Game Preview: Mizzou vs Fairleigh Dickinson

Tigers set to host Fairleigh Dickinson at Mizzou Arena tonight. We give a preview of the match-up

The Missouri Tigers (5-3) will host the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights (1-9) on Saturday evening (7:00 P.M., MSN) at Mizzou Arena.


The Knights come to Columbia on a seven game losing streak, and are a smallish team led by senior guard Sean Baptiste.


This game represents a soft spot in the Tigers schedule, and should allow Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson an opportunity to get everyone some playing time, and to possibly shake up his line-up, and try some different combinations.


The Tigers are at a bit of a crossroads in the early portion of their season, having played enough to begin to get a read on what this team has, and what they need to do to get better.  Everyone has been weighing in with various suggestions, including line-up changes, etc.


There are three line-up changes that I believe are worthy of consideration, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Coach Anderson instituted either or both of the first two.  One would be Laurence Bowers for Justin Safford.  Actually, Bowers already plays a couple of minutes more per game than Safford, and averages 2 points per game more, but shoots a much higher percentage, and holds a clear statistical advantage over Safford in rebounds, steals, and assists-to-turnovers.  The lack of rebounding has been a glaring weakness for the Tigers in the early going, and Bowers has been the Tigers most efficient rebounder so far this season.  The question with Bowers seems to be whether he can maintain his production if his playing time were to increase. 


Keith Ramsey is quietly having a good start to the season, anchoring the Tigers' defense, and contributing in numerous ways that don't always show up on the stat sheet.  Still, he's the Tigers' second most efficient rebounder, leads the team in FG%, and is also second on the team in steals and blocked shots.  To help fill the void created by the ineffective play of Safford and Steve Moore, maybe Coach Anderson should take more of a look at freshman Jon Underwood, who has shown the ability to rebound.


Marcus Denmon is the team's third most efficient rebounder, and should be starting, and playing more, in place of Kim English.  Denmon is also one of the Tigers best defenders, and brings the toughness and defensive mindset to the court that has to be the identity of this team.  English is the Tigers leading scorer at 15 points/game, but has taken more than one-and-a-half times as many shots as Demnon, ranks as Missouri's 6th most efficient rebounder, and is probably the Tigers least effective defender.  In addition, English has the second-lowest 3-PT FG% among those who have taken more than a couple of them.


The team's worst 3-PT shooter, J.T. Tiller, has underperformed about as much as anyone on the team.  He should not be taking 3-PT shots.  Maybe he should surrender his starting job to freshman Mike Dixon.  J.T. appears to be trying to play beyond his abilties, instead of doing what he does well, and allowing the game, on the offensive end, to come to him.


University of Missouri Tigers (5-3, 0-0 Big 12)
(Based off previous game's starters)
Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown
F 15 Keith Ramsey 6-9 217 Sr. 5.9 6.0 2.1 1.4 Murfreesboro, Tenn.
F 23 Justin Safford 6-8 230 Jr. 7.9 3.3 0.9 0.6 Bloomington, Ill.
G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 So. 15.4 3.0 1.3 1.6 Baltimore, Md.
G 11 Zaire Taylor 6-4 189 Sr. 9.3 3.4 3.4 2.4 Staten Island, N.Y.
G 04 J.T. Tiller 6-3 200 Sr. 10.3 2.3 3.2 1.2 Marietta, Ga.


Fairleigh Dickinson University (1-9, 0-1 NEC)
(Based off previous game's starters)
Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown
F 44 Kamil Svrdlik 6-8 235 Jr. 15.1 3.6 0.3 0.7 Czech Republic
G 01 Terence Grier 6-0 180 Jr. 9.3 3.2 1.5 0.9 Cranford, N.J.
G 12 Mike Scott 6-0 180 Jr. 10.3 3.8 3.6 0.7 Philadelphia, Pa.
G 22 Louis Larizza 5-7 160 Fr. 2.6 0.9 0.3 0.1 Port Chester, N.Y.
G 30 Sean Baptiste 6-3 185 Sr. 15.0 5.2 0.6 0.8 North Brunswick, N.J.
Missouri Individual Season Statistics
TOTAL 3-PTS REBOUNDS
## Player GP GS Min Avg FG FGA Pct 3FG FGA Pct FT FTA Pct Off Def Tot Avg PF FO A TO Blk Stl Pts Avg
24 ENGLISH, Kim 8 4 180 22.5 41 97 .423 17 47 .362 24 30 .800 7 17 24 3.0 11 0 10 16 0 13 123 15.4
12 DENMON, Marcus 8 4 161 20.1 29 63 .460 17 40 .425 14 22 .636 8 20 28 3.5 10 0 6 10 2 10 89 11.1
04 TILLER, J.T. 6 6 147 24.5 21 51 .412 2 11 .182 18 22 .818 4 10 14 2.3 15 0 19 16 1 7 62 10.3
21 BOWERS, Laurence 8 1 162 20.3 33 54 .611 2 2 1.000 10 10 1.000 23 22 45 5.6 16 0 12 8 14 13 78 9.8
11 TAYLOR, Zaire 8 8 233 29.1 24 52 .462 13 24 .542 13 20 .650 8 19 27 3.4 16 0 27 11 2 19 74 9.3
23 SAFFORD, Justi n 8 7 149 18.6 24 52 .462 5 12 .417 10 12 .833 8 18 26 3.3 18 0 7 12 6 5 63 7.9
10 DIXON, Michael 8 2 137 17.1 23 54 .426 8 20 .400 5 9 .556 2 8 10 1.3 12 0 20 8 0 4 59 7.4
15 RAMSEY, Keith 8 8 207 25.9 20 32 .625 0 2 .000 7 12 .583 18 30 48 6.0 21 0 16 15 11 17 47 5.9
03 PAUL, Miguel 7 0 93 13.3 8 19 .421 5 11 .455 2 6 .333 1 5 6 0.9 7 0 21 9 0 6 23 3.3
25 SUTTON, Jarrett 3 0 11 3.7 3 6 .500 3 6 .500 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 3.0
32 MOORE, Steve 8 0 81 10.1 5 15 .333 0 2 .000 2 4 .500 3 8 11 1.4 16 0 2 4 6 5 12 1.5
33 STONE, Tyler 3 0 14 4.7 2 4 .500 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 0 2 2 0.7 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 1.3
35 UNDERWOOD, John 4 0 25 6.3 1 4 .250 0 0 .000 3 4 .750 5 5 10 2.5 8 0 0 0 2 2 5 1.3
TM TEAM 15 14 29 3.6 0 5 0
Total 8 234 503 .465 72 177 .407 108 151 .715 102 178 280 35.0 150 0 140 114 45 102 648 81.0
Opponents 8 173 438 .395 38 134 .284 122 167 .731 106 187 293 36.6 151 - 87 174 22 55 506 63.2


Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories