Oct. 28, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
Game Notes PDF
> Missouri begins its 107th season of basketball on Oct. 29 and the second season of play under Head Coach Frank Haith ... The Tigers are looking to build off last season’s 30-5 record and open play as members of the Southeastern Conference.
> Mizzou will be led by a host of newcomers as just three current Tigers (Laurence Bowers, Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey) have ever worn the Mizzou uniform ... Pressey, Dixon and Bowers have each earned all-Big 12 accolades over their collegiate tenures and Pressey was coined the Preseason SEC Player of the Year by the media on Oct. 22 ... Dixon was also selected as an All-SEC Second Team pick in the preseason.
> Missouri opens the year ranked among the Top 25 for the third consecutive season ... Missouri was ranked No. 15 to start the 2010-11 campaign and was pegged No. 25 last year ... The Tigers open 2012-13 ranked No. 15 by the Associated Press and No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
> The Tigers were last ranked in the preseason three consecutive years from 2001-04.
> Missouri is playing its fourth consecutive exhibition game vs. an in-state foe ... The Tigers faced Missouri Southern, Truman State and Central Missouri last season, earning three wins.
> Missouri has played some early exhibition games in recent history, but this is the earliest ... The Oct. 29 tip betters the Oct. 30, 2011, start date of the One State, One Spirit Classic last season at Missouri Southern in Joplin.
> Mizzou’s last exhibition contest vs. Northwest Missouri State came during the 2009-10 campaign with the Tigers grabbing an 83-60 win on Nov. 13, 2009 ... To put that calendar in comparison with this season, Missouri will be playing its second regular-season game on Nov. 13 of this year ... That game will be against Alcorn State as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
> Non-conference opponents have not enjoyed their stops at Mizzou Arena over the last few seasons and the Tigers have raced to an incredible 65 consecutive wins at home vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign.
> Missouri’s last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT, but since then Missouri has gone nearly seven full seasons without a loss.
> In fact Missouri went undefeated during the regular season in non-league play in 2011-12 and has won 22 consecutive regular-season, non-conference contests, regardless of site dating back to 2010-11.
> Overall at Mizzou Arena Missouri is 67-4 at home since 2008-09, an incredible .944 winning percentage.
> Missouri broke the Mizzou Arena attendance record in 2011-12 and is looking to duplicate that effort once again in 2012-13 ... Ticket prices start at just $250 and season tickets are the only way to guarantee seats for highly anticipated games against Florida, Alabama and Arkansas.
Mizzou Basketball Notes ...
> Missouri of course begins its first season of play in the Southeastern Conference ... League play officially begins on Jan. 8, 2013, vs. Alabama ... That game is actually the official opener to the 2013 SEC season.
> Missouri is getting an early start to the 2012-13 campaign with the Oct. 29 exhibition season tip, but the actual start to the year came in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... Missouri had just one returning player (Michael Dixon) see 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 and earned four wins during the tour.
> Including tonight’s event Missouri will be seen on TV like never before thanks to the move to the SEC ... The Tigers will have a school record 18 games appearing on national TV during the regular season.
> Missouri has been ranked in the Top 25 by a number of media outlets and the Top ranking came courtesy of The Sporting News, which picked Missouri No. 10 in the nation.
> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards, while Mike Dixon checked in at No. 26.
> In the front court Alex Oriakhi was ranked No. 35 and Laurence Bowers checked in at No. 38.
> Speaking of Dixon and Pressey, the duo has dished 569 assists in two seasons as teammates and need to combine for 212 dimes to become the top assist tandem in school history ... Melvin Booker (1990-94) and Lamont Frazier (1990-94) combined for 780 dimes in four seasons as teammates ... Dixon and Pressey could surpass that total in just three seasons together.
> Missouri was college basketball’s most efficient offensive club a year ago (according to KenPom.com) ... And how about this for an exciting SEC schedule, Kentucky was ranked No. 2 and Florida was No. 3.
> Frank Haith’s offense also ranked No. 1 nationally in field goal percentage (.504), assist/turnover ratio (1.6) and among the Top 10 in scoring (6th - 80.4), scoring margin (5th - 14.1), three-point percentage (9th - .398), turnovers (5th - 10.2) and turnover margin (7th - 4.1).
> 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.
> 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.
> Missouri has been incredible at home in non-conference games the last six years ... Overall the Tigers have won 65 consecutive non-league games at Mizzou Arena and are 67-4 at home (all games) since 2008-09.
Mizzou Player Quick Looks ...
