Hoops Closes Preseason Action Friday

MUTIGERS.COM Miguel Paul and the Tigers back in action.
Miguel Paul and the Tigers back in action.

Nov. 10, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10

University of Missouri Tigers (1-0 EXH) vs.

Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats (0-0 EXH)

2009-10 Exhibition Game 2 - November 13, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 7 p.m. CST

Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)

TV: Mizzou Sports Network - (Beau Baehman play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)

Radio: None

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Northwest Missouri St.: N/A in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 3-0; last 77-56 win on Dec. 17, 1996 in Columbia


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 154-76 overall (8th season); 65-35 at Mizzou (4th)

Northwest Missouri State: Ben McCollum (Northwest Missouri State, ‘03) First Season


For Openers

> Missouri Basketball closes out exhibition action on Friday The 13th as the Tigers host Northwest Missouri State and first-year head coach Ben McCollum at Mizzou Arena ...  Mizzou is a perfect 7-0 in exhibition games under Head Coach Mike Anderson and own a remarkable 44.6 ppg scoring margin in those seven victories, including last Friday’s 63-point victory over Truman State (96-33).

> Is it possible that The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball is even faster in 2009-10? It sure looked that way vs. Truman State as the Tigers forced 29 turnovers and recorded 20 steals in the win ... MU owned a 36-0 scoring disparity in points off turnovers and enjoyed 47 points from its bench.

> Laurence Bowers and Michael Dixon each reached double figures off the pine, with Bowers registering a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead all players in both categories.

> Missouri has made a habit of playing in-state institutions during preseason play … Last year the Tigers faced Lincoln University and Missouri Southern and battled Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri Western the year before … Counting the Nov. 13 contest against Northwest Missouri and a game against Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T) in 2006, the Tigers have played seven (of a possible eight) exhibition games against Show Me State opposition.

> Of course Friday’s game won’t count, but Missouri owns a 19-game winning streak inside Mizzou Arena, which dates back to the home finale of the 2007-08 campaign against Iowa State … Missouri currently ranks #7 nationally in consecutive home wins and needs just four more home victories to push this active streak into the school’s all-time Top 3.

> Although it’s just preseason action and won’t count for the record books, Missouri Basketball owns a 37-game non-conference home court winning streak, which dates back to the 2005-06 campaign ... That 37-game run is a school record, topping the 29 consecutive non-conference home wins from 1979-83 ... That streak ended with an overtime loss to Marquette ... Missouri’s last non-conference loss at home came against Sam Houston State in the 2005-06 season opener.

> Mizzou Arena has been a terror dome for non-league opponents during the Mike Anderson era... In running their record to 30-0, the Tigers are averaging a 24.7 ppg. margin of victory vs. non-conference foes at home, including quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Mississippi State, Murray State, Oral Roberts and Purdue.


Mizzou Quick Hitters

> Missouri Basketball concludes preseason action on Friday when it hosts intrastate foe Northwest Missouri State … The Tigers are 7-0 all-time in preseason action under Head Coach Mike Anderson.

> Missouri has averaged 95.7 points per game in exhibition games under Anderson, with six of those seven games coming against in-state institutions.

> Mizzou defeated Missouri S&T (then Missouri-Rolla) 105-67 in 2006, defeated the University of

Missouri-St. Louis, 78-51, in 2007 and capped off the 2007-08 preseason action with a 113-55

victory over Missouri Western... Last year MU defeated Lincoln (97-54) and Missouri Southern (87-58).

> The only non-Missouri opponent faced in preseason action by the Tigers under Anderson came in 2006 when the club beat the Lithuanian Academy, 94-40… That contest was scheduled prior to the arrival of Anderson and his staff.

> The Tigers were right on that scoring average in the preseason opener, toppling Truman State 96-33 last Friday.

> Missouri held the Bulldogs to just eight points and 1-of-17 shooting (5.9%) in the final 20 minutes of the 63-point win.

