Head Coach Frank Haith and the Tigers held their first pre-Europe practice on Tuesday.
July 11, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
Missouri Basketball began its first of 10 early-season practices on Tuesday night in advance of its Aug. 8-18 tour of Europe. The practice, which lasted approximately two hours, allowed Head Coach Frank Haith and his staff to begin putting in its offensive game plan, while also working on half-court and transition defenses.
Few teams in college basketball scored at the rate of the Tigers last season. Haith's club led the country in field goal percentage (.504), two-point field goal percentage (.569), points per field goal attempt (1.45) and assist/turnover ratio (1.59). Those figures were fueled in part by the two-headed point guard tandem of Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey, and that duo is back in 2012-13.
"No question those two guys were keys to our success last season and will be a big part of our team again this year," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "Phil and Mike had busy summers competing in some of the top player development camps and it's great to have them back to help some of our new players learn the system."
"It will be a new role for those guys, but they will pick it up quickly," Haith said. "We have a good mixture (of newcomers and returnees) and the new rules allowing us to workout starting June 4 really helped us for this first practice tonight."
Mizzou did a mixture of team and station drills during the first practice, including implementing several offensive sets and its half-court defense. In addition, the team participated in some full-court work, allowing a mixture of newcomers and veterans to work together on opposing teams in a game-like setting.
"It was a good first practice and I liked the competitiveness we were able to create," Haith said. "That competition will produce improvement, and I know our guys are excited about playing games over in Europe next month."
Missouri had its complete roster at the workout and the 15 players eligible to travel to Europe next month participated. Laurence Bowers was involved in non-contact portions of the practice and will travel to Europe with the team. Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson is not eligible for the trip and did not practice.
Missouri will return to its pre-Europe practice routine on July 23 and the final nine workouts will continue through the Aug. 8 departure date.
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