Kleiza named Big 12 Rookie of the Week

After holding his own against Syracuse and leading a comeback against Oklahoma, Linus Kleiza earned the honor of Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. In Monday's notebook, we have that and more news on the Tigers against the South, Rickey Paulding and Randy Pulley.

After squaring off with the preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Linus Kleiza has come out on top for the second time this season.

The Big 12 named Kleiza its Rookie of the Week on Monday, the second time he has won the award this season. He also won the award on Dec. 8.

In the Tigers' two games last week, an 82-68 loss to Syracuse and a 79-75 overtime win at Oklahoma, Kleiza averaged 11.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. Against Oklahoma, which boasts preseason pick Drew Lavender, Kleiza had 13 points and nine rebounds.

He'll get his crack against another top freshman, Texas' P.J. Tucker, when the Tigers play the Longhorns on Tuesday night at Hearnes Center. Tucker is the only player in the Big 12 to win Rookie of the week three times. The game is at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

* Missouri's win at Oklahoma was its first win on the road against the Big 12 South since Feb. 17, 2001, at Texas A&M. Missouri's other chances this season are at Baylor and at Texas Tech.

* After a shaky start, Rickey Paulding has been putting up impressive numbers of late. In the past three games, Paulding has averaged 21.3 points, including 23 against the Sooners. In that game, he moved to 13th on the Missouri's all-time scoring list.

* Although Randy Pulley has been pulling in most of the time at point guard this season, coach Snyder had to pull him in the last minutes of overtime. Pulley was simply too much of a free-throw liability. Pulley, who airballed a free throw against the Sooners, has made only 42.1 percent of his free throws. His replacement, sophomore Jimmy McKinney, came in for the last two minutes and made five of six free throws, keeping Oklahoma out of reach. McKinney is shooting 84.9 percent from the line this season, which could keep him in at the end of close games.


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