Mizzou Basketball Hosts Season Opener

MUTIGERS.COM Miguel Paul and Mizzou Basketball opens regular-season action on Saturday afternoon.
Miguel Paul and Mizzou Basketball opens regular-season action on Saturday afternoon.

Nov. 14, 2008

Columbia, Mo. -

Mizzou Basketball Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

University of Missouri Tigers (0-0) vs.
Prairie View A&M University (0-2)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 1 - November 15, 2008 - Columbia, Mo.

Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. CST
Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)
TV: Mizzou Sports Network (Todd Donoho play-by-play; Hall of Famer Norm Stewart analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Tom Ackerman play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: NR/NR, PVAMU: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri defeated Prairie View A&M 118-66 on Jan. 9, 1991
Tickets: Call 1-800-CAT-PAWS
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 123-69 overall (7th season); 34-28 at Mizzou (3rd)
PVAMU: Byron Rimm II (Cal State - Los Angeles '99); 16-46 overall (3rd season)

For Openers
> Missouri opens its 103rd season of basketball on Saturday when it hosts Prairie View A&M of the Southwestern Athletic Conference ... The Tigers are a perfect 2-0 in home-openers under Anderson, 81-21 all-time in season openers and 86-15 in home-openers ... Mizzou is also 34-1 in their last 35 home-openers, which could spell trouble for Prairie View on Saturday.
> Saturday's game will be televised on the Mizzou Sports Network, but for Tiger fans outside of the viewing area, ESPN360.com and ESPN Fullcourt will carry the contest nationally ... Please check with your internet provider to see if you get ESPN360.com.
> Missouri sports an active 27-game non-conference home court winning streak dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, which is the longest non-conference winning streak since the Tigers won 27 consecutive from 1987-1990... The Tigers won 31 consecutive non-conference home games from 1979-83... Mizzou'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 Anderson era... In running their record to 20-0 the Tigers are averaging a 26.4 ppg. margin of victory vs. non-conference foes at home, including quality wins over Arkansas, Davidson, Mississippi State and Purdue.
> While Saturday's game is technically the regular-season opener, the 2008-09 Tigers do have five games under their belts already thanks to a pair of exhibition games and a three-game Labor Day weekend tour of Ontario, Canada ... Missouri went 5-0 in the contests, averaged 106.0 points per game and enjoyed a dominating 35.6 ppg. margin of victory.
> The Tigers enjoyed a balanced attack in the two exhibition games preceding Saturday's regular-season opener ... Senior forward Leo Lyons led three Tigers in double figures, averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, while fellow senior forward DeMarre Carroll chipped in 13.5 points and freshman Marcus Denmon averaged 11.0 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor ... In fact, the Tigers were so balanced, that just one player (Zaire Taylor) averaged more than 20 minutes per game in exhibition play.
> Missouri returns to action against Chattanooga on Monday evening at 7 p.m. ... The game is officially "dubbed" an opening-round contest of the 2008 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Classic, but the game has no bearing on the bracket once the teams are in Puerto Rico ... Both Mizzou and Chattanooga will fly to San Juan, P.R. the next day for the tourney, which begins Nov. 20.

