From the University of Missouri
Tip-Off: 8 p.m. CT
Arena: Reed Arena (12,989)
TV: ESPN2 (Reece Davis - Play by Play / Bob Knight- Analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Missouri - No. 21/No. 20 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll
Texas A&M - NR/NR
Series: 24th meeting; Missouri leads 13-10 overall; last - Won 71-62 on Feb. 18, 2012 in College Station
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon ‘88); 175-111 overall (9th); 46-10 at Mizzou (2nd)
Texas A&M: Billy Kennedy (SE Louisiana ‘86) 27-26 at A&M (2nd season); 238-205 overall (15th)
> Missouri Basketball will go searching for its first road win of the 2012-13 season as it travels to College Station, Texas, for a Thursday night game against former Big 12 foe, Texas A&M ... Missouri is 2-0 vs. the Aggies under Head Coach Frank Haith, winning both meetings last season, including a 71-62 win in College Station last year.
> Haith had two stints as an assistant coach at Texas A&M (1992-95 and 1996-97) ... Aggie Head Coach Billy Kennedy also served on Haith's staff at Miami from 2005-06 before taking over at Murray State the following season.
> Mizzou has just one player, Phil Pressey, who played in those two meetings season last season ... In fact, Pressey is the lone Tiger ever to play a complete season for Haith and if you break down the numbers Missouri is getting 84.0 percent of its scoring and 92.6 percent of its rebounding from Tigers that did not play at Mizzou one season ago.
> Speaking of Pressey, he is quickly approaching the career assists record at Mizzou ... The Dallas native is averaging 8.5 dimes per game over his last 11 outings and needs just seven more assists to pass Anthony Peeler (497 - 1988-92) for No. 1 all-time ... Pressey leads the Southeastern Conference with 7.2 dimes per game and could lead his second league in assists for the second consecutive year ... Pressey led the Big 12 in assists in 2011-12 with 6.4 dimes per game.
> Missouri's newcomers fueled the team's 91-77 win over Auburn on Saturday ... Keion Bell (24 points) and Earnest Ross (23 points) had their high-point outputs as Tigers, with Ross hitting 5-of-6 treys against his former club.
> Missouri is one of college basketball's most balanced scoring teams this season ... The Tigers have five players averaging double figures in points and a sixth player, Keion Bell, is averaging 9.8 points a night ... Bell has been playing some of his best basketball of late, averaging 15.0 points on 61 percent shooting from the floor over his last five games played.
> Missouri is one of college basketball's winningest teams since 2008-09 ... The Tigers have 123 wins over the last five years, which is ninth among high major programs nationally.
> Mizzou continues to be one of the country's better rebounding clubs, ranking No. 4 nationally with 42.0 boards per game ... Missouri has done a great job on the backboards in its last three games, boasting a rebounding margin of +12.3 in games vs. Vanderbilt, LSU and Auburn ... The Tigers have outrebounded 17-of-21 opponents this year have not been out-rebounded this season when Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi and Tony Criswell are in the lineup.
> Jabari Brown has emerged as Mizzou's most consistent scorer in league play and has reached double figures in 11-of-12 contests since becoming eligible ... Brown is averaging 16.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in SEC competition thanks to his solid 38 percent shooting from three-point range ... Brown has already made 24 treys through eight conference games and leads the club with 30 free throw makes in league action.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
> Mizzou will finally face a familiar opponent on Thursday night as the Tigers take on former Big 12 foe Texas A&M on ESPN2.
> Missouri and Texas A&M will meet for the 24th time on the hardwood, which is the second longest series amongst SEC rivalries for Mizzou ... Missouri and Arkansas have met 37 times dating back to 1950.
> Mizzou is looking for its first road win of the season ... The Tigers are 0-4 away from home, but are 3-1 in neutral-court games.
> Mizzou has played just three games this season with its regular rotation, including Saturday's win over Auburn ... The Tigers are 3-0 in those contests, earning wins over the Auburn Tigers as well as South Carolina State and then-No. 10 Illinois.
> With injuries and a near complete roster turnover, Missouri has used eight different starting lineups this year ... Haith used the same starting lineup throughout the 2011-12 campaign.
> Keion Bell scored his season high as a Missouri Tiger, 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead Mizzou to a 91-77 win over Auburn ... Earnest Ross dropped in 23 vs. his former squad and Phil Pressey dished 10 assists.
