Laurence Bowers and the Tigers open practice on Oct. 15.
Oct. 5, 2010
Irving, Texas -
Missouri Basketball will have something to prove to the Big 12 Conference once again in 2010-11 as the league’s preseason coaches poll pegged the Tigers fifth for the upcoming season.
The fifth-place prediction is actually an improvement over the past two years when the Tigers were picked seventh in consecutive campaigns. In 2008-09 the Tigers shunned that placing to finish third overall en route to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance, while last year’s squad, despite graduating three 1,000-point scorers, finished fifth in the standings and just one game out of second place. In fact over the last two years only Kansas has tallied more wins in the Big 12 than Mizzou. The Tigers have won 54 games overall (11th nationally) and 22 league contests since 2008-09.
Missouri returns a solid nucleus this season, including four of its top five scorers from last year’s 23-11 campaign. Back is junior guard Kim English (Baltimore, Md.) who was recently named to the Wooden Award’s Preseason Top 50 list after leading the club in scoring (14.0 ppg) as a sophomore. Fellow junior Marcus Denmon (10.4 ppg) also returns in the backcourt, while Laurence Bowers (10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 bpg) ranked third in scoring, second in rebounding and tops in blocked shots last year as a second-year player.
Not to be forgotten is the return of a healthy Justin Safford from off-season ACL surgery. Safford has been back in workouts for the past month and logged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in Big 12 play in 2010.
Kansas State was selected as the preseason favorite. The Wildcats were followed by Kansas, Texas and Baylor.
Pl. Team (First Place) Points
1. Kansas State (10) 119
2. Kansas (2) 109
3. Texas 99
4. Baylor 96
5. Missouri 82
6. Texas A&M 69
7. Texas Tech 52
8. Oklahoma State 51
9. Colorado 46
10. Nebraska 31
11. Oklahoma 27
12. Iowa State 11
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