It Gets Started Tuesday

MUTIGERS.COM Mike Anderson begins his fourth season in Columbia on Tuesday.
Mike Anderson begins his fourth season in Columbia on Tuesday.

Nov. 15, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10

University of Missouri Tigers 0-0) vs.

University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawks (0-1)

2009-10 Regular Season Game 1 - November 17, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 7 p.m. CST

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

TV: Mizzou Sports Network - (Dan McLaughlin play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Tennessee-Martin: N/A in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 4-0; last 86-63 win on Nov. 14, 2001 in Columbia


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

Tennessee-Martin: Jason James (Graceland, ‘00) First Season


For Openers

> Missouri opens its 104th season of basketball on Tuesday when it hosts Tennessee-Martin inside Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are a perfect 3-0 in home-openers under Head Coach Mike Anderson, 82-21 all-time in season openers and 87-15 in home-openers ... Mizzou is also 35-1 in their last 36 home-openers, including an 86-63 win over UT-Martin in the 2001-02 opener.

> Tennessee-Martin (22-10 in 2008-09) is the defending Ohio Valley Conference champion and ranked #13 nationally with 78.8 points per game last season, so Tuesday’s game could be an up-and-down affair considering Mizzou ranked #5 in scoring at 81.5 points a season ago.

> Tuesday’s game is the 101st for Head Coach Mike Anderson at Mizzou ... The fourth-year coach is 65-35 in his first three seasons, making him the winningest coach in MU history through 100 games.

> Look to the rafters before Tuesday’s game, as Mizzou will recognize NCAA and Big 12 Tournament Championship banners prior to tip-off ... The Tigers of course went 31-7, won the Big 12 Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season.

> Laurence Bowers has certainly continued his efficient play this season, as he led Mizzou with 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in 22.5 minutes a game during preseason play ... Bowers grabbed 11 offensive boards in the two exhibition games and narrowly missed back-to-back double doubles when he scored 13 points and grabbed nine boards in the win against Northwest Missouri State.

> Last season Bowers was actually Missouri’s most efficient rebounder and shot blocker per minute played and has 12 more rebounds and four more blocked shots than the next closest Tiger in exhibition action.

> 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.

> 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 opens regular-season action as it faces Tennessee-Martin at Mizzou Arena.

> Mizzou is a perfect 3-0 in openers under Mike Anderson and have averaged a 17.7 ppg margin of victory in those contests.

> Missouri is facing its first of four opponents from the State of Tennessee ... In addition to UT-Martin, the Tigers host Chattanooga on Nov. 24 and Austin Peay on Dec. 27 and travel to Vanderbilt on Dec. 2.

> Of course the Tigers have three Tennessee natives on their roster, Keith Ramsey (Murfreesboro), Laurence Bowers (Memphis) and Tyler Stone (Memphis).

> Tennessee-Martin point guard Reuben Clayton played high school ball at Memphis Central, the same school as Stone.

> Missouri closed out exhibition play with a perfect 2-0 mark for the fourth consecutive time under Mike Anderson ... The Tigers got solid bench production, with 44.5 ppg coming from the reserves, highlighted by Bowers, who led the team in both scoring (13.5) and rebounding (10.5).

> Kudos to the Tiger faithful, including a great student turnout during preseason action ... Last year Missouri averaged 4,100 fans during its preseason games against Lincoln and Missouri Southern, but attendance has nearly doubled this season to 7,980 fans.

> Turnovers were once again a big part of Mizzou’s offense this preseason, as the Tigers forced a combined 61 turnovers in two games and averaged 37.0 ppg off the miscues ... Believe it or not that pace is higher than last season in exhibition play when MU averaged 34.5 ppg.

> Turnovers have accounted for 41.3 percent of Mizzou’s points in the early going.

> 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.

> Tiller ranked second on the club in preseason action with 12.5 points per game and shot a team-leading 60 percent from the floor.

> 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 protecting the basketball thus far … Taylor has a pair of assists and has yet to commit a turnover in 45 total minutes of play and when you play as fast as the Tigers, that’s pretty impressive.

> 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 throughout his Missouri career.

> 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 has done an excellent job supplementing his offensive game at the free throw line this preseason … Safford is 8-of-10 at the charity stripe with four makes coming in each preseason game.

> In addition to his free throw shooting, 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 Missouri in scoring in both preseason games, logging 14 points and 12 rebounds vs. Truman State on Nov. 6, before adding 13 points and nine boards against Northwest Missouri State on Nov. 13.

> Bowers led Missouri in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots in the two early-season games.

