite being a slashing/crafty point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 31-of-36 games this year and has 7+ 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 10 times this year, including 17 points in that win at No. 16 Texas and ... 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. 27 nationally with a 2.2 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 14 games Tiller has 63 assists and just 22 turnovers, for a solid 2.9-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 Puerto Rico Tip-Off 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.
> Of Tiller's 25 career double-figure scoring games, 14 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.
> Tiller has reached double figures in both of MU's NCAA Tournament games this year as well.
> 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, before chipping in seven tallies in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals against Texas Tech.
> 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 been on fire this NCAA Tournament, scoring 13 points against Cornell and a career high 17 vs. #23 Marquette.
> The Baltimore native is shooting 60 percent from three-point range (6-of-10) in two NCAA games and is a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line, including two go-ahead free throws vs. Marquette with 5.5 seconds remaining.
> 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.
> 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, 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.
Mike Anderson in the NCAA Tournament
Mizzou's Mike Anderson is in the midst of his fourth NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach ... Prior to this season's run, his previous appearances came in consecutive fashion at Alabama-Birmingham from 2004-06 and Anderson now sports a 5-3 all-time mark in the Big Dance.
> Anderson also made 15 other NCAA Tournament appearances as a longtime assistant coach for the legendary Nolan Richardson - 13 at Arkansas and two at Tulsa ... Anderson's record in those games under Richardson was a sterling 26-14, giving him a combined 29-17 all-time record as a head or assistant coach in the NCAA Tournament.
Here's a quick breakdown of Anderson's NCAA experience as a head coach:
Year Opponent Location Result
2009 #6 Marquette Boise, Idaho W, 83-79
2009 #14 Cornell Boise, Idaho W, 78-59
2006 #8 Kentucky Philadelphia L, 69-64
2005 #6 LSU Boise, Idaho W, 82-68
2005 #3 Arizona Boise, Idaho L, 85-63
2004 #8 Wash. Columbus, Ohio W, 102-100
2004 #1 Kentucky Columbus, Ohio W, 76-75
2004 #4 Kansas St. Louis, Mo. L, 100-74
The Memphis Tigers enter Thursday's game with Missouri carrying a record of 33-3, and they've won 27 straight games heading into the contest ... Memphis' last loss was on Dec. 20th at home to Syracuse (72-65) ... They closed the regular season with 22 straight wins, including road victories over NCAA Tournament teams Tennessee (54-52) and Gonzaga (68-50). Memphis has rolled through the post-season, winning all five games (three in the C-USA tournament and two in the NCAAs) by an average margin of 18.0 points per game ... The #2 seeded Tigers opened NCAA Tournament play with an 81-70 opening-round win over #15 Cal State-Northridge, and followed with an 89-70 win over Maryland in the second round.
> Memphis has four starters who average double figures in scoring, led by Tyreke Evans' 16.6 points per game ... He's joined in double figures by Robert Dozier (12.7 ppg), Shawn Taggart (10.5) and Antonio Anderson (10.0).