Nov. 15, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Game Notes
> Missouri completes its quick homestand on Friday night as the Tigers take on Nicholls State at Mizzou Arena at 7 p.m. ... For Mizzou, it will be looking to improve to 3-0 for the fourth consecutive year, while Nicholls State is facing its second SEC foe of the regular season after falling to Vanderbilt (80-65) on Nov. 10 in Nashville.
> Congratulations to legendary Mizzou Head Coach Norm Stewart on having his statue announced on Thursday morning ... The statue will go outside the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame next year ... In addition to a former players reunion for Stewart, Mizzou greats Derrick Chievous and Willie Smith were inducted into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mo., as well.
> The Tigers have won both games comfortably this year, but are looking for a quicker start on Friday ... It’s been a tale of two halves in the early season, with Mizzou averaging 35.0 points on 31 percent shooting in the first half, compared to 52 points on 59 percent shooting in the second half.
> Few players have a more interesting statistical spread in the two halves than Laurence Bowers ... Bowers is second on the club in scoring (17.0), but is averaging 16.0 points per game in the final 20 minutes ... He is also shooting an impressive 77 percent from the floor (13-of-17) in the second period.
> Missouri is coming off a 91-54 win over Alcorn State and the Tigers used 61 second-half points to blast the Braves ... Missouri got 21 points from Phil Pressey and 17 from Earnest Ross to cruise to the easy win ... The Tigers also did an excellent job defensively holding Alcorn to just 30 percent shooting from the floor ... The Tigers dominated the paint blocking a season high 10 shots and grabbing 56 rebounds.
> Mizzou will look to continue its homecourt domination vs. non-league foes ... Overall Missouri has won 67 consecutive games vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign and Head Coach Frank Haith has yet to lose a non-league game in regular season action while at Mizzou ... In fact Mizzou’s run of regular season non-conference wins stands at 24 dating back to 2010-11.
> Missouri’s last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT ... Sam Houston State and Nicholls State are both members of the Southland Conference.
> Overall at Mizzou Arena the Tigers are 69-4 at home since 2008-09, an incredible .944 winning percentage.
> 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.
> That limited experience hasn’t hurt the Tigers thus far, however, and Missouri is getting 50.0 points, 44.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists from first year players, including a team-leading 12.5 rebounds from senior newcomer Alex Oriakhi ... Oriakhi is looking to become the first Tiger with three consecutive 10-rebound games to open a season since Malcolm Thomas is 1983-84.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Missouri returns to action on Friday evening against Nicholls State and will play its third game in six days after opening the season last Saturday (Nov. 10) against SIUE.
> Missouri will not play again at Mizzou Arena in November following Friday’s contest ... The next home game will be against Appalachian State on Dec. 1.
> The Tigers will of course play three games in Nassau, Bahamas, in the Battle 4 Atlantis next week, including a Thanksgiving Day showdown with 2012 NIT Champion Stanford at Noon CT ... That game will be televised live on AXS (formerly HDNet).
> Mizzou has never met Stanford on the hardwood.
> The Tigers do have familiarity with the Pac-12 Conference over the last few seasons ... Missouri has faced California three times since 2007-08 (2-1) an swept Oregon (2-0) as part of the former Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series ... MU will also open a home-and-home series with No. 13 UCLA on Dec. 28.
> Missouri broke its Mizzou Arena record for free throw attempts on Tuesday night with 44 ... The Tigers also broke their facility mark for blocked shots (10).
> So far this season Missouri is averaging 6.5 blocks per game, which would shatter the school record.
> The team is also averaging 31.5 free throw attempts per game and had made 43 free throws, while its opposition has attempted just 38.
> Missouri has won 67 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (60-0) the club’s margin of victory has been 26.6 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri is 10-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and each of those nine wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 15-0 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 13 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.
> The month of November has been outstanding for the Tigers ... Missouri is 35-5 (.875) in November dating back to the 2006-07 season and is 27-0 at home during that stretch.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last four seasons and continues its search for its record-setting fifth consecutive 20-win campaign ... 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.
> While the Tigers have struggled to shoot the ball at times the club continues to do the little things that win ball games ... In its season-opening win vs. SIUE the team dished 20 assists, marking the ninth time the Tigers have dished 20+ dimes under Head Coach Frank Haith’s watch.
> In the win over Alcorn State Missouri blocked 10 shots and ripped away 11 steals ... The 10 blocked shots were the most under Haith.
