Tigers Host Mercer Monday

MUTIGERS.COM Ricardo Ratliffe and the Tigers host Mercer at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.
Ricardo Ratliffe and the Tigers host Mercer at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.

Nov. 13, 2011

University of Missouri Tigers (1-0) vs. Mercer Bears (1-0)

Mizzou Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

TIP-OFF: 7 p.m. CT.
Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)
Radio: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, play-by-play; Gary Link, analysis)
TV: MSN (Chris Gervino, play-by-play; Scott Highmark, analysis)
MU: 25/25
Mercer: NA
Series: MU leads 5-0. Last meeting: MU 65, SEMO 64; Dec. 13, 1997
MU: Frank Haith (Elon '88), 130-101 overall (8th year) and 1-0 at Mizzou (1st year)
Mercer: Bob Hoffmann (Oklahoma Baptist '79), 49-50 at Mercer (4th year)

For Openers...

> Missouri used a strong second half performance to record a 83-68 win over SEMO in the season opener on Nov. 11 ... The win improved Mizzou's record to 84-21 all-time in season openers, 89-15 in home openers, including a mark of 38-1 in the last 39 home openers.
> Frank Haith picked up his first official win as head coach of the Tigers against SEMO on Friday ... The win improved his all-time head coaching record to 130-101 ... Additionally, Mizzou is now owns a 16-1 mark in head coach debuts.
> Mizzou opens play in the Progressive CBE Classic regional rounds against Mercer on Monday ... The Tigers are making a record fourth appearance in the event (2001, 2004 and 2007), which was previously known as the Guardians Classic and won the event in 2001 ... MU also owns the all-time wins mark of the event with nine ... Mizzou owns a 9-3 all-time mark in the Classic.
> Mizzou puts its 59-game non-conference home court winning streak on the line tonight ... The run, which dates back to the 2005-06 campaign, 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.
> Missouri began the 2010-11 campaign as a nationally-ranked program ... The Tigers were rated #25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls to start the year ... Last year marked the first year that the Tigers were ranked in the preseason since 2003-04 ... Missouri opened the year #5 in 2003-04, the highest preseason ranking in school history ... Mizzou of course finished the 2008-09 season ranked inside the Top 10 after its run to the NCAA Elite Eight.
> Senior Marcus Denmon's 20-point outing against SEMO in the season opener marked the sixth time in the last 10 game he's scored at least 20 points, dating back to last season ... He's also notched 19 or more points in eight of the last 10 games.
> Senior Kim English made five 3-pointers against SEMO in the season opener, which was the most for him since he made six against North Alabama on Jan. 5, 2011.

Mizzou Quick Hitters

> Missouri continues play in the Progressive CBE Classic regional rounds on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers then head to Kansas City to finish CBE Classic action on Monday, Nov. 21 (Notre Dame) and Tuesday, Nov. 22 (Cal or Georgia).
> Missouri Basketball concluded the 2010-11 season at the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row. The trip was the Tigers' 24th overall.
> Missouri has typically played some tough schedules over the years and that trend will continue in 2011-12 ... After the release of the preseason polls, Mizzou will have 11 games against teams ranked / receiving votes in the preseason AP top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll... Included in that list are #12 Baylor, #13 Kansas, #19/20 Texas A&M, #24 California, Texas, Illinois, and Notre Dame.
> Missouri will once again have each of its games televised this season thanks to its partnership with Mizzou Sports Network, ESPN, The Big 12 Network and CBS.
> The Tigers shot the ball extremely well in exhibition play, hitting at a 53.7 percent clip from the floor and a 47.3 percent clip from 3-point land ... MU shot at least 50 percent in all three preseason
> Four different Tigers shot over 50 percent during exhibition action of the players with at least 10 attempts ... Michael Dixon led the way at 69.2 percent (18-26) overall and 64.3 percent (9-14) from three ... Steve Moore hit at a 66.7 percent (12-18) clip ... Marcus Denmon shot 59.5 percent (22-37) from the floor and 63.6 percent (14-22) behind the arc ... Additionally, Ricardo Ratliffe shot 56.8 percent (21-37).
> The Tigers return three key performers and add two newcomers to the frontcourt lineup this season. Leading the way, Ricardo Ratliffe was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last season, as was teammate Laurence Bowers.
> However, Laurence Bowers will be forced to redshirt the 2011-12 season after suffering a season-ending knee injury (ACL) in October.
> Missouri's backcourt is led by a pair of 1,000 point scorers in Kim English and Marcus Denmon. The two surpassed the 1,000 point mark in 2010-11...Denmon boasts 1,176 career points while English has recorded 1,082.
> This year's seniors mark the winningest class in Missouri Basketball program history...The team's 77 wins over the last three seasons mark the most in a three-year stretch at Mizzou...The Tiger clubs from 1980-83 and 1988-91 won 75 games over a three-year stretch.
> Missouri blocked 171 shots in the 2010-11 season, a new school record...The previous record for blocks (160) was set in 2009-10.
>The Tigers have 23+ wins in each of the past three campaigns for the first time in program history...Mizzou won 31 games in 2008-09 and went 23-11 in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
>Missouri recorded it's 1,500th win in program history last season when the the Tigers triumphed over Texas Tech 88-84 in the Big 12 Tournament...Mizzou finished the season 23-11 overall, 1,500-1,039 all-time.

