Nov. 7, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
Missouri Tigers vs. SIUE Cougars
Tip-Off: 4 p.m.
Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)
TV: MSN (Beau Baehman - Play by Play / Scott Highmark - Analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network
Rankings: Missouri - No. 15/No. 17 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll
SIUE - None
Series: Mizzou leads 1-0; Last meeting: Tigers won 107-57 on Dec. 27, 2008, in Columbia
Coaches: Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 159-106 overall (9th); 30-5 at Mizzou (2nd season)
SIUE: Lennox Forrester (Evansville `92) 50-92 at SIUE (6th season)
> Missouri officially opens its 107th season of basketball on Nov. 10 when the Tigers host SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) at Mizzou Arena ... Please note that Saturday's game was moved to 4 p.m. due to the Tiger football team's early start at Tennessee that morning.
> The Tigers have an all-time record of 85-21 in season openers and 91-15 in home openers ... In Mizzou's last 38 home openers, the Tigers have an impressive mark of 37-1.
> Mizzou is coming off another perfect exhibition schedule ... The Tigers defeated both Northwest Missouri State (91-58) and Missouri Southern (86-60) by an average of 29.5 points.
> Mizzou had three different players record 20-point games in exhibition play and all three were newcomers to the roster ... Earnest Ross (22) and Keion Bell (20) each topped 20 in the exhibition opener vs. NW Missouri State and freshman Stefan Jankovic dropped in 20 vs. Missouri Southern.
> The Tigers once again showed their balance having six different players average double figures during preseason competition.
> 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 defeat.
> 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 the Tigers are 67-4 at home since 2008-09, an incredible .944 winning percentage.
> 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.
> Senior Laurence Bowers is facing SIUE for the second time in his career ... As a freshman Missouri topped the Cougars 107-57 and Bowers scored 10 points and grabbed seven boards in 14 minutes of action.
> Today's game is the first of three in non-league play against the Ohio Valley Conference ... Missouri takes on SEMO on Dec. 4 and plays Tennessee State on Dec. 8 ... Tennessee State of course was the only team to beat 2012 league champion Murray State last season, winning 72-68 vs. the No. 7 Racers on the road.
> 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 (prior to this season) ... 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.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
A quick recap of Mizzou Basketball before today's contest ... More detailed information can be found throughout today's notebook.
> The second season of the Frank Haith era gets underway on Saturday as the Tigers battle SIUE in the 2012-13 season opener for both clubs.
> Does Saturday's season-opener feel early? Well it should, as it ties the 2006-07 opener as the earliest on record at MU ... Missouri played North Carolina A&T on Nov. 10, 2006 ... And if we REALLY wanted to get technical, that 2006 opener started at 7 p.m., making Saturday's game the earliest opener in program history by about three hours.
> Just a reminder that today's game time was adjusted to a 4 p.m. start due to the Mizzou Football game at Tennessee earlier that morning ... The Tiger football team plays at 11:21 a.m. CT in Knoxville.
> Mizzou has won six consecutive season openers dating back to 2005-06 and counting Saturday's game, three of the last four opening-day opponents have been from the Ohio Valley Conference ... Missouri played SEMO last year and Tennessee-Martin in 2009-10.
> Missouri has of course won 65 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (58-0) the club's margin of victory has been 26.7 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last four seasons and MU begins its search for its record-setting fifth consecutive 20-win campaign on Friday ... In fact the Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last four seasons.
> MU also won 20+ in four consecutive years from 1988-92 and 1979-83.
> Missouri is facing SIUE for the second time in series history and the second time as a ranked team ... The 2008-09 Tigers were No. 25 in the polls when the clubs met at Mizzou Arena and DeMarre Carroll (21) led six Tigers in double figures, which included Laurence Bowers (10).
> Missouri begins a stretch of six games over the next two weeks, including the nation's premiere holiday tournament, the Battle 4 Atlantis ... Following three consecutive home games at Mizzou Arena, the Tigers depart St. Louis on Nov. 20 and then face Stanford on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) in the Bahamas ... That game will be televised live on AXS (formerly HDNet).
> Missouri completed exhibition play with a perfect 2-0 record and enjoyed a balanced effort with six players averaging double figures and nine players averaging at least 11.0 minutes of playing time per game.
> The Tigers shot an impressive 58.1 percent from the floor and earned a +10.0 rebounding margin in the two victories.
> A total of 10 newcomers saw playing time for Frank Haith's club and five of those six players in double-figures are newcomers to the Mizzou roster.
> Haith's 2011-12 offense was known for its efficiency and the early returns are good this season as well ... Missouri averaged 1.19 points per possession in exhibition play, despite committing 41 turnovers in the two wins.
> 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 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.
> Mizzou got an early start to its 2012-13 campaign, 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.
> 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, including the Associated Press (No. 15) and the USA Today Coaches' polls (No. 17) ... The Top ranking came courtesy of The Sporting News, which picked Missouri No. 10 in the nation.
> Mizzou also had five players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... 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.
> Newcomer Jabari Brown was ranked among college hoop's top wing players, checking in at No. 48.
> Missouri's entire backcourt was ranked No. 1 in America by NBC Sports.