Mizzou Quick-Hitters
> Missouri Basketball kick-starts the 2008-09 regular season on Saturday afternoon, as the Tigers host Prairie View A&M at 3:30 p.m.
> Saturday's game could technically be called "nationally-televised" since the game will air on ESPN360.com, but fans need to check with their local internet provider to see if ESPN360 is available through their provider.
> The Tigers and Panthers meet for just the second time in school history (Mizzou 1-0) and Mizzou will face its first of two teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference ... The Tigers face Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 2 at Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri is 21-0 all-time vs. the SWAC including wins over the Southern Jaguars the past two seasons.
> Mizzou has been outstanding at home in non-conference games during Head Coach Mike Anderson's tenure ... The Tigers have won 20 consecutive games vs. non-conference opposition at home under his watch and have won 27 consecutive games vs. non-league foes overall at Mizzou Arena dating back to 2005-06.
> In those 20 consecutive non-conference home wins for Anderson, the Tigers are averaging an impressive 21.3 ppg average margin of victory (80.0 to 58.7), which includes wins over teams like Arkansas, Mississippi State, Davidson and Purdue.
> One thing Tiger fans can look forward to again this season is points off turnovers ... Missouri averaged 20.3 points per game off turnovers last season and forced one turnover every four possessions ... In preseason action Missouri scored 37.0 points per game off of turnovers and forced 69 total miscues (34.5 tpg) against Lincoln and Missouri Southern.
> It's only November, but ESPN Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has Missouri "in" the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed ... The kicker, Lunardi has the Tigers facing No. 6-seeded Kansas ... Of course two teams from the same conference can't play until the second round.
> While Saturday's game marks the start of the 2008-09 regular season, Mizzou actually got an early jump on exhibition play over Labor Day weekend with a three-game exhibition tour in Niagara Falls, Ontario ... Missouri went 3-0 throughout the tour and averaged a 35.3 ppg. margin of victory.
> Through Mizzou's three games in Canada and two exhibition games vs. Lincoln and Missouri Southern, the Tigers have trailed for a total of six seconds in all four games this season ... Brock University took a brief 22-20 lead on Mizzou on Aug. 31, but that advantage lasted just six seconds as Marcus Denmon hit a go-ahead three-pointer to spark a 33-8 run to close the first half.
> Missouri has averaged a 35.6 ppg. margin of victory in their five total preseason games this season.
> Tiger fans can expect to see improved depth in 2008-09 with the addition of seven newcomers ... That depth could spell trouble for opponents since Anderson's reserves set a school record for scoring (26.4) in 2006-07 and produced 25.4 points per game in 2007-08.
> The Tigers have gotten excellent bench production over the past two seasons and if the exhibition games were any indication, that trend should continue ... The Tigers averaged 42.0 ppg from their reserves in games against Lincoln and Missouri Southern, with freshman Marcus Denmon leading the way with 11.0 ppg.
> Hold on to your seat belts, because Missouri's 2008-09 campaign gets started in a quick way ... Following Saturday's regular-season opener, the Tigers face Chattanooga on Nov. 17 and then depart Columbia a little before 5 a.m. on Nov. 18 for San Juan, P.R., for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off ... The Tigers face No. 26 Xavier in the opening round on Nov. 20.
> Including potential games in Puerto Rico, Missouri's schedule appears to be loaded once again ... The Tigers have 10 potential opponents listed in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll (or receiving votes), including Xavier on Nov. 20.
> In fact, four of the eight teams in Puerto Rico are either ranked or receiving Top 25 consideration.

Tiger Tidbits (Individual Notes)
> Senior forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons were named Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention picks prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.
> Lyons was also named one of the nation's Top 15 power forwards by Rivals.com in their preseason position rankings.
> Lyons and Carroll are closing in on 1,000 career points ... Carroll has 897 career tallies at the Division I level, 480 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 692 career tallies and needs just 308 points to become the 38th member of Missouri's 1,000-point club ... Fellow senior Matt Lawrence is also closing in on 1,000 points and would need 345 points as a senior to reach the mark.
> Zaire Taylor was named the nation's Preseason No. 2 impact transfer in all of college basketball by Rivals.com ... DeMarre Carroll was the preseason No. 1 on that same Rivals.com list last season and didn't disappoint by winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.
> It's been 669 days since Taylor played a Division I game in the regular season, but that will change Saturday in the opener against Prairie View A&M ... Taylor's last game came Jan. 6, 2007, at Hofstra.
> Senior Michael Anderson Jr. junior enjoyed one of his most successful games as a Tiger, recording a would-be career high of seven points in 11 minutes against Lincoln University in the exhibition-opener.
> Junior guard J.T. Tiller made his ESPN SportCenter Top 10 debut and it's no shock the highlight came courtesy of his defense ... Tiller's swat of Lincoln's Joe Hutchingson with just over six minutes left in the second half checked in at No. 8 on the countdown ... Coach Norm Stewart's response on the telecast after the block "I like J.T. Tiller. If you take the ball to the basket (against him), you can't bring that weak stuff. You'll need a helmet."
> Missouri Basketball is coming off a busy, but productive summer that saw all-13 Tigers remain on campus for workouts and classes ... Some members of the squad also had internships in town, including junior guard J.T. Tiller, who spent the summer as an intern at AFLAC.
> Freshman newcomer Kimmie English knows Mizzou Arena just about as well as the Arena managers and operators ... English made news this summer for sleeping overnight in the team's locker room and will often shoot in the club's 24-Hour practice gym in the early-morning hours.
> Freshman guard Marcus Denmon wowed fans with his 36-point effort in the Black & Gold Game on Oct. 29, but what you may not know is that Denmon is prone to fast starts ... In addition to scoring his team's first-10 points in the intra-squad scrimmage, Denmon scored the first 10 points at the Demetrius Johnson All-Star event in St. Louis en route to MVP honors and won MVP accolades at the Missouri High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in Springfield, Mo.
> Denmon added a team-high tying 12 points in the win over Lincoln and his 11.0 ppg average in the two exhibition games ranked tops among the team's reserves.
> Did you know that in his first game at Mizzou Arena Denmon actually cheered AGAINST Missouri? But you can't blame him, his brother Martane Freeman was playing for the Colorado Buffaloes, so we'll let that one slide.