Tiger Tidbits

#1 Phil Pressey, 5-10, 175 Pounds
> Posted 10 points, a career high six rebounds and three assists against SEMO.
>Averaged an impressive 7.3 assists during the exhibition season, to go along with 4.7 points and 3.7 steals.
>Had an explosive first year with the Tigers averaging 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game.>Pressey ranked seventh in the Big 12 and topped all Big 12 freshmen with 3.9 average assists and 117 total assists. He also broke the program's freshman record for steals and assists per game.
> Phil Pressey entered the Missouri program has the highest-ranked recruit that the program has seen in the past five years, rated as high as #16 nationally by 2K Sports.
> His older brother Matt Pressey is a senior on this year's club and his father, Paul Pressey, is currently an assistant coach for Byron Scott and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

#3 Matt Pressey, 6-2, 195 Pounds
> Started the season opener and had two points and three boards.
> Started all three exhibition games and averaged 14.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.
> Reached double figures scoring six times during the 2010-11 season.
> Was a junior college All-American at Navarro College last year, joining fellow Tiger Ricardo Ratliffe on that first team squad.
> His younger brother Phil Pressey is a sophomore on this year's club and his father, Paul Pressey, is currently an assistant coach for Byron Scott and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

#10 Ricardo Ratliffe, 6-8, 240 Pounds
> Posted game highs of 20 points and eight rebounds in the season opener.
>Posted marks of 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shot 56.8 percent from the field in MU's three exhibition games.
>Earned preseason All-Big 12 honors along with teammates Marcus Denmon and Laurence Bowers this season. Last season he was named Big 12 Conference Presesason and Postseason Newcomer of the Year as well as honorable mention All-Big 12. He was also named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team in his first season at Mizzou.
> Passed Doug Smith for fifth all-time among Mizzou Juniors with a 57.1% shooting percentage from the field.
> Highly-coveted big man out of Central Florida College, that was twice named a first team NJCAA All-American. That made him one of only 13 players in NJCAA history to be named back-to-back first team All-American.
> Had his junior college jersey (#20) retired at the school's season-opener last year.

#11 Michael Dixon, 6-1, 185 Pounds
> Posted eight points, all on free throws, and a team high four assists against SEMO.
> Now ranks third all-time at MU with a career .842 free throw percentage.
> Ranked second on the team with 17.0 points per contest in exhibition play. Also shot an incredible 69.2 percent from the floor, 64.3 percent from behind the arc and dished out 4.0 assists per game.
> Returning junior that made eight starts as a rookie and 17 last year.
> Scoring point guard that ranked in the top 10 of the Big 12 with 3.5 assists (9th), 1.8 steals (8th), a .825 free throw percentage (6th), and 1.9 assists/turnover ratio (4th).
> He ranked second on the team with 113 total assists last season.
> Played huge in some big games for Mizzou, scoring double figures 19 times including a career-hihg 18 ppints vs. Old Dominion.

