Kansas State Wildcats at Missouri Tigers
Tuesday, February 21st 2012 – 6:00 P.M. Central
TV: ESPN2 (John Saunders/Doug Gottleib) / RADIO: Tiger Radio Network/Kansas State Radio Network
|Missouri Tigers (25-2, 12-2 Big 12)
Streak: Won 7
|G||Phil Pressey (10.0 ppg, 1st in steals (2.1), 2nd in assists (5.9) in Big 12)||SO||5-10||175|
|G||Matt Pressey (6.7 ppg, 3.2 reb)||SR||6-2||185|
|G||Marcus Denmon (17.8 ppg, 5.3 reb; Leads Big 12 with 75 made three-pointers)||SR||6-3||185|
|F||Kim English (14.2 ppg, 4.1 reb)||SR||6-6||200|
|F||Ricardo Ratliffe (13.7 ppg, 7.0 reb; 14 mins, 2 pts, 1 reb last time vs KSU)||SR||6-8||240|
Kansas State Wildcats (18-8, 7-7 Big 12)
Streak: Won 1
|G||Angel Rodriguez (7.7 ppg, 2.8 assists)||FR||5-11||180|
|G||Will Spradling (10.2 ppg, 43.6% from three-point range)||SO||6-3||170|
|G/F||Rodney McGruder (Team-high 14.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg)||JR||6-4||205|
|F||Jamar Samuels (10.0 ppg, 6.3 reb; 6-9 from three-point range last 2 games)||SR||6-8||232|
|F||Jordan Henriquez (6.0 ppg, 4.6 reb, 2.1 blocks)||JR||7-0||245|
In the first meeting of the season, Kansas State handed Mizzou its first loss of the season after the Tigers opened up with 14 straight wins, and did so in dominating fashion. Looking back at it, a lot of things went good for K-State and a lot of bad for the Tigers when compared to season norms.
The Cats are the only team this year to truly shut down the Missouri offense, holding the Tigers to a season-low 59 points and a woeful shooting day.
“I don’t think there was anything special to it. I think we were coming off an embarrassing performance at Kansas, it was our conference home opener,” K-State head coach Frank Martin said. “I don’t want to speak for them, you’d have to ask him this, but I think they had been just pounding people into oblivion and they probably came in here a little too relaxed for a Big 12 road game. We were fortunate to make shots and kind of get away from them…I don’t anticipate that we’re going to get anything but the best game they’ve played all year.”
“They took us out to the woodshed. They whipped us,” Mizzou coach Frank Haith said. “Simple as that. They physically dominated the game, and they physically dominated us, on the glass, in all aspects of the game. It was a butt-whupping.”
“It was an eye opener for us at that time of the year. They physically came just after us, and we didn’t match their intensity. In order for us to have success (Tuesday), we have to match that intensity and quite honestly, exceed it.”
Looking back on it, is a statistical anomaly…sort of. Missouri is leading the league in field goal percentage. Against Kansas State they shot a season-low 32.7% – 22.7% in the first half. Hell freezes over before Missouri does that in a home game with this roster. Mike Dixon, Kim English and Marcus Denmon are all above 46% from the floor and 35% from three this season. In the first game between these two, that trio was 11-30 from the floor and 5-17 from deep. It is not shocking to see Missouri struggle from 3 on the road – Missouri has about the same overall percentage at home (49.7%) in Big 12 play as on the road (48.1%), but the difference from 3-point range is much more pronounced, where they are shooting 42.4% in 7 conference home games, compared to 30.7% in other Big 12 buildings.
The Tigers are SO GOOD at home in almost every aspect, that I’d be shocked to see another offensive effort like the first time, but Kansas State is second in field goal percentage defense and third in three-point percentage defense, so its not impossible.
Kansas State’s shot 58.6% in the first half last time – which wouldn’t be shocking if they did it again as the Tigers defense who have given up several 50-plus percent shooting performances, but only once at home – Kansas. They also absolutely dominated the first half and cruised to victory by attacking Missouri on both ends of the floor in the first meeting and brought to the attention the limitations of a four-guard offense in the Big 12 conference. But a lot has changed since that last meeting. Mizzou has lost just once and the Cats have been up and down on a roller coaster season. Many of the things that went “right” for the Cats likely won’t go there way tonight.
