Dec. 31, 2008
Columbia, Mo. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09
University of Missouri Tigers (11-2) vs.
University of Georgia Bulldogs (9-4)
2008-09 Regular Season Game 14 - January 3, 2009 - Athens, Ga.
Tip-off: Noon CST
Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)
TV: MSN (Chris Gervino play-by-play; Scott Highmark analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Georgia: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Second Meeting, Mizzou leads 1-0; last - Missouri 70-68 on March 15, 2001
Tickets: Call 1-800-CAT-PAWS
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 133-71 overall (7th season); 45-30 at Mizzou (3rd)
Georgia: Dennis Felton (Howard ’85); 184-138 overall (11th season); 84-84 at UGA (6th)
> Missouri will look to open 2009 on a winning note as it travels to Georgia for its first “true” road game of the season ... The Tigers have played four neutral-court games this year and are 2-2 in those contests, including a win over then-No. 19 Southern California in San Juan, P.R.
> The Tigers are looking for their first non-conference road win since a 63-58 win at Indiana on Dec. 6, 2003 ... The Tigers have lost eight consecutive on the road since then ... Missouri’s last road win in the SEC came at No. 11 Arkansas (87-76) on Dec. 7, 1991.
> Missouri has already equaled its best start under Head Coach Mike Anderson (11-2) ... The Tigers were an identical 11-2 in 2006-07, but lost four consecutive after that game to fall to 11-6 ... A win on Saturday would be the Tigers’ best start since a 12-2 beginning in 1998-99, Norm Stewart’s final campaign on the Black & Gold sideline.
> Tickets will be scarce for Missouri on Saturday, with Marietta, Ga., native J.T. Tiller returning to his home state ... Tiller has better than 40 family members making the short trek to Athens, while Birmingham, Ala., natives Head Coach Mike Anderson, Assistant Coach T.J. Cleveland, Michael Anderson, Jr., and DeMarre Carroll have several family members and friends making the trip ... Tennessee native Keith Ramsey (Athens is just three hours from Murfreesboro) has family coming to the game, as does freshman Miguel Paul (Lakeland, Fla.)
> A huge key for Missouri in non-conference play has been its bench, which includes Ramsey, Paul and others ... Missouri’s “kamikaze line” is averaging 32.6 points a game this season and has outscored the entire teams of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (50-41), Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) ... Those 62 tallies vs. SIUE were a school record.
> The Tigers rank among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories heading into Saturday’s game ... Mizzou is No. 5 nationally in scoring at 85.3 ppg, No. 4 in assists per game at 19.9, No. 4 in steals per game at 10.8 and No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.6 ... Missouri’s 21.6 ppg scoring margin ranks 2nd ... 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 32.6 points and 13.4 rebounds each night ... What gets lost with Carroll and Lyons however, is that they also combine for 3.8 assists and 3.2 steals, making them one of the more complete duos in America.
> Missouri hits the road for its first true road test of the season as it faces the Georgia Bulldogs from the SEC on Saturday afternoon.
> Mizzou and UGA are meeting for just the second time in series history ... The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 70-68 in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
> Missouri is 2-2 away from the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena, going 2-1 in San Juan, P.R., before dropping a contest to Illinois in St. Louis on Dec. 23.
> Missouri is actually taking the same flight to Atlanta for this weekend’s game to Athens, Ga., as it did to San Juan, P.R. about one month ago.
> Saturday’s game will be Missouri’s fifth vs. a member of the SEC under Head Coach Mike Anderson ... The Tigers are 2-2, splitting two-game series’ with Mississippi State and Arkansas ... the home teams won all-four games.
> A huge key for the Tigers on Saturday will be the play of their bench ... Missouri is getting 32.6 points per game from its reserves in 2008-09, a figure that would be a school record if maintained.
> With those great bench-scoring totals, the Tigers have had a school-record tying 11 different players reach double figures this season, equaling the 11 players that reached double figures in 1961-62, 1974-75, 1994-95 and 2007-08.
> The Tigers had four freshman reach double figures last Tuesday vs. SIUE, which was a first in school history.