#12 Marcus Denmon, 6-3, 185 Pounds
>Notched game highs of 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the season opener.
>Named to the 2011 preseason All-Big 12 team, which marks the second preseason honor for Denmon as he was named to the Wooden Award Watch List as well.
>Also named to the Naismith Watch List earlier this week.
>Has 1,176 total points ranks 29th all-time at Mizzou.
>Paced the Tigers with 21.0 points per game during exhibition play, while shooting 59.5 percent from the floor and 63.6 percent from 3-point land.
> Led the club in scoring, 3-point shots made (82) and three-point field goal percentage (.448) and was ranked in the top 10 of the Conference in scogin (7th), field goal percentage (5th), steals (3rd), 3-point percentage (2nd) and 3-point makes per game (5th).
>His 82 3-point makes were the 7th most in school history and his 3-point percentage tied fellowe Kanssas City native Kareem Rush for 7th.
>He and Kim English need 28 games played this season to break the school record (134) set by Mike Sandbothe.
> He was voted as one of the top seniors by Rivals.com coming off of an impressive 2011 season that earned him 2011 All-Big 12 First Team honors along with 2011 NABC All-District and 2011 USBWA All-District awards as well.
> Over the summer, Denmon played for team USA at the World University Games in China where he started four games and averaged 7.6 points and 1.9 steals while leading the team in steals with 15.

#15 Kadeem Green, 6-8, 210 Pounds
> Made his official collegiate debut against SEMO and notched two points, two rebounds and a block.
> Sat out the 2010-2011 campaign as a redshirt to recover from a torn Achilles tendon that he suffered in high school.
> Averaged 17.7 minutes in MU's three exhibition games and grabbed a total of 14 rebounds.

#21 Laurence Bowers, 6-3, 185 Pounds
>Bowers will miss the 2011-12 season after suffering an ACL injury in preseason practice.
>Earned preseason All-Big 12 honors.
> Coming off of an incredible junior season where he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and was chosen for the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
> Averaged 11.6 poiints, 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.8 blocks per game and made 27 starts in 2010-11.
>Finished second in the Big 12 with 62 blocked shots, the third most in school history and most-ever by a Tiger junior. He blocked eight shots against Colorado to tie Arthur Johnson for most rejections in a game.
>He was ranked 14th in the League in rebounding with 6.1 per game, which is the tops of the club.
>He recorded the first 20-point, nine-rebound, six-steal game in school history vs. Baylor.

#24 Kim English, 6-6, 200 Pounds
> Posted 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from behind the arc in the season opener.
> Averaged 9.3 minutes per contest in exhibition action, to go with 4.3 rebounds.
> He scored his 1,000th point in the win at Iowa State and he ranks 35th all-time in scoring in Missouri's basketball history with 1,082 career points.
> Played in all 34 games and earned 30 starts his junior season, averaging 10 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assistsa, and 1.2 steals per game.
> Is of course known for his tireless work ethic and wears #24 because he is thinking about the game of basketball 24 hours a day.
> Often sleeps in the locker room during the season, which allows him to workout during off-hours.

#25 Jarrett Sutton, 6-4, 196 Pounds
> Graduated from Mizzou in the spring of 2011
>Tied a career high with 13 games played as a junior and scored a career-high four points vs. Central Arkansas in 11 minutes of play.
> Hit his only shot attempt, a three-pointer, to finish with three points and an assist against Missouri Southern. >Scored 3 points at the Black and Gold game, going 1-for-1 in his 3-point shooting.

#32 Steve Moore, 6-9, 267 Pounds
> Posted two points, two blocks, an assist and a steal in the season opener.
> Gives Missouri a great defensive presence in the low post and finished his junior season with 32 blocks to tie Doug Smith for ninth all-time blocks in a season by a Tiger junior.
> Averaged 8.3 points on 66.7 percent shooting during the preseason.
> He sits among team leaders from 2010-11 in charges taken, blocked shots, and rebounds per minute.

#44 Andy Rosburg, 6-8, 220 Pounds
> Joined the team in October as a walk-on.
> Is a senior academically but has two years of eligibility remaining.
> Played four seasons at Marquette High School in St. Louis and averaged 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds as a senior.
> Saw his first action in the exhibition finale against Central Missouri.