#1 Phil Pressey, 5-11, 175 Pounds
> Finalist for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award given annually to the nation’s top point guard.
> Preseason SEC Player of the Year by the league media.
> Preseason First Team All-American by CBS Sports.
> Broke the Mizzou single-season assists record last year with 223 assists and was second with 74 steals.
> Needs 158 assists and 61 steals as a junior to claim the career marks at Mizzou in both categories.
> Led the Big 12 Conference in both assists (6.4) and steals (2.1) last season, “quarterbacking” the nation’s most efficient offense in 2011-12.
> Missouri averaged 1.187 points per possession last season, tops in college basketball, just ahead of Creighton who was second at 1.151.
#3 Tony Criswell, 5-11, 175 Pounds
> Has NCAA Division I experience after beginning his career at UAB ... Started eight games as a redshirt freshman for the Blazers.
> Averaged 9.5 points during Mizzou’s tour of Europe and shot 60 percent from the floor.
> Will bring very good size and athleticism off the bench for the Tigers and has added nearly 20 pounds of muscle during Mizzou’s offseason weight program.
#5 Keion Bell, 6-4, 200 Pounds
> Named one of college basketball’s Top Four Impact Transfers by ESPN The Magazine.
> Has scored nearly 1,400 points in his career, but will be called upon to be Mizzou’s primary defensive stopper on the perimeter in 2012-13, a role he relishes.
> High-flying guard that won top play honors on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day after dunking over six people during Mizzou Madness on Oct. 12.
> Averaged 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds during Mizzou’s tour of Europe.
> Was a key practice player for Missouri during its 30-5 season, sitting out due to NCAA transfer guidelines.
#11 Michael Dixon, 6-1, 190 Pounds
> Second Team All-American by The Sporting News.
> Second Team Preseason All-SEC by the league media.
> Was the nation’s No. 1 bench scorer last year at 13.5 points per game. That total bettered the 12.6 ppg average of former Syracuse star Dion Waiters. Waiters was later drafted by Cleveland at No. 4 overall.
> On a run of 14 consecutive double-figure scoring games dating back to last season.
> Is Missouri’s career leader in FT percentage (.854).
> Has already topped 1,000 career tallies (1,057) and ranks No. 37 all-time in career scoring.
> Needs 56 assists to move into the Mizzou career Top 10.
> Needs 24 steals to move into the Missouri career Top 10.
> Was ranked among college basketball’s Top 50 point guards in 2012-13 by CBS.
#14 Negus Webster-Chan, 6-7, 200 Pounds
> One of two Canadians on the Missouri roster and a prep school teammate of Stefan Jankovic.
> Brings great size along the perimeter for Missouri and is able to play each of the three guard positions.
> Did not able to play for the Tigers in Europe.
#21 Laurence Bowers, 6-8, 227 Pounds
> Missed last season with a torn ACL (left knee), but is back to full strength in his senior season.
> Continues to be one of Missouri’s best finishers around the rim and was named one of college basketball’s “Top Dunkers by NBC Sports”.
> Listed by CBS as one of college basketball’s Top 50 post players prior to the start of the season.
> Was a team leader during last season’s 30-win campaign and is a major figure in that class, which won a school record 107 games from 2009-12.
> Needs just 162 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
> Outstanding student that was named Academic All-Big 12 in 2012 and he is already a graduate of Mizzou working towards his Masters degree.
> Is second in career blocked shots per game (1.2) and fourth in total blocks (123), needing 26 more to move to No. 2 all-time.
#32 Jabari Brown, 6-5, 205 Pounds
> Will be available for Missouri after the completion of the fall semester.
> One of the country’s top players as a high school senior, earning Jordan Brand All-American honors.
> Very good shooter that averaged 10.0 points in the summer tour of Europe.
#33 Earnest Ross, 6-5, 222 Pounds
> Brings great familiarity with the SEC after beginning his career at Auburn.
> One of Missouri’s top performers in the weight room and has added great quickness and flexibility under the watch of Todor Pandov.
> Led Missouri in Europe with 9.3 rebounds, including a pair of double-doubles.
> Did most of his scoring damage attacking the rim, shooting 62 percent inside the three-point stripe.
#35 Stefan Jankovic, 6-11, 230 Pounds
> Talented athlete that has his best basketball days ahead of him.
> Good ball-skill for his size and can bother opponents around the rim with his length.
#42 Alex Oriakhi, 6-9, 255 Pounds
> Late addition to the Mizzou roster and has one season of eligibility remaining after transferring from UConn.