> It’s hard not to be optimistic about the freshman class and the trio of Negus Webster-Chan, Stefan Jankovic and Ryan Rosburg contributed a combined 14 points, 23 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and five steals in the win against Alcorn State ... That was following a combined 18 points from NWC and Jankovic in the season opener.
> Mizzou rebounded from a slow start and shot 59 percent from the floor in the second half to lead by as many as 22 midway through the second period.
> Mizzou enjoyed a +10.0 rebounding margin, with Alex Oriakhi grabbing 15 rebounds and Tony Criswell corralling 10 ... The 15 boards were the most by a Tiger in an opener since Kareem Rush grabbed 15 vs. Savannah State in 2000.
> Haith’s 2011-12 offense was known for its efficiency and the early returns are good this season as well ... Missouri is averaging 1.22 points per possession this year, despite shooting just 31 percent from the floor in the first half.
> A big reason for that scoring efficiency is low turnover numbers ... Missouri is averaging just 10.5 miscues a game.
> 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. 14) and the USA Today Coaches’ polls (No. 14) ... 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.
> Speaking of Dixon and Pressey, the duo has dished 580 assists in three 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.
> Named to the Naismith National Player of the Year Watch List by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
> 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 147 more assists and 57 more 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.
> Leads the club in scoring (20.0) and assists (5.5) through two games and is shooting a solid 48 percent from the floor.
> Logged his fourth career 20-point game vs. Alcorn State with 21 points and three steals.
> Dished nine assists and scored 19 points, narrowly missing a double-double in the season opener vs. SIUE.
> Has topped double figures in scoring in five consecutive games dating back to last season and is averaging 19.6 points during that stretch ... He has also hit 14-of-25 treys (.560).
> Has 14 career games with 8+ dimes.
#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.
> 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.
> Made a great debut for Missouri vs. SIUE, grabbing 10 rebounds in just 18 minutes ... Also took two charges and scored three points.
> Is second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per game and is averaging 4.0 offensive rebounds per night.
> The 10 rebounds tied a career high ... He also grabbed 10 boards while a redshirt freshman at UAB vs. Houston on Feb. 26, 2011.
#5 Keion Bell, 6-4, 200 Pounds
> Named one of college basketball’s Top Four Impact Transfers by ESPN The Magazine.
> Has scored 1,380 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.
> Was a key practice player for Missouri during its 30-5 season, sitting out due to NCAA transfer guidelines.
> Scored eight points, dished four assists and had a steal in 27 minutes vs. SIUE in his Mizzou opener
#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.
> Played 34 minutes in his debut vs. SIUE and scored 11 points, dished four assists and ripped away three steals.
> Excellent defender that could see extended time at the 2-guard position because of his high basketball IQ and ability to defend.
> Made his first career shot, a three-pointer in the corner, and finished the first half 3-of-4 from three-point range vs. SIUE.
> Led the Tigers with 11 rebounds in the win over Alcorn State and was the first Tiger since Keyon Dooling in 1998-99 to begin his career with 3+ thefts in consecutive games.
> Is also tied for the team lead with four three-point makes.
#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.
> Averaging 16.0 points per game in the second half this season, including 18 second-half tallies vs. SIUE and 14 vs. Alcorn State.
> Returned to the court with his fifth career 20-point game, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven boards on 7-of-12 shooting in the season opener vs. SIUE.
> That performance came in his 100th career game as a Tiger.
> Has topped 20 points five times in his career, three coming as a junior in 2010-11 and once as a sophomore, scoring a career high 23 vs. Georgia.
> Needs just 128 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 (126), needing 23 more to move to No. 2 all-time.
#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.
> Recorded his seventh career double-double (first at Mizzou) in the win over Alcorn State with 17 points and 10 rebounds ... Hit 7-of-8 shots and dished three assists in 28 minutes.
#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.
> Stuffed the stat sheet in the win over Alcorn State ... Registered eight points, five boards, four assists, three blocks and two steals in just 22 minutes.
> Played nine minutes and hit a pair of three-pointers in his debut vs. SIUE ... Finished with seven points and was fouled on his first career three-pointer and finished with a four-point play.
> 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 191 more 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.
> Won the 2011 National Championship with Connecticut, the same night Frank Haith was hired to coach at Mizzou.
> Opened his Mizzou tenure with back-to-back 10+ rebound games with 15 against SIUE and 10 vs. Alcorn State.
> Recorded his 14th career double-double vs. Alcorn State with those 10 boards and 12 points thanks to a career high 10-of-13 shooting from the foul line.
#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.
> Grabbed seven rebounds and hit a free throw in the win over Alcorn State ... Grabbed six offensive rebounds, tops on the club in the win.
> Celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday.