Mizzou Hosts Georgia Jan. 2

MUTIGERS.COM Miguel Paul and the Tigers host Georgia on Saturday.
Miguel Paul and the Tigers host Georgia on Saturday.

Dec. 31, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2009-10

University of Missouri Tigers (10-3) vs.

University of Georgia Bulldogs (7-4)

2009-10 Regular Season Game 14 - January 2, 2010 - Columbia, Mo.


Tip-off: 3 p.m. 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: NV/NV, Georgia: NV/NV in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 2-0 all-time; last - Missouri won 83-76 on Jan. 3, 2009 in Athens, Ga.


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa ’82); 164-79 overall (8th season); 75-38 at Mizzou (4th)

Georgia: Mark Fox (E. New Mexico, ‘91); 130-47 overall (6th season); 7-4 at Georgia (1st)


For Openers

> Happy New Year Tiger fans ... Missouri Basketball closes the books on a memorable 2009 and looks to the future as it opens 2010 with an exciting non-conference home test against the Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference ... Missouri was an outstanding 30-8 during the 2009 calendar year, a year that actually got started with an 83-76 win in Athens, Ga., last season ... Of course Tiger fans will remember a Big 12 Tournament Championship and NCAA Elite Eight during the process.

> It was an exciting decade for Missouri Basketball and the Tigers were just one of 21 teams to qualify for multiple NCAA Elite Eight appearances during the past 10 seasons ... The team also welcomed Mike Anderson into the fray and Anderson has taken over a program that finished just 12-16 the year before his arrival and now has the future of Tiger Basketball shining brightly.

> When you talk about the future of Mizzou Basketball, you start with its youth and the Tigers have plenty of it ... MU has one of the nation’s youngest teams this year with 11-of-13 players in their first or second season playing for Mike Anderson ... The Tigers are getting more than half of their 83.8 points per game from the sophomore class alone ...  The second-year Tigers are logging 45.4 points per game ... If you add the freshman class, Mizzou is getting 69 percent of its scoring (58.0 ppg) and 58 percent of its assists (10.6 apg) from underclassmen this season ... Oh and for good measure, Missouri is welcoming in the nation’s #7 recruiting class next season (per USA Today).

> The first game after the New Year has traditionally been good to the Tigers ... Missouri has won nine consecutive games in the new year, dating back to a 51-46 home loss to Winthrop during the 1999-2000 campaign.

> Of course you can’t talk winning streaks without mentioning Missouri’s 27-game streak inside Mizzou Arena, which dates back to the home finale of the 2007-08 campaign against Iowa State … The Tigers rank #3 nationally with regards to home court winning streaks, tied with Dayton who has also won 27 consecutive ... Pittsburgh is #2 with 29 straight and Kansas leads the country in consecutive home wins with 50 ... Missouri needs two more home wins to move into a tie for second place for the longest home winning streak (29) in school history.

> The Tigers also own a 45-game non-conference home court winning streak, which dates back to the 2005-06 campaign ... That 45-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 Quick Hitters

> Missouri looks to remain undefeated at home on Saturday as it faces an improved Georgia squad coached by former Nevada sideline boss Mark Fox ... Fox is familiar with Missouri after spending time as an assistant coach at Kansas State (1994-2000).

> A reminder to Tiger fans to wear GOLD on Saturday ... In addition, Fox Sports Midwest will be handing out gold T-Shirts to the first 10,000 fans in attendance on Saturday.

> Tiger fans can receive complementary parking in Lot M during Holiday Break games ... This offer is limited to the first 250 spots, so come early and bring a friend!

> Missouri faces yet another SEC foe on Saturday ... The Tigers dropped a tough decision at Vanderbilt (89-83) earlier this year and narrowly missed facing SEC West favorite Mississippi State in South Padre Island in late November ... The Tigers are 3-3 vs. SEC teams under Mike Anderson, which includes wins over Mississippi State and Arkansas at home and last year’s road win in Athens, Ga., vs. the Bulldogs.

> One year ago J.T. Tiller had a chance to return to his home state to face the Georgia Bulldogs and now the Marietta, Ga., native gets to welcome his state school into his own arena ... Did you know that last year’s trip to Athens was Tiller’s first? The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year wasn’t even invited on a recruiting trip to UGA.