> Has improved offensively during his time at Mizzou and will benefit from the play of the nation’s top pass-first point guard, Phil Pressey.
> Played on the AAU circuit with Pressey early in his high school career.
> Needs 211 points as a senior to top 1,000 for his collegiate career.
> Listed by CBS as one of college basketball’s Top 50 post players prior to the start of the season.
> Averaged 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in Europe.
> Won the 2011 National Championship with Connecticut, the same night Frank Haith was hired to coach at Mizzou.
#44 Ryan Rosburg, 6-10, 250 Pounds
> One of the state’s top players as a high school senior and gives the Tigers great size behind senior Alex Oriakhi.
> Brother (Andy) played at Mizzou in 2011-12 as a walk-on.
> Grew up a Mizzou fan and led all freshmen in Europe with 5.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 17.3 minutes.
Tigers Picked Third In SEC Preseason Poll...
Missouri was picked third in its inaugural SEC Preseason Media Poll on Oct. 22, ranking just behind defending national champion, Kentucky and Florida.
> The Tigers received a first-place vote as well and had two players named to the Preseason All-SEC Team ... Junior Phil Pressey was named the Preseason Player of the Year and senior Michael Dixon was named a Second Team pick.
Preseason Media Poll Pts
Kentucky (17) 328
Florida (5) 310
Missouri (1) 286
Tennessee (1) 269
Ole Miss 186
Texas A&M 122
South Carolina 54
Mississippi State 37
Pressey Named Preseason SEC Player of the Year...
Missouri had a pair of players earn preseason honors from the league media on Oct. 22, when Phil Pressey was named the Preseason Player of the Year and Mike Dixon was named to the Preseason Second Team.
> Pressey is the first Tiger to win Preseason Player of the Year recognition since Arthur Johnson in 2003 by the Big 12 Conference.
> Pressey led the Big 12 in assists (6.4) and steals (2.1) per game last season and could break the school’s career marks in both categories as a sophomore.
> Mizzou’s last conference postseason Player of the Year was Melvin Booker in 1994.
> Dixon also received a vote for Preseason Player of the Year and was selected to the league’s second team ... Dixon is Missouri’s leading returning scorer at 13.5 ppg and led all of college basketball in scoring off the bench a season ago.
An Exhibition of Big Wins...
Missouri has been dominating in exhibition victories over the last six years … Below is a list of Tiger exhibition contests and margins of victory since the 2005-06 season.
Opponent Score +/- Season
Central Missouri 88-70 +18 2011-12
Truman State 87-48 +39 2011-12
Missouri Southern 114-68 +46 2011-12
Arkansas-Fort Smith 116-74 +42 2010-11
Harris-Stowe State 114-60 +54 2010-11
NW Missouri St. 83-60 +23 2009-10
Truman State 96-33 +63 2009-10
Lincoln 97-54 +43 2008-09
Missouri Southern 87-58 +29 2008-09
Missouri-St. Louis 78-51 +27 2007-08
Missouri Western 113-55 +58 2007-08
Missouri-Rolla 105-67 +38 2006-07
Lithuania Academy 94-40 +54 2006-07
Missouri certainly beefed up its non-conference schedule this year, including three games in Nassau, Bahamas, in the Battle 4 Atlantis over the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 22-24) ... Missouri opens play vs. defending NIT Champion Stanford and then faces either Louisville or Northern Iowa in Round 2.
> The other side of the bracket doesn’t get any easier, featuring Duke, Memphis, VCU, and Minnesota.
> Missouri opens a non-conference series with UCLA this year ... The Tigers travel to the revamped Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 28 and the Bruins are scheduled to return the game in Columbia in 2013-14.
Protecting The Rock...
Since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Mizzou has been one of the best teams nationally at protecting the basketball ... In fact, since 2007-08, Missouri has enjoyed its five best turnover-free seasons in school history and with both Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey back, that number could rank high once again in 2013.
> Last year Missouri averaged just 12.7 miscues per game, the second lowest turnover average in school history.
Rank TPG Season
1. 11.8 2008-09
2. 12.7 2011-12
4. 12.8 2010-11
5. 13.0 2007-08
6. 13.3 1999-00
7. 13.7 1989-90
Non-Conference, No Problem...
Missouri plays in the country’s top annual non-conference game vs. Illinois each year and that game will take place once again on Dec. 22 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis ... Missouri has won three consecutive in the series, Mizzou’s longest winning streak vs. the Illini since 1997-99 ... Missouri also won four straight vs. the Orange & Blue from 1991-94 ... Over the last 21 meetings Illinois owns a slight 11-10 series advantage.
> Mizzou and Illinois announced a six-year extension to the Bud Light Braggin’ Rights Series on Oct. 18, assuring the game stays at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis through 2017.
Every basketball player has the dream of playing in the NBA and Phil Pressey’s father, Paul Pressey, has achieved that dream.
> Paul Pressey, now an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, is widely considered the original point forward in the NBA and was named first or second team All-Defense in the league three times ... Pressey played for Milwaukee, San Antonio and Golden State in his career which spanned 1983-93.
Taller Tigers Battle New Challenge...
Missouri fans will immediately notice the improved height and depth on this year’s roster, but did you know the 2012-13 Tigers are the tallest at the school since 1995-96? ... That’s right, not since the days of Slim and Slam (Simeon and Sammie Haley) have the Tigers had this many players standing at least 6-foot-9 … Overall Missouri has five players standing 6-foot-9 plus this season, the most at the school since the Tigers had six 17 seasons ago.
> Here is a quick rundown of the tallest teams at Mizzou since the 1995-96 campaign:
Season Players 6-foot-9 or Taller
In addition, Missouri has two players taller than 6-foot-10 on the roster… The last time that occurred was 1998-99 with 6-foot-11 post players Monte Hardge and Pat Schumacher.
Pressey Named First Team All-American...
CBS Sports named Missouri Basketball junior Phil Pressey a Preseason First Team All-American ... A finalist for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award, Pressey helped lead Mizzou to a 30-5 record last season and shattered the school mark with 223 assists over 35 games.
> Pressey was one of college basketball’s busiest players over the summer participating in the LeBron James, Chris Paul and Deron Williams elite camps.
> As a sophomore he was a First Team All-Big 12 pick by CBS Sports and averaged career highs in scoring (10.3), rebounding (3.3), assists (6.4) and steals (2.1).
Dixon Named TSN All-American...
Senior guard Michael Dixon was named a Second Team Preseason All-American by The Sporting News ... Dixon was the top scoring “Sixth Man” in college hoops last year, averaging 13.5 points, coming off the pine in all-35 contests ... Second among the country’s top scorers off the bench was former Syracuse star Dion Waiters ... Waiters averaged 12.6 points per game in 2011-12 and was later drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 4 overall in the first round.
> Dixon enters 2012-13 with a run of 14 consecutive double-figure scoring games and played great all-around basketball, dishing 116 assists with 41 steals as a junior.
> The Kansas City native also enters his senior campaign as Missouri’s career free throw percentage leader, at 85.4 percent, just ahead of another KC-area product, Jon Sundvold (1980-83), who shot 84.8 percent from the line.
Pressey, Dixon Aim For Top Assist Duo...
Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon were two of college basketball’s top point guards last season and entering their final season playing together the pair could become the most prolific assist duo in school history … Pressey (340) and Dixon (284) have combined for 624 career dimes and over the last two seasons playing together (2010-12) the pair has dished a combined 569 assists as teammates, second all-time in school history … That figure is behind the 780 dimes distributed over four seasons (1990-94) by Melvin Booker (488) and Reggie Smith (292) … Lamont Frazier also played over those same four seasons and dished 227 career dimes during that stretch as well … Pressey and Dixon would need 211 combined assists in 2012-13 to top that all-time mark in just three seasons.
> The top two assist distributors in school history, Anthony Peeler and Booker played two seasons together and combined for 439 dimes in those two campaigns.
Pressey Nearing School Record Totals...
Few players in Missouri history have made a bigger impact at the point guard position than Anthony Peeler, but two of Peeler’s all-time records are within the sights of junior point guard Phil Pressey … Peeler, who played from 1988-92, holds the school record for both assists (497) and steals (196) … Pressey could break both of those records in just his third season, needing 158 dimes and 62 thefts in 2012-13.
Transfers Have Been Good To Mizzou...
Missouri fans know the value of quality four-year transfers and have enjoyed a number of great memories courtesy of some key “short-timers” over the last 15 years … Below is a quick list of players that have finished their careers at Missouri over recent years and made big impacts in Black & Gold:
Zaire Taylor, 2008-10 (Delaware)
“Mr. Big Shot” hit game winners vs. Kansas, at Texas, Kansas State and at Iowa State over his two seasons at Mizzou.
DeMarre Carroll, 2007-09 (Vanderbilt)
Mizzou’s Junkyard Dog ... First Team All-Big 12, First Round NBA Draft Pick.
