Missouri Tigers take on Oral Roberts tonight

University of Missouri Tigers (5-2) vs.

Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles (5-4)

2009-10 Regular Season Game 8 - December 9, 2009 - Tulsa, Okla.


Tip-off: 7 p.m. CST

Arena: Mabee Center - Tulsa, Okla. (10,575)

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, Oral Roberts: NV/NV in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 5-0; last on Nov. 30, 2008, 92-83 win for Mizzou in Columbia, Mo.

Coaches: Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 159-78 overall (8th season); 70-37 at Mizzou (4th)

Oral Roberts: Scott Sutton (Oklahoma State, '95) 180-130 (11th season) at Oral Roberts

For Openers

> Missouri Basketball hits the road once again as the Tigers travel to Tulsa, Okla., to face an Oral Roberts club that has won back-to-back Summit League games ... Missouri is making its first of two trips to Oklahoma this year ... Missouri will play in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners on Jan. 16 ... Missouri of course enjoyed their time in the state a year ago, going 4-0 with a win in Stillwater against Oklahoma State, while earning three wins at the Big 12 Championship en route to the Big 12 Tournament crown ... Missouri is actually 5-2 all-time in Oklahoma under Mike Anderson.

> Wednesday will be a Homecoming for Anderson and his wife Marcheita ... Marcheita is from a small town just outside of Tulsa and attended high school in Bixby and of course Coach Anderson played (and coached) collegiately at Tulsa for Nolan Richardson ... In fact Richardson is back in Tulsa coaching the new WNBA team, formerly the Detroit Shock.

> Anderson led Tulsa to a 50-13 record as a point guard and played in the NCAA Tournament (vs. Houston in 1982) in the Mabee Center, the site of Wednesday's contest ... Anderson and Tulsa actually beat Oral Roberts in the Mabee Center (72-69) on Dec. 8, 1980 ... Missouri was also in that same NCAA Regional in Tulsa that year and fell to the same Houston squad that nipped Tulsa and advanced all the way to the Final Four.

> If it seems like Missouri has been on the road a lot lately, you're be right ... The Tigers will be playing their fourth (of the last five) game away from Mizzou Arena, meaning exactly half of Mizzou's first eight games have occurred in a road / neutral-court setting.

> Keep an eye on Mizzou's Zaire Taylor on Wednesday ... The senior has played even better in road games over his Tiger tenure ... Last season Taylor averaged 9.2 points (averaged 6.7 ppg on the entire year) and shot 54 percent from the floor and hit 10-of-20 three point attempts on the road ... Taylor also dished 38 assists compared to just 10 turnovers ... Of his 11 double figure scoring games in 2008-09, eight came on the road or in a neutral-court setting, including 17 tallies at Georgia and 17 (including the game-winner) at #16 Texas ... Taylor continued that trend last week at Vanderbilt as he scored 17 points, dished five assists and ripped away five steals vs. the Commodores.

> One thing Tiger fans are enjoying this season is points off 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 22.3 turnovers per game and is averaging 29.7 points off those opponent miscues.

Mizzou Quick Hitters

> Missouri Basketball hits the road once again as the Tigers travel to Tulsa, Okla., to face the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

> Missouri is looking for its second non-conference road win in its last three tries ... The Tigers won last season at Georgia and dropped an 89-83 decision at Vanderbilt one week ago.

> Missouri is playing its first non-conference road game against a team from a conference other than the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-10 since traveling to a very good Davidson club (82-73 loss) during the 2005-06 season.

> Missouri is in the midst of a tough stretch of games that included "resume building" contests vs. Old Dominion, Richmond, Vanderbilt and Oregon and continues with Wednesday's road game at Oral Roberts.

> Missouri continues to be one of the country's most efficient teams in 2009-10 ... One year after leading the nation in assists per game (18.4), the Tigers are dishing 18.4 dimes a contest this year ... MU already has six players with double-figure assist totals and as a team MU is registering dimes on 62 percent of its hoops (129 assists on 208 baskets).

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

> It's certainly early, but the Tigers sport excellent depth on their roster through seven games ... Nine different players have reached double figures in scoring and 10 different Tigers are averaging at least 10.7 minutes per game ... In addition, that depth fuels Missouri's pressure and has allowed the Tigers to reach double figures in steals in 5-of-7 contests, including a school record 24 thefts vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 24.

