Missouri vs Kennesaw State Basketball Preview

On Thursday (7:00 P.M., MSN) the #10/8 Missouri Tigers (9-0) play host to the Kennesaw State Owls (2-5). We preview tonight's match-up.

On Thursday (7:00 P.M., MSN) the #10/8 Missouri Tigers (9-0) play host to the Kennesaw State Owls (2-5).  Kennesaw State comes in off of a 52-75 loss at Lipscomb, in their Atlantic Sun Conference opener.

Under their first-year head coach, Lewis Preston, who has previously served as an assistant to Notre Dame's Mike Brey, and to Navy's Ed DeChellis, the Owls have wins this season over Chattanooga and Reinhardt.

Markeith Cummings leads Kennesaw State with 18.2 points/game and ranks second on the team at 5.8 rebounds/game.  Aaron Anderson pulls down a team high 9.1 rebounds/game.

Kennesaw State Starters (2-5)  - Based on the most recent game

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

F 21 Aaron Anderson 6-7 215 Jr. 7.9 9.1 0.6 0.7 Tuscon, Ariz.

G 02 Markeith Cummings  6-7 230 Jr. 18.2 5.8 2.7 1.7 Birmingham, Ala.

G 03 Delbert Love 6-0 175 Fr. 8.0 2.9 3.7 1.9 Cleveland, Ohio

G 04 Romain Henry 6-5 225 Sr. 6.1 2.3 1.4 0.9 Atlanta, Ga.

G 05 Spencer Dixon 6-0 180 Sr. 13.3 2.6 3.3 1.6 Marietta, Ga.

Reserves (2011-12 Statistics)

No. Name        Pos.     Yr. PPG   RPG   APG    12/3 at Lipscomb

11 Nick Turner                 G       So.    4.4      1.3     0.9      10 pts, 1 reb

35 Brandon Dawson F       Jr.      3.1      2.0    0.1     2 pts, 2 reb

45 Andrew Osemhen        F        So. 1.3      2.1    0.1 7 min, 3 reb

23 Mirza Sabic                  G        Jr. 1.0      0.4     0.0      3 pts, 1 reb

Missouri is number one in the country in scoring margin (25.6).  Marcus Denmon leads Missouri in scoring, with 21.3 points/game.  He's the leading scorer in the Big 12, and ranks twelfth nationally.  Ricardo Ratliffe is leading the Big 12, and ranks second nationally, in field goal percentage (76%).

Phil (Flip) Pressey leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.83), and in steals (2.56 steals/game).  Kim English (55%) and Marcus Denmon (49%) are the top two three-point shooters in the Big 12.  Mike Dixon (94%) and Denmon (92%) are the leading FT shooters in the Big 12.

In addition, Missouri leads the conference in nine team categories, including assist-to-turnover ratio (1.73 A/T), turnover margin (+7), steals (9.78 steals/game), assists (16.89 assists/game), 3-PT FG% (42%), FG% (51%), FT% (77%), scoring offense (85.4%), and scoring margin (25.6%).

Mizzou Starters (9-0) - 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. 14.2 7.2 0.6 0.8 Hampton, Va.

G 12 Marcus Denmon 6-3 185 Sr. 21.3 5.3 2.0 1.3 Kansas City, Mo.

G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 Sr. 16.2 4.1 2.1 1.0 Baltimore, Md.

G 03 Matt  Pressey 6-2 195 Sr. 7.2 4.6 2.0 0.7 Dallas, Texas

G 01 Phil Pressey 5-10 175 So. 8.9 3.2 5.7 2.6 Dallas, Texas

Senior TE Andrew Jones is doing double-duty, as he's also playing with the Missouri basketball team, and got on the floor at the end of the Navy game.  Recently, Coach Haith said that Jones is working on making the transition from football to basketball, and that how he does will define his role.

"Andrew is my kind of guy,"  said Coach Haith, speaking of Jones, who played AAU ball with Marcus Denmon.  "He's got a football mentality on the basketball court.  I love those guys!"

Coach Haith said that he'd like to play with an 8-man rotation.  It was Denmon who suggested to Coach Haith that Jones might be able to help the team. 

Recently, Coach Haith talked about how his team needs to get better.

"I want our guys to try to focus on trying to get better each day,"  said Coach Haith.  "There's a lot of things we've got to get better at."

Coach cited a recent game in which some of his players made what he called "knucklehead plays".

Coach Haith also talked about some of the things that he's trying to impart to his team.

"The way we play defense is the way that we're going to play it as long as Frank Haith is here,"   said Coach Haith.  "In terms of how we guard the ball, how we rotate, where we force the ball, blocking out, finishing the play, those are fundamentals that we are going to teach. I mean, we're just teaching the guys how to defend in the half court."

"Games are won and lost in late game (situations), "  continued Coach Haith.   "When you get into league play, you've got to be able to gets stops in the half court.   The transition buckets don't occur in late game.  You've got to be able to get stops, and you've got to be able to execute in the half-court offense.  Those are the areas that we've got to be really, really good at to be successful."

Comparative Statistics

Missouri    Kennesaw St.

Record:  9-0  2-5

FGM:   264  154

FGA:  519  386

FG %:  .509  .399

3pt FGM: 81  47

3pt FGA:  192  133

3FG %:  .422  .353

FTM:  160  70

FTA:  208  121

FT %  .769  .579

Points:  769  425

Per Game: 85.4  60.7

Reb./Gm 35.7  31.4

Steals  9.8  6.9

Assists:  16.9  12.4

Blocks:  2.8  2.1

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