#29 Missouri Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Missouri Tigers program has been all over the radar this off-season; due to conference realignment rumors, new head coach Frank Haith’s possible connection to the scandal at Miami, and most recently, a season-ending injury to senior Laurence Bowers.  The latter of those dropped Mizzou several spots in my rankings and means the Tigers enter the season with only eight eligible scholarship players.

Last Season: T-5th, 8-8 in Big 12, 23-11 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 4th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Steve Moore (Sr)
PF: Ricardo Ratliffe (Sr)/Kadeem Green (Fr)/Laurence Bowers (Sr-out for season)
G/F: Kim English (Sr)
SG: Marcus Denmon (Sr)/Matt Pressey (Sr)/Jarrett Sutton (Sr)
PG: Michael Dixon (Jr)/Phil Pressey (So)

Gone: PF-Justin Safford, SG-Ricky Kreklow (transfer-California), C-John Underwood (transfer-Cal State Fullerton)

marcus denmon mizzou2011-2012 Outlook:
The loss of Bowers puts added pressure on a talented backcourt that was likely to carry the load anyway.  Returning starters Michael Dixon, Marcus Denmon, and Kim English bring experience and scoring to the line-up.  Denmon is a big-time threat since he can stroke it from deep or use his quickness to get to the basket.  English briefly flirted with entering the NBA Draft but chose to return and adds some size and versatility on the wing.  Michael Dixon is more of a scoring point guard but also a solid defender.

The Pressey brothers will provide depth off the bench.  Phil started twelve games as a freshman and is more of a true point guard than Dixon.  Matt struggled with his shot in his first season at Mizzou after transferring in from a junior college, but will play a bigger role due to the transfer of Ricky Kreklow. The injury to Bowers could also mean Haith will show some four-guard looks with English playing the four.

Extra pressure will be placed on Ricardo Ratliffe inside.  He was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season and will have to become even more assertive in the middle due to the losses of Justin Safford and Bowers.  Ratliffe should play out of position some at center since the team’s only true big man, Steve Moore is pretty much a non-factor on the offensive end though he can be a rim protector on D.  Redshirt freshman Kadeem Green is a long, athletic, but offensively raw forward who will have to play an immediate role off the bench due to a lack of bodies inside.

George Goode would have helped offset Bowers injury some and brought added size to the middle.  The former Louisville Cardinal was supposed to transfer to Mizzou as a grad student and become immediately eligible, but never enrolled for the fall semester.  Haith did sign a pair of talented transfer wing players in Auburn’s Earnest Ross and Keion Bell from Pepperdine who should help immensely in 2012-13 when the Tigers lose Denmon, English, and Matt Pressey to graduation.

Missouri will probably have a different style of play this season as the team transitions from Mike Anderson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” to Haith’s new system.  A lot of key players are back from last year’s team that finished with an extremely disappointing year and with several of them being seniors, they will look to end their careers with a bang which will be difficult to do since there is not a lot of size or depth inside.

Player to Watch: Kim English
The 6-6 wing saw his scoring average drop four points from his sophomore to junior season.  That made his decision to test the NBA waters rather baffling.  He showed his sophomore season that he possesses the talent to make an impact in every aspect of the game and as I mentioned, will have to play bigger due to a lack of bodies in the frontcourt.  He must have a major bounce back year if Mizzou is going to avoid another disappointing season.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/21 vs. Notre Dame (CBE Classic)
11/22 vs. Cal/Georgia (CBE Classic)
12/6 vs. Villanova (in New York)
12/22 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis)
12/28 at Old Dominion

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.


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