No. 25 Mizzou Hosts SIU-Edwardsville

MUTIGERS.COM Mizzou Basketball returns to action on Saturday.
Mizzou Basketball returns to action on Saturday.

Dec. 26, 2008

Columbia, Mo. -

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No. 25 University of Missouri Tigers (9-2) vs.
SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (2-10)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 12 - December 27, 2008 - Columbia, Mo.

Tip-off: 3 p.m. CST
Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)
TV: MSN (Chris Gervino play-by-play; Jon Sundvold analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: 25/RV, SIU-E: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: First Meeting
Tickets: Call 1-800-CAT-PAWS
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 131-71 overall (7th season); 43-30 at Mizzou (3rd)
SIU-Edwardsville: Lennox Forrester (Evansville ’92); 19-21 (2nd season)

For Openers
> No. 25 Missouri will look to rebound after the holiday break as it faces Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are coming off a 75-59 loss to Illinois, but return to the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena for a quick stretch of two games in four days.
> Missouri has already equaled its best start under Head Coach Mike Anderson (9-2) ... The Tigers were an identical 9-2 in 2006-07, but had only played two games away from Mizzou Arena that season ... This year’s club is 2-2 away from home, winning two of three games in San Juan, P.R., including a win over then-No. 19 USC and has a much-improved strength of schedule.
> Missouri will look to keep its 34-game non-conference home court winning streak intact, which dates back to the 2005-06 campaign ... That 34-game run is a school record, topping the 29 consecutive non-conference home wins from 1979-83 ... That streak ended with an overtime loss to Marquette ... 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 Mike Anderson era... In running their record to 27-0, the Tigers are averaging a 23.6 ppg. margin of victory vs. non-conference foes at home, including quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Mississippi State, Murray State, Oral Roberts and Purdue.
> Missouri is in the national rankings for the first time since the 2003-04 season and will look to regain that standing with a strong finish to non-conference play ... Missouri has four non-league games remaining, three of which are at home before opening Big 12 play on Jan. 10 at Nebraska.
> The Tigers rank among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories heading into Saturday’s game ... Mizzou is No. 10 nationally in scoring at 83.8 ppg, No. 5 in assists per game at 19.5, No. 4 in steals per game at 11.1 and No. 3 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.6 ... Missouri’s 18.5 ppg scoring margin ranks 10th ... Missouri and North Carolina are the only teams in America to rank in the Top 10 in all five of those categories.
> Senior forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons give Missouri a formidable post tandem, as they combine to average 33.2 points and 13.6 rebounds each night ... What gets lost with Carroll and Lyons however, is that they also combine for 4.2 assists and 3.4 steals, making them one of the more complete duos in America.

Mizzou Quick-Hitters
> Missouri will look to work its way back into the win column on Saturday as the Tigers host SIU-Edwardsville in Missouri’s eighth home affair of the season.
> The Tigers have been downright overpowering at home this season and have outscored their seven home opponents 88.9-to-62.6 (26.3 ppg).
> As you would expect with that large scoring margin, Missouri is holding its opponents to just 37 percent shooting from the floor and 28 percent shooting from three-point range at home this season.
> A major reason for those large scoring totals is because Missouri has taken 103 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 90 more FG’s.
> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau seven times in 10 games this season and is 7-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 31 times in the Mike Anderson era (73 games) ... To put that scoring in perspective, the Tigers topped 80 points just 22 times (in total 124 games) the four seasons before Anderson’s arrival.
> Missouri is searching for its 35th consecutive home win over a non-conference foe tonight, which would extend its current school record run ... Missouri won 29 consecutive non-conference home games from 1979-83 ... That run began with a win over Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and ended on Jan. 23, 1983, with an overtime loss to Marquette.
> One thing Tiger fans are enjoying this season is points off turnovers ... Missouri averaged 20.3 points per game off turnovers last season and forced one turnover every four possessions ... So far this season Missouri is forcing 19.6 turnovers per game and is averaging 24.5 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an incredible 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (24.5-of-83.8).
> Because of Missouri’s limited 12.1 turnovers a game, its opposition is scoring just 14.2 points a night off turnovers.
> It’s only December, but ESPN Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has Missouri “in” the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed ... Lunardi has the Tigers facing No. 9-seeded Kentucky in Dayton, Ohio.
> 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.
> Through 11 games this season Missouri is averaging 30.5 points from its reserves, including a season high 50 points vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 45 vs. Stetson and 43 vs. California.
> In fact, Missouri’s bench outscored Stetson’s entire team 45-44 last Saturday.
> The catalyst for Missouri’s improved scoring punch off the bench is its five player freshman class ... So far this season that group is averaging 22.5 points off the pine.