> Missouri is on a season high five-game winning streak dating back to a 60-59 last-second loss at Oral Roberts on Dec. 9 ... During Missouri’s current surge the Tigers are outscoring opponents by 26.2 points per game, own five double-figure wins and are shooting 48 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three-point range ... In fact Missouri’s top four scorers during this surge are all underclassmen, Kim English (19.2), Michael Dixon (11.6), Laurence Bowers (10.8) and Marcus Denmon (10.6).

> Missouri has been downright inhospitable at home this year ... Missouri is 8-0 with a +33.6 ppg scoring margin inside Mizzou Arena ... The Tigers are also shooting 52 percent from the floor, 43 percent from three-point range and are turning teams over 22.6 times a game.

> Mizzou has been very good in non-conference games under Mike Anderson ... The Tigers are 44-12 (.786) since his arrival before the 2006-07 season.

> In fact if you dig a little deeper, Missouri has enjoyed double-figure margins of victory in 34-of-38 non-conference home games under Mike Anderson (38-0).

> Missouri has 165 total thefts on the year and ranks #2 nationally with 12.7 steals per game, trailing only Syracuse (12.8 spg) ... Last season through 13 games Missouri had 141 steals ... If you recall, MU broke the Big 12 Conference record with 388 total steals in 2008-09 and this year’s club is in position to break that total again in 2010.

> Did you know the Tigers actually turn their opponent over a nation-leading 29 percent of the time during a game? What does that mean? Well it means nearly one out of every three defensive possessions ends in a turnover.

> One thing Tiger fans are enjoying this season is points off of those turnovers ... Missouri averaged 21.2 points per game off turnovers last season and forced one turnover every four possessions ... So far this season Missouri is forcing 21.8 turnovers per game and is averaging 28.5 points off those opponent miscues.

> Missouri continues to be one of the country’s elite passing teams in 2009-10 ... One year after leading the nation in assists per game (18.4), the Tigers are dishing 18.2 dimes a contest this year ... MU has nine players with double-figure assist totals and as a team MU is registering dimes on 60 percent of its hoops (236 assists on 393 baskets).

> Missouri has topped 20 assists five times, including 28 dimes in the 106-69 win against Oregon.

> It’s certainly early, but the Tigers sport excellent depth on their roster ... Nine different players have reached double figures in scoring and 10 different Tigers are averaging at least 10.8 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri’s pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 11-of-13 contests, including a school record 24 thefts vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 24.

> Missouri continues to be outstanding at the free throw line this season ... The Tigers are hitting at a 72.8 percent clip on the year, compared to 67.2 percent shooting last season.

> It’s hard to argue with the production of Missouri’s bench ... The Tigers are getting 36.8 of their 83.8 points per game from the reserves ... Missouri’s bench has actually outscored their starters four times this season and are outscoring their opposition’s bench 36.8-to-14.9.

> Mizzou has had a double-figure scorer off the pine in 10 games this season, including a season high three players in the wins against Oregon and UMKC.

> One thing about Mike Anderson’s clubs, they are built for the long haul ... Over his tenure “Coach A’s” teams have averaged 26.7 points per game off the bench... That’s over 113 career games.

> It’s nothing new to have the reserves outscore the starters either ... Including four games this season, the reserves have dropped in more tallies than the “initial five” 16 times (in 113 games) in Anderson’s tenure ... It just goes to show you, when the man says he has eight or nine starters, it means he has eight or nine starters!

> To help illustrate that point even further, Missouri has had seven different starting lineups this year.

> With the Tigers’ improved backcourt depth the team is averaging 12.7 steals per game on the season, including a school-record total (24 steals) vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 24.

> Missouri has typically played some tough schedules over the years and that trend will continue in 2009-10 ... Mizzou has 14 games against teams that have been ranked / receiving votes in the Top 25 this season ... Included in that list are some impressive non-conference games (all away from home) against, Illinois, Old Dominion and Richmond.

> In fact, of the potential 14 games vs. those highly-touted clubs only five will come at Mizzou Arena.


Tiger Tidbits

> J.T. Tiller has earned mention on virtually every preseason All-Defensive Team in 2009-10 … Tiller is of course the reigning Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 Conference and was named to All-Defensive Teams by Sports Illustrated and ESPN prior to the start of his senior season.

> Tiller has been hobbled by a bone bruise in his left foot, but has still reached double figures in 6-of-10 games played.

> Tiller has twice notched seven assists in a game, including seven dimes at Vanderbilt and seven in a win against Old Dominion ... He recently dished five assists and scored 12 points in the win against Illinois.

