Missouri Tigers vs. Florida Gators
Date: Feb. 19, 2013
Tip-Off: 8 p.m. CT
Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler - Play by Play / Jimmy Dykes - Analyst / Holly Rowe sidelines)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Rankings: Missouri - RV/RV - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches’ Poll Florida- No. 7/No. 6
Series: 2nd meeting; Florida leads 1-0 overall; last - Florida won 83-52 on Jan. 19, 2013 in Gainesville
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon ‘88); 177-113 overall (9th); 48-12 at Mizzou (2nd)
Florida: Billy Donovan (Providence ‘87) 407-161 at Florida (17th season); 442-181 overall (19th)
Mizzou Basketball returns home on Tuesday night for a key SEC showdown as the Tigers host the Top 10 Florida Gators on ESPN at 8 p.m.
The Tigers will look to continue their strong play at Mizzou Arena with Head Coach Frank Haith at the helm (29-1, .967) and since the 2008-09 season the program is a dominant 81-4 (.953) and has never dropped more than two home games in a single season.
Mizzou has a 15-game home court winning streak, which is the ninth longest home streak in school history and seventh longest active streak in America ... It is also the fourth streak of 15 or more consecutive home wins since the 2008-09 campaign.
Tuesday’s game also pits the lone home unbeatens in the SEC ... Missouri is 14-0 at home this year, while Florida is 12-0 at the O’Dome.
Mizzou is the lone high major team in college hoops with six players averaging double figures in scoring ... The Tigers have been one of college basketball’s more balanced scoring teams since 2010-11 having five players in double figures in 2010-11 and 2011-12 before having six in double figures this season.
Missouri is one of college basketball’s winningest teams since 2008-09 ... The Tigers have 125 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. 2 nationally with 42.2 boards per game ... Missouri has done a great job on the backboards in its last seven contests, boasting a rebounding margin of +14.0 ... The Tigers have outrebounded 21-of-25 opponents this year and have not been out-rebounded this season when Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi and Tony Criswell are in the lineup.
Phil Pressey is the lone Tiger ever to play a complete season for Frank Haith and if you break down the numbers Missouri is getting 84.3 percent of its scoring and 92.5 percent of its rebounding from Tigers that did not play at Mizzou one season ago.
Pressey has 509 career assists and is in “no man’s land” with regards to career dimes and conference rank, but he would be just 36 career assists shy of the Top 10 in Big 12 history and just 115 assists shy of the Top 10 in SEC history... and he is just a junior!
Keion Bell has been outstanding over his last nine games played and is leading the Tigers in scoring (17.4) over the last five weeks ... Despite missing games against South Carolina and at LSU, Bell is leading the team in scoring in SEC play, shooting 61.1 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three and 85.4 percent from the foul line during that stretch ... He is also averaging 1.7 steals per game.
Jabari Brown has emerged as another consistent scorer for the Tigers and has reached double figures in 14-of-16 contests since becoming eligible ... Brown is averaging 15.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in SEC competition thanks to his solid 39 percent shooting from three-point range ... Brown has already made 32 treys through 12 conference games and is second on the club with 43 free throw makes in league action.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
Missouri looks to bounce back from Saturday’s loss at Arkansas and remain undefeated at home as the Tigers face No. 6 Florida on ESPN Super Tuesday.
Mizzou has won two consecutive games vs. Top 10 opponents at home, topping No. 8 Kansas (74-71) and No. 6 Baylor (72-57) last season.
The Tigers are a perfect 14-0 at home this season and join Florida as the lone unbeatens at home in SEC play this year ... Missouri is also 1-0 vs. ranked teams at home this season and have won three consecutive games vs. Top 25 teams at Mizzou Arena dating back to last year.
Head Coach Frank Haith is a very good 8-4 vs. Top 25 opponents as the head coach of Mizzou and is 4-3 vs. the Top 10.
Missouri is 4-2 vs. Top 10 opponents at home since 2008-09 and is 7-4 vs. Top 12 opponents since Mizzou Arena opened in 2004-05.
Tuesday’s game is just the second meeting between the two schools in series history.
Mizzou has been very good following a loss under Frank Haith ... The Tigers are 10-1 in those games including a 6-0 record this season.
The Tigers are coming off a 73-71 loss at Arkansas, but got great efforts from several players, including Keion Bell who poured in 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with eight rebounds in 34 minutes.
Earnest Ross added 16 points off the bench as well and the Tigers out-rebounded Arkansas 47-31 in the two-point decision.
Bell has been spectacular in the month of February, averaging 21.2 points on 63 percent shooting from the floor to go with 5.0 rebounds and nearly two assists per game.
Missouri has tied a school record with six different players having scored at least 20 points in a game this season ... The last time that happened at Mizzou was during the 2008-09 season.
Mizzou has played just seven games this season with its regular rotation ... The Tigers are 5-2 in those contests with losses coming at Texas A&M and at Arkansas.
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.
The Tigers lead the SEC in free throw shooting, hitting 77.9 percent of their charity tosses in league play ... Overall this season the Tigers have made 392 free throws and their opponents have attempted just 414.
Nationally the Tigers rank No. 19 in free throw percentage (.750) and are the No. 1 high major free throw shooting team in America ... Arizona is No. 20 overall and second among high majors nationally (.748).
A big reason for those free throw numbers is the senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who is shooting a career best 74 percent at the line on the year and is hitting 79 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 74.7 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 41.2 points and are shooting 48.8 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line in the second half this year.
The club boasts a +6.5 scoring margin (41.2-to-34.7) in this second half of those games as well.
Mizzou’s defense has been outstanding at home this season, as just two teams have topped 70 points vs. Missouri (Auburn and Ole Miss) and opponents are averaging just 63.9 points on 38 percent shooting at Mizzou Arena.
Missouri has been one of the country’s top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded 21-of-25 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 14 of 25 games, including three straight vs. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas.
The Tigers also average 14.2 offensive rebounds per game (No. 14 nationally) and turn that into 14.0 second-chance points per contest.
Mizzou is No. 9 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage at 39.8 percent and have used that great rebounding to rank No. 17 nationally in offensive efficiency ... Mizzou of course led the country in offensive efficiency a season ago.
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 16 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 84.3 percent of its scoring and 92.5 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 six weeks thanks to the play of Keion Bell, Tony Criswell, Earnest Ross and the addition of Jabari Brown ... Missouri is averaging 19.0 points per game from its bench on the year, including 20.3 points over the last 19 games.
On the season Missouri has 16 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Ross - 8, Bell - 4, Criswell - 2, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 25 games with eight players averaging at least 18.7 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.