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 and Carroll are ranked among the nation’s Top 15 power forwards by in their current position rankings ... Lyons checks in at No. 12, while Carroll is right behind at No. 13.
> Carroll, Lyons and Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin are the only players in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and in the Top 15 in steals.
> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,059 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 876 career points and needs just 124 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 246 more tallies as a senior to reach the mark.
> Over his last 14 regular-season games Lyons has six 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 13-of-14 contests.
> The Kansas City, Kan., native enjoyed a season high 26 points and eight rebounds in the win over Oral Roberts and then led all Tigers with 22 points vs. Illinois.
> With his 16.7 ppg. scoring average, Lyons ranks No. 8 in the Big 12, just ahead of teammate DeMarre Carroll, who is sixth at 16.5 ppg.
> Carroll has reached double figures in 10 of 11 games this season and the tandem of Carroll and Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 10 times this year.
> The Birmingham, Ala., native led Missouri to a 2-1 mark in Puerto Rico and was named to the All-Tournament Team following his career high 29-point, 11-rebound effort against No. 19 USC.
> Carroll has topped the 20-point plateau twice this season and ranks No. 9 in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.5 points per game.
> Carroll has done outstanding work in the second half and is averaging 10.0 ppg in the second half alone.
> The Junk Yard Dog also ranks second on the team with 20 steals and ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (9th), steals (7th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (9th).
> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in four of his last six outings.
> The St. Louis native needs just nine more treys to move into fourth place on Missouri’s career three-point list.
> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has nine assists and just two turnovers on the season.
> Zaire Taylor was named the nation’s Preseason No. 2 impact transfer in all of college basketball by ... DeMarre Carroll was the preseason No. 1 on that same 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 in the season-opener ... The Delaware transfer sat out all of last season and last played at the D-I level on Jan. 6, 2007, at Hofstra.
> So far this season the Staten Island, N.Y., native has a team-leading 34 assists and just 12 turnovers ... His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio leads the Big 12 and ranks No. 17 nationally.
> Taylor has tied a season high with six assists three times this season and has had multiple turnovers in a game just three times ... He also had five dimes vs. Stetson.
> He is also coming off an 11-point effort against Illinois, his second double-figure scoring game of the season.
> 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 six steals vs. Xavier ... The six thefts tied a tournament record and is No. 6 in Missouri single-game school history.
> Tiller has had multiple steals in 6-of-11 games and is third in the Big 12 with 2.0 steals a night.
> Tiller had an explosive trip to Puerto Rico where he averaged 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.7 steals vs. quality opposition.
> Of Tiller’s 14 career double-figure scoring games, seven have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site.
> 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 Tiller, who spent the summer as an intern at AFLAC.
> Perhaps the biggest improvement for Missouri this year is the play of its bench and that bench is being led by a host of young players.
> Sophomore forward Justin Safford recorded his first double-figure game of the year, as he dropped in 10 points and five boards in 13 minutes against Stetson ... Safford also contributed a highlight blocked shot and a one-handed dunk in the win.
> Freshman guard Marcus Denmon reached double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in his career vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Cal ... Denmon scored 11 points vs. Pine Bluff before chipping in 14 vs. California.
> Denmon 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.
> 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.
> That workout time has paid off for English, who scored 13 points vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, before scoring a career high 16 points vs. California in the Tiger’s big win ... English scored 14 of his 16 in the second half, including 14 straight points for the Tigers in a span of just 4:16.
> Over his last five outings English is logging 9.2 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the floor and 47 percent shooting from three-point range (8-of-17).
> Fellow freshman Miguel Paul is averaging 17.2 minutes over his last eight games ... Paul has also hit a three-pointer in five of those eight contests as well and boasts a 1.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.
> Junior Keith Ramsey has played improved basketball over the past eight games, especially on the defensive end ... Ramsey blocked a career high three shots vs. Cal and poured in eight points and five boards in the win over Stetson.
> Ramsey initially scored a career high eight points in just nine minutes vs. No. 19 USC and corralled seven boards (career high) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 14 minutes.
> Laurence Bowers, another of Missouri’s exciting freshmen, is making steady progress ... Bowers tied a career high with six points, while adding four boards, a block and an assist vs. Stetson.

