Dec. 25, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
No. 7 Missouri Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins
Tip-Off: 9 p.m. CT
Arena: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Flemming - Play by Play / Bill Walton - Analyst) Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Missouri - No. 7/No. 9 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll
UCLA - NR/NR
Series: 6th meeting overall, UCLA leads 5-1 all-time; Last 82-73 Missouri win on March 21, 2002
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 169-107 overall (9th); 40-6 at Mizzou (2nd season)
UCLA: Ben Howland (Weber State `79) 217-100 at UCLA (10th season); 385-199 overall (19th)
> Missouri Basketball makes its first official road trip of the 2012-13 season as it faces UCLA in historic Pauley Pavilion on Friday night on ESPN2 ... Missouri is playing at Pauley Pavilion for the third time ... The Tigers dropped games at the facility in 1970 and 1975 ... UCLA will make its first trip to Columbia next season.
> Missouri has played four games away from home this season (all neutral) and is 3-1 in those contests, including a win over Pac-12 member Stanford ... Missouri is coming off an 82-73 neutral-site win over then-No. 10 Illinois ... Laurence Bowers led the Tigers with 23 points and 10 rebounds and was one of three Tigers with double-doubles ... Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and 14 rebounds and Phil Pressey scored 12 points and dished 11 assists.
> Speaking of Bowers, the senior continues to have an all-SEC type senior season and topped the 1,000-point mark in last week's win over South Carolina State ... Bowers was 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 five games, averaging 20.2 points on 59 percent shooting from the floor (41-of-70) and 67 percent shooting from three-point range (8-of-12) ... He has also averaged 7.2 rebounds in 27.6 minutes a contest.
> Missouri has a pair of California natives making the return home ... Senior guard Keion Bell is a Los Angeles native and played against UCLA during the 2010-11 season and scored 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting ... He also scored 22 points at Pauley as a sophomore in 2009-10 ... Jabari Brown is playing his third game as a Tiger and is a native of Oakland ... He is coming off a career high 18 points in the win over Illinois.
> Missouri is entering the second leg of a difficult stretch of games to close out the non-conference season ... The Tigers recently handed Illinois its lone loss of the year and now plays a talented UCLA squad that has won four consecutive games including a win against an improving Texas squad in Houston ... That stretch concludes on Jan. 5 vs. Bucknell (11-2).
> Missouri continues to dominate on the glass and out-rebounded Illinois by 23 (58-35) during its most recent win ... The Tigers are No. 1 nationally in rebounding at 47.2 caroms a game and are No. 2 with a +14.2 rebounding margin ... The Tigers already have 11 point-rebound double-doubles this season, bettering the team total (nine) for the entire 2011-12 season.
> The Tigers also average 16.5 offensive rebounds per game (No. 5 nationally) and turn that into 16.4 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 47.2 rebounds per game would be the most since the 1963-64 season.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Missouri returns to action with another difficult test away from home as the Tigers travel to UCLA for its final game of 2012.
> Missouri is playing its first true road game of the year on Friday ... The Tigers were very good under Frank Haith on the road last season, going 7-3, including a road win at then-No. 3 Baylor.
> Missouri has been great in December overall winning 25 consecutive games in the month dating back to Dec. 12, 2009.
> The Tigers will play their second game of the year vs. a Pac-12 Conference member ... The Tigers knocked off Stanford, 78-70, in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thanksgiving Day.
> Overall Missouri has won six consecutive games against the Pac-12 dating back to the 2008-09 season and four of those six wins have been away from Mizzou Arena (three neutral, one road).
> Missouri continues to be very good in non-conference games vs. "Big Six" opposition ... Since the 2009-10 season Missouri is 12-3 in those games overall ... Add wins over VCU and at Old Dominion last season and that number improves to 14-3.
> Mizzou is on a season-long six-game winning streak and while this is the club's first road game of the year, the Tigers are 3-1 in neutral-site games with wins over No. 10 Illinois, Stanford and VCU.
> Frank Haith is 8-2 in neutral site games as head coach of the Tigers.
> Haith is also a very good 7-3 vs. Top 25 opponents as the head coach of Mizzou and is 4-2 vs. the Top 10.
> The Tigers will look to continue their impressive defensive trend ... Only two teams have scored more than 70 points on Missouri this year and over the last three games opponents are shooting just 29.1 percent from the floor.
> Missouri is currently ranked No. 14 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.356).
> Defensively, Missouri has held 10 of 11 opponents (Louisville) below 42 percent shooting.
> Over the last five games opponents are shooting just 32 percent from the floor and averaging just 56.6 points per game ... Mizzou's rebounding margin is 19.2 during that stretch as well.
> Missouri has been one of the country's top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded all-11 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 eight of 11 games (five consecutive).
> The Tigers most recently out-rebounded No. 10 Illinois 58-35, including 22 offensive rebounds.
> The Tigers are currently rebounding 48 percent of their missed shot attempts this year.
> 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 11 point-rebound double-doubles between four different players (Bowers, Oriakhi, Ross and Bell), bettering the nine team double-doubles Mizzou in 2011-12.
> 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 84.3 percent of its scoring and 92.1 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 21.3 points per game from its bench on the year, including 28.6 points over the last five 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 five-game run off the pine averaging 8.0 points on 61 percent shooting (19-of-31) in 19.2 minutes a game.
> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 11 games with eight players averaging at least 17.8 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.
> 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 23-1 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 1.152 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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