Jason Conley, 2003-05 (VMI)
Helped the Tigers to back-to-back postseason appearances.
Albert White, 1997-99 (Michigan)
Led Mizzou in scoring (16.3) and helped the club to the 1999 NCAA tournament.
Senior forward Laurence Bowers is returning for the Tigers after missing the entire 2011-12 season with a knee injury … Bowers was a key contributor for Mizzou during his first three seasons and is in position to move up a number of career charts during his final year in Columbia.
> Bowers has 123 career blocked shots and needs just 27 more to move into second in school history … Arthur Johnson owns the school mark with 245 career swats.
> Bowers also has 838 career points and is just 162 tallies short of reaching 1,000 for his career … Bowers scored just 98 points as a freshman (2008-09), but has averaged double figures during his sophomore and junior campaigns.
Missouri Among Rare Company For Wins...
Missouri Basketball is one of just 12 teams in college hoops with multiple 30-win seasons over the last four years … The Tigers of course won 30 games a year ago en route to a Big 12 title, but also won a school record 31 games in 2008-09 … That feat puts the Tigers in rare company along with: BYU, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Murray State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse and Utah State as the only schools to enjoy multiple 30-win seasons since 2008-09.
Transfer Of Opportunity...
Missouri has just three players on its 2012-13 roster with a season of experience in a Mizzou uniform … Coming into the year only Laurence Bowers, Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey had ever donned the Black & Gold and will be relied upon to assist a number of new faces for their first campaign as Tigers … Of Missouri’s 15 players, 11 will be eligible for their first season of play at Mizzou and a 12th, Jordan Clarkson, will sit out the year after transferring from Tulsa.
> However it’s not like that group of newcomers is inexperienced … Five of those 11 have played at the Division I level … Keion Bell is a 1,300-point scorer from his days at Pepperdine, Tony Criswell played at UAB, Alex Oriakhi won a NCAA crown at Connecticut (2011) and Earnest Ross was Auburn’s leading scorer in 2011.
No team has more transfer firepower entering its program this season than Missouri … And that’s great, because it’s not likely another team lost more critical players off its club from last season than the Tigers … Missouri welcomes four highly thought of four-year transfer players into the fold this year as Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross become eligible after the departure of senior standouts Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Steve Moore, Matt Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe.
> Overall that group of seniors accounted for 1,979 points (70 percent), 942 rebounds (84 percent) and 4,967 minutes of play (71 percent) and Denmon, English, Pressey and Ratliffe started all 35 games.
> However Missouri was strategic of its recruitment of transfers and welcomes in Bell who scored 1,365 points in three seasons of Pepperdine, Oriakhi who helped lead UConn to a national title in 2011, Ross who was Auburn’s leading scorer and rebounder in 2011 and former Jordan Brand All-American Brown … Combined (Brown has only played two career games) that group averaged 44.8 points and 17.6 rebounds per game during their most recent season of college basketball, so the Tigers have some important pieces entering in 2012-13.
Thank You Seniors...
Missouri graduated the winningest senior class in school history last year as the collection of Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Steve Moore and Jarrett Sutton, not to mention Laurence Bowers, who returns in 2012-13, and junior college transfers Matt Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe combined to help the school win 107 games since 2008-09 … The Tigers twice won 30 games in that four year stretch and helped the program to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, tying a school record.
> Another fact that shouldn’t be lost is that six of those seven seniors have already graduated and a seventh is just a handful of hours away and is competing professionally.
Masters Of Mizzou...
Missouri is no stranger to having graduates finish up their final season of eligibility on the basketball court … Last season Jarrett Sutton worked towards his graduate degree while playing his final season on the hardwood and in 2010 Zaire Taylor walked across the stage in December only to have a final semester of eligibility remaining … In 2009 DeMarre Carroll worked towards his graduate degree while helping the Tigers to a school record 31 wins … This season Laurence Bowers will work towards his Masters while also finishing up on the hardwood … Bowers missed last season due to a knee injury, but that didn’t stop the now fifth-year senior from taking care of business in the classroom … Bowers finished with a grade-point average above a 3.0 and is working towards his Masters in Public Administration.
Five In A Row?...
Missouri is looking for a school record-tying fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this season … The Tigers have qualified for every Big Dance since 2009, a streak that began when Laurence Bowers entered as a freshman.
> Mizzou last made five consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1990 and made its fourth consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1993, 1995 and 2003, before accomplishing the feat of four consecutive once again in 2012.