> Those steal numbers are way ahead of last season's pace ... The Tigers have ripped 92 steals in 2009-10, much higher than the 78 steals MU enjoyed last season through the same number of contests.

> That balance is also reflected in the Big 12 Conference statistics where Zaire Taylor (2.7 spg) is second in the league, Keith Ramsey (2.0) ranks third and Kim English (1.7) ranks 12th.

> Missouri continues to be outstanding at the free throw line this season ... The Tigers are hitting at a 72.3 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 40.0 of their 84.1 points per game from the reserves ... Missouri's bench has actually outscored their starters in 3-of-7 games already this season and are outscoring their opposition's bench 40.0-to-16.4.

> Mizzou has had a double-figure scorer off the pine in all-seven games this season, including a season high three players in Saturday's win against Oregon.

> One thing about Mike Anderson's clubs, they are built for the long haul ... Over his tenure "Coach A's" teams have averaged 26.4 points per game off the bench... That's over 107 career games.

> It's nothing new to have the reserves outscore the starters either ... Including three games this season, the reserves have dropped in more tallies than the "initial five" 15 times (in 107 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!

> With the Tigers' improved backcourt depth the team is averaging 13.1 steals per game on the young 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 ... While Oral Roberts isn't getting Top 25 votes yet, the Golden Eagles enjoyed an 83-81 win at Stanford on Nov. 19.

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

> ESPN The Magazine also showed Missouri some respect, ranking the club #14 nationally in its college basketball preseason issue.

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 made his return from a bone bruise in his left foot vs. Old Dominion and distributed a season high seven assists vs. the Monarchs.

> Tiller has twice notched seven assists in a game, including seven dimes at Vanderbilt.

> Tiller has been in double figures in scoring each game since his return from injury, averaging 10.5 points during that time.

> The Marietta, Ga., native has 248 career assists and needs just 82 dimes this year to move into the career Top 10.

> He also owns 122 career steals and 29 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 1.3 already ranks in Mizzou's career Top 10.

> Zaire Taylor will be asked to score more in 2010, but is known for his excellent ball protection ... The Staten Island native was one of America's top point guards a season ago and 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 25 dimes while committing just six turnovers in his last six games.

> Taylor has been on a tear over his last two outings and is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.5 steals and shooting 78 percent from three-point range over his last two contests.

> Taylor is a remarkable 12-of-18 from the floor (.667) and 7-of-9 (.778) from bonus distance in games against Vanderbilt and Oregon.

> In fact Taylor has hit 73-of142 field goals (51.4 %) and 22-of-52 treys (42.3 %) in 21 career games away from Mizzou Arena.

> 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 made his first career start at Vanderbilt on Dec. 2 while playing in front of numerous family and friends.

> Bowers has reached double figures three times this season and continues to be one of the team's most efficient players shooting 64 percent from the floor, while hitting both of his three-point field goal attempts ... The Memphis native is also a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line.

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

> Bowers tied a career high with 16 points in the opener and has set career highs in rebounding, steals and blocked shots already this season.

> Overall the sophomore is one of Missouri's most consistent players and is third on the team in scoring (10.3) and second field goal percentage (.638), first in rebounding (5.9) and tops in blocked shots (1.7).

> 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 enjoyed back-to-back career high scoring games vs. Texas-Pan American and Chattanooga ... English dropped in 25 points in the win against Texas-Pan American, before torching the Mocs for 26 points.

> English scored 21 of his 26 in the first half against the Mocs ... He's the first Tiger to drop in 20+ in the first half since Thomas Gardner scored 40 against Kansas in an overtime win in 2006.

> English has reached double figures in six consecutive games for the Tigers, including another 20-point effort at Vanderbilt, a career high for the sophomore away from home.

> English is averaging 18.2 points per game over his last five outings, which includes those three 20-point efforts.

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

> Denmon scored a career high 17 points vs. Chattanooga, while contributing six rebounds, three assists, three steals and just one turnover.

> Denmon equaled that career high with 17 points on 4-of-10 three-point shooting vs. Oregon in the Big 12 / Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

> The Kansas City native has twice tied his career high in rebounding this year and is third on the team in rebounds (3.6) and second in three-point makes (13).