> Mizzou also flashed some impressive balance, as 12-of-13 players saw at least 10 minutes of playing time.

> Not to be overlooked was the tremendous student support in the preseason opener ... Missouri drew 8,120 fans, including a packed student section ... Missouri didn’t top 8,000 fans last season until its Dec. 7, 2008 win over California.

> The Tigers have handled their business nicely over the years against teams from Missouri... Mizzou is 144-56 all-time vs. opponents from the Show-Me State... Not included in this mark are exhibition wins, however the Tigers will have a chance to add to that mark against UMKC on Dec. 30.

> Missouri has typically played some tough schedules over the years and that trend will continue in 2009-10 ... With the preseason polls being released last week, Mizzou could have 12 games against teams ranked / receiving votes in the preseason Top 25 ... Included in that list are some impressive non-conference games (all away from home) against #18 Mississippi State, #23 Illinois, #30 Vanderbilt and #51 Old Dominion.

> In fact, of the potential 12 games vs. those highly-touted clubs only five will come at Mizzou Arena.

> Missouri also got some love in the preseason polls, checking in at #32 in the ESPN / USA Today Coaches Poll and #45 in the Associated Press Poll.

> ESPN The Magazine also showed Missouri some respect, ranking the club #14 nationally in its college basketball preseason issue.


Tiger Tidbits

> J.T. Tiller has earned mention on virtually every preseason All-Defensive Team in 2009-10 … Tiller is of course the reigning Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 Conference and was named to All-Defensive Teams by Sports Illustrated and ESPN prior to the start of his senior season.

> Tiller is Mizzou’s top returning scorer at 8.4 points per game, but saw that average increase to 11.0 ppg in six postseason contests last year … Included in that run was a career high 23 points against #2 Memphis in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 … He also shot 51 percent from the floor and 61 percent inside the three-point arc during that stretch.

> The Marietta, Ga., native has 231 career assists entering his senior season and needs just 99 dimes this year to move into the career Top 10.

> He also owns 116 career steals and 35 more thefts would push him into the Top 10 in that category as well, surpassing former teammate Jason Horton (2004-08) who had 150 … In fact his career steals per game average of 1.3 already ranks in Mizzou’s career Top 10.

> Although Zaire Taylor will be asked to score more in 2010, the senior has been excellent distributing the basketball thus far in scrimmages … The Staten Island native dished five assists in the Black & Gold Game on Oct. 23 and then unloaded 11 assists compared to just one turnover in a simulated game at Mizzou Arena on Oct. 27.

> Taylor was one of America’s top point guards a season ago and ranked among the Top 5 nationally with a 3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.

> While he averaged 6.7 points per game on the year, Taylor’s scoring average increased to 9.2 points in road games.

> Not only do Taylor and Tiller form one of America’s best backcourts, but the pair is incredibly visible in the community and volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, which supports the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital ...  The duo answered phones on the phonebank and made special visits to patients.

> Junior forward Justin Safford was actually Missouri’s most accurate three-point shooter a year ago … Safford has made 10 of his last 13 treys in game action and shot 65.0 percent from bonus distance in 2008-09.

> Safford earned a start in the preseason opener and scored 10 points and grabbed four boards in 16 minutes.

> Laurence Bowers led all Tigers against Truman State, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

> Bowers was Missouri’s most efficient player last season and flashed a knack for being around the ball once again, as he added two blocks and two steals in 18 minutes.

> Kim English carried over his strong 2009 finish into his play this season by scoring a game-high 32 points in the annual Black & Gold Game on Oct. 23 … English hit 12-of-21 shots in 37 minutes of action in his team’s 91-82 win.

> English is one of Missouri’s top returners in 2010 after starting 13 games a season ago.

> Marcus Denmon is nearly full strength after off-season knee surgery … Denmon had surgery to repair a fracture in his knee cap, an injury that limited his jumping ability and lateral quickness.

