On Saturday afternoon (4:00 P.M., MSN) at Mizzou Arena, the #11/#15 Missouri Tigers (7-1) play host to the Presbyterian College Blue Hose (3-5, 1-1), of the Big South Conference. Presbyterian, which is located in Clinton, S.C., is coming off of a 92-78 conference win over VMI. The Blue Hose have yet to play a home game this season, and have recorded losses at Vanderbilt (47-88), and at Kansas State (67-76).
Presbyterian has done a good job of taking care of the basketball, and as a team, the Blue Hose shoots over 41% from behind the 3-PT line. Their leading scorer is 6'7" junior C Al'Lonzo Coleman (14.6 points/game). Coleman is an inside scorer, and volume shooter, who also leads the Blue Hose in rebounding (7.4 rebounds/game).
Sharp shooting Khalid Mutakabbir, a 6'4" sophomore guard, averages 12.5 points/game for Presbyterian, and is hitting 59% of his 3-PT attempts. Another good shooter for the Blue Hose is 6'9" sophomore PF Jake Troyli (10.8 points/game, 4.6 rebounds/game).
Rounding out Presbyterian's starting line-up is a pair of junior guards, their primary ball-handlers, in 6'3" Josh Johnson (9.3 points/game, 2.5 A/T Ratio), and 5'10" Pierre Miller (9.1 points/game, 4.5 assists/game, 2.6 A/T Ratio), both of whom have also shot the basketball very well.
Presbyterian's bench isn't especially deep, as the Blu Hose have been playing about 8 guys. An occasional starter, savvy 6'4" senior F Walt Allen, brings experience, and is a solid ball-handler, and 6'6" sophomore F Ryan Hargrave, and 6'8" freshman F Joshua Clyburn, have seen action in most games.
As a team, Presbyterian has been outrebounded by an average margin of over 5 rebounds/game, and have been outscored, on average, by almost 10 points/game. The Blue Hose have taken pretty good care of the basketball, with a collective 1.1 A/T Ratio.
For Missouri, the Blue Hose will present the challenge of trying to cover their outside shooters. Of course, Presbyterian lacks interior size, and that should make it easier for the Tigers to defend the perimeter.
Marcus Denmon leads the Tigers in scoring, at 17 points/game, and is connecting on over half of his 3-PT shots. Missouri has five players currently averaging in double figures in scoring, including Ricardo Ratliffe (12.6 points/game, 8.4 rebounds/game), Michael Dixon (11.4 points/game, 4.1 assists/game, 2.8 steals/game), Laurence Bowers (10.8 points/game, 6.3 rebounds/game), and Kim English (10.6 points/game).
A couple of players who have previously started some games lead the charge off of the bench for Missouri, in Justin Safford and Matt Pressey, who are each averaging over 6 points/game for the Tigers. Phil Pressy, Steve Moore, and sometimes, Ricky Kreklow, complete Coach Anderson's regular playing rotation.
Missouri's opponents have hit 39% from behing the 3-PT line, an unacceptably high percentage for the Tigers to be allowing, an indication of Missouri's failure to challenge shots taken from behind the arc. And, the Tigers are committing an unacceptably high number of turnovers (14.1 turnovers/game).
But, Missouri is outrebounding opponents by about 2 rebounds/game, and have turned opponents over at a rate of 20.6 turnovers/game. In addition, Missouri is assisting on 55% of their FGs, an average of 16.8 assists/game, and outscoring opponents by more than 11 points/game. And after all, that's the stat that really matters.
FGM: 245 193
FGA: 531 420
FG %: .461 .460
3pt FGM: 59 57
3pt FGA: 159 138
3FG %: .371 .413
FTM: 129 63
FTA: 183 94
FT% .705 .670
Points: 678 506
Per Game: 84.8 63.2
Reb./Gm 37.4 28.3
Steals 10.4 4.3
Assists: 16.8 14.6
Blocks: 5.1 2.4