> 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 logged a career high eight points in the win against Tennessee-Martin.

> Michael Dixon made the first shot of his collegiate career in the season opener, swishing home a three-pointer at the 9:54 mark of the first half vs. Tennessee-Martin.

> Dixon enjoyed another "first" vs. Texas-Pan American, his first start, as he scored nine points, dished seven assists and committed just one turnover.

> Dixon continues to take strides in his first season and notched his first career double-figure scoring game at Vanderbilt, with 11 points and two assists on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor ... Dixon went for 10 points in the win over Oregon as well, while dropping three dimes in 20 minutes.

Series with Oral Roberts

Missouri and Oral Roberts will meet up for the sixth time on Wednesday and the Tigers own a perfect 5-0 mark vs. the Golden Eagles ... Missouri won last year's contest 92-83 and will play ORU next year as well ... The Tigers are 1-0 in Tulsa vs. ORU with an 83-74 win on Jan. 3, 1981.

About Oral Roberts

ORU has won three of its last four contests entering Wednesday, including back-to-back Summit League triumphs against UMKC and Southern Utah ... Oral Roberts is 5-4 on the season and has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Dominique Morrison (14.4) and Michael Craion (12.7) a pair of Kansas City, Mo., natives ... Craion and center Kevin Ford lead the team in rebounding at 7.6 and 7.7 boards respectively, but a rash of injuries to a couple key reserves has hurt the depth of Scott Sutton's club in 2009-10.

Sooner State Success

Missouri has enjoyed great success in the state of Oklahoma since Mike Anderson's arrival in Columbia ... The Tigers are 5-2 all-time, with a pair of wins at Oklahoma State and of course the 2009 Big 12 Tournament Championship.

Date Opponent Outcome

2-17-07 at #18 Oklahoma State W, 75-64

3-8-07 vs. Baylor L, 83-97

3-8-08 at Oklahoma L, 75-66

3-12-09 vs. Texas Tech W, 81-60

3-13-09 vs. Oklahoma State W, 67-59

3-14-09 vs. Baylor W, 73-60

Mabee Center Memories

There is nothing quite like going back to your old college stomping grounds and while Mike Anderson played collegiately at Tulsa, his return to the city will bring back some unique memories.

> Although it wasn't their home floor, did you know that Coach Anderson and the Tulsa Hurricane played some high-level NBA talent in the Mabee Center during his two seasons as a player? Tulsa took on Dominique Wilkins and the Georgia Bulldogs in the arena Dec. 12, 1980, and then faced Phi Slamma Jamma (aka Houston Cougars) in the 1982 NCAA Tournament ... Akeem Olajuwon (now Hakeem) was a freshman on that team and of course Clyde Drexler was roaming the perimeter.

Balancing Act

Mike Anderson calls Missouri the "Ultimate Team" and through seven games MU's incredible balance perfectly illustrates his point.

> The Tigers have had seven different players tie or share for the team lead in assists (in seven games) this season.

> MU has had five different players tie or share the team lead in steals.

> Four different players have led the club in rebounding and four different players have led the club in scoring.

Mizzou Arena - Now A Home Court

With Missouri Basketball unleashing the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball and the Tiger crowds responding, Mizzou Arena is now one of the nation's toughest homecourt venues ... Missouri ranks #5 nationally with its active 23-game homecourt win streak, tied for the third longest streak in school history.

> Kansas leads the nation with 46 consecutive home wins, while Utah State (37) ranks #2.

> The MU record for homecourt wins is 34, which was set during the 1988-90 seasons ... The 1980-82 teams won 29 consecutive, while the 1974-76 teams won 23 in a row.

All-Time Mizzou Basketball Homecourt Winning Streaks

1. 1988-90 34

2. 1980-82 29

3. 1974-76 23

2007-09 23

4. 1919-21 22

6. 1987-88 21

Here Come The Men In Block

It's early, but Missouri's front line of Keith Ramsey, Justin Safford and Laurence Bowers are blocking shots and a pretty high rate ... MU already boasts 40 blocked shots through seven games and can begin looking towards the school records books for most blocks in a single season ... Since Mike Anderson's arrival at MU the high for swats in a year is 140, set in 2008-09 ... The school record is 154 set during the 2001-02 campaign.

