Tigers Set For Monday Night Court Action

On Monday night (7:00, MSN),  the #25 Missouri Tigers (1-0) play host to the Mercer Bears (1-0) in first-round action of the CBE Classic. We preview the match-up.

On Monday night (7:00, MSN),  the #25 Missouri Tigers (1-0) play host to the Mercer Bears (1-0) in first-round action of the CBE Classic. 

Missouri prevailed in their season opener over SEMO by a score of 83-68.  Ricardo Ratliffe and Marcus Denmon paced the Tigers in that one, each scoring 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.  Kim English scored 19 points, and Phil Pressey netted 10 points, to give the Tigers four double-digit scorers against SEMO.

Afterward, Coach Haith talked about the need for his team to improve defensively, and to do a better job on the boards.  Then, he addressed something that he liked.

"The thing that I really liked about our team (against SEMO) was our ability to get to the free throw line,"  said Coach Haith.  "If we continue to attack, get the one and one, that's a plus for us.  It slows the game down." 

Coach also had to like the way that his team shot free throws.  Against SEMO, Missouri made over 85% of their free throws.  He also said that he's like to see his team take better shots. 

"We don't want contested shots in early offense,"  said Coach Haith.  "We want at least five passes.  That's something we need to continue to stress with our guys.  We made a lot of bad decisions on early post-ups, and some bad turnovers.  Getting the defense to move, you're going to get a better chance to drop the ball in the post."

Mercer's fourth-year coach, Bob Ho?man, has a roster that dwarfs the Tigers, with four players in his starting line-up that are 6'6" or taller.  The Bears come into Mizzou Arena off of a 66-57 win over Emory.  In that one, sophomore guard Bud Thomas led Mercer with 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.  The Bears owned the glass against Emory, with a 44-30 rebound advantage.  Mercer, who plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference, compiled a 15-18 record last year. 

Denmon talked about getting used to playing in an offense that often features four guards. 

"At times, it's a little different, but it's something we've been working on,"  explained Denmon.  "It gives Ricardo a lot of space to work when we run a four-guard set.  It's working for us so far, so we just want to keep getting better."

Missouri Starters (1-0) - Based on the most recent game

Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown

F 10 Ricardo Ratli?e 6-8 240 Sr. 20.0 8.0 1.0 1.0 Hampton, Va.

G 12 Marcus Denmon 6-3 185 Sr. 20.0 8.0 0.0 3.0 Kansas City, Mo.

G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 Sr. 19.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 Baltimore, Md.

G 03 Matt  Pressey 6-2 195 Sr. 2.0 3.0 2.0 0.0 Dallas, Texas

G 01 Phil Pressey 5-10 175 So. 10.0 6.0 3.0 0.0 Dallas, Texas

Mercer Starters (1-0)  - Based on the most recent game

Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown

F 15 Justin Cecil 6-8 225 Sr. 2.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 Lakeland, Fla.

F 20 Jakob Gollon 6-6 200 RSo. 10.0 9.0 7.0 0.0 Stevens Point, Wis.

C 52 Daniel Coursey 6-11 220 So. 13.0 4.0 0.0 0.0 Savannah, Ga.

G 05 Bud Thomas 6-6 200 So. 18.0 9.0 2.0 1.0  Highlands Ranch, Colo.

G 21 Langston Hall 6-4 180 So. 6.0 1.0 3.0 2.0  Stone Mountain, Ga.

Statistical Comparison

Missouri  Mercer

Record:  1-0  1-0

FGM:   27  26

FGA:  58  57

FG %:  .466  .456

3pt FGM: 6  2

3pt FGA:  16  17

3FG %:  .375  .118

FTM:  23  12

FTA:  27  16

FT %  .852  .750

Points:  83  66

Per Game: 83.0  66.0

Reb./Gm 36.0  44.0

Steals  7.0  76.0

Assists:  11.0  15.0

Blocks:  5.0  8.0


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