Tigers Tip Off At Home Thursday Night

On Thursday night (7:00 P.M., MSN) the #24 Missouri Tigers (2-0) continue CBE Classic Regional Round action by playing host to the Niagara University Purple Eagles (1-0).

On Thursday night (7:00 P.M., MSN) the #24 Missouri Tigers (2-0) continue CBE Classic Regional Round action by playing host to the Niagara University Purple Eagles (1-0).  Niagara is coming into Mizzou Arena off of a 102-93 overtime win over Central Connecticut.

Head coach Joe Mihalich is in his fourteenth season at Niagara.  Last year, the Purple Eagles finished 9-23, and 5-13 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Under first-year head coach Frank Haith, Missouri has gotten off to a good start amid mixed reviews.  Thus far, the undersized Tigers have been challenged inside and on the glass, but have been able to counter their lack of size with talent and experience in the back court.

Missouri has shown the ability to play pretty good pressure defense in the half court, and have forced their early opponents into 17 turnovers/game.  And thus far, the Tigers have held their own on the boards.

The Tigers are making 45% of their 3-PT FGAs, and 77% of their FTs.  They're outscoring their opponents by more than a 2 to 1 margin at the charity stripe.  Getting into the painted area, and playing inside out have contributed to the free throw advantage as well as to quality shot selection behind the arc.

Kim English (18.5 ppg), Marcus Denmon (16 ppg), Phil Pressey (16 ppg), Ricardo Ratliffe (11.5 ppg), and Mike Dixon (11 ppg) are all scoring in double figures through Missouri's first two games.

However, Missouri has been inconsistent.  Lapses in defensive intensity have plagued the Tigers, as well as inconsistent play on the offensive end.  At times, Missouri has failed to take care of the basketball, with individuals trying to do too much, often resulting in too many turnovers, and/or poor shot selection.

Coach Haith is looking for continued improvement on both ends of the floor, as well as for more consistency from his team.  I'll be watching Kadeem Green, as his continued development promises to give Missouri some much needed help in the front court.  

Line-ups:

Missouri Starters (2-0) - 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. 11.5 7.5 0.5 2.0 Hampton, Va.

G 12 Marcus Denmon 6-3 185 Sr. 16.0 6.5 1.5 2.5 Kansas City, Mo.

G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 Sr. 18.5 4.0 0.5 0.0 Baltimore, Md.

G 03 Matt  Pressey 6-2 195 Sr. 4.0 3.0 2.5 0.5 Dallas, Texas

G 01 Phil Pressey 5-10 175 So. 16.0 4.5 3.5 2.5 Dallas, Texas

Niagara 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 12 Scooter Gillette 6-8 210 Jr. 7.0  3.0 1.0 1.0  Philadelphia, Pa.

G 10 Juan'ya Green 6-3 195  Fr. 23.0 5.0 6.0  2.0  Philadelphia, Pa.

G 11 Ameen Tanksley 6-6 200  Fr. 9.0 3.0 1.0  2.0  Philadelphia, Pa.

G 14 Antoine Mason 6-3 210 RFr. 12.0 8.0 0.0 0.0 Queens, N.Y.

G 32 Marvin Jordan 5-11 175 So. 23.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 Peoria, Ill.

Comparative Statistics

Missouri   Niagara

Record:  2-0  1-0

FGM:   52  32

FGA:  112  72

FG %:  .464  .444

3pt FGM: 17  5

3pt FGA:  38  20

3FG %:  .447  .250

FTM:  43  33

FTA:  56  45

FT %  .768  .733

Points:  164  102

Per Game: 82.0  102.0

Reb./Gm 35.0  44.0

Steals  10.5  9.0

Assists:  11.5  13.0

Blocks:  4.5  8.0


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