> The Marietta, Ga., native has 261 career assists and needs just 69 dimes this year to move into the career Top 10.

> He also owns 127 career steals and 24 more thefts would push him into the Top 10 in that category as well, surpassing former teammate Jason Horton (2004-08), who had 150 … In fact his career steals per game average of 1.2 already ranks in Mizzou’s career Top 10.

> Zaire Taylor has been one of America’s top defensive players so far in 2009-10 and is #2 in the Big 12 and ranked among the Top 30 nationally with 2.1 steals per game this season.

> Taylor ripped a career high seven steals vs. Fairleigh Dickinson in just 18 minutes of action ... Taylor was in the game for 31 defensive possessions and stopped FDU 26 percent of the time with either a steal or a blocked shot.

> The seven steals are tops in the Big 12 this year, tied the Mizzou Arena record and are the second most in school history ... Had he played all 40 minutes vs. the Knights he was on pace to record 15.6 steals in the game.

> Not only is Taylor excellent at swiping the basketball, he is one of the country’s best at protecting the rock as well ... Last year he ranked among the Top 5 nationally with a 3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio.

> Taylor has wasted little time picking up his assist totals this year and has dished 35 dimes while committing just 14 turnovers in his last 12 games.

> Not only do Taylor and Tiller form one of America’s best backcourts, but the pair is incredibly visible in the community and volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, which supports the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital ...  The duo answered phones on the phonebank and made special visits to patients.

> Laurence Bowers is one of Missouri’s most efficient players this season and is third on the team in scoring (10.2), second in rebounding (5.6) and tops in blocked shots (1.6) in 19.6 minutes a game.

> The Memphis native has blocked at least one shot in 10-of-13 games this season, including a career high four swats in the win against Austin Peay.

> Bowers has reached double figures six times this season, including a career high 17 tallies vs. UMKC... He continues to be one of the team’s most efficient players shooting 61 percent from the floor, including 5-5 FGs and 7-7 FTs vs. the Kangaroos.

> Bowers was a rebounding menace in the South Padre Island Invitational and was named to the All-Tournament Team for his production.

> Don’t be surprised by Bowers’ efficiency ... That’s part of his game ... The Memphis native maximizes his minutes played ... Last season as a freshman he was the team’s most efficient rebounder and shot-blocker in just 6.9 minutes a game.

> Kim English leads Missouri with 11 double figure scoring games this season, including six 20-point efforts.

> English has scored 20+ in three of his last five games, including 24 tallies in the win against Illinois and 23 more vs. Austin Peay.

> He also grabbed a career high six rebounds and ripped two steals vs. the Fighting Illini ... English has at least one steal in 12-of-13 games this season, including 12 steals in his last five contests.

> English is averaging 19.2 points over his last five games on 17-of-35 (.486) three-point shooting and 33-of-65 (.508) shooting from the floor.

> English was named the Big 12’s Player of the Week on Dec. 28 after leading the team to wins against Illinois (24 points) and Austin Peay (23 points).

> Marcus Denmon is nearly full strength after off-season knee surgery and has reached double figures seven times this year.

> Denmon has been one of Mizzou’s most consistent scorers with those seven double-figure efforts and has tied his career high with 17 points four times this season.

> Denmon currently ranks among the Big 12 leaders in three-point field goals per game (2.2) and three-point percentage (.439).

> Fans will notice a slimmed down version of Steve Moore this year … Since his arrival Moore had dropped 40 pounds and has now began to regain the weight in the form of muscle … Moore credits Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning David Deets with adjusting his eating habits, allowing the “Extreme Makeover”.

> Moore turned that weight loss into production, as he has recorded career highs in virtually every statistical category this season.

> Michael Dixon has been one of the Big 12’s top freshmen this season and is averaging 9.0 points on 46 percent shooting this year.

> The Kansas City native is #1 in the Big 12 with a 3.0-to-1 assist/turnover ratio and owns a 4.3-to-1 ratio over his last eight games.

> In fact Dixon has been especially tough during Missouri’s five-game win streak, averaging 11.6 points and 3.8 assists in five starts ... He is also averaging just 1.1 turnovers during the run while shooting 51 percent from the floor.

> Dixon was recently named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 28, the first league honor of his young career.