> It was also ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN Basketball analyst Miles Simon.
> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country's No. 5 most-important player.
> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) and Mike Dixon (No. 6) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.
> ESPN's Miles Simon also listed the Mizzou backcourt as his top backcourt in the country.
> 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'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.
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.
> Ranked the No. 2 overall player in the SEC by Sports Illustrated in its preseason Top 10 list.
> Ranked the No. 5 overall player nationally by Fran Fraschilla of ESPN.
> 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.
> Averaged 9.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 28.0 minutes per game during exhibition play.
> Dished 11 assists in the exhibition opener vs. Northwest Missouri State and those 11 dimes came in his first 15 minutes of play.
> Scored eight points and dished seven dimes vs. Missouri Southern.
#3 Tony Criswell, 6-9, 226 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.
> Contributed eight points and five boards in 15 minutes in the exhibition opener vs. Northwest Missouri State.
> Reached double figures vs. Missouri Southern with 13 points, three boards and two steals in just 19 minutes.
#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.
> Scored 20 points and ripped a game high four steals vs. Missouri Southern on 8-of-12 shooting.
> Sat out the exhibition finale with flu-like symptoms, but returned to practice this week.
#11 Michael Dixon, 6-1, 190 Pounds
> Second Team All-American by The Sporting News.
> Ranked the No. 4 overall player in the SEC by Sports Illustrated in its preseason Top 10 list.
> 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.
> Made a start on Nov. 4 vs. Missouri Southern and was outstanding at both backcourt spots scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting (2-of-3 from three) to go with seven boards, three assists and two steals.
> Did not commit a turnover vs. Missouri Southern.
> Was also steady in his Tiger debut, scoring six points on 2-of-3 shooting in 25 minutes as a reserve point guard.
#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.
> Named CBS Sports' No. 2 Bounce-back Player entering 2012-13.
> 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.
> Enjoyed a fantastic return with 14 points and three boards 21 minutes vs. Northwest Missouri State.
> Added 11 points and eight boards in 24 minutes against Missouri Southern.
> Led the team in field goal percentage during exhibition play, hitting 11-of-15 shots (.733).
#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.
> Hit 6-of-10 treys and scored a game high 22 points in 28 minutes ... Had 17 of 22 tallies come in the first half of play.
> Capped preseason play with 10 points, five boards and six assists vs. Missouri Southern.
> Finished preseason play averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 boards and 3.0 assists on 53 percent shooting from three-point range.
#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.
> Exploded with 20 points in 25 minutes in the exhibition finale vs. Missouri Southern ... Hit 8-of-13 shots and saw extended playing time on the wing ... Also finished 3-of-4 from three-point range.
#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.
> Averaged 7.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in preseason play.
> Narrowly missed a double-double with eight points and 10 boards in 21 minutes vs. NWMSU.
#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.
> Finished preseason play with four points, two boards and a blocked shot vs. Missouri Southern.
It's been a long road for three of Missouri's newcomers ... The trio of Keion Bell, Earnest Ross and Danny Feldmann could see their first action in well over a year on Saturday when Mizzou faces SIUE in the season-opener ... All three players sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules and below is a list of days since they played in their last regular-season tilt.
Tiger Days Opponent Date Keion Bell 646 at St. Mary's 2-3-11 Danny Feldmann 616 vs. Brown 3-5-11 Earnest Ross 611 vs. Georgia 3-10-11Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home...
Mizzou is a perfect 65-0 in non-conference home games at Mizzou Arena since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... Not only have the Tigers won 65 consecutive in non-league action, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 26.5 ppg margin of victory since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
> The Tigers have played some impressive foes during that run as well, and own quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Georgia, Old Dominion, Oregon, Purdue, Murray State, Mississippi State, Vandy and others during that 65-game stretch.
Year Record Margin of Victory 2005-06 7-0** 13.4 ppg 2006-07 11-0 18.7 ppg 2007-08 9-0 27.5 ppg 2008-09 10-0 29.5 ppg 2009-10 10-0 32.6 ppg 2010-11 10-0 26.0 ppg 2011-12 8-0 28.4 ppg 2012-13 - - Total 58-0 26.7 ppg (since 2006-07)** Final seven non-conference games of 2005-06
No Mizzou Arena Shyness For Earnest Ross...
Needless to say that Earnest Ross loves playing in front of the Tiger faithful ... The Auburn transfer has played in front of a Mizzou Arena audience four times so far and has enjoyed great results each time out ... Ross played in the 2011-12 Black & Gold Game, this year's Mizzou Madness scrimmage and the Oct. 29 exhibition opener and is averaging 17.7 points on 23-of-39 shooting (.590) from the floor and 11-of-22 shooting (.500) from three-point distance ... Included in that average is the Mizzou Madness scrimmage, which lasted just 10 minutes, so pro-rated his averages would skyrocket.
