Game Preview: Missouri vs. Kansas

The Kansas Jayhawks come to Mizzou Arena for the Tigers final regular season game on Saturday

On Senior Day this Saturday afternoon (1:00 P.M., CBS) at Mizzou Arena, the Missouri Tigers (22-8, 10-5) play host to the Kansas Jayhawks (28-2, 14-1) in the regular season finale for each team.


The #2-ranked Jayhawks have clinched the Big 12 regular-season championship following their mid-week win over Kansas State, and come into this contest having won 14 of their last 15 games.  Kansas is deep and talented, with four players averaging in double figures in scoring, led by senior PG Sherron Collins at 15.4 points/game.  6'6" freshman forward Xavier Henry has played very well of late, and brings a 14.2 points/game scoring average to Columbia.  6'8" sophomore forward Marcus Morris averages 12.4 points/game, and 6'11" junior center Cole Aldrich scores 11.4 points/game and pulls down 9.8 rebounds/game.  Aldrich recently established a new Kansas single-season record with 109 blocked shots so far this season.


The Jayhawks will in all likelihood try to run with the Tigers, and will be willing play the fast-paced game that the Tigers utilize so effectively to wear teams down.  Kansas is deeper than Missouri, especially up front, but playing fast, too fast for the Jayhawks, is still Missouri's best strategy.  Beating Aldrich up and down the floor or keeping him on the bench is one way to limit his effectiveness.  Forcing Kansas into uncharacteristic turnovers will be important to Missouri's success, as well.  Missouri will have to block out the bigger Jayhawks off the boards, and hope that the referees won't allow the Kansas men to climb the Missouri players' backs, the way they did in Lawrence.


Defense has been this Missouri team's signature, and for the Tigers to be successful on Saturday, they need to play great defense for forty minutes.  As Coach Anderson likes to say, when the Tigers play great defense, and they can hit some shots, then they can be pretty hard to beat.  Hitting some shots will be important for Missouri, as will attacking the basket, and getting to the FT line.  The Tigers need for sophomore Kim English to join steady sophomore, Marcus Denmon, in taking good high-percentage shots.  But for Missouri, their defense will set the tone, and allow them to play the game at a pace that just might be a little too fast for the Jayhawks.


When this Missouri team plays its best, they're usually getting a total team effort, playing lock-down in-your-grill defense, and not fouling.  They're attacking the glass, and gang rebounding.  They're also taking care of and sharing the ball, holding turnovers to a minimum and assisting on over half of their baskets.  That's the recipe.  Seniors Keith Ramsey, J.T. Tiller, and Zaire Taylor know it, and in this, their last game at Mizzou Arena, they will bring it.  Missouri's underclassmen will bring it too, in support of their leaders and friends.   


Missouri Tigers (22-8, 10-5)
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 5.8 1.4 1.6 Murfreesboro, Tenn.
F 21 Laurence Bowers 6-8 205 So. 10.1 5.6 1.2 1.1 Memphis, Tenn.
G 04 J.T. Tiller 6-3 200 Sr. 8.7 3.1 3.2 1.4 Marietta, Ga.
G 11 Zaire Taylor 6-4 189 Sr. 8.4 3.1 2.6 1.8 Staten Island, N.Y.
G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 So. 14.1 3.5 1.2 1.4 Baltimore, Md.


Kansas Jayhawks (28-2, 14-1)
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 6.1 1.1 1.0 Philadelphia, Pa.
C 45 Cole Aldrich 6-11 245 Jr. 11.4 9.8 0.9 0.8 Bloomington, Minn.
G 01 Xavier Henry 6-6 220 Fr. 14.2 4.2 1.6 1.6 Oklahoma City, Okla.
G 04 Sherron Collins 5-11 205 Sr. 15.4 2.0 4.3 1.2 Chicago, Ill.
G 10 Tyshawn Taylor 6-3 185 So. 7.5 2.4 3.2 1.1 Jersey City, N.J.


Comparative Statistics
            MU   KU
Record:   22-8 28-2
FGM:       834  866
FGA:      1864 1774
FG %:     .447 .488
3pt FGM:   236  221
3pt FGA:   620  550
3FG %:    .381 .402
FTM:       462  519
FTA:       637  745
FT %      .725 .697
Points:   2366 2472
Per Game: 78.9 82.4
Reb./Gm   36.1 40.4
Steals    11.1  8.7
Assists:  15.6 17.2
Blocks:    4.7  6.5


Missouri Conference 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 15 14 377 25.1 59 168 .351 23 70 .329 42 58 .724 13 44 57 3.8 25 0 17 30 3 15 183 12.2
12 DENMON, Marcus 15 0 349 23.3 56 120 .467 33 74 .446 26 37 .703 12 30 42 2.8 24 0 22 10 1 12 171 11.4
23 SAFFORD, Justi n 13 13 282 21.7 43 108 .398 6 16 .375 37 47 .787 23 35 58 4.5 34 0 15 16 6 11 129 9.9
21 BOWERS, Laurence 15 2 342 22.8 55 110 .500 7 19 .368 25 47 .532 38 48 86 5.7 42 0 15 18 16 13 142 9.5
11 TAYLOR, Zaire 15 15 430 28.7 40 114 .351 17 56 .304 41 48 .854 18 34 52 3.5 41 3 38 18 3 23 138 9.2
04 TILLER, J.T. 15 15 359 23.9 42 109 .385 5 20 .250 34 47 .723 20 35 55 3.7 41 1 47 37 1 20 123 8.2
15 RAMSEY, Keith 15 15 409 27.3 36 62 .581 3 4 .750 17 26 .654 31 50 81 5.4 31 1 16 33 17 20 92 6.1
10 DIXON, Michael 15 1 219 14.6 30 69 .435 8 28 .286 17 19 .895 2 13 15 1.0 27 0 10 13 0 13 85 5.7
03 PAUL, Miguel 14 0 136 9.7 14 32 .438 7 15 .467 3 4 .750 0 5 5 0.4 12 0 9 9 1 5 38 2.7
32 MOORE, Steve 15 0 139 9.3 4 13 .308 0 1 .000 5 6 .833 3 21 24 1.6 22 0 4 8 13 4 13 0.9
33 STONE, Tyler 2 0 2 1.0 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.0
25 SUTTON, Jarrett 1 0 2 2.0 0 1 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 1 0 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
35 UNDERWOOD, John 2 0 4 2.0 0 1 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 2 2 4 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.0
TM TEAM 34 23 57 3.8 0 2 0
Total 15 379 907 .418 109 303 .360 247 339 .729 197 340 537 35.8 299 5 193 195 63 136 1114 74.3
Opponents 15 350 845 .414 89 278 .320 243 352 .690 208 373 581 38.7 297 - 173 266 52 95 1032 68.8


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