About The Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia comes to Mizzou Arena for the first time ever with a 7-4 overall record after a 64-47 victory against Pepperdine at home on Wednesday ... It was a battle of former coaching colleagues as Mark Fox was an assistant coach to current Pepperdine sideline boss Tom Asbury at Kansas State ... The Bulldogs are 0-2 on the road this season falling 72-56 at UAB and 74-62 at Virginia Tech ... UGA is 1-1 in neutral court games, defeating Illinois 70-67 in Atlanta while falling to St. John’s in Madison Square Garden ... Trey Thompkins leads Georgia in scoring (16.5) and rebounding (8.5) this season ... Thompkins is just a sophomore and played for Team USA’s U19 club this summer in New Zealand ... Travis Leslie is also in double figures with 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in just 24.6 minutes of action.


The Series With Georgia

Missouri and Georgia meet for the third time in series history on Saturday and the Tigers own a 2-0 series advantage ... Missouri won in Athens, Ga., last year (83-76) thanks to 17 points from DeMarre Carroll and 17 more from current Tiger senior Zaire Taylor ... Terrance Woodbury led Georgia with 27 points, while Trey Thompkins added 18 points and eight rebounds in the loss ... The initial meeting in the series came March 15, 2001, when the Tigers toppled UGA 70-68 in the East Region of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.


Dixon One Of Mizzou’s Best Frosh Point Guards

Michael Dixon has made a huge splash for Mizzou early in his Tiger career and below is a quick look at how the Lee’s Summit freshman compares to some other Tiger point guards during their freshman campaigns.


Tiger                             Year             PPG    APG    TPG   A/T Ratio

**Michael Dixon   2009-10    9.2      3.1       0.9     3.4

Keyon Dooling       1998-99    8.7      3.0       2.0     1.5

Melvin Booker       1990-91    8.3      3.5       2.7     1.3

Travis Ford               1989-90    6.4      3.5       1.8     1.9

Lee Coward             1986-87    6.5      1.7       1.4     1.3        

Prince Bridges       1981-82    6.8      3.3       2.2     1.5

**Jon Sundvold     1979-80    6.3      2.1       1.9     1.1

**Larry Drew          1976-77    6.9      2.8       N/A    N/A


** Kansas City natives


Tigers In The National Rankings

Missouri is again ranking among the national leaders in several statistical categories ... Below is a quick rundown of how the Tigers rank.


Category            Avg / Ntl Rk     Leader / Avg

Assists             18.2 / #10         Syracuse / 21.8

Scoring Mar.    21.0 / #6           Kansas / 30.5

Steals               12.7 / #2           Syracuse / 12.8

T/O Margin      +7.5 / #2           Houston / 10.6

3FGs Per G.      8.9 / #14           VMI / 13.4

3FG %                40.8 / #23        Columbia / 46.6

Scoring             83.8 / #23         VMI / 94.0


English, Dixon Sweep Big 12 Honors

A pair of Missouri Tigers earned recognition from the Big 12 Conference this week, as sophomore guard Kim English and freshman point guard Michael Dixon were named the league’s Player and Newcomer of the Week (respectively) on Dec. 28.

> English led Missouri to two victories over Illinois and Austin Peay, averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game ... The 6-foot-6 guard shot 50 percent (8-of-16) from three-point distance and 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the floor.

> Dixon averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 steals and just 0.5 turnovers in two starts ... The Kansas City native was magnificent in Missouri’s win against Illinois, scoring a career high 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting ... He later dropped in 12 points and ripped a career high four steals vs. Austin Peay.


The Future Is Bright For Mizzou

Missouri’s freshmen and sophomores are scoring 58.0 points per game for the Tigers this season, which accounts for 69 percent of the team’s 83.8 total points per outing.

> Those 58.0 points ranks second in the Big 12 this year and becomes incredibly promising since MU is welcoming the nation’s #7 overall recruiting class in 2010-11.

> Kansas leads the Big 12 in underclassmen scoring at 58.9 points per game, while the Oklahoma Sooners rank third with 55.7 tallies a night.


With A Tiger Win ...

> Missouri would improve to 11-3 on the  season and move to 76-38 all-time under Mike Anderson.

> Overall, Anderson would improve to 165-79 in his eight seasons as a head coach.

> The Tigers would extend their season high winning streak to six games.

> Mizzou would improve to 45-12 vs. non-conference foes under Anderson, which would include wins over Illinois, USC, California, Purdue, Maryland, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Davidson, Oregon, Georgia (twice) Memphis, Marquette and Old Dominion.

