Michael Dixon has been one of the nation's best sixth man this season.
Dec. 28, 2011
#8/8 University of Missouri Tigers (12-0) at Old Dominion Monarchs (6-6)
TIP-OFF: 6 p.m. CT.
Arena: Ted Constant Convocation Center (8,424)
Radio: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, play-by-play; Gary Link, analysis)
TV: ESPNU (Rich Hollenberg - Play by Play / Adrian Branch - Analyst)
Old Dominion: NR/NR
Series: Mizzou leads 4-0 (Last meeting: MU 81, ODU 58; Dec. 30, 2010)
MU: Frank Haith (Elon '88), 141-101 overall (8th year) and 11-0 at Mizzou (1st year)
Old Dominion: Blaine Taylor (Montana `81); 221-116 at ODU (11th season)
> The Mizzou basketball team will play its first official road game this Friday (Dec. 30) as it travels to Old Dominion for a tilt with the Monarchs that will air live on ESPNU, marking the Tigers' fifth appearance on the ESPN family of networks this season ... The game tips at 6 p.m. (CT) ... At No. 8, Mizzou is the second-highest ranked team to play at ODU in history.
> Heading into the contest with ODU, Mizzou remains as one of four unbeatens nationally as the Tigers are rolling under first-year coach Frank Haith ... In fact, Mizzou is 12-0 for the first time since 1981-82 and is the only unbeaten team under the direction of a new head coach.
> Checking in at No. 8/8 in the AP and USA Today Coahes Polls this week, Mizzou is the highest-ranked team that is under the direction of a first-year head coach this season ... Staying on the topic of first-year head coach Frank Haith, his win over Illinois last Thursday makes him the first Tiger coach to win his first 12 games since Craig Ruby in 1920-21.
> Mizzou remains one of the toughest teams this season due to their efficiency. In fact, Mizzou is the only team in the nation that averages more steals per game than turnovers ... Heading into Friday's tilt with the Monarchs, Mizzou has 120 steals and just 116 turnovers ... Syracuse, who checks in at No. 1 nationally in both polls, is the only other team that comes close to Mizzou as the Orange have 145 steals and only 146 turnovers ... Mizzou's 116 turnovers are the third-lowest total nationally and the least among teams that have played more than 10 games this season.
> Junior Mike Dixon has been arguably the nation's top sixth man this season as he is averaging 13.1 points per game and 3.3 assists per contest off the bench ... His 13.1 ppg average this season is tops among Big 12 players with no starts this year ... Over his last three games, Dixon has led the team in scoring in each contest and is averaging 22.0 ppg in that span, including a career-best 30 against William and Mary.
> Senior big man Ricardo Ratliffe is leading the nation in field goal percentage with his .762 clip this season, nearly 30 points higher than the next-best on the list (Leon Powell of SEMO, .737) ... Friday's game will mark a homecoming for Ratliffe, who is a native of Hampton, Va., which is right across the bay from Norfolk ... He grew up just 20 minutes from the ODU campus.
> Mizzou and Old Dominion have met four times in their history with Mizzou claiming all four meetings ... This will mark the third year in a row that Mizzou and ODU will meet ... Mizzou won, 66-61, in 2009 down in South Padre, Texas, and 81-58 last year at Mizzou Arena.
Mizzou Quick Hitters
> With its win over No. 24 Illinois last Thursday, Mizzou is now 2-0 against top-25 teams this season and is 3-0 against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the top 25 ... Mizzou's other wins over teams among the national elite came against then No. 18-ranked Cal and Notre Dame (RV) at the CBE Classic in Kansas City.
> Heading into Friday's contest, the Tigers rank second nationally and lead the Big 12 with their 87.1 points per game this season ... The Tigers are one of the nation's and Big 12's best shooting teams as the squad ranks second nationally and first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.519) ... The team also ranks fifth nationally and first in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.783).
> In the national rankings, Mizzou also leads the country in scoring margin (+25.8), ranks second in assist-turnover ratio (1.75) and in turnovers per game (9.67) and seventh in steals per game (10.0).