2012 Missouri Southern Exhibition Game
3-7FGs 2-5 3FGs 10 points 31 minutes
2012 Northwest Missouri Exhibition Game
8-13FGs 6-10 3FGs 22 points 28 minutes
2012 Mizzou Madness Scrimmage
4-5 FGs 2-3 3FGs 11 points 9 minutes
2011 Black & Gold Game
8-14 FGs 1-4 3FGs 20 points 28 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 Arkansas 226 Alabama 222 Ole Miss 186 Georgia 149 Texas A&M 122 Vanderbilt 120 LSU 116 Auburn 95 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.
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 12.7 2009-10 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.
Winningest Four & Five-Year Stretches at Mizzou...
Missouri Basketball is looking to continue its impressive winning trend over the last four (plus) seasons, which has seen the club win 107 games since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
> The Tigers have won 20 games in four consecutive years (tying the school record), including a school-record 31 wins during a memorable run to the Elite Eight in 2008-09 and 30 wins in 2011-12, highlighted by its final Big 12 title.
> Additionally, Missouri owns the winningest five year stretch in school history with 123 wins since 2007-08 ... That 2007-08 campaign saw the Tigers win 16 games, so that active five-year number would improve with more than 16 wins in 2012-13.
Five-Year Winning Periods
Place Years Wins 1. 2008-12 123 2. 1986-90 119 3. 1987-91 118 4. 1979-84 116 5. 1989-93 115 NR. 2009-13 107
If You Build it...
Missouri set a Mizzou Arena record for attendance last season, as the Tigers averaged 11,830 fans per game, the highest average attendance since Mizzou Arena was opened in 2004-05 .... The previous mark was set in 2010-11 as MU averaged 11,112 fans during its home slate.
>During Big 12 games only, Missouri averaged a Mizzou Arena record 14,893 fans last season.
Year Attendance Record 2004-05 9,543 16-17 2005-06 8,369 12-16 2006-07 8,243 18-12 2007-08 8,060 16-16 2008-09 9,807 31-7 2009-10 10,349 23-11 2010-11 11,112 23-11 2011-12 11,830 30-5
More Ways Than One, Mizzou SEC's Newest Team...
We all know that Missouri and Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference making the two programs the newest in the league, but did you know that Tiger players have just eight total seasons of experience in Missouri uniforms (i.e. letters won at their current school), making Frank Haith's club one of the newest in the SEC?
> Laurence Bowers played three seasons at Mizzou before sitting out last year and Mike Dixon enters his fourth season as well ... The only other Tiger ever to suit up for Mizzou is Phil Pressey, who enters his junior season ... Overall Missouri's eight seasons of play (at Mizzou) ties it with Kentucky for the freshest in the conference.
Roster breakdown of years of play at SEC programs: Missouri 8 Kentucky 8 Vanderbilt 9 Mississippi State 10 Arkansas 11 LSU 11 Alabama 12 Texas A&M 13 Georgia 14 Ole Miss 14 South Carolina 16 Tennessee 16 Auburn 17 Florida 17
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 1995-96 6 2012-13 5 1996-97 4 2000-01 4 2002-03 4
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.
A Point Guard Kinda Family...
Michael Dixon Jr. has distributed the rock like his "pops" (Michael Dixon Sr.) ... Now a senior for Mizzou, Dixon is among the school's all-time leaders in assists with 284 and needs just 56 more this season to move into the career Top 10.
> Dixon's numbers mirror the collegiate success his father had at San Jose State (1982-85) when the elder Dixon ranked #1 in school history with 477 assists and #6 with 106 career steals.
> Dixon is on the verge of joining Missouri's Top 10 in steals as well ... He has 130 career steals and needs 24 to move into the MU Top 10.
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.
Hoops In August...
"Look Kids... there's Big Ben, there's Parliament" ... No, Holiday Road was not the soundtrack of Missouri's European trip this summer, but the Tigers did get some valuable experience playing with 10 new performers, while having just one returner, Michael Dixon, see time during the five games overseas ... Despite having so many new faces Mizzou once again showed great balance during its tour of The Netherlands, Belgium and France, having five players in double figures and eight players average 10.5 minutes or more of playing time.
> Dixon led the Tigers in scoring at 16.5 points per game, but newcomers Keion Bell (12.0), Earnest Ross (11.8), Alex Oriakhi (11.3) and Jabari Brown (10.0) were just behind the senior all-league candidate.
> Mizzou also dominated the glass vs. their European counterparts, owning a 46.2-to-30.0 rebounding advantage ... Ross (9.3) and Oriakhi (8.3) lead the way and freshman Ryan Rosburg added 11 points and 10 boards vs. The Netherlands National B Team.
New League Debuts...
Missouri is one of college basketball's winningest programs, but oddly enough the first year in a new league has not been kind to the Tigers ... Missouri is playing in its sixth conference and has enjoyed just one winning season in that first year in a new league, recording an 11-7 overall mark in 1928-29 as a member of the Big Six.
> Overall the Tigers are 52-66 (.441) combined in their first season as members of the Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12.
Conference First Year Overall League (Finish) Mo. Valley 1907-08 8-10 0-5 (3rd) Big Six 1928-29 11-7 7-3 (2nd) Big Seven 1948-49 11-13 6-6 (4th) Big Eight 1958-59 6-19 3-11 (8th) Big 12 1996-97 16-17 5-11 (10th)
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