Game Preview: Missouri vs. Colorado

Tigers take to the road in the Rockies to face Coloarado Buffs

On Saturday afternoon (3:00 P.M., Big 12 Network), the Missouri Tigers (16-6, 4-3) travel to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes (11-11, 2-6) in conference action.

The Buffs are coming off of a 72-66 OT home loss to #1 ranked Kansas.  Their only other home loss this year was 87-81 to Kansas State.  They are led by 6'5" junior guard Cory Higgins (18.1 pts./game), and Kansas City-area product Alec Burks.  Burks, a 6'6" guard (16.3 pts./game), is one of the nation's leading scoring freshmen, but sat out the KU game with a knee injury.  He is expected to play on Saturday.

The Buffs have been regularly playing 7-9 guys.  They're are a pretty good ball-handling team, and they get to the FT line 24 times a game, and are a very good FT shooting team.  They have some guys who shoot the 3-PT FG well, but they prefer to work the ball inside, and get to the line.  But they are a 3-PT threat (17 3-PT FGA/game), with 3-4 guys who shoot it well.

This is a team that Missouri should be able to outrebound, and that will be important for the Tigers' chances in this game.  The Tigers will have to defend without fouling, as the Buffs will cash in at the FT line.  If Missouri can get the game going at the pace they like, that could wear on the Buffs. It's going to be critically important for Missouri to attack the basket offensively.

In conference play, Missouri has gone with 10 players.  Five Tigers are scoring in double figures in league play, but Missouri's A/TO ratio is lower in conference, and they're losing the battle of the boards in conference.  Two players for Missouri, Laurence Bowers and Marcus Denmon, have played consistently well throughout the season.  Bowers continues to shoot pretty well and is grabbing more rebounds during conference play.  Denmon is actually shooting the ball better during league play, and has dramatically improved his A/TO ratio since conference play began.  Mike Dixon is shooting the ball better from behind the arc during league play.

Saturday's game will be a severe challenge for the Tigers, as is any game on the road in the Big 12 Conference.  This is a game that Missouri really needs to come away with, but they'll have to play a lot better than they did on Wednesday if they're going to steal one in Boulder.

University of Missouri Tigers (16-6, 4-3 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. 5.6 5.5 1.6 1.8 Murfreesboro, Tenn.
F 23 Justin Safford 6-8 230 Jr. 8.5 4.1 1.1 0.9 Bloomington, Ill.
G 04 J.T. Tiller 6-3 200 Sr. 8.5 2.6 3.0 1.4 Marietta, Ga.
G 11 Zaire Taylor 6-4 189 Sr. 8.5 2.8 2.9 1.8 Staten Island, N.Y.
G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 So. 14.8 3.7 1.1 1.6 Baltimore, Md.

University of Colorado Buffaloes (11-11, 2-6 Big 12)
(Based off previous game's starters)

Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown
F 05 Marcus Relphorde 6-6 220 Jr. 10.8 3.9 1.7 1.1 Chicago, Ill.
F 33 Austin Dufault 6-9 230 So. 6.8 3.5 1.0 0.9 Killdeer, N.D.
G 11 Cory Higgins 6-5 190 Jr. 18.1 3.7 2.5 1.8 Danville, Calif.
G 10 Alec Burks 6-6 185 Fr. 16.3 4.7 1.8 1.2 Grandview, Mo.
G 01 Nate Tomlinson 6-3 185 So. 5.7 2.5 4.3 0.9 Sydney, Australia

Comparative Statistics
            MU    CU

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