Laurence Bowers returns for his final Braggin' Rights appearance on Saturday.
Dec. 20, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
No. 12 Missouri Tigers vs. No. 10 Illinois Fighting Illini
Tip-Off: 5 p.m. CT
Arena: Scottrade Center (22,153) TV: ESPN2 (Dave Flemming - Play by Play / Jimmy Dykes - Analyst) Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst) Rankings: Missouri - No. 12/No. 12 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll Illinois - No. 10/No. 10 Series: 43rd meeting overall, 32nd In Bud Light Braggin' Rights History; Illinois leads 27-15 all-time Coaches: Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 168-107 overall (9th); 39-6 at Mizzou (2nd season) Illinois: John Groce (Taylor `94) 97-56 overall (5th season overall); 1st season at Illinois, 12-0
> For the third consecutive season Missouri (No. 12) and Illinois (No. 10) enter the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game nationally ranked as the Tigers will look to spoil the Fighting Illini's unblemished 12-0 start in the 32nd annual meeting in St. Louis on Saturday.
> Representatives of Missouri, Illinois, Scottrade Center and Bud Light announced an extension of the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Series through 2017 on Oct. 18, 2012.
> Over the last three seasons these clubs have entered this game with impressive records ... The two clubs are a combined 21-1 this season and over the last three years the clubs have been a combined 63-5 (.926) entering the contest ... Last season both clubs were a combined 22-1 before Missouri's 78-74 victory.
> This game is of course now Missouri's longest active regular-season rivalry ... Despite being in separate conferences this game has been played in the regular season each year since 1983 and has been called the country's top annual non-conference rivalry.
> Missouri is looking for its fourth consecutive win in the series ... The Tigers last won four straight over Illinois from 1991-94 and over the last 21 seasons (starting with that 1991 season) Illinois owns an 11-10 series advantage.
> Only Laurence Bowers and Phil Pressey have played in this game for Missouri, but oddly neither have played in this game together ... Bowers has played in this game three times (missing last season) and Pressey made his first appearance in the game last season, scoring 18 points and dishing five assists ... Pressey missed the game as a freshman due to injury ... Bowers' top game was as a junior when he scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 75-64 Tiger win.
> Speaking of Bowers, the senior continues to have an all-SEC type senior season and topped the 1,000-point mark in Monday's win over South Carolina State ... Bowers is the 44th player in school history to reach 1,000 points and is the third player in that great 2008-09 freshman class to top the plateau, joining former teammates Marcus Denmon (1,775 points) and Kim English (1,570 points).
> Bowers has been nothing short of awesome over his last four games, averaging 19.5 points on 62 percent shooting from the floor (31-of-50) and 78 percent shooting from three-point range (7-of-9) ... He has also averaged 6.5 rebounds in 27.0 minutes a contest.
> Missouri is coming off its top offensive night of the season on Monday when the club scored 102 points and shot 57 percent from the floor ... The Tigers had a season high five players in double figures, including a season-best 53 points from its bench.
> Missouri continues to dominate on the glass and out-rebounded South Carolina State by 14 (48-34) during its most recent win ... The Tigers are No. 1 nationally in rebounding at 46.1 caroms a game and are No. 4 with a +13.3 rebounding margin ... The Tigers already have nine double-doubles this season, equaling the team total for the entire 2011-12 season.
> The Tigers also average 16.1 offensive rebounds per game (No. 7 nationally) and turn that into 16.7 second-chance points per contest.
> It's of course still very early in the 2012-13 season and the meat of the schedule is ahead of the team, but those 46.1 rebounds per game would be the most since the 1975-76 season.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Mizzou Basketball continues its pre-holiday tradition by facing Illinois in the 32nd annual Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game against Illinois at the Scottrade Center on Saturday.
> Head Coach Frank Haith won his first Braggin' Rights contest last season and was the fourth Tiger coach to notch a win in this great rivalry all-time.
> Missouri has won three consecutive meetings in the series, including a thrilling 78-74 win last year.
> The Tigers have been great in December overall winning 24 consecutive game in the month dating back to Dec. 12, 2009.
> Mizzou has won six consecutive neutral-site games in the state of Missouri ... The Tigers defeated Notre Dame, California, Oklahoma State, Texas and Baylor in Kansas City last year and also topped Illinois in St. Louis.
> Mizzou is on a season-long five-game winning streak and is 2-1 in neutral-site games with wins over Stanford and VCU.
> Frank Haith is 7-2 in neutral site games as head coach of the Tigers.
> Haith is also a very good 6-3 vs. Top 25 opponents as the head coach of Mizzou and is 3-2 vs. the Top 10.
> The Tigers will look to continue their impressive defensive trend ... Only one team has scored more than 70 points on Missouri this year and the club has limited its last two opponents, Tennessee State and South Carolina State, to an average of 44.5 points per game on 26.5 percent shooting.
> Missouri is currently ranked No. 14 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.358).
> Defensively, Missouri has held nine of 10 opponents (Louisville) below 42 percent shooting.
> Over the last four games opponents are shooting just 32 percent from the floor and averaging just 52.5 points per game ... Mizzou's rebounding margin is 18.2 during that stretch as well.
> Missouri has been one of the country's top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded all-10 foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri enjoyed its largest rebounding margin of the year on Dec. 8 (+25) and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantage in seven of 10 games (four consecutive).
> Missouri has had six different players record double-figures in rebounds in a game this season, which is the most since six Tigers accomplished the feat during the 1995-96 campaign ... The school record for the number of players recording at least 10 rebounds in one game is seven, set during the 1959-60 season.
> In addition, Missouri already has a total of nine double-doubles between four different players (Bowers, Oriakhi, Ross and Bell), equaling the nine double-doubles recorded a season ago by Ricardo Ratliffe (8) and Marcus Denmon (1).
> Although the Tigers have a number of familiar faces due to transfer years with the program, just one player, Phil Pressey, has played for Head Coach Frank Haith ... Missouri is getting 84.2 percent of its scoring and 92.6 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action at Mizzou a season ago.
> Missouri has started to build its bench over the last two weeks thanks to the play of Keion Bell, Tony Criswell, Earnest Ross and the addition of Jabari Brown ... Missouri is averaging 21.9 points per game from its bench on the year, including 32.0 points over the last four games.
> On the season Missouri has nine double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Bell - 3, Criswell - 2, Ross, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
> Criswell is on an impressive four-game run off the pine averaging 8.3 points on 60 percent shooting (16-of-26) in 18.5 minutes a game.
> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 10 games with eight players averaging at least 17.4 minutes a contest ... Nine different Tigers have also reached double figures in scoring in a game this season and seven different Tigers have recorded at least 7+ boards in a game.
> One of those players, Jabari Brown, is coming off his first game as a Tiger when he scored 12 points vs. South Carolina State on Dec. 17.
> Missouri has won 72 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (65-0) the club's average margin of victory has been 26.9 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri is 15-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and each of those 15 wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 22-1 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 18 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons and continues its search for a 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.
> Haith's 2011-12 offense was known for its efficiency and the early returns are good this season as well ... Missouri is averaging 1.16 points per possession this year after averaging 1.187 a year ago.
> 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, playing five games in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... However none of Missouri's current players saw 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.
> 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.
> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards.
> 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.
> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country's No. 5 most-important player.
> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.
> 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.
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