> On an individual level, senior Ricardo Ratliffe leads the nation in field goal percentage (.762), junior Michael Dixon ranks seventh nationally in free throw percentage (.926) and sophomore Phil Pressey is eighth in assist-turnover ratio (3.1).
> Sophomore Phil Pressey has dished 54 assists and committed just 11 turnovers the last seven games for an assist/turnover ratio of 4.9 during the stretch ... He currently leads the Big 12 in assists (5.9), assist-turnover ratio (3.13) and steals (2.3) ... Pressey has three 10-assist game this season, the last Tiger to do that in a season was Scott Sims in 1976-77.
> Overall, Missouri leads the Big 12 in eight different statistical categories: scoring offense (87.1), scoring margin (+25.8), free throw percentage (.783), field goal percentage (.519), assists (16.9), steals (10.0), turnover margin (+7.1) and assist-turnover ratio (1.75).
> Missouri finished the home non-conference schedule with an unblemished record for the sixth straight season ... The Tigers were 8-0 this year, 10-0 in 2010-11, 9-0 in 2009-10, 10-0 in 2008-09, 9-0 in 2007-08 and 11-0 in 2006-07.
> Mizzou has been amazingly efficient this season, averaging 1.18 points per field goal attempt this season ... Ratliffe leads the team in that category as he is averaging 1.52 points per field goal attempt, while English averages 1.37 and Denmon 1.25.
> Junior Michael Dixon's 30 points off the bench against William & Mary last Sunday were the most by a Tiger bench player since Greg Church had 31 against Kansas State on March 1, 1989 ... It also marked the first time since the 2003-04 season that Missouri has had two players record at least 30 points (Marcus Denmon had 31 against Northwestern State on Dec. 2), when Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson did it.
> Mizzou shot an incredible 67.9 percent in the second half against William & Mary on Dec. 18, the team's best shooting half of the season ... The previous best was 65.2 percent in the second half against Cal.
> Sophomore Phil Pressey has recorded at least five assists in the last seven games (11 vs. Binghamton, 6 vs. Northwestern State, 12 vs. Villanova, 5 vs. Navy, 10 vs. Kennesaw State, 5 vs. William & Mary and 5 vs. Illinois) ... That has been done one other Tiger (Anthony Peeler) ... Pressey's streak is the first for Mizzou since 1989-90, when Peeler did it twice.
> Senior Marcus Demon poured in a career high 31 points against Northwestern State on Dec. 2 thanks to a career-high seven treys ... The 31 points were the most for a Tiger since DeMarre Carroll had 31 against Iowa State on Feb. 7, 2009 ... He followed that with a 28-point outing against Villanova, making him the first Tiger since Thomas Gardner (2005-06) to score at least 28 points in back-to-back games.
> Seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English have combined to make 69 of the Tigers' 101 3-point field goals so far this season ... The duo 2nd and 3rd in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 2.92 and 2.83, respectively ... They are only the fourth and fifth players to ever have at least 30 3's in the first nine games.
> Michael Dixon is currently the all-time leader at MU in free throw percentage at 85.7 percent after making 50-of-54 so far this season ... He entered the season ranked fourth ... He is 186-of-217 in his career.
> Mizzou saw five players score at least 13 points against Kennesaw State on Dec. 15, marking the 16th time in program history that that has happened ... The last time it happened was Feb. 5, 2011.
> The Tigers lead the Big 12 with 10.0 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) ... The team is seventh nationally this year.
> With three blocks against Illinois, Steve Moore moved into ninth place all-time at Mizzou with 81 ... He is seventh in the Big 12 at 1.42 per game.
> Seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English continue to move up Missouri's all-time scoring list ... Denmon now has 1,380 in his career, which puts him 17th all-time at Mizzou ... Denmon needs seven more points to tie Willie Smith for 16th ... English stands at 1,247 points, good for 25th place ... He needs 26 more points to tie Lee Coward for 25th.
> 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...Heading into the year, the class' 77 wins over the last three-plus 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 89-27.
>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.
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