#5 Missouri Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Missouri cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite losing five key contributors from last year’s very thin team, the Missouri Tigers should still be a threat in their inaugural season in the SEC thanks to the addition of four transfers and return of Laurence Bowers from injury.

MISSOURI TIGERS
Last Season: 2nd, 14-4 in Big 12, 30-5 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Alex Oriakhi (Sr)/Tony Criswell (Jr)/Ryan Rosburg (Fr)
F: Laurence Bowers (Sr)/Stefan Jankovic (Fr)
G/F: Earnest Ross (Jr)/Negus Webster-Chan (Fr)
SG: Keion Bell (Sr)/Jabari Brown (So)/Dominique Bull (Fr)
PG: Phil Pressey (Jr)/Michael Dixon (Sr)

Gone: SG-Marcus Denmon, G/F-Kim English, PF-Ricardo Ratliffe, SG-Matt Pressey, C-Steve Moore, PF-Kadeem Green (transfer-Ohio)

2012-2013 Outlook:
With that being said, point guard Phil Pressey will still be the heartbeat of this Mizzou team.  His a blur with the basketball with a tremendous ability to create for his teammates.  Pressey’s quickness also works perfectly with the Tigers’ aggressive style of pressure defense.

Michael Dixon was expected to move into the starting lineup and provide Mizzou with another lightning fast guard capable of handling the rock.  However, Dixon was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules prior to the start of the exhibition and there is no timetable for his return.  The Tigers can survive without Dixon for the time being but his presence on the court as a scorer will be vital to the team’s long-term success.

In the meantime, Pepperdine transfer Keion Bell will start at shooting guard with former Auburn wing Earnest Ross being used at the three.  Bell has already scored more than 1,300 points during his college career so you know he can fill it up.  Ross relies on his versatility on both ends to make his biggest impact.

Oregon transfer Jabari Brown doesn’t become eligible until after the first semester but will provide a major boost off the bench.  Freshman Dominique Bull was also suspended indefinitely so Mizzou doesn’t have a ton of depth in the backcourt right now.  Negus Webster-Chan, a freshman wing played well in their opener versus SIU-Edwardsville and will get plenty of early minutes to contribute right away in a reserve wing role.

Unlike last year, Mizzou has quality depth inside.  Bowers returns from a torn ACL that sidelined him for all of last season.  His length and versatility will serve him well on both ends.  Frank Haith also picked up a huge newcomer in UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi who becomes immediately eligible due to the NCAA sanctions on the Husky program.  Oriakhi really struggled last season but brings some needed size and strength inside to replace Ricardo Ratliffe.

The additions of JUCO transfer Tony Criswell and freshman Stefan Jankovic and Ryan Rosburg afford Haith something that the team just didn’t have last year; options inside.  Criswell’s knack for crashing the glass should earn him quality minutes while Jankovic’s ability to stretch defenses with his outside shooting gives Mizzou a stretch four with terrific size.

Haith also picked up a talented transfer in Tulsa combo guard Jordan Clarkson.  He must sit out this season per NCAA rules but will be a very valuable addition in 2013-14 when Dixon and Bell will have exhausted their eligibility.

You could argue the Missouri will actually be more talented this year since they have such quality depth even with the suspension to Dixon.  Foul trouble won’t be nearly as crippling as it was a season ago but I can’t imagine the Tigers being as explosive on the offensive end.

Player to Watch: Phil Pressey
Despite being just a junior, Flip will probably become Mizzou’s all-time leader in assists at some point near the end of this season.  He can almost effortlessly breakdown a defender, get in the lane, and either score or dish to an open teammate.  Pressey is also one of the best on-the-ball on the ball defenders who can create turnovers which typically leads to fastbreak opportunities in the open court where the Tigers are at their best.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/22 vs. Stanford (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/23 vs. Louisville/Northern Iowa (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/24 vs. Duke/Minnesota/Memphis/VCU
12/22 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis)
12/28 at UCLA
1/5 vs. Bucknell

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#7 UNLV Rebels
#8 San Diego State Aztecs
#9 Florida Gators
#10 Michigan Wolverines
#11 Syracuse Orange
#12 Duke Blue Devils
#13 Ohio State Buckeyes
#14 Arizona Wildcats
#15 North Carolina Tar Heels
#16 Michigan State Spartans
#17 UCLA Bruins
#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#19 Cincinnati Bearcats
#20 Marquette Golden Eagles
#21 Creighton Bluejays
#22 Gonzaga Bulldogs
#23 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#24 Memphis Tigers
#25 Baylor Bears
#26 Wisconsin Badgers
#27 Tennessee Volunteers
#28 Pitt Panthers
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, 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 and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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