> Denmon still averaged 6.0 points per game as a rookie and hit one of the most memorable shots of NCAA Tournament play when he swished home a 60-footer at the halftime buzzer in Mizzou’s 101-92 win against #2 Memphis in the Sweet 16.

> Miguel Paul has shown great improvement this off-season and scored 19 points in the Black & Gold Game despite missing practice with flu-like symptoms the week of the contest … Paul hit 7-of-9 shots, while ripping away four steals.

> Paul’s career high in the scoring category was 12 against SIU-Edwardsville a season ago.

> Fans will notice a slimmed down version of Steve Moore this year … Since his arrival Moore had dropped 45 pounds and has now began to regain the weight in the form of muscle … Moore credits Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning David Deets with adjusting his eating habits, allowing the “Extreme Makeover”.

> Michael Dixon made a splash in his Missouri debut scoring 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting in the Black & Gold Game … The Missouri High School Player of the Year in 2009 also dished five assists and ripped away three steals.

> Dixon is one of four Kansas City natives on this year’s squad.

> The freshman point guard added to his solid start with 10 points and three steals on 5-of-9 FGs vs. Truman State.


Tigers Ranked #14 By ESPN The Magazine

Although the Big 12 Coaches predicted Missouri #7 in the league’s preseason rankings, ESPN The Magazine thought more highly of the Tigers as the publication ranked Mizzou #14 nationally ... Kansas was the #1 club in the publication.


Second Half Lock Down Is Nothing New

Mizzou limited Truman State to just one second-half field goal and 5.9 percent shooting in its 96-33 victory last Friday ... The Tigers forced 15 second half turnovers and recorded eight steals in the final 20 minutes as they outscored the Bulldogs 46-8 ... Missouri was an outstanding second half club in 2008-09 ... MU outscored its opposition 44.4-to-35.8 in the final 20 minutes of ball games last season and out-ran opponents 45.8-to-33.9 in the second half of homes games.


The Pine Is Fine

Missouri is known for having deep squads and in the exhibition opener the Tiger reserves accounted for 47 points and outscored Truman State’s reserves 47-11 ... Mizzou set a school record for bench production last season, averaging 27.0 ppg from its reserves ... The Tigers also broke the school record with 62 bench points in home wins against SIU-Edwardsville and Colorado last season.

> Missouri played all-13 players in the win against Truman State and all 13 players scored in the contest.


Game #101 for Anderson

It’s hard to believe, but Mizzou’s Mike Anderson will coach his 101st game on the Tiger sideline on Nov. 17 in the 2009-10 season-opener against Tennessee-Martin ... Anderson is 65-35 so far in his MU tenure and is the winningest coach in school history during the first 100 games as head coach.


Head Coach             100 Games             Years

Mike Anderson     65-35                       2006-09

Quin Snyder          63-37                       1999-02

George Edwards   61-39                       1926-32

Norm Stewart        55-45                       1967-68

Sparky Stalcup      56-44                       1946-50  

Tiller On Wooden Award For Defense

Who says you have to score to be a star? The John R. Wooden Award Preseason list dismissed that notion, when it included Missouri defensive stalwart J.T. Tiller on its Top 50 players ledger.

> The Big 12’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, Tiller helped lead Missouri to a school record 31 wins and a Big 12 Championship. The Marietta, Ga., native also flashed some offensive ability in postseason play, as he logged a career high 23 points in a 101-92 win against #2 Memphis in the NCAA Sweet 16.

> Tiller is one of just four players on the Wooden Award list to average fewer than 10.0 ppg in 2009 and only North Carolina super-sub Ed Davis (6.7 ppg) averaged fewer points than Mizzou’s Bull Dog point guard.


Player, School                                     PPG

Ed Davis, North Carolina                6.7

J.T. Tiller, Missouri                          8.4

Solomon Alabi, Florida State        8.4

Kemba Walker, Connecticut        8.9

Raymar Morgan, Michigan State   10.2

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia         10.5

Deon Thompson, North Carolina  10.6

Corey Fisher, Villanova                   10.8

Larry Sanders, VCU                           11.3

Samardo Samuels, Louisville        11.8


Mike Anderson the New Big Fundamental

It was certainly a memorable campaign for Mizzou Basketball in 2008-09, as the Tigers won a school record 31 games and brought home a Big 12 Tournament trophy as well … The Tigers set school records for games played and equaled their deepest advancement in postseason play as they got within one game of the school’s first-ever Final Four.

> Missouri knocked off a NCAA #2 seed (Memphis) for the first time in history and captivated national audiences as they led the nation in assists (18.4), ranked #2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (+1.6) and set the school record for fewest turnovers per game (11.8), while breaking the Big 12 record in total steals (388) and averaging an incredible 81.5 points per contest ... Who says the Fastest 40 Minutes isn’t fundamentally sound?


Tiller Named Top Defender

Missouri senior guard J.T. Tiller has received some preseason recognition for his outstanding defensive play as he was named a top defender by both ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla and Dime Magazine heading into the 2009-10 campaign.

> Tiller was named the Big 12 Conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and will be a top candidate for the honor once again in 2010.

> Last season the Marietta, Ga., native ripped away a team-leading 68 steals in 38 starts, which not only ranked among Big 12 leaders, but was among the nation’s Top 100 nationally.


Mizzou Arena - Now A Home Court

With Missouri Basketball unleashing the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball and the Tiger crowds responding, Mizzou Arena is now one of the nation’s toughest homecourt venues ... Missouri ranks #7 nationally with its active 19-game homecourt win streak and needs just four more wins to move into third in school history for consecutive home wins.

> Kansas leads the nation with 41 consecutive home wins, while Utah State (34) and Cornell (21) round out the top three.

> The MU record for homecourt wins is 34, which was set during the 1988-90 seasons ... The 1980-82 teams won 29 consecutive, while the 1974-76 tams won 23 in a row.


All-Time Mizzou Basketball Homecourt Winning Streaks

1.     1988-90           34

2.     1980-82           29

3.     1974-76           23

4.     1919-21           22

5.     1987-88           21

6.     2007-09           19


Balance = Experience For 2009-10 Squad

Mizzou Basketball has 11 of 13 players in their first or second season with the program, but don’t talk to Head Coach Mike Anderson about the youth of his squad.

> While three newcomers supplement the record eight newcomers that entered program in 2008-09, the Tigers’ balanced lineup has created a wealth of experience heading into the 2009-10 campaign.

> Missouri has four players back that made starts a season ago: J.T. Tiller (38), Zaire Taylor (37), Kim English (13) and Keith Ramsey (5).

> Mizzou has seven players returning that scored in double figures in multiple Big 12 games last season: J.T. Tiller (9), Zaire Taylor (7), Marcus Denmon (5), Kim English (3), Laurence Bowers (2), Keith Ramsey (2) and Justin Safford (2).

> Missouri has seven players back who averaged at least 9.4 minutes of playing time: Zaire Taylor (26.4), J.T. Tiller (24.8), Marcus Denmon (16.7), Kim English (14.4), Keith Ramsey (13.7), Miguel Paul (11.4) and Justin Safford (9.4).

> Plus the club has eight players who enjoyed a positive assist/turnover ratio for the nation’s leader in total assists in 2008-09.


Tigers In Rare Company

Missouri Basketball is one of just 21 teams in the decade of the 2000s to reach multiple NCAA Tournament Elite Eights … The Tigers of course qualified for the Elite Eight in 2002 and did so once again in 2009.

> Mizzou joins Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas as the only schools in the league to qualify for a pair (or more) of Elite Eights this decade and as a league, the Big 12’s five representatives leads all conferences, including the Big East, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-10, who are second with three teams.


Preseason Big 12 Rankings

For the second consecutive year Missouri Basketball was pegged seventh in the Big 12 Conference’s Preseason Poll. The Tigers were also slotted seventh a year ago, but of course refuted that ranking by finishing third in the league standings, winning the Big 12’s Tournament crown, advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and finishing with a school record 31 wins.

> Kansas was pegged as the league’s preseason favorite as a pair of Jayhawks were named to the All-Conference squad ... Texas was second and Oklahoma was picked third.


Team (First Place Votes)           Points

Kansas (11)                              121

Texas (1)                                   111

Oklahoma                                95

Kansas State                            92

Texas A&M                               74

Oklahoma State                      69

Missouri                          66

Iowa State                                57

Texas Tech                               34

Baylor                                        33

Nebraska                         28

Colorado                          13


About Northwest Missouri State

Northwest Missouri State opens its preseason action on Friday and will be under the direction of first-year head coach Ben McCollum ... McCollum played at Northwest Missouri State, graduating in 2003 ... The Bearcats were 12-15 last season and 7-13 in MIAA action ... The club’s top returner is Elijah Allen, who averaged 13.1 points and 4.7 rebounds ... Mike Larsen led the team with 100 assists and is back, while Stephen F. Austin transfer Girod Adams should give the Bearcats a boost after making 15 starts and averaging 5.3 ppg last year at the Division I school.


Series vs. Northwest Missouri State

Missouri is 3-0 all-time vs. Northwest Missouri State in regular-season action, including a 77-56 victory on Dec. 17, 1996 in Columbia ... Kelly Thames led Mizzou with 19 points and Tate Decker recorded a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double as MU improved to 6-2 on the year.


Tigers Link To Boys & Girls Club

Missouri Basketball prides itself on being active members of the community and the Tigers took it one step further by using their annual Black & Gold Game to help raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia.

> The Tigers hosted a clinic for members of the Club before the Oct. 23 event and a portion of the proceeds raised from ticket sales went to support the group’s “Hope of 10,000” campaign.

> In addition to the event, several Tigers have taken active roles with the Club by hosting a free youth clinic at Douglass Park in downtown Columbia and Head Coach Mike Anderson serves as a spokesperson for the group.


Black & Gold Game Recap

Better than 5,000 Tiger fans turned out for the Oct. 23 Black & Gold Game and Missouri Black, led by celebrity coach Missouri Governor Jay Nixon earned a 91-82 win over Mizzou Gold, who was coached by University of Missouri System President, Gary Forsee.

> Kimmie English paced Mizzou Black with 32 tallies, while freshman point guard Michael Dixon chipped in 22 and senior guard Zaire Taylor added 19.

> The Gold squad was led by sophomore point guard Miguel Paul who logged 19 tallies and four steals, while forwards Laurence Bowers (16 points, nine rebounds) and Justin Safford (14 points) carried the load in the paint.

> Mizzou Black trailed 58-50 at the half, but held the Gold squad to just 24 tallies (outscored 41-24) in the final 20 minutes of play.


J.T. Tiller Earning Preseason Love

J.T. Tiller has made defense cool again … Missouri’s senior guard has earned some great recognition for his play opposite of the basketball, as he has been nominated for the Bob Cousy Award (Nation’s Top Point Guard), been listed on numerous Preseason All-Defensive Teams and is even a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for his work both on and off the basketball court.


What’s in a Nickname?

Nicknames in college basketball are fun and can show the personality of a squad. One thing’s for certain, these Tigers aren’t short on personality. From “Hustle & Flow” and “TNT” for the combination of Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller, to “Buggy” for Keith Ramsey and “Downtown” for Marcus Denmon, Mizzou is much more than the J.Y.D. that was DeMarre Carroll a year ago.

> In an unofficial count Taylor has to lead the country in nicknames: Ziggy, Za, Game-Winner, The Poet and his personal favorite- The Self Proclaimed Best Looking Man in College Basketball.


Anderson Olympic Court Coach

It was a busy summer for Mizzou’s Mike Anderson. In addition to the normal hustle and bustle of recruiting and summer camps, Anderson assisted USA Basketball as a court coach for the Men’s National Team Trials in June.