About SEMO
The Mercer Bears won their season opener on Nov. 12 with a 66-57 win over Emory.
> Head Coach Bob Hoffman owns a 49-50 all-time record at Mercer in his fourth season.
>Sophomore guard Bud Thomas paced Mercer with 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal against Emory ... The Bears outrebounded Emory 44-30 in the game.
>The Bears had a record of 15-18 a year ago and were selected fifth in both the coaches and media preseason Atlantic Sun Conference polls.

Series vs. Mercer
Missouri and Mercer have met three times in program history, with the Tigers winning all three matchups in Columbia. The teams last met on Dec. 19, 1996, when Mizzou earned a 90-63 win.

Mizzou-SEMO Recap
Missouri earned a 83-68 win over SEMO in the season opener Friday night at Mizzou Arena.
> The Tigers led by just two, 38-36, at the half but pulled away in the second half to earn the 15-point victory.
> The Tigers got a strong defensive effort and a balanced scoring attack from a trio of veterans, as seniors Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe each had 20 points, while Kim English added 19 of his own. Denmon and Ratliffe each had eight rebounds to lead the charge. Ratliffe got seven of his boards after halftime to key a second-half that saw MU break open a two-point lead at the break.
> English made 5-of-9 three-point shots, while sophomore Phil Pressey pulled down a career high six rebounds.

Denmon Named to Naismith Preseason Watch List
Senior Marcus Denmon was named to the 2011-12 Naismith preseason watch list, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club Monday. .
> The Kansas City, Mo., native led Mizzou in scoring, 3-point shots made and three-point field goal percentage last season averaging 16.9 points en route to First Team all-Big 12 recognition.
> Denmon is one of 50 players on the list, including one of five from the Big 12 Conference.

Dixon Money From the Charity Stripe
Junior guard Michael Dixon entered the 2011-12 season ranked fourth on MU's all-time free throw percentage list.
> Dixon helped his cause in the season opener on Nov. 11 as he made all eight of his attempts to improve his career percentage to .842, which moved him up to third on MU's career list.

Denmon Named to Wooden Top 50
Missouri senior guard Marcus Denmon was named a preseason candidate for the prestigious John R. Wooden Player of the Year trophy announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club
> The list features 50 of the top players in college basketball who, based on last year's individual and team performances, are considered to be the early frontrunners for one of the top honors in college hoops this season ... Transfers and incoming freshmen are not eligible to for the preseason list, but can play their way into mid-season consideration for the honor.
> Denmon's selection marks the third consecutive year a Tiger has made the Wooden Preseason ledger ... J.T. Tiller was a Top 50 nominee as well as teammate Kim English.

Denmon Named Preseason All-American
Marcus Denmon was named a preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon Magazine...The Kansas City, Mo., native was a fourth team pick by the publication and joined fellow Big 12 standout Perry Jones (Baylor) on the top-four All-America squads.
>Denmon is coming off a career year in which he earned first team All-Big 12 recognition and is the lone returning member of that squad in 2011-12. The Hogan Prep High School product averaged 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He led the Tigers in scoring, 3-point field goals (82) and 3-point field goal % (.448), while ranking among the top 10 of the Big 12 in scoring (7th), field goal percentage (5th), steals (3rd), 3-point percentage (2nd) and 3-point makes per game (5th).
>Overall the senior guard started 33-of-34 games and reached double figures in 30 contests, topping 20 points 12 times. He also shot 50 percent from the floor for the year, the highest for a Missouri guard since Rickey Paulding in 2001-02.

