Game Preview: Missouri vs. Baylor

The Missouri Tigers travel to Waco,TX to face off against the Baylor Bears

On Saturday afternoon (12:30 P.M., Big 12 Network), the Missouri Tigers (18-6, 6-3) travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears (18-5, 5-4) in Big 12 action.


Baylor comes home to face Missouri following a 55-53 road win at Nebraska, in which LaceDarius Dunn scored 19 points and Ekpe Udoh hit the game-winner at the end.  Baylor has won three of its last four games in conference, and has been very good at home this year, going 11-1 at the Ferrell Center.   The Bears are averaging 77.3 points per game and have three players averaging at least 13.9 points/game.  The Bears are also a great rebounding club and average a +8.0 rebounding margin.  Dunn leads Baylor in scoring with 18.7 points per game, and is hitting 48% of his 3-PT FGAs and 90% of his FTs in league play.  Tweety Carter averages 16.2 points/game and 6.1 assists/game, while Udoh averages a double-double at 13.9 points and 10.3 rebounds.  Carter is the Bears' best ball-handler, and is hitting 35% of his 3-PT FGAs and 81% of his FTs in conference play.  Udoh is also a tremendous shot-blocker, and he alone makes them a much, much better defensive team.


The Tigers' hopes in this one ride on their defense.  The Bears one Achilles heel appears to be their ball-handling.  Other than Carter, who's excellent with the ball in his hands, the Bears struggle taking care of the basketball, with over 14 turnovers/game in Big 12 play.  Another potential weakness for Baylor in this game is that they only regularly play 7-8 people.


So, the key to this game for the Tigers is to turn up their defensive pressure, and reap the turnovers, but also to take care of the ball themselves, get good shots, and get on the boards, to neutralize Baylor's rebounding advantage.  The other key component for the Tigers is to play the game at a fast pace, to offset Baylor's height advantage, and to challenge their relative lack of depth.  It will also be important for Missouri to play intense defense without fouling, since Baylor is a good FT shooting team, and because fouls slow down the pace of the game.


During conference play, the Tigers scoring is down to 75.8 points/game, but they're even more balanced in scoring, with four players averaging double figures in scoring (English, Denmon, Safford, Bowers).  Missouri is being out-rebounded in conference play by a 9 to 8 margin, or by 4.7 rebounds/game.  They're winning the turnover battle, forcing opponents into more than 18 turnovers/game, while turning it over themselves just under 13 times a game.


During league play, the Tigers are outscoring their opponents by 4.7 points/game.  They're outscoring their league opponents by 1.5 points/game at the FT line, and by 12.3 points/game from behind the arc.  The Tigers have assisted on 53% of their made baskets during league play (13 assists/game).


The Tigers are comming off of a home win in which they were pretty banged up, but should be getting healthier.  The status of Missouri's elite defender, forward Keith Ramsey, will be extremely important on Saturday and beyond for the Tigers.


University of Missouri Tigers (18-6, 6-3 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. 5.5 5.3 1.5 1.7 Murfreesboro, Tenn.
F 23 Justin Safford 6-8 230 Jr. 8.7 4.3 1.3 0.8 Bloomington, Ill.
G 04 J.T. Tiller 6-3 200 Sr. 8.7 2.6 3.1 1.5 Marietta, Ga.
G 11 Zaire Taylor 6-4 189 Sr. 7.8 3.0 2.9 1.9 Staten Island, N.Y.
G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 So. 14.8 3.7 1.2 1.5 Baltimore, Md.

Baylor University Bears (18-5, 5-4 Big 12)
(Based off previous game's starters)


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


F 41 Anthony Jones 6-10 195 So. 6.9 5.7 1.8 0.4 Houston, Texas
F 13 Ekpe Udoh 6-10 240 Jr. 13.9 10.3 2.8 0.6 Edmond, Okla.
C 50 Josh Lomers 7-0 280 Sr. 6.2 3.4 0.3 0.5 Boerne, Texas
G 24 LaceDarius Dunn 6-4 205 Jr. 18.7 4.5 1.8 1.2 Monroe, La.
G 45 Tweety Carter 5-11 185 Sr. 16.2 3.1 6.1 1.4 Reserve, La.

Comparative Statistics


            MU   BU
Record:   18-6 18-5
FGM:       674  638
FGA:      1504 1307
FG %:     .448 .488
3pt FGM:   200  169
3pt FGA:   523  433
3FG %:    .382 .390
FTM:       386  333
FTA:       531  474
FT %      .727 .703
Points:   1934 1778
Per Game: 80.6 77.3
Reb./Gm   36.2 40.6
Steals    11.7  6.1
Assists:  16.3 14.2
Blocks:    4.8  7.4

Missouri 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 24 19 552 23.0 117 282 .415 52 135 .385 70 92 .761 27 62 89 3.7 39 0 29 47 3 37 356 14.8
12 DENMON, Marcus 24 4 509 21.2 86 198 .434 56 127 .441 39 54 .722 21 56 77 3.2 37 0 33 26 3 23 267 11.1
21 BOWERS, Laurence 24 5 493 20.5 102 173 .590 10 20 .500 44 65 .677 62 81 143 6.0 58 0 29 27 36 27 258 10.8
04 TILLER, J.T. 21 21 485 23.1 64 157 .408 5 31 .161 50 66 .758 21 34 55 2.6 48 1 65 45 2 31 183 8.7
23 SAFFORD, Justi n 24 19 490 20.4 79 184 .429 13 30 .433 38 52 .731 33 70 103 4.3 54 0 30 34 18 19 209 8.7
10 DIXON, Michael 24 8 424 17.7 67 150 .447 22 60 .367 32 38 .842 5 23 28 1.2 37 0 46 23 0 29 188 7.8
11 TAYLOR, Zaire 24 20 634 26.4 55 140 .393 26 68 .382 51 65 .785 21 51 72 3.0 56 2 69 29 4 46 187 7.8
15 RAMSEY, Keith 24 24 603 25.1 51 87 .586 3 6 .500 28 46 .609 50 77 127 5.3 50 1 35 46 29 41 133 5.5
03 PAUL, Miguel 22 0 285 13.0 27 62 .435 10 29 .345 15 24 .625 4 13 17 0.8 23 0 42 19 0 12 79 3.6
33 STONE, Tyler 9 0 41 4.6 11 17 .647 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 3 6 9 1.0 4 0 2 2 1 2 22 2.4
32 MOORE, Steve 24 0 230 9.6 11 31 .355 0 2 .000 12 16 .750 10 29 39 1.6 46 1 10 12 14 10 34 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 .143 0 0 .000 7 12 .583 10 11 21 1.9 17 0 1 5 4 2 9 0.8
TM TEAM 49 40 89 3.7 0 6 0
Total 24 674 1504 .448 200 523 .382 386 531 .727 316 554 870 36.2 469 5 391 321 114 280 1934 80.6
Opponents 24 536 1348 .398 123 410 .300 366 528 .693 340 579 919 38.3 470 - 252 496 73 153 1561 65.0


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