Missouri hosts Chattanooga on Monday night at Mizzou Arena.
Nov. 16, 2008
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09
University of Missouri Tigers (1-0) vs.
Chattanooga Mocs (0-1)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 2 - November 17, 2008 - Columbia, Mo.
Tip-off: 7:00 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: NR/NR, Chattanooga: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri leads 2-0; last 83-74 on Nov. 29, 1996 in San Juan P.R.
Tickets: Call 1-800-CAT-PAWS
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 124-69 overall (7th season); 35-28 at Mizzou (3rd)
Chattanooga: John Shulman (East Tennessee State `89); 37-32 overall (5th season)
> Missouri continues its 103rd season of basketball with a quick turnaround against the Chattanooga Mocs, the preseason favorite in the Southern Conference's North Division ... Former Tiger opponent Davidson is the favorite in the South Division of the league.
> Tonight's 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. on Tuesday for the tourney, which begins Nov. 20 ... Missouri faces No. 26 Xavier, while the Mocs battle Memphis.
> Missouri will look to continue its 28-game non-conference home court winning streak, which dates back to the 2005-06 campaign... That is the longest non-conference winning streak for Mizzou since it won 31 consecutive non-conference home games from 1979-83... 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 Anderson era... In running their record to 21-0 the Tigers are averaging a 21.3 ppg. margin of victory vs. non-conference foes at home, including quality wins over Arkansas, Davidson, Mississippi State and Purdue.
> Mizzou's interior duo of DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons paced the Tigers to their 86-65 victory over Prairie View A&M on Saturday, as the preseason All-Big 12 tandem combined for 40 points, 17 rebounds and three steals in the 21-point victory ... The pair went a combined 16-of-29 from the floor and were an outstanding 8-of-9 combined at the foul stripe.
> Lyons got his senior season off to a fast start as he poured in 21 points and eight rebounds in just 24 minutes of play ... The 20-point game was the seventh of his career and over his last five regular-season games (including the final four of 2007-08) the 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 21.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
> In addition to the strong play of Lyons and Carroll, freshmen Marcus Denmon and Miguel Paul played well off the bench, scoring 15 points and 11 points respectively in their collegiate debuts ... Those double-figure efforts made history for Mizzou ... It was the first time two freshmen scored double figures in their collegiate debut's in the same game at Missouri ... See Page 4 of the notes for more information.
> Mizzou returns to action on Nov. 20 against Xavier in San Juan, P.R. ... The Musketeers are 1-0 on the year, but have a home game Monday night against Toledo ... Missouri is 2-1 all-time vs. Xavier, with the last meeting being a 72-60 win in Indianapolis, Ind., at the John R. Wooden Tradition.
> Missouri Basketball is in the midst of a busy week of games, as the Tigers return to action after just one day's rest to face Chattanooga Monday night at Mizzou Arena ... MU will play five games in eight days, counting the season-opener and running through the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
> The Tigers and Mocs meet for just the third time in school history (Mizzou 2-0) and for the second time as part of a tournament affiliated with Puerto Rico ... The Tigers and Mocs met in the 1996 San Juan Shootout, with Mizzou winning 83-74 ... The teams also met in Atlanta, Ga., in 1980 in the Cotton States Classic (64-62 MU win).
> Missouri and Chattanooga will both depart for San Juan, P.R. early Tuesday morning for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, with the Tigers scheduled to leave Mizzou Arena before 5 a.m. for the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport ... Missouri then plays No. 26 Xavier in the opening round on Nov. 20.
> Monday's game might have some special meaning for a couple of Missouri's newest Tigers ... Both Keith Ramsey (Murfreesboro) and Laurence Bowers (Memphis) are Tennessee natives playing against one of their home-state schools ... The Tigers could also face Memphis on Sunday at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan.
> Mizzou has been outstanding at home in non-conference games during Head Coach Mike Anderson's tenure ... The Tigers have won 21 consecutive games vs. non-conference opposition at home under his watch and have won 28 consecutive games vs. non-league foes overall at Mizzou Arena dating back to 2005-06.
> In those 21 consecutive non-conference home wins for Anderson, the Tigers are averaging an impressive 21.3 ppg average margin of victory (80.4 to 59.1), 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 the opener against Prairie View, Missouri forced 25 turnovers and scored 25 of its 86 total points off opponent miscues.
> 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.
> Although the 2008-09 campaign is just getting started, 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.
> 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.
> In game one of the 2008-09 campaign, Missouri got 37 total points from its bench, with 31 of those tallies coming from freshmen.
> 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 916 career tallies at the Division I level, 480 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 713 career points and needs just 287 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 342 points as a senior to reach the mark.
> Lyons' 21-point night in the opener marked the seventh 20-point game of his career.
> Over his last five regular-season games Lyons is averaging 21.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
> Carroll narrowly missed his ninth career double-double (would have been his fifth as a Tiger) with 19 points and nine rebounds against Prairie View.
> 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.
> Taylor played his first Division I basketball game in 669 days on Nov. 15 ... The Delaware transfer sat out all of last season and last played at the D-I level on Jan. 6, 2007, at Hofstra.
> 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."
> Tiller is one of Mizzou's most well-rounded players and recorded a career high four steals in the opener against Prairie View A&M.
> 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 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 then officially opened his Missouri career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the Tiger win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15 ... That was the highest scoring effort by a Tiger freshman in a debut since Kelly Thames scored 19 against Central Missouri State on Nov. 27, 1993.
> 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.
> Fellow freshman Miguel Paul recorded a double-figure scoring effort in his first career game, logging 11 points in just 15 minutes vs. Prairie View.
> 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.
