10/10 University of Missouri Tigers (7-0) vs.
Villanova University Wildcats (5-2)
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden (19,763)
TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman - Play by Play / Jay Bilas - Analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play / Gary Link - Analyst)
Rankings: MU: #10/10; (AP / ESPN/USA Today Coaches)
Series: Missouri leads 1-0 (Last meeting: MU 72, VU 53 (Dec. 28, 1985)
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 136-101 overall (8th); 7-0 at Mizzou (1st season)
Villanova: Jay Wright (Bucknell `83); 351-198 at Villanova (11th season)
The Tigers face the Villanova Wildcats Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden ... The contest is the second-ever matchup between the two schools, as Mizzou won the other matchup 72-53 on Dec. 28, 1985 ... The game marks Mizzou's first appearance in the Jimmy V Classic.
Mizzou looks to improve to 8-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season and the 15th time overall.
The Tigers are the Big 12's best shooting team, as the squad leads the league in field goal percentage (.525), 3-point percentage (.430) and free throw percentage (.753) ... The Tigers also have the league's top overall shooter (Ricardo Ratliffe - 74.1 percent), the top two free throw shooters (Michael Dixon - 96.8 percent and Marcus Denmon - 88.9 percent) and the second best 3-point shooter (Kim English - 56.8 percent).
Senior Marcus Demon poured in a career high 31 points against Northwestern State on Dec. 2 ... The guard hit 11-of-18 shots from the field and 7-of-10 from behind the arc ... The seven treys were a career high for him ... The 31 points were the most for a Tiger since DeMarre Carroll had 31 against Iowa State on Feb. 7, 2009.
Senior Ricardo Ratliffe is shooting an incredible 91.7 (22-of-24) percent in his last three games ... He was 5-of-6 against California, a perfect 7-of-7 against Binghamton and 10-of-11 against Northwestern State.
Missouri has shot over 50 percent from the field in its last four games, with its lowest percentage during that stretch at 54.8 percent and highest at 58.8 percent ... In the last four games, the team has shot 56.7 (132-233) from the field.
Junior Michael Dixon now ranks first all-time at Missouri in free throw percentage at 85.6 percent ... The junior entered the season ranked fourth all-time at MU but has made 30-of-31 this season.
Missouri's 39-point win over No. 20/18 California is believed to be the Tigers' largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in program history ... The previous biggest win over a ranked foe was a 119-93 win over #10 Iowa State on Jan. 23, 1988.
Missouri moved up to #10 in the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll on Monday.
Mizzou Quick Hitters
The Tigers next hit the court on Saturday, Dec. 10 when the team hosts the Navy Midshipmen at 4 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
On a national level, the Tigers are ranked fourth in field goal percentage and sixth in both scoring average and steals.
Individually, Michael Dixon ranks second nationally in free throw percentage and Ricardo Ratliffe ranks third in field goal percentage.
The Dec. 2 game against Northwestern State marked the first time since 2003 that two Tigers made at least 10 field goals in a game ... Denmon made 11 and Ratliffe had 10 ... The last time it happened was March 22, 2003 against Marquette when Rickey Paulding had 11 and Arthur Johnson had 10.
Missouri has three of the Big 12's top five shooters on its roster ... Senior Ricardo Ratliffe leads the league at 74.1 percent, senior Kim English is third at 59.4 percent and senior Marcus Denmon ranks fifth at 53.3 percent.
Denmon's 31 points against Northwestern State were the most by a Tiger this season ... He has scored at least 20 points in four games this season and 20 in his career.
Denmon's total came just one game after Kim English erupted for a career high 29 points against Binghamton ... The guard shot 11-of-15 from the field and 7-of-10 from behind the arc.
Sophomore Phil Pressey hasn't scored in the last two games but he's played almost flawless basketball ... The point guard has dished out 17 assists in the last two games against just two turnovers for an assist/turnover ratio of 8.5 ... He now ranks fourth in the Big 12 in both assists and assist/turnover margin.
English is shooting an incredible 56.8 percent from behind the arc so far this year ... The number ranks second in the Big 12 ... He also leads the conference with 25 3-point field goals made.
Six different Tigers scored in double figures against Cal on Nov. 22, the first time that happened since a seven Tigers did it in a 116-63 win over Central Arkansas on Dec. 18, 2010.
Mizzou has made at least 10 3-pointers in four of its seven games so far this season ... The Tigers made 12 against Niagara, 11 against Mercer, 10 against Cal and 11 against Binghamton ... All of last season Missouri had 10 or more treys in a game just seven times in 34 games.
The Tigers lead the Big 12 with 10.57 steals per contest ... This continues a recent trend as over the past three seasons, Missouri has either led the nation or finished second in steals per game ... The team led the nation in 2009-10 with 10.94 and finished second in 2008-09 (10.56) and 2010-11 (10.94).
Sophomore Phil Pressey is doing most of the damage in the steals department with 18 on the year ... He leads the Big 12 with 2.6 per game.
Senior Steve Moore was a major factor in Mizzou's strong start over Cal on Nov. 22 ... The center scored a career high 10 points, all in the first half, on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor and 3-of-3 shooting from the charity stripe ... He also had three blocks, three steals and 2 assists.
With three blocks against Cal, Steve Moore entered Missouri's career top-10 blocks list with 73 in his three-plus years ... He has 10 on the season to rank eighth in the Big 12 at 1.8 per game ... He needs three more to tie Leo Lyons for ninth on the all-time list with 77.
Seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English continue to move up Missouri's all-time scoring list ... Denmon now has 1,298 in his career, which puts him 21st all-time at Mizzou ... Denmon needs 10 more points to tie Nathan Buntin for 20th ... English stands at 1,180 points, good for 29th place ... He needs eight more points to tie Bob Reiter for 28th ... The two surpassed the 1,000 point mark in 2010-11.
Missouri has typically played some tough schedules over the years and that trend continues 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.
Senior Laurence Bowers will be forced to redshirt the 2011-12 season after suffering a season-ending knee injury (ACL) in October ... Bowers averaged 11.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a year ago.
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 ... The class now has a record of 84-29.
The Tigers recorded 23+ wins in each of the last 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.