Game Preview: Missouri vs Kansas

The Missouri Tigers travel to Lawrence for a Big 12 battle on Monday night

The Missouri Tigers (15-4, 3-1) make their annual trek across I-70 to just west of Kansas City on Monday evening (8:00 P.M., ESPN) to take on the #2-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (18-1, 4-0) in Big 12 conference action.


The Jayhawks enter Monday night's contest with four players averaging double figures in scoring.  Senior point guard Sherron Collins leads KU with 16.0 points/game and 4.3 assists/game.  Junior center Cole Aldrich (11.2 pts./game, 9.9 rebounds/game) provides Kansas with a dominant inside presence on both ends of the floor, and freshman wingman Xavier


Henry has made an immediate impact (14.3 pts./game).  Sophomore Marcus Morris is one of the most improved players in the conference (12.4 pts./game, 5.6 rebounds/game), and has improved his productivity even more since the beginning of league play.  The Jayhawks are as deep as any team in the country, with guys coming off the bench who would likely be the star on other teams. 


As imposing as is the Kansas line-up, perhaps the biggest edge that the Jayhawks will enjoy Monday evening is their home-court advantage.  I haven't seen another arena in the country where the referees dish out a more generous helping of home-cooking than what KU receives in Allen Field House.  As if they needed it.


This will be the Tigers' 120th trip to Lawrence, never a pleasant journey.  But a Missouri win, as improbable as it may appear to be, will make it worth the trip.


So, how do the Tigers pull off the upset?  There's two keys to victory for Missouri.  The first one lies with the team's equipment manager.  He needs to hand out extra chin straps to the Tigers' players, because they're going to need to double-strap those hard hats down tight.  This is a workman's task, and the Tigers will need a blue-collar, down-and-dirty approach to handle this assignment.  Their challenge is to play as aggressively as possible, but also with the discipline to take the referees out of the equation.


Secondly, the Tigers will need to be supremely focused, tuned into each other and to this very moment, and at the same time, they must tune out their surroundings, and whatever adversity they may have just encountered.  They need to be together, and play together, for the full 2,400 seconds, or more.


Winning may be improbable, but definitely is doable.  This is an opportunity for this Tiger team to come together, and to take another step in their growth and development as the team that they can become this season.


University of Missouri Tigers (15-4, 3-1 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. 5.7 5.8 1.6 1.7 Murfreesboro, Tenn.
F 23 Justin Safford 6-8 230 Jr. 7.8 4.1 1.2 0.7 Bloomington, Ill.
G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 So. 14.8 3.6 1.1 1.7 Baltimore, Md.
G 11 Zaire Taylor 6-4 189 Sr. 8.1 2.7 2.9 1.9 Staten Island, N.Y.
G 04 J.T. Tiller 6-3 200 Sr. 8.6 2.4 2.9 1.5 Marietta, Ga.


University of Kansas Jayhawks (18-1, 4-0 Big 12)
(Based off previous game's starters)


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


F 22 Marcus Morris 6-8 225 So. 12.4 5.6 0.9 1.1 Philadelphia, Pa.
C 45 Cole Aldrich 6-11 245 Jr. 11.2 9.9 1.1 0.7 Bloomington, Minn.
G 01 Xavier Henry 6-6 220 Fr. 14.3 3.9 2.0 1.9 Oklahoma City, Okla.
G 04 Sherron Collins 5-11 205 Sr. 16.0 2.1 4.4 1.3 Chicago, Ill.
G 12 Brady Morningstar 6-3 185 Jr. 4.8 2.6 3.2 1.0 Lawrence, Kan.

Comparative Statistics
            MU   KU


Record:   15-4 18-1
FGM:       546  568
FGA:       119 1145
FG %:     .456 .496
3pt FGM:   156  151
3pt FGA:   408  371
3FG %:    .382 .407
FTM:       303  327
FTA:       417  459
FT %      .727 .712
Points:   1551 1614
Per Game: 81.6 84.9
Reb./Gm   37.3 41.1
Steals    12.1  9.2
Assists:  16.7 18.4
Blocks:    5.0  6.3


Missouri Season Statistics
Total 3-Point F-Throw Rebounds


## Player gp-gs min avg fg-fga fg% 3fg-fga 3fg% ft-fta ft% off def tot avg pf dq a to blk stl pts avg


24 ENGLISH, Kim 19-15 426 22.4 95-225 . 4 2 2 40-109 . 3 6 7 52-73 . 7 1 2 22 47 69 3.6 32 0 21 42 2 32 282 14.8
12 DENMON, Marcus 19-4 390 20.5 70-163 .429 43-99 .434 30-44 .682 17 46 63 3.3 29 0 23 19 3 19 213 11.2
21 BOWERS, Laurence 19-5 396 20.8 83-137 . 6 0 6 6-11 . 5 4 5 35-44 . 7 9 5 50 63 113 5.9 43 0 24 22 32 24 207 10.9
04 TILLER, J.T. 16-16 363 22.7 47-111 .423 4-22 .182 39-50 .780 14 25 39 2.4 36 1 47 38 1 24 137 8.6
10 DIXON, Michael 19-7 352 18.5 56-121 . 4 6 3 17-45 . 3 7 8 30-34 . 8 8 2 3 21 24 1.3 31 0 42 19 0 23 159 8.4
11 TAYLOR, Zaire 19-15 490 25.8 46-112 .411 22-54 .407 40-52 .769 15 37 52 2.7 41 1 55 22 3 36 154 8.1
23 SAFFORD, Justin 19-14 365 19.2 59-139 . 4 2 4 10-22 . 4 5 5 20-30 . 6 6 7 25 53 78 4.1 38 0 23 28 14 14 148 7.8
15 RAMSEY, Keith 19-19 490 25.8 41-69 .594 1-3 .333 25-40 .625 44 67 111 5.8 37 0 31 34 22 33 108 5.7
03 PAUL, Miguel 18-0 245 13.6 26-55 . 4 7 3 10-26 . 3 8 5 15-23 . 6 5 2 4 13 17 0.9 19 0 40 15 0 11 77 4.3
33 STONE, Tyler 10-0 41 4.1 11-17 .647 0-0 .000 0-1 .000 3 6 9 0.9 4 0 2 2 1 2 22 2.2
32 MOORE, Steve 19-0 188 9.9 8-26 . 3 0 8 0-2 . 0 0 0 10-14 . 7 1 4 9 23 32 1.7 38 1 9 9 12 9 26 1.4
25 SUTTON, Jarrett 8-0 31 3.9 3-16 .188 3-15 .200 0-0 .000 0 1 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 1.1
35 UNDERWOOD, John 11-0 48 4.4 1-7 . 1 4 3 0-0 . 0 0 0 7-12 . 5 8 3 10 11 21 1.9 17 0 1 5 4 2 9 0.8
Team 45 34 79 5
Total.......... 19 3825 546-1198 . 4 5 6 156-408 . 3 8 2 303-417 . 7 2 7 261 447 708 37.3 365 3 318 260 94 230 1551 81.6
Opponents...... 19 3825 415-1063 .390 95-328 .290 273-395 .691 263 443 706 37.2 370 - 193 398 56 118 1198 63.1


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