About The Chattanooga Mocs
Chattanooga comes into Monday's game 1-0 on the season after dropping a 114-75 contest at No. 14/13 Tennessee on Saturday night ... The Mocs turned it over 24 times against UT's pressure defense and the Volunteers hit an impressive 59 percent of their shots to get the win ... Chattanooga is an experienced club and started five seniors vs. the Vols ... The team is also picked to win the Southern Conference's North Division, while former Mizzou opponent Davidson, is slated to win the South Division ... Chattanooga is led by 5-foot-11 guard Stephen McDowell ... The Indianapolis, Ind., native dropped in 20 points vs. Tennessee thanks to 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range ... Power forward Nicchaeus Doaks added 16 points and narrowly missed a double-double with nine boards.
The Series With Chattanooga
Missouri and Chattanooga will meet on the hardwood for the third time in series history ... The Tigers are 2-0 vs. the Mocs and the last meeting came on Nov. 29, 1996, at the San Juan Shootout in San Juan, P.R. ... The Tigers won that contest 83-74 ... Missouri won the first meeting between the two clubs 64-62 on Dec. 12, 1980, in Atlanta, Ga.
Basketball Imitates Life For Tiller
It's a case of basketball imitating life and J.T. Tiller has carried his busy professional / student lifestyle onto the hardwood ... An outstanding student in International Business, Tiller spent his entire summer in Columbia, not only taking classes and working out, but also interning at AFLAC ... Tiller's play on the basketball court mimic's his busy lifestyle ... He's probably the Big 12's most unheralded defender and has proved to be unselfish with the basketball, as he recorded a well-rounded five points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in the opener against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15.
> The four steals were a career high for Tiller, who says he plans on making his post-collegiate fortunes overseas ... not playing basketball mind you, but using that International Business degree.
Missouri's Second Wave...
Head Coach Mike Anderson has consistently tried to build depth with his basketball teams and the 2008-09 Tigers may be his deepest club since arriving in Columbia two years ago.
> Missouri got an impressive 37 points, 20 rebounds and five assists from its reserves, including a combined 26 points from freshmen Marcus Denmon and Miguel Paul.
> Last season Missouri averaged 25.4 points per game from its bench after setting the school record in 2006-07 with 26.4 ppg from reserve performers.
Rare Freshmen Feat For Denmon, Paul
Freshmen Marcus Denmon (15 points) and Miguel Paul (11 points) each reached double figures in their first games as Tigers on Saturday vs. Prairie View A&M ... That feat was a first in school history for Missouri ... While the Tigers have had several freshmen top double figures in their opening game, never have two freshmen accomplished the feat at the same time.
Below is how some of Missouri's recent stars have fared on opening night:
Tiger Scoring Year
Steve Stipanovich 23 Points 1979-80
Jevon Crudup 22 Points 1990-91
Kelly Thames 19 Points 1993-94
Derrick Chievous 19 Points 1984-85
Arthur Johnson 13 Points 2000-01
Keyon Dooling 12 Points 1998-99
Linas Kleiza 10 Points 2003-04
Rickey Paulding 9 Points 2000-01
Kareem Rush 8 Points 1999-2000
Doug Smith 8 Points 1987-88
Melvin Booker 7 Points 1990-91
Jon Sundvold 6 Points 1979-80
Anthony Peeler 2 Points 1988-89
Clarence Gilbert 2 Points 1998-99
Thomas Gardner 1 Point 2003-04
Mizzou In-Season Tourney History
Missouri is 131-79 all-time during in-season tournaments .... The Tigers have won 29 in-season tournaments in school history, including seven Big Seven/Big Eight Holiday Tournament titles before the league moved to a postseason tournament format.
> Missouri's last in-season crown came in 2006 when the Tigers won the John Thompson Foundation Classic title in Head Coach Mike Anderson's first season.
> Missouri finished third in last season's College Basketball Experience Classic, defeating both Central Michigan and Fordham, before falling to Michigan State (86-83) in the semifinals and topping Maryland (84-70) in the third-place game.
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, making 81 triples as a sophomore and 72 more as a junior ... For his career the 6-foot-7 rifleman has 163 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 16 triples behind Thomas Gardner for seventh and just 20 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 Living Up To Preseason All-Big 12 Billing
Leo Lyons and DeMarre Carroll earned Preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the league coaches this preseason and the tandem isn't disappointing in 2008-09.
> 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 and logged 19 points and a nine rebounds against Prairie View A&M in the season-opener.
> Lyons finished the 2007-08 season as one of the Big 12's most dominating players and opened his senior campaign with his seventh career 20-point effort, hitting 8-of-15 shots en route to 21 points and eight boards vs. Prairie View.
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 played 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 dished three assists and recorded a steal in that opener, while logging a team high 27 minutes.
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 scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting vs. Prairie View A&M ... Denmon also went 3-of-6 from three-point range, while chipping in three rebounds and two assists in 19 minute.
> Denmon also starred in preseason action, where he hit a combined 8-of-10 from the floor in exhibition wins over Lincoln and Missouri Southern.
> Counting the opener and two preseason games, Denmon is a combined 13-of-18 (.722) from the floor and 7-of-12 (.583) from three-point range as a Tiger.
> While it was just an intra-squad scrimmage, 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 Game on Oct. 29.
Mizzou got tremendous production from its newcomers in the win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15, as the "Magnificent Seven" contributed 34 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and four steals in the 21-point win.
> Freshmen guards Marcus Denmon (15 points) and Miguel Paul (11 tallies) led the way, hitting a combined 6-of-12 three-point field goals.
> During one stretch in the first half Tiger freshmen scored 16 consecutive points, extending a 19-14 Tiger lead with 11:48 remaining to 35-23 at the 5:21 mark.
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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