Same goes for the Tigers. Many of the things that went wrong won’t go wrong tonight. Thats just what the trends tell you. And Missouri is SO GOOD at home, winning 66 of their last 69 games.
But, before we get into all of that. The Cats match up very well with the Tigers because of the size/length and their depth – both weaknesses for the Tigers. But if the past 12 games have proven us anything, Missouri has learned a lot from the first meeting. They have continually used their perceived weaknesses and turned it into a strength. They use their lack of size and turn it into a strength with their superior guard play and speed. They have turned “How does Missouri stop Team X?” into “How does Team X stop Missouri?”
Many Tigers had their worst games of the year, including point guard Phil Pressey, who went 0-6 from the floor, scoring five points and turning it over four times. I would be shocked if this happened again. In the last three games, Pressey is 12-for-18 from the floor and 7-for-11 from three-point range and scoring 15 points per game. When teams have to come out and guard him, it makes Missouri virtually unguardable and opens up the offense. Now can Pressey, a 30% 3-point shooter keep us his great shooting? Likely not at his current pace, but if he hits consistently down the stretch, it will be a big boost for the Tigers.
Ricardo Ratliffe looks tired as of late, and his production has dropped, as his once 77% field goal percentage has dropped to 72.6% – still nationally leading. But his chance to break Steve Johnson’s all-time record is dwindling. Over the last five games he has scored just 46 points (9.2 ppg, well below his season average of 13.7) on 20-for-34 shooting (58.9%). In the meantime, he has raised his game on the glass averaging 8.0 per, almost 1.5 better than his season average before his five game stretch.
Mizzou fans will take 9 points, 8 rebounds tonight from Ratliffe who has totaled 14 points (4.7) and seven boards (2.3) and he fouled out and played just 14 minutes, scoring two points in the first meeting this year. Missouri has proven then can win when Ratliffe has an off-night as they have enough offensive weapons that it can easily make up for it. But, a big game from Ratliffe, but it will be a whole lot easier if he produces, especially early.
K-State is Jekyll and Hyde. They turn the ball over like crazy, they foul like crazy, they can’t hit free throws, they are incredibly streaky (good and bad) from the floor, and despite playing at a reasonably high pace, they don’t actually score very much – in only one of their six wins since the first Missouri game have they scored more than 69 points. If they NEED a bucket, they don’t necessarily know who to go to with the ball. BUT… they are incredible on the offensive glass, they draw fouls like crazy, they force even more turnovers than they commit, and they use their fantastic length to disrupt every shot you take. Looking at the nine primary categories (actually, 18 considering offense and defense) on Ken Pomeroy’s team profiles – Eff. FG%, Turnover %, Off. Reb. %, FTA/FGA, 3PT%, 2PT%, FT%, Block % and Steal % – KSU ranks better than 50th in seven and 195th or worse in seven. Their strengths are wonderfully strong, and their weaknesses are woefully weak.
Kansas State has the league’s second-best rebounding margin thanks in large part to a Big 12-best 15 offensive rebounds per game. The Cats rebound a ridiculous 41.8% of their own missed shots. Missouri is not bad on the defensive glass, ranking fourth in the league in defensive rebounding percentage, so this could be an intriguing matchup. In the first game between the two, the Wildcats dominated the glass 42-28, including a 13-7 edge on the offensive end.
Michael Dixon has been a man on a mission for the Tigers, averaging 15.6 points per game and shooting 65% during the Tigers seven-game win streak and has hit big shot after big shot during the run. Denmon is averaging 20.2 points on 54.7 percent shooting overall — 20 for 40 from 3-point range- in February.
“I don’t know if ‘well’ is the proper adjective. He’s been great,” Martin said. “The energy, the toughness, the willingness to make hard shots. If I was his teammate, I know I’d love to be on the court with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him go on the floor ever since I first saw him as a sophomore in high school and play without enthusiasm. He’s wired with enthusiasm and it’s got to be contagious because the way that young man plays is a whole lot of fun.”
Matt Pressey sat out the final 12 minutes of the Texas A&M game. His ankle is a wild card tonight. Lately, the Tigers have been getting away with hardly nothing offensively from Pressey (10-39 the last eight games), but without him the Tigers are down to a potential six-man rotation. He is also a good defensive player and has been able to eat up minutes.
Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder are the keys for the Cats. Samuels has hit 6-of-9 from 3 the past two games and dropped 20 points and 12 boards in last Monday’s loss to Kansas. McGruder dominated Missouri in the first meeting, scoring inside, outside, hitting mid-range jumpers and taking the ball to the rack. Missouri has to do a lot better against him this time. Matt Pressey will have the job of slowing him down…but will he be healthy enough?
Keeping an Eye on the Prize: Frank Haith likes the fact that his team is playing a “revenge game” the game before the KU showdown Saturday. With the game looming so close, both Haith and Self have to keep their team’s focused.
“I don’t think this team has done that at all, all year. I think this team has been focused on the task at hand, and I’m real proud at how they’ve stayed focused,” Haith said. “We understand this. There’s no doubt that K-State can come in here and whip up just like they whipped us in Manhattan if we’re not ready to play. We’ve got to be ready to play, and it’s going to take a yeomen’s effort for us to beat K-State, even in our own house. They’re that type of team that can really take us out and be very physical with us.”
Final Thoughts: K-State matches up well with Mizzou, but I simply don’t think they can score enough points to win in Columbia, where the Tigers are VERY VERY GOOD, (Reminder: Winning 66 of their last 69). Minus Kansas, most Tigers home wins are not close. This year, the closest win after Kansas was Texas at 11, and that is after Texas scored the last six points. Missouri has a nice blowout tool, and will have that moment in the game where you see why they are the nation’s most efficient offensive team in the country. The Tigers also shoot so well at home,
The home team has won every game in this series since Martin has been at Kansas State, and it SHOULDN’T change tonight. The Tigers have also won 24 of the last 26 games against the Cats in Columbia. In a game that will be a physical knock down, drag out street fight – which on the cover would favor K-State, but Missouri has gritted out several games on the road that are slowed to a crawl, and if the whistle’s are blown a bunch like they typically are in K-State games, the Tigers are the league’s best free throw shooting team and have two guys (Denmon, Dixon) shooting 90%.
|Avg Points Allowed||62.8||64.0|
Other Mizzou links
KU looms, but not yet
Two former coaches, one loved, one not…
KC Star: Former MU coach Norm Stewart enjoys what he’s seen this year
Are you kidding me Mike Anderson? You make me puke. Taking claim in this year;s Mizzou success…Post-Dispatch: Ex-coach Anderson still pulls hard for MU
Returning to the scene of such success was attractive. But to get to Arkansas, Anderson left a bad feeling with many in Columbia. He indicated his plans to stay at Mizzou before taking the Arkansas job. He said he understands some of those feelings that developed after he left.
“Those kids are part of my family. They will be for the rest of my life,” he said. “Obviously they were hurt and even when you talk about some of the fans. Why? When I got there, there was not a lot of empathy about the program. Now there are feelings about it and I understand that. But I’m so excited for those guys. They’re going to do great things.”
When Haith was hired, he had a friend who could answer every question. And while much of the country expressed shock about Haith, Anderson wasn’t among that group.
“Do you think that’s just a coincidence?” he asked without elaboration.
He was pulling for his friend all along.
The Games Just Keep Getting Bigger
The Trib: Tigers keep eye on ball as excitement builds
KC Star (Campus Corner): More on Michael: Nothing has come easy for Dixon
The Missourian: Five Missouri seniors set career men’s basketball win record
MUtigers.com: Jarrett Sutton, Laurence Bowers Named Academic All-Big 12
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
The Missourian: Big 12 basketball coaches will miss playing in Columbia
KC Star: MU’s Phil Pressey has gift for stealing the ball
PowerMizzou: Tiger legacy talks Border War
Denmon’s cousin signs with Mizzou
NEW 2013 FOOTBALL COMMIT: ATH ANTHONY SHERRILS (KC Hogan Prep)
PowerMizzou: Anthony Sherrils picks Mizzou
Other recruiting news
PowerMizzou: Lee’s Summit’s Jamone Boyd is a rising star
The Trib: MU football recruit throws weight around
The Trib (Dave Matter): Recruiting: Tigers getting early in-state results
KC Star (Campus Corner): Staley star wants Missouri offer, but is his future at quarterback?