About The Prairie View A&M Panthers
Prairie View A&M comes into Saturday's contest with two games under its belt already after playing at the UCLA Regional of the 2K Sports Classic in Los Angeles ... The Panthers opened the event with an 82-58 loss to the host UCLA Bruins, but trailed just 68-54 with under five minutes remaining ... Prairie View completed the two-game event with a 78-68 loss to Weber State on Nov. 13 ... Darnell Hugee led Prairie View with 22 points in the loss against UCLA and chipped in 11 points vs. Weber State ... Hugee leads the team with 16.5 points per game ... Derek Johnson is the other Panther averaging double figures with 10.0 points and 4.5 rebounds over the two games.

The Series With Prairie View A&M
Missouri and Prairie View A&M will meet for the second time in school history on Saturday and the Tigers own a 1-0 series advantage following a 118-66 victory on Jan. 9, 1991 ... Anthony Peeler led Missouri with 32 points, while Doug Smith added 28 points and 17 rebounds.

Lawrence Looks To Shoot Up Mizzou Career Three-Point Chart
He agreed to begin his career as a walk-on, but St. Louis native Matt Lawrence quickly earned a scholarship and is now shooting up Missouri's career three-point field goals list.
> After making just nine three-pointers his first season, Lawrence has been one of the Big 12's elite shooters from bonus distance the last two years, making 81 triples as a sophomore and 72 more as a junior ... For his career the 6-foot-7 rifleman has 162 three-pointers, which already ranks No. 8 in school history.
> Lawrence can move as high as No. 2 on Missouri's all-time three-point makes list by the end of the season, just behind Clarence Gilbert, who made 332 treys in four seasons ... Lawrence is just 17 triples behind Thomas Gardner for seventh and just 21 behind Melvin Booker for sixth ... With 65 made treys this season, Lawrence will pass Kareem Rush for No. 2 on Missouri's all-time list.

Lyons, Carroll Earn Preseason All-Big 12 Accolades
Leo Lyons and DeMarre Carroll earned Preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the league coaches this preseason. The forward tandem led Mizzou in both scoring and rebounding last year and should provide the Tigers with one of the Conference's better interior duos.
> Carroll was named the Big 12's Newcomer of the Year in 2008 after averaging 13.0 points and a team-leading 6.7 rebounds as a junior ... The 6-foot-8 forward finished fourth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage last season (.536), ninth in rebounding and among the Top 20 in scoring.
> Lyons finished the 2007-08 season as one of the Big 12's most dominating players ... Over his final four regular-season games Lyons averaged 21.5 points and 12.8 rebounds in contests against Oklahoma State, at Baylor, Iowa State and at Oklahoma ... He was also named to the Kansas City Star's All-Improved Team after averaging 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds over his final 16 contests ... On the season the Kansas City, Kan., native led the Tigers in scoring at 13.1 points per game and led the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.583) ... His average of 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in Big 12 games ranked among the Top 10 league-wide in both categories.