> Missouri’s pressure has produced some large scoring margins this season ... Missouri ranks No. 2 in America in scoring margin at 21.6 ppg, just behind No. 1 North Carolina.
> A major reason for those large scoring totals is because Missouri has taken 131 more field goal attempts than its opponents this season and has made 125 more FG’s ... Mizzou made 119 more FG’s than its opponents throughout the entire 2007-08 season, so 125 more FGs through just 13 games is a HUGE differential.
> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau nine times in 13 games this season and is 9-0 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 33 times in the Mike Anderson era (75 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.
> 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 19.4 turnovers per game and is averaging 25.3 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an incredible 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (25.2-of-85.3).
> Because of Missouri’s limited 12.4 turnovers a game, its opposition is scoring just 14.1 points a night off turnovers.
> It’s only January, 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 are seeing improved depth this season 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 13 games this season Missouri is averaging 32.6 points from its reserves, including a season high of 62 points vs. SIU Edwardsville ... In fact, Missouri’s bench has topped 40+ points four times in the last six games and has outscored Arkansas-Pine Bluff (50-51), (Stetson 45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57).
> 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 23.7 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 Rivals.com 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 11 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and in the Top 20 in steals.
> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,095 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 897 career points and needs just 103 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 225 more tallies as a senior to reach the mark.
> Over his last 16 regular-season games Lyons has six 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 15-of-16 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 15.8 ppg. scoring average, Lyons ranks No. 11 in the Big 12, just behind of teammate DeMarre Carroll, who is eighth at 16.8 ppg.
> Carroll has reached double figures in 12 of 13 games this season and the tandem of Carroll and Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 11 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 three times this season, including a 21-point, 10 rebound double-double vs. SIU Edwardsville.
> 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 leads the team with 24 steals and ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in scoring (8th), steals (4th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (7th).
> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in five of his last eight outings.
> The St. Louis native needs just four more treys to move into fourth place on Missouri’s career three-point list.
> Lawrence tied a season high with four three-pointers vs. Centenary and recorded a season high 18 points vs. the Gents to pace the Tigers ... The sharp-shooter also chipped in three assists in the win.
> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 12 assists and just four turnovers on the season.
> Zaire Taylor was named the nation’s Preseason No. 2 impact transfer in all of college basketball by Rivals.com ... DeMarre Carroll was the preseason No. 1 on that same Rivals.com 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 41 assists and just 14 turnovers ... His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio leads the Big 12 and ranks No. 17 nationally.
> Despite being an active point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 11 of 13 games this year and has 5+ assists six times on the season.
> Taylor logged 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-13 games and is fifth in the Big 12 with 1.8 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 is also coming off an eight-point, four-rebound effort vs. Centenary on Tuesday.
> 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.
> Just to prove he is insane about basketball, English went to Mizzou Arena at midnight on Dec. 31 / Jan. 1 to make the first shots of the New Year inside Mizzou Arena.
> The dedication is paying 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.
> Fellow freshman Miguel Paul is averaging 17.2 minutes over his last 10 games ... Paul has also hit a three-pointer in seven of those 10 contests as well and boasts a 3.0-to-1 assist/turnover ratio and has three or more dimes in three of his last four games.
> Paul led all Tiger freshmen with 12 points vs. SIU Edwardsville, while chipping in four assists.
> Junior Keith Ramsey has played improved basketball over the past 10 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.
> Against Centenary, Ramsey flashed his versatility, dishing two assists and recording two steals.
> Laurence Bowers, another of Missouri’s exciting freshmen, is making steady progress ... Bowers set career highs of 10 points and seven boards in the win over SIU Edwardsville in just 14 minutes of play.
About The Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia comes into today’s game 9-4 on the season following a win over Kennesaw State on Wednesday ... The Bulldogs made national headlines by winning the SEC Tournament last season and won an incredible four games in three days ... This season’s Bulldog club is led by a pair of freshmen, Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins ... The 6-foot-9, 247-pound Thompkins is averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, while Leslie is chipping in 8.7 points and 5.1 boards ... Georgia has been a solid defensive club and is allowing just 63.7 points a night ... Opponents are shooting just 40 percent from the floor and just 31 percent from three-point range.