Tiger Ranked In Preseason
Missouri Basketball is entering the regular season as a ranked club for the first time since 2003-04 ... Missouri was pegged #25 nationally in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 polls in October.
> Missouri was #5 nationally to open the 2003-04 campaign and have been ranked in the preseason 15 times before ... The #15 national ranking that the Tigers earned in 2010-11 is the ninth highest preseason ranking in school history ... Mizzou of course finished the 2008-09 campaign #9 nationally en route to its NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Brother tandems aren't necessarily rare at Mizzou, but very few brother tandems have played at the same time for the Black & Gold ... Many Missouri fans remember the days of Slim & Slam (aka Sammie and Simeon Haley) and then there were Mike and Jerry Kirksey who played together one season (1957-58) and thanks to Gary Link for reminding us about the Minx twins, Beau and Charles, who played for MU in 1944, but now the Tigers have a new tandem of brothers, Matt and Phil Pressey.
> The Pressey brothers get two seasons of play on the hardwood at Missouri as Matt entered the program after earning first team Junior College All-America honors at Navarro College in Texas, while Phil was one of the elite national recruits at the point guard position.
> To this point the most successful tandem (stats-wise) are the Haley Twins who each stood over 7-feet tall and played during the 1994-96 seasons ... The duo combined to score 819 points, grab 541 rebounds and block 120 shots during their two seasons playing together.
> During 1957-58 the Kirksey brothers of Buffalo, Mo., combined to score 125 points, led by Mike, who averaged 5.4 points per night

Big 12 Preseason Poll
The Tigers were picked fourth in this year's Big 12 Preseason Poll, voted on by the league's 10 head coaches. Mizzou received 61 votes in the poll, just two behind third-place Baylor and it received one first-place vote as well. The fourth-place pick in the preseason poll is the highest the Tigers have been picked since the 2003-04 season when they were picked to win the Big 12. Kansas and Texas A&M were picked to win the league this season.

Team USA Takes Fifth
Senior Marcus Denmon got the opportunity to represent the United States this summer, playing for Team USA in the Work University Games.
> In eight games Denmon averaged 7.6 points and 1.9 steals. He shot 41 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the foul line in four starts.
>Denmon scored three points and ripped two steals in Team USA's hard-fought 86-83 victory over Germany to secure fifth place at the 2011 World University Games in China. The Americans finished the event with a 7-1 record and handed Germany (6-2) just its second loss of the tournament. Team USA's only loss came from Lithuania.

Winningest Three-Year Stretches at Mizzou
Missouri Basketball is looking to continue its impressive winning trend over the last three seasons, which has seen the club win 77 games since the start of the 2008-09 campaign ... The Tigers have won 20 games in three consecutive years, including a school record 31 wins during that run to the Elite Eight three seasons ago.

If You Build it...
Missouri set a Mizzou Arena record for attendance last season, as the Tigers averaged 11,112 fans per game, the highest average attendance since Mizzou Arena was opened in 2004-05. The previous mark was set in 2009-10 as MU averaged 10,349 fans during its 18-game home slate.
>During Big 12 games only, Missouri averaged a Mizzou Arena record 13,735 fans last season

NBA Pedigree
Every basketball player has the dream of playing in the NBA and for two Tigers, their fathers each reached that dream of playing basketball at the highest level ... Brothers Matt and Phil Pressey come from an NBA background.
> 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.

Tigers Claim win 1,500
Missouri basketball won it's 1,500th game in program history in the Big 12 Tournament as the Tigers took out Texas Tech, 88-84 in the opening round. Mizzou is the fifth Big 12 school to reach this milestone, joining Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Five in Double Figures
Last year, Mizzou had five players finish the year averaging double-figures in scoring, led by Preseason Wooden Award candidate Marcus Denmon, who led the team with a 16.9 points per game average. The five players finishing the season averaging double-figures is a rarity in school history as just three teams at Mizzou have accomplished that feat - the 1964-65 team, the 1988-89 team and the 1989-90 team. All five of those players that averaged double figures - Denmon, Laurence Bowers, Ricardo Ratliffe, Michael Dixon, Kim English - return to Mizzou this year.

Protecting the Rock
Since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Mizzou has been one of the best teams in the nation at protecting the basketball. In fact, Mizzou ranked among the national elite with its 12.8 turnovers-per-game average last season and over the last four years, they have averaged just 12.6 turnovers per game, the best ever over a four-year span at Mizzou. In fact, the four single-season averages over the last four years - 11.8 (2008-09), 12.7 (2009-10), 12.8 (2010-11), 13.0 (200-7-8) - are the four best single season marks in program history.



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