Missouri Tigers at Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Feb. 23, 2013
Tip-Off: 8 p.m. CT
Arena: Rupp Arena (23,000)
TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman - Play by Play / Dick Vitale - Analyst / Samantha Ponder sidelines)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)
Rankings: Missouri - RV/RV - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches’ Poll Kentucky- RN/RV
Series: Kentucky leads 4-0; Last 70-53 win by UK in the Sugar Bowl Classic on Dec. 30, 1999 in New Orleans
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon ‘88); 178-113 overall (9th); 49-12 at Mizzou (2nd)
Kentucky: John Calipari (Clarion ‘82) 120-22 at Kentucky (4th season); 564-162 overall (19th)
Mizzou Basketball makes its first trip to Rupp Arena on Saturday night as the Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats meet for the first time as league foes before ESPN College GameDay in Lexington, Ky.
Mizzou had an estimated 5,000 attendees for College GameDay in Columbia, Mo., the morning of Feb. 4, 2012, when the No. 4 Tigers topped No. 8 Kansas, 74-71, behind Marcus Denmon’s 29 points and nine rebounds.
Missouri and Kentucky are two clubs with the most roster transition in college basketball this year ... Kentucky does not return one player that started a game last season and Missouri has just one player, junior guard Phil Pressey, that started a season ago.
In fact 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 84.4 percent of its scoring and 92.2 percent of its rebounding from players that did not see action for the club last season.
Missouri is one of college basketball’s winningest teams since 2008-09 ... The Tigers have 126 wins over the last five years, which is ninth among high major programs nationally.
Missouri is one win from its 20th victory of the season ... The Tigers have won 20+ games in four consecutive years and a fifth consecutive 20-win season would be a school record.
Head Coach Frank Haith is also one win shy of his 50th as the head coach at Missouri ... Haith would be the fastest coach to 50 wins in school history following last season’s 30-5 mark.
Mizzou continues to be one of the country’s better rebounding clubs, ranking No. 1 nationally with 42.2 boards per game ... Missouri has done a great job on the backboards in its last eight contests, boasting a rebounding margin of +13.8 ... The Tigers have outrebounded 22-of-26 opponents this year and have not been out-rebounded this season when Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi and Tony Criswell are in the lineup.
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.
Pressey has 519 career assists and is in “no man’s land” with regards to career dimes and conference rank, but he would be just 26 career assists shy of the Top 10 in Big 12 history and just 105 assists shy of the Top 10 in SEC history.
Keion Bell has been outstanding over his last 10 games played and is leading the Tigers in scoring (16.6) during that stretch ... Despite missing games against South Carolina and at LSU, Bell is eighth in the league in scoring in SEC play (15.1) and is shooting 61.6 percent from the floor and 86.0 percent from the foul line during that stretch ... He is also averaging 1.5 steals per game.
Jabari Brown has emerged as another consistent scorer for the Tigers and has reached double figures in 15-of-17 contests since becoming eligible ... Brown is averaging 15.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in SEC competition thanks to his solid 38 percent shooting from three-point range.
Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...
Missouri Basketball heads to Lexington, Ky., for its second appearance on ESPN College GameDay this weekend as the Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats battle in a key SEC showdown as the regular season nears the finish line.
The winner of Saturday’s game will move into third place in the SEC standings with just two weeks remaining.
Mizzou is 1-0 when playing in front of the ESPN College GameDay crew, topping Kansas, 74-71, on Feb. 4, 2012, last season.
Missouri has played better on the road of late and looks for its first win in Lexington in program history (0-2) ... Missouri has not played in Lexington since 1971, falling to Adolph Rupp’s Wildcats, 83-79, in the Kentucky Invitational on Dec. 17, 1971.
Missouri is looking for its first win in the series and all-four of the previous meetings have come away from Columbia, including the most recent outing, a 70-58 defeat on Dec. 30, 1999, in the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans.
Mizzou faces a John Calipari-coached club for the first time since defeating Memphis, 101-91, on March 26, 2009, in the Sweet 16 in Glendale, Ariz.
Frank Haith is 1-0 at Rupp Arena as a head coach, winning 73-68 in 2008 ... Missouri has never played a game in Rupp Arena.
Missouri is looking for its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign, which would be a school record ... 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.
Mizzou has of course been outstanding at home this year ... The Tigers are a perfect 15-0 at home this season and join Florida as the lone unbeatens at home in SEC play ... Missouri is also 2-0 vs. ranked teams at home this season and have won four consecutive games vs. Top 25 teams at Mizzou Arena dating back to last year.
Overall, head coach Frank Haith is a very good 9-4 vs. Top 25 opponents at Mizzou and is 5-3 vs. the Top 10.
Missouri is 5-2 vs. Top 10 opponents at home since 2008-09 and is 8-4 vs. Top 12 opponents since Mizzou Arena opened in 2004-05.
Missouri is coming off a thrilling 63-60 win over No. 5 Florida on Tuesday ... The Tigers limited the Gators to 40 percent shooting and the 60 points scored by Florida was its fewest this season ... The last club to hold Florida to 60 or fewer points was Kentucky last year (74-59 UK win) on March 4, 2012.
Laurence Bowers led Mizzou with 17 points and 10 rebounds, logging his fifth double-double of the season.
Phil Pressey narrowly missed a double-double of his own, dishing 10 assists and scoring seven points in 39 minutes vs. Florida’s pressure defense.
Keion Bell has been spectacular in the month of February (last six games), averaging 19.2 points on 64 percent shooting from the floor to go with 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
Bell is averaging 20.3 points on 60 percent shooting in his last three road contests at Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Arkansas.
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 eight games this season with its regular rotation ... The Tigers are 6-2 in those contests with losses coming at Texas A&M and at Arkansas ... Three of those six wins are vs. ranked opponents.
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 78.0 percent of their charity tosses in league play ... Overall this season the Tigers have made 404 free throws and their opponents have attempted just 426.
Nationally the Tigers rank No. 19 in free throw percentage (.751) and are the No. 1 high major free throw shooting team in America ... Utah is No. 21 overall and second among high majors nationally (.749).
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 78 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 74.5 percent (2017-of-2709) 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 48.7 percent from the floor, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 78.2 percent from the foul line in the second half this year.
The club boasts a +6.5 scoring margin (41.1-to-34.6) 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 61.4 points on 37 percent shooting at Mizzou Arena.
Missouri has been one of the country’s top rebounding teams throughout the year and has out-rebounded 22-of-26 foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri enjoyed its largest rebounding margin of the year on Dec. 8 (+25) and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantages in 15-of-26 games, including four straight vs. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Florida.
The Tigers also average 14.1 offensive rebounds per game (No. 15 nationally) and turn that into 13.7 second-chance points per contest.
Mizzou is No. 9 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage at 39.7 percent and have used that great rebounding to rank No. 16 nationally in offensive efficiency ... Mizzou of course led the country in offensive efficiency a season ago.
Mizzou is also much improved in its defensive efficiency over last season ... Per Kenpom.com, the Tigers are No. 54 in defensive efficiency compared to No. 115 last 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 17 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 84.4 percent of its scoring and 92.2 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 18.7 points per game from its bench on the year.
On the season Missouri has 18 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Ross - 9, Bell - 4, Criswell - 2, Brown, Jankovic and Webster-Chan - 1).
Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through 26 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 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.
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.