Anderson joined John Beilein (Michigan), Johnny Estelle (Navarro College), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Alan Magnani (Iowa Wesleyan College) and Herb Sendek (Arizona State University) as coaches during the three-day event.


Anderson Making ESPN Trip

Mike Anderson will travel to Bristol, Conn., on Nov. 11 for an ESPN “Car Wash” … Anderson will join Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford and Baylor’s Scott Drew on the ESPN Campus to talk about the Big 12 Conference and highlight the start of another basketball season in the Heartland.


KC Connection Growing For Mizzou

Missouri Basketball has enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Kansas City over the years and the Tigers are once again representing KC as Marcus Denmon, Steve Moore, Mike Dixon and Jarrett Sutton all hail from the City of Fountains.

> Denmon, Moore and Sutton all enter their sophomore season of eligibility for Missouri, while newcomer Dixon enters Mizzou after an impressive high school career that concluded with Missouri High School Player of the Year honors.

> Mizzou had yet another KC Tiger on their team in 2008-09 ... Leo Lyons played four seasons in Columbia, finished his career as a 1,000-point scorer and is enjoying a successful career overseas in Israel.


Key to the City

The City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Cardinals recognized the tremendous accomplishments of the Missouri Basketball program this off-season when Head Coach Mike Anderson received the Key to the City from Mayor Francis Slay on May 22.

> Anderson then capped the evening by throwing out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals - Kansas City Royals game that evening at Busch Stadium.


Tigers Take To South Padre Island For Thanksgiving Holiday

As the weather begins to change here in Mid-Missouri, Mizzou Basketball is heading to South Padre Island, Texas, for the 2009 South Padre Island Invitational ... Missouri will leave immediately after its Nov. 24 contest against Chattanooga and head south for games against Old Dominion and either Richmond or #18 Mississippi State.

> Missouri’s first game will appear on Fox College Sports and if the Tigers advance to the Championship Game, that contest will be aired on the network as well.

> Missouri will spend the Thanksgiving Holiday on the beach and in case you were wondering, the average November temperature ranges from a high of 76 to a low of 63.


Who’s Next?

Mike Anderson has done a tremendous job of building quality depth during his first three seasons at Missouri and after having guards J.T. Tiller, Zaire Taylor, Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Miguel Paul set up into new roles in 2008-09, now Anderson will look for forwards Keith Ramsey, Justin Safford, Laurence Bowers and Steve Moore to take on added responsibility in 2010.

> Of course Missouri lost a combined 31.2 points and 13.3 rebounds a game with the departure of seniors DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons, but the added playing time for Ramsey, Safford and Bowers should allow them to fill-in nicely with the expectation of extended minutes this season.

> Bowers was actually Missouri’s most efficient shot-blocker and rebounder as a true freshman, while Safford and Ramsey should see marked increases in the scoring column after averaging just 23.1 minutes combined last year.

> Safford also gives the Tigers some effectiveness on the perimeter as he hit 13-of-20 three-point tries a season ago.

> Moore will give Mizzou some increased bulk in the middle and should see more action after playing in 18 games as a true freshman.


Anderson = Championship Basketball

The Tiger Slam is a term typically used in PGA Tour Golf when referring to Tiger Woods’ run of four consecutive majors throughout the 2000 and 2001 seasons, but Missouri’s sideline boss, Head Coach Mike Anderson, has achieved a Grand Slam of success of his own ... As a player, Anderson helped guide Nolan Richardson and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane to the 1981 NIT Title thanks to an 86-84 win over Syracuse ... Anderson then continued his success in the coaching profession, helping Arkansas achieve (12) 20-win seasons, four 30-win campaigns, three Final Fours and the 1994 National Championship ... As a head coach, Anderson of course led Mizzou Basketball to the Elite Eight and the Big 12 Tournament crown in 2009 after taking UAB to the Sweet 16 in 2004. 






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