Zaire Taylor Waiting Patiently
It's been a long road for Missouri junior guard Zaire Taylor, but the Staten Island, N.Y., native will make his first Division I appearance in nearly two years this season for the Tigers.
> Taylor began his career at Delaware in 2005-06 and led the CAA in steals as a freshman, earning All-Rookie Team honors ... After a coaching change in 2006-07, Taylor played just 13 games for the Blue Hens, before deciding to focus on his academics during the second semester, culminating with his eventual transfer to Mizzou in 2007.
> The Staten Island, N.Y., native sat out last season due to NCAA Division I transfer guidelines and will be playing his first NCAA basketball game since a Jan. 6, 2007 game at Hofstra, a span of 669 days between that contest and the Nov. 15 season-opener against Prairie View A&M.
> Taylor did make five starts for the Tigers in preseason action (including three games in Canada) and averaged a team-leading 22.0 minutes per game, along with 9.0 points and 3.5 steals in exhibition wins over Lincoln and Missouri Southern last week.

A Little Fun With Local Geography
Missouri has four players on this season's roster from the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas, as freshmen newcomers Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore join seniors Matt Lawrence and Leo Lyons as local products.
> Although Lyons technically hails from Kansas City, Kan. (and we do hold that against him), Missouri has its highest number of student-athletes from a two-hour radius since the 2005-06 season.
> In fact, Missouri's three Kansas City-area products are the most on the Mizzou roster since that historic 1993-94 season, when the Tigers went a perfect 14-0 in Big Eight Conference play ... Kansas City Tigers on that 1993-94 team were Jevon Crudup (Kansas City, Mo. - Raytown South), Chris Heller (Kansas City, Mo. - Rockhurst) and Jed Frost (Kansas City, Mo. - Park Hill).
> The Tigers recently added yet another KC-area connection for next year's team, as standout point guard Michael Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo.) signed a National Letter of Intent with Mizzou on Nov. 12.

Hot Start For Denmon
Marcus Denmon's Missouri career is off to a quick start as the Kansas City native is a combined 8-of-10 from the floor in preseason wins over Lincoln and Missouri Southern.
> The 6-foot-3 guard led all Missouri reserves with 11.0 points per game in the two victories, and hit 4-of-6 shots from three-point range.
> The former Hogan Prep standout opened his Mizzou Arena career in grand fashion, scoring a game high 36 points on 14-of-17 shooting from the floor in the annual Black & Gold intra-squad scrimmage on Oct. 29.

Immediate Impact
Mizzou got tremendous preseason production from its newcomers in wins over Lincoln University and Missouri Southern last week ... The Tigers' "Magnificent Seven" contributed 82 points, 29 rebounds, 11 assists, seven blocks and 17 steals in the two wins.
> Marcus Denmon led all newcomers with 11.0 points per game, while Zaire Taylor led the group with five assists and Laurence Bowers led with four blocks. > Overall the Mizzou newbies produced 44 percent of the scoring and 42.5 percent of the steals in their exhibition debuts.

Top Point Guard Dixon Says Yes To Mizzou
Head Coach Mike Anderson signed yet another local prep standout as Lee's Summit West High School point guard Mike Dixon has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Tigers in 2009-10.
> A 6-foot-1, 170-pound lead guard, Dixon becomes the third Kansas City area product to ink with Mizzou in the last two years and will join former AAU teammates (Kansas City Pump N Run) Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore in Black & Gold.
> Dixon is already the Lee's Summit West career assists leader and holds the school mark for single-season assists after dishing out 6.6 dimes per game as a junior in 2008. Also an outstanding scorer, Dixon dropped in a career high 20.1 points as a junior en route to First Team Class 5 All-State honors from the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association. That 20.1 ppg scoring norm is tops in school history and the 17.4 points he logged as a sophomore ranks No. 2.
> Dixon is one of the nation's top point guard prospects defensively and led LSWHS with 63 steals as a junior and had 125 total thefts the last two seasons combined. That defensive prowess also made him one of the nation's most coveted point guard recruits, as he selected Missouri over Arizona, California, Oklahoma and Purdue.



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