> Mizzou has won two consecutive games vs. Texas A&M, including a 71-62 win last year at Reed Arena ... Missouri had dropped eight straight in the series before last year's season sweep.
> The Tigers lead the SEC in free throw shooting, hitting 77 percent of their charity tosses in league play ... Overall this season the Tigers have made 324 free throws and their opponents have attempted 338.
> A big reason for those free throw numbers is senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who is shooting a career best 74 percent at the line on the year and is hitting 81 percent of his attempts in league play.
> Oriakhi is the first Tiger to average 8.0+ rebounds and shoot 70+ percent from the foul line since Doug Smith in 1990-91.
> Over the last four seasons Missouri is shooting 74.3 percent from the foul line as a team and the Tigers have not been below 72.4 percent as a team since 2008-09.
> Mizzou has been very good in the second half of games all season ... The Tigers are averaging 41.1 points and are shooting 49 percent from the floor, 36 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the foul line in the second half this year.
> The club boasts a +6.9 scoring margin (41.1-to-34.2) in this second half of those games as well.
> Head Coach Frank Haith is a very good 7-4 vs. Top 25 opponents as the head coach of Mizzou and is 4-3 vs. the Top 10.
> Mizzou's defense has been outstanding at home this season, as just one team has topped 70 points vs. Missouri (Auburn) and opponents are averaging just 60.2 points on 36.5 percent shooting at Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri has been one of the country's top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded 17-of-21 foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri enjoyed its largest rebounding margin of the year on Dec. 8 (+25) and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantage in 11 of 21 games.
> The Tigers also average 14.3 offensive rebounds per game (No. 19 nationally) and turn that into 14.0 second-chance points per contest.
> Mizzou is currently rebounding 43 percent of its missed shot attempts this year.
> Missouri has had six different players record double-figures in rebounds in a game this season, which is the most since six Tigers accomplished the feat during the 1995-96 campaign ... The school record for the number of players recording at least 10 rebounds in one game is seven, set during the 1959-60 season.
> In addition, Missouri already has a total of 15 point-rebound double-doubles between four different players (Bowers, Oriakhi, Ross and Bell), bettering the nine team double-doubles for Mizzou in 2011-12.
> Although the Tigers have a number of familiar faces due to transfer years with the program, just one player, Phil Pressey, has played for Head Coach Frank Haith ... Missouri is getting 84.0 percent of its scoring and 92.6 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action at Mizzou a season ago.
> Missouri has started to build its bench over the last month thanks to the play of Keion Bell, Tony Criswell, Earnest Ross and the addition of Jabari Brown ... Missouri is averaging 19.6 points per game from its bench on the year, including 22.1 points over the last 15 games.
> On the season Missouri has 14 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Ross - 6, Bell - 4, Criswell - 2, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 21 games with eight players averaging at least 19.9 minutes a contest ... Nine different Tigers have also reached double figures in scoring in a game this season and seven different Tigers have recorded at least 7+ boards in a game.
> Missouri has won 73 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (66-0) the club's average margin of victory has been 26.7 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Missouri is 16-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and 15 of those 16 wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 24-2 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 18 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons and continues its search for a record-setting fifth consecutive 20-win campaign ... The Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last four seasons.
> MU also won 20+ in four consecutive years from 1988-92 and 1979-83.
> Missouri was college basketball's most efficient offensive club a year ago (according to KenPom.com) ... And how about this for an exciting SEC schedule, Kentucky was ranked No. 2 and Florida was No. 3.
> Haith was of course named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, taking the Tigers to their second 30-win season in school history and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.
> Mizzou got an early start to its 2012-13 campaign, playing five games in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... However none of Missouri's current players saw action overseas, proving to be a great opportunity for the MU newcomers to get extended playing time.
> The Tigers played games in Amsterdam, Belgium and France.
> Missouri will be seen on TV like never before thanks to the move to the SEC ... The Tigers will have a school record 18 games appearing on national TV during the regular season.
> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards.
> In the front court Alex Oriakhi was ranked No. 35 and Laurence Bowers checked in at No. 38.
> Newcomer Jabari Brown was ranked among college hoop's top wing players, checking in at No. 48.
> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country's No. 5 most-important player.
> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.
> Missouri's transfer class of Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross is being considered as one of the best in basketball history by the Sporting News.