PowerMizzou: Big Missouri LB checks out Huskers on Saturday
PowerMizzou: Chase Abbington talks visit, leaders
Athens Banner-Herald (Dog Bytes) : Early scouting report on Bulldogs vs. Dorial Green-Beckham
SEC: Gary Pinkel Goes To Birmingham
We Are Mizzou: Coach Pinkel Visits Birmingham
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou sorting out cost of moving from Big 12 to SEC
KC Star (Campus Corner): KC loves its college hoops on TV
Outkick The Coverage: Should Tennessee-Alabama, Florida-LSU and Auburn-Georgia Be Saved in 14 Team SEC?
Last year, despite ranking eighth in the country, Mizzou slipped up against unranked Fresno State on the season’s opening weekend; Lindsey Muller and Nicole Hudson combined to allow six earned runs in the loss and proved that in softball, not every loss is created equal. If you aren’t pitching either your ace or your No. 2, it almost doesn’t count.
The same type of loss happened to Mizzou early Saturday morning; the Tigers led off the second day of the tournament after winning the evening’s final game the night before, and it was all freshman Bailey Erwin’s show. Kristin Nottelmann had battled through an iffy first-game win over Ball State (a win that include nine walks), and Chelsea Thomas was dominant against Troy in the nightcap, and Ehren Earleywine was not going to pitch either one against Eastern Kentucky unless forced. Erwin looked pretty good, taking a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, but EKU scored three two-out runs to take a 4-3 lead. Freshman Corrin Genovese tied the game with an RBI flyout, but eventually Mizzou fell in the 10th.
Here’s something I didn’t know about softball: at certain times (I’m assuming early-season tournaments where they don’t want games going too long), games contain a rule in which you place a runner at second base to start every extra inning. Thomas finally relieved Erwin midway through the eighth inning, but she “allowed” a run in the ninth on a bunt and a single, then, after Mizzou tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, “allowed” another run on a bunt and an RBI flyout. It’s kind of a cruel way to lose, but it does show you how little emphasis should be put on the loss, I guess.
Mizzou 3, Ball State 2
Mizzou 4, Troy 0
MUtigers.com: No. 5 Tigers Win a Pair on Opening Day
KBIA Sports Extra: Mizzou softball seniors leading the team by example
For all intents and purposes, one bad inning prevented Mizzou from potentially pulling off a thrilling road sweep of Auburn to begin the 2012 season. AU scored three runs off of Blake Holovach in the seventh inning of Game One to give them a 5-2 win, but Mizzou jumped out to a 4-1 lead on their way to a 6-4 Game Two win, then unleashed some dramatics of their own in the final inning of the rubber match. With the game limited to seven innings due to travel, Mizzou struck for three runs on three walks, a single and two sac flies in the top of the seventh. Auburn put the tying run on second with just one out, but Jake Walsh logged his second save of the day, and Mizzou took the series.
The Mizzou offense wasn’t particularly amazing over the weekend, but it didn’t have to be. The Tigers batted .261 (24-for-92) with three home runs (two by Dane Opel) and 12 walks, but they won the series by taking advantage of opportunities (Auburn left 31 men on base, Mizzou 23), and relievers Jeff Emens, Walsh and Dusty Ross combined to allow zero runs in a combined eight innings. No. 1 starter Eric Anderson looked good on Friday (six innings, two runs, seven hits, four strikeouts).
Mizzou 6, Auburn 4
Mizzou 4, Auburn 3
MUtigers.com: Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader at Auburn
Auburn Sports: AU suffers late game collapse, loses series
SimmonsField.com: Tip of the Cap to LHP Jake Walsh
SimmonsField.com: HI NOTES: MU takes 2 of 3 from Auburn
And only because it’s the Border War…
Mizzou Women’s Basketball
MUtigers.com: Tigers Shine at Border Showdown
The Missourian: Missouri earns first conference win of season at Kansas
KBIA Sports Extra: Christine Flores leads Mizzou past Kansas, 13-game losing streak ends
Lawrence Journal-World: Missouri women pick up first Big 12 win with 70-65 victory over KU
THIS IS THE BIGGEST TEASE EVER.
Topeka Capital Journal: Samuels dating Washburn’s Ebonie Williams
Dennis Dodd has seven Big 12 schools ranked in his preseason top 25, with K-State checking in at 15.
K-State defensive back Allen Chapman was arrested on Saturday for driving on a suspended license