Tiller Heading Home With A History of Great Road Performances
J.T. Tiller has a knack for great performances away from home and on Saturday, the Marietta, Ga., native leads his Tigers into the Peach State for a matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs.
> Although he is known as a defensive stalwart, the junior guard has reached double figures 14 times in his career, with seven of those games coming away from Mizzou Arena ... The 6-foot-3 guard as a pair of double-figure scoring games this season, initially a 13-point effort against Xavier in San Juan, P.R., before scoring a season high 14 points vs. No. 19 USC in a Tiger win.
> The kicker for Tiller on that San Juan trip was that Missouri actually made a quick plane change in Atlanta before continuing on to the Islands.
> As a sophomore, Tiller reached double figures nine times, including 13 points at Kansas and 14 tallies in a win at Nebraska.
> During his rookie campaign, all three of Tiller’s double-figure efforts came on the road, with 12 coming at Purdue, 11 in a near miss at Kansas and 12 in a road win at Colorado.
Stegeman Coliseum Familiar To Carroll
Mizzou senior forward DeMarre Carroll will be making his third trip to Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum this weekend ... Carroll twice played at Georgia during his freshman and sophomore campaigns at Vanderbilt and recorded four points and five boards as a freshman in 2004-05, before chipping in 15 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore.
> In four career games vs. UGA Carroll has averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds with two starts as a sophomore.
Missouri’s Second Wave...
Head Coach Mike Anderson has consistently tried to build depth with his basketball teams and the 2008-09 Tigers may be his deepest club since arriving in Columbia two years ago.
> Missouri is averaging an impressive 32.6 points, 18.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists and 3.7 steals from its reserves this season, including 18.6 points per game from freshmen Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Miguel Paul.
> Missouri’s bench has been especially deadly over the last seven contests as the reserves are averaging 37.0 ppg. and actually outscored both Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) ... The 62 points vs. Edwardsville was a new school record, topping the 58 points the Tigers reserves scored in a double-overtime win vs. Iowa State last season.
> Last season Missouri averaged 25.4 points per game from its bench after setting the school record in 2006-07 with 26.4 ppg from reserve performers ... That mark is in serious jeopardy this season.
Wear & Tear Of The Fastest 40 Minutes
While Missouri leads the Big 12 and ranks No. 2 nationally with a +21.6 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-32.8 in the second period alone and is allowing its opponents to shoot just 37.7 percent from the floor, 24.4 percent from the three-point stripe and yes, just 65.1 percent from the foul line ... In the first half of games Missouri owns a 39.7-to-30.9 ppg scoring margin, but opponents are shooting an improved 41.8 percent from the floor, 34.3 percent from three-point range.
Mizzou Opponent’s Numbers by Half
Statistics 1st / 2nd
Scoring Margin +8.8 / +12.8
FG 41.8 / 37.7
3FG% 34.3 / 24.4
FT% 65.3 / 65.1
Points 30.9 / 32.8
Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home
(Knock on wood) Mike Anderson is a perfect 29-0 all-time in non-conference home games at Missouri and the Tigers have one more chance to extend that streak this season ... Not only have the Tigers won 29 consecutive in the preseason, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 24.4 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 29-game stretch.
Year Record Margin of Victory
2006-07 11-0 18.7 ppg
2007-08 9-0 27.5 ppg
2008-09 9-0 29.1 ppg
Total 29-0 24.4 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 35.2 percent (93-of-264) from bonus distance in 2008-09 through 13 games compared to the 33.1 percent (93-of-281) the Tigers shot through 13 games last season.
> Balanced shooting has been the key factor for the Tigers ... Missouri had just seven players who had made three or more treys through 13 games last season, while this season’s group boasts 11 different players with three or more triples, including backcourt newcomers Miguel Paul (11 treys), Kim English (12), Zaire Taylor (6) and Marcus Denmon (11).
> Consequently, the extended arc has opened up the lane for Tiger forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons, who are combining for 32.6 points and 13.4 rebounds a night.