> Would push their home court winning streak to 28 games and their non-conference home winning streak to 46.

> Mizzou would earn another win over an SEC foe under Mike Anderson and improve to 1-1 vs. the SEC this season.


Congrats To Mizzou’s Graduate, Zaire Taylor

Congratulations are in order for senior guard Zaire Taylor … The Staten Island, N.Y., native graduated Dec. 19 the same day the Tigers took on Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Mizzou Arena … In fact Missouri Basketball pushed up its normal shoot-around time allowing Taylor to walk across the stage to receive his diploma in Sociology.


Sweet English

Kimmie English has been much more than a scorer for Missouri over the Tigers’ current five-game winning streak ... While he is averaging a team-best 19.2 ppg during the run, he has also provided improved rebounding and defense.

> Defensively, English has multiple steals in four of the last five games, including a career high four rips in the win against Fairleigh Dickinson.

> He has also been an improved rebounder, highlighted by his career high six boards in the win against Illinois.

> Offensively English credits improved shot selection for his elevated scoring totals, as he is shooting 17-of-35 (.486) from three-point range and 33-of-65 (.508) from the floor.

> During this offensive surge English has enjoyed three 20-point efforts and narrowly missed a fourth with 18 points in 25 minutes in the win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff ... Two of those 20-point nights (24 vs. Illinois and 23 vs. Austin Peay) helped English earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Dec. 28.


Old Skool, New School

Michael Dixon brings an old skool flair to his new school of Mizzou, as the freshman is averaging incredibly consistent numbers of 9.0 points, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals this season for the Tigers ... While the rookie thrives in the open floor, the “throwback” guard is most comfortable unleashing his array of floaters and mid-range jumpers on opponents.

> Dixon has stepped his game up to another level over the last eight games, as the Kansas City native is averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals for the Tigers ... The 6-foot-1 guard has also turned the ball over just six times in those eight games and has a 4.3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio during that span.

> Dixon was recently named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 28 after leading the Tigers to wins against Illinois and Austin Peay.


Rip City

Mike Anderson has his youngest team as a head coach with 11-of-13 players in just their first or second year of competition in the program, but he also may have his fastest club at Mizzou yet to date … The Tigers are averaging an outstanding 12.7 steals per game this season, which ranks #2 nationally behind only Syracuse (12.8) … Those 12.7 “Rips” per game are the most ever at MU through 13 contests.


Year                 Steals          SPG

2006-07           158              12.2

2007-08           137              10.5

2008-09           141              10.8

2009-10           165              12.7            


The Good Tigers Giveth ...

As a basketball team, Missouri is about as unselfish as it comes ... The Tigers are averaging an impressive 18.2 assists per game, which is No. 10 nationally and have a 1.3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio as a team.


... And Taketh Away

Missouri has no issues creating turnovers once again this season as they produce 21.8 turnovers a night and average 12.7 steals (No. 2 nationally) ... Missouri is averaging 28.5 points a game off turnovers and scores 35 percent of its points off opposition throwaways ... In fact Missouri forces a turnover on 30 percent of its defensive possessions.


Trey-Mendous Shooting

With an array of improving young guards Missouri has one of its best perimeter shooting teams in school history (with all due respect to the teams playing before the implementation of the three-point line) … The Tigers are shooting 41 percent from three-point land this year (#17 nationally), including a remarkable 43.2 percent as a team within the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena.

> Mizzou has made double-figure treys in six games this year, with a season high of 18 coming in the 99-56 win against Chattanooga … The 18 treys were a Mizzou Arena record and the second most in school history, just behind the 20 three-pointers Mizzou hit at Colorado on Feb. 23, 2002.

> Mizzou recently connected on 10 treys against Illinois at the annual Braggin’ Rights Game in St. Louis and 10 more in the win against Austin Peay.


Denmon Delivering

Marcus Denmon has continued to be one of the club’s most improved players and is one of the Big 12’s hottest shooters hitting 20-of-42 treys over his last seven contests.

> Denmon has tied his career high of 17 points three times in his last seven contests, dropping in 17 in games vs. Oregon, Oral Roberts and Austin Peay.

> Denmon is now second on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game and ranks third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (.439) and sixth in three-point makes per game (2.2).

> Over his last seven outings the Kansas City native is shooting 29-of-68 from the floor and 20-of-42 from three-point range.





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