> Missouri is currently blocking 5.7 shots a night (fourth in the Big 12) and Bowers' 12 (also fourth in the league) leads the team ... Ramsey (10) and Safford (6) rank second and third respectively.

> Missouri had just 22 blocked shots last season through seven games, so the 40 swats is twice the pace from a year ago.

Free Is Good

The season is only seven games deep, but the Tigers appear much improved at the free throw line as the team is shooting 72.3 percent at the stripe.

> The 72-percent "free throwing" is the best since Mike Anderson's arrival in Columbia and would actually be the eighth highest percentage in school history.

> Missouri has shot better than 70 percent in 5-of-7 games this year and you would have to go back to 2003-04 (.709) to find the last Tiger team to top 70 percent at the line in a single season.

Welcome Back Mr. Tiller

Missouri senior guard J.T. Tiller has made a big impact in his return to the Tiger line up ... Tiller has reached double figures in scoring in all four games since his return and is averaging 10.8 points and 3.8 assists per game in tough contests against Old Dominion, Richmond, Vanderbilt and Oregon ... Included in that stretch is a season high seven assists vs. Old Dominion and Vandy.

Mizzou Arena - Home Sweet Home

Mike Anderson is a perfect 34-0 all-time in non-conference home games at Missouri ... Not only have the Tigers won 34 consecutive in non-league action, but they have done so in dominating fashion, sporting a 26.2 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, Oregon, Purdue, Murray State, Mississippi State, Oral Roberts and others during that 34-game stretch.

> Missouri has actually been more dominant at home than normal this year, owning a 37.8 ppg margin of victory, including a 56-point win against Texas-Pan American (100-44), which is the largest margin of victory in the history of Mizzou Arena, a 43-point triumph against Chattanooga (99-56) and a 37-point win against Oregon (106-69).

Year Record Margin of Victory

2006-07 11-0 18.7 ppg

2007-08 9-0 27.5 ppg

2008-09 10-0 29.5 ppg

2009-10 4-0 37.8 ppg

Total 34-0 26.2 ppg.

Share The Wealth

Mike Anderson teams have always passed the ball well and since his arrival in Columbia, Mizzou has turned in some of its greatest assist seasons in school history, including leading the country in dimes in 2008-09 ... Missouri has picked up where it left off already this year, as the Tigers dished 28 assists in a 100-44 win against Texas-Pan American, 28 dimes against Oregon (106-69) and 25 more assists against Chattanooga.

> Missouri has dished 20 or more assists in 29-of-107 games during Anderson's tenure and the Tigers are an incredible 28-1 in those contests ... Missouri's lone loss with 20+ assists came in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament a year ago (21 vs. UConn) and the Tigers are 4-1 when dishing 20 dimes vs. ranked teams.

Well-Rounded Ramsey

In just seven games this season, senior forward Keith Ramsey has set career highs in four different categories for MU ... Ramsey opened the year with a career high 15 points in the win against Tennessee-Martin, before doling out career highs of five assists and four steals in the win against Texas-Pan American ... He recently set his career rebounding mark in the win against Old Dominion, nabbing eight boards in 33 minutes.

> The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native ranks among Missouri's leaders in several "GLUE" stats, ranking second in steals (2.0) and second in rebounding (5.6), while dishing out 2.0 assists and blocking 1.4 shots a game.

Sophomore Sensations

Mizzou's large sophomore class of Laurence Bowers, Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Steve Moore and Miguel Paul are having a huge impact early this season... The quintet is averaging a combined 42.7 points, 15.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists for the 5-2 Tigers, with Bowers, Denmon, English and Paul all reaching double figures a combined 14 times.

> While English (16.6), Bowers (10.3) and Denmon (10.3) lead the team in scoring, Paul is third on the club with 3.3 assists per game and Moore has enjoyed career highs already in a number of categories, including minutes played.

Top Recruiting Haul

Missouri's recruiting class in the early signing period was rated #1 in the Big 12 Conference by virtually every recruiting service and was rated #7 nationally by USA Today.

> Anderson added four members to his squad for next season, as Phil Pressey, Tony Mitchell, Rick Kreklow and Kadeem Green inked with Mizzou.