> Bowers’ early success really doesn’t come as a surprise … The Memphis native has a knack for being around the basketball as he was the team’s most efficient rebounder and shot-blocker a year ago as a freshman in just 6.9 minutes a game.

> 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.

> Denmon scored a team-high tying 13 points vs. Northwest Missouri State on Nov. 13 … Denmon used 6-of-7 foul shooting to add to his scoring total, while ripping down five rebounds.

> 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, one of four Kansas City natives on this year’s squad, continued his strong play in exhibition action, averaging 8.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the floor in two games.


About Tennessee-Martin

Tennessee-Martin is 0-1 on the young season after suffering a 91-63 loss at Southern Illinois on Saturday ... The Salukis forced 23 Skyhawk turnovers and parlayed that defensive success into 36 points off turnovers in the 28-point win ... Ruben Clayton went 6-of-16 from the floor en route to scoring a team-high 16 points for UT-Martin, while Benzor Simmons chipped in 14 points and four rebounds in just 22 minutes ... Saturday’s contest was the head coaching debut for Jason James.


Series vs. Tennessee-Martin

Missouri owns a 4-0 series lead against Tennessee-Martin all-time with the most recent meeting coming Nov. 14, 2001, in the 2001-02 season-opener ... All-four meetings in the series have come in Columbia and each of Missouri’s four wins have come by double-figure scoring margins, including that 86-63 victory back in 2001.


Let’s Get The Show on the Road

Missouri is the final team in the Big 12 to play a regular-season game this season, however it won’t take long for the Tigers to get plenty of games under their belts ... After Tuesday’s opener, Missouri will play four games in a span of six days, starting with the Nov. 22 contest against Texas-Pan American ... The Tigers  then face Chattanooga on Nov. 24 and then head to South Padre, Texas, for two games on Nov. 27-28.

> The Nov. 17 season-opener is Missouri’s latest since the 2003-04 campaign when the season started on Nov. 29 at Oakland.


Welcome to the Family

Mizzou Basketball added three talented newcomers to its roster when Kadeem Green (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith), Rick Kreklow (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) and Phil Pressey (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal) inked to play for the Tigers beginning with the 2010-11 campaign.

> Green (6-9, 210 pounds) is an athletic forward that runs the floor extremely well ... He’s originally from Ontario, Canada, and is the owner of a 7-foot-1 wingspan.

> Kreklow (6-foot-5, 185 pounds) is the son of Mizzou Volleyball coaches Wayne and Susan Kreklow ... He is a tough, athletic guard who is known for his shooting and passing abilities ... His father was an All-American at Drake and played for the World Champion Boston Celtics.

> Pressey (5-foot-10, 160 pounds) is one of America’s top point guards and is ranked inside the Top 30 by numerous recruiting services, including Dime Magazine and ESPN ...  The athletic guard is one of the best floor generals in the country and will be a menace running the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball for years to come ... Pressey is the son of former NBA Great and New Orleans Hornets coach Paul Pressey.


Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home

Mike Anderson is a perfect 30-0 all-time in non-conference home games at Missouri ... Not only have the Tigers won 30 consecutive in non-league action, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 24.5 ppg margin of victory.

> The Tigers have played some impressive foes during Anderson’s run as well, and own quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Purdue, Murray State, Mississippi State, Oral Roberts and others during that 30-game stretch.


Year                 Record            Margin of Victory

2006-07           11-0                18.7 ppg

2007-08           9-0                  27.5 ppg

2008-09           10-0                29.5 ppg                

Total                30-0                24.5 ppg.


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 played improved defense in the second half of their two exhibition games, as the Tigers outscored both Truman State and Northwest Missouri State by a combined 84-to-36 in the final 20 minutes of play ... MU limited Truman State to just one second-half field goal and 5.9 percent shooting in its 96-33 victory and held Northwest Missouri to just 37 percent shooting in the 83-60 win.

> Missouri has typically been a strong second-half club under the watch of Mike Anderson ... In 2008-09 MU outscored its opposition 44.4-to-35.8 in the final period 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

exhibition play, the Tiger reserves stood tall, averaging 44.5 points in victories against Truman State and Northwest Missouri State ... The bench poured in 47 points in the exhibition-opener against Truman, before tallied 42 points against the Bearcats ... Laurence Bowers reached double figures in both games, while fellow sophomore Marcus Denmon added 13 last Friday.

> 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.


Game #101 for Anderson

It’s hard to believe, but Mizzou’s Mike Anderson will coach his 101st game on the Tiger sideline on Tuesday 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 42 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.



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