2008 Missouri Tigers Basketball Preview
This season, the Missouri Tigers (6-10 overall, 16-16 Big 12) should do better than last season’s 10th place finish. Head coach Mike Anderson, who now starts his third season with the Tigers, has recruited seven athletic and talented players who can make a big difference immediately. This is a team on the rise that’s prepped to have its first winning conference record since 2003-2004.
Senior forwards DeMarre Carroll (25.3 MPG, 13.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 53.6 FG%, 61.2 FT%) and Leo Lyons (22.1 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, 58.3 FG%, 64.0 FT%) will anchor the frontcourt. Carroll, who was the Big 12’s 2007-2008 Newcomer of the Year, proved to be a fine rebounder and slasher. Lyons offers size ability and uncanny quickness. He is a true talent. Justin Safford (8.9 MPG, 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.6 APG, 40.0 FG%, 53.8 FT%), a sophomore, is a pure athlete with a fine jumper. His problem is consistency. There is not a lot of depth upfront and that is problematic.
Guard Matt Lawrence (26.1 MPG, 8.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.9 APG, 36.9 FG%, 91.3 FT%) has one of the best foul shots around. Additionally, if Lawrence is left alone, his shot can be deadly from just about anywhere. Junior J.T. Tiller (19.7 MPG, 6.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 44.1 FG%, 78.8 FT%) offers excellent defensive skills and could be a candidate for the shooting guard spot. The point guard spot may be filled by Delaware transfer Zaire Taylor, who knows how to set up plays, pass and defend. Freshman Miguel Paul, who is a steady player, may also see time at the point.
There’s not a lot of experience but there is the beginnings
of team that should move up a few spots in the conference this season.
They may also make their first post-season appearance since 2006.
Don’t expect to see these Tigers at the Big Dance in 2009
but the NIT is a real possibility. As far as 2010 is concerned,
this club has a shot at the NCAA Tournament. They are an up-and-coming