Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Missouri tidbits

by Barca Blog

A couple of notes on tonight's opponent: the Missouri Tigers (4-1).

The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball
Get ready for a fast-paced game inside Memorial. Mike Anderson's squads thrive off pressure defense to control the pace of the game.

Using a tenacious full-court press, UM is averaging 14.2 steals per game, which includes a school-record 24 against Chattanooga on Nov. 24. During last season's Elite Eight run, the Tigers broke the Big 12 record for total steals in a season with 388.

They're also forcing 22.4 turnovers per game with 27.6 points off those opponent miscues.

Plenty of Options
To run Anderson's system, you must have depth. Through five games, eight different Tigers have reached double figures in scoring and 10 different Tigers are averaging at least 11.6 minutes per game.

Crazy stat No. 1: Missouri’s bench is averaging 40.6 points per game. They've outscored the starters in 3-of-5 contests. Their leading scorer, sophomore guard Kim English, comes off the bench with 16.4 points per game.

Player to Watch
Keep an eye on senior guard J.T. Tiller. Tiller earned Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Big 12 last year with 68 steals. He missed two games this season after suffering a bone bruise in his left foot in the Tigers' opener.

The Blueprint?
Coming off their only loss of the season, Missouri shot a dismal 32 percent from the field and 18 percent from downtown against Richmond in the South Padre Invitational. The Spiders used a match-up zone defense to keep the Tigers' shooters off-balance.

Richmond was also able break Mizzou's press (and dictate the pace of the game) by committing only 14 turnovers with UM converting just 10 points off the errors.

Crazy stat No. 2: Missouri is looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since the end of the 2007-08 season.

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