About The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars
SIU-Edwardsville comes into Saturday’s game 2-10 on the season and is making the transition to Division I basketball... The Cougars have played a heavy D-I schedule and have a win over Western Michigan of the Mid-American Conference ... They also had near-misses against the College of Charleston and East Tennessee State ... Freshman Mark Yelovich leads the Cougars in scoring at 13.6 points per game and is also among the team’s leading rebounders at 5.0 ... Barry Wellington is the only other Cougar in double figures at 10.8 points, but six total players average better than 7.0 points a game ... SIU-Edwardsville is a transitional Division I program and will join the Ohio Valley Conference as a full member in 2011-12 and will be eligible for postseason competition the following year.

Wear & Tear Of The Fastest 40 Minutes
While Missouri ranks second in the Big 12 with a +18.5 ppg scoring margin, the Tigers are doing extraordinary work extending their advantages in the second half this season ... With the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball taking full effect, Missouri is outscoring its opposition 45.6-to-32.7 in the second period alone and is allowing its opponents to shoot just 37.6 percent from the floor, 24.3 percent from the three-point stripe and yes, just 64.4 percent from the foul line ... In the first half of games Missouri owns a 38.2-to-32.6 ppg scoring margin, but opponents are shooting an improved 43.4 percent from the floor, 37.0 percent from three-point range.

Mizzou Opponent’s Numbers by Half
Statistics                      1st / 2nd
Scoring Margin             +5.5 / +12.9
FG                                   43.4 / 37.6
3FG%                             37.0 / 24.3
FT%                                63.2 / 64.4
Points                            32.6 / 32.7 

Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home
(Knock on wood) Mike Anderson is a perfect 27-0 all-time in non-conference home games at Missouri and the Tigers have two more chances to extend that streak before the New Year ... Not only have the Tigers won 27 consecutive in the preseason, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 23.6 ppg margin of victory.
> The Tigers have played some impressive foes during Anderson’s run as well, and own quality wins over Arkansas, California, Davidson, Purdue, Murray State, Mississippi State, Oral Roberts and others during that 26-game stretch.

Year                Record          Margin of Victory
2006-07         11-0               18.7 ppg
2007-08         9-0                  27.5 ppg
2008-09         7-0                  26.3 ppg                               
Total               27-0               23.6 ppg.

Matt Lawrence All-CLASS
Senior Matt Lawrence was named a candidate for the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, making him one of just 30 seniors across America to earn the recognition.
> The award is based on criteria focusing on the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition and the award winners will be selected by a national balloting of head basketball coaches, national media and college basketball fans.

Extend The Three-Point Line? No Problem!
The extended three-point line hasn’t been an issue for Missouri this season, as the Tigers are shooting 34.4 percent (77-of-224) from bonus distance in 2008-09 through 11 games compared to the 32.8 percent (75-of-229) the Tigers shot through 11 games last season.
> Balanced shooting has been the key factor for the Tigers ... Missouri had just five players who had made three or more treys through 11 games last season, while this season’s group boasts 11 different players with three or more triples, including backcourt newcomers Miguel Paul (9 treys), Kim English (11), Zaire Taylor (3) and Marcus Denmon (7).
> Consequently, the extended arc has opened up the lane for Tiger forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons, who are combining for 33.2 points and 13.6 rebounds a night.



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