Old Dominion Monarchs at Missouri Tigers, Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO
Thursday, December 30, 2010, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Midwest, ESPN Full Court
Opening Line: Missouri -8
Current Line: Missouri -9
Opening Total: 143
Current Total: 143
Money Line: Missouri -450 / Old Dominion +350
The 9-2 Old Dominion Monarchs travel to Columbia to take on the 10th ranked 12-1 Missouri Tigers. Though you might be tempted to overlook this Old Dominion team because of the conference they play in, they are a very talented and dangerous team. The Monarchs have 4 starters back from a team that upset Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. The Monarchs opened up the season with a 3 point loss to Georgetown. They won a tournament in the Virgin Islands that included wins over Clemson and Xavier. They lost their conference opener at Delaware December 4th. They have won 4 straight since then including a victory over Dayton at home. Missouri also has a loss to Georgetown on the season in overtime but have won 7 in a row since then. The schedule has been pretty tough so far with wins over Wyoming, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Oral Roberts and Illinois. Missouri leads the all time series 3-0. The two teams played last season in a tournament in Texas. Missouri won 66-61. Missouri has won 55 straight non-conference home games. Both teams are battling injuries. Missouri point guard Phil Pressey is out 2 weeks with a broken finger. He will be replaced by his older brother Matt. Matt is the Tiger’s third starting point guard of the year. Michael Dixon was the starter at the beginning of the year but was suspended for 2 games and has come off the bench ever since. Old Dominion forward/center Anton Larson is listed as doubtful against Missouri with an undisclosed illness. He plays less than 10 minutes a game for the Monarchs and doesn’t contribute much.
Old Dominion is outscoring opponents 70-61 on the season. The shoot 44.1% from the field and 36.6% from 3 point range. They are holding opponents to 36.6% shooting from the field. The Monarchs make 64.5% of their free throws. Guard/forward Kent Bazemore leads the team in scoring with 13.1 ppg and steals with 2.3 a game. He also averages. 5.1 rebounds a game and 2.1 assists, along with 1.1 blocks a game. Power forward Frank Hassell leads the team in rebounds with 9.7 and blocks with 1.9 a game. he also scores 12.4 ppg. Ben Finney is scoring 11.0 ppg and pulling down 6 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game. The Monarchs pull down 42.4 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +13.4. The average 14.1 assists and 13.5 turnovers a game. Defensively they force 12.5 turnovers a game. The Monarchs average 7.3 steals and 5.2 blocks a game.
Missouri is outscoring opponents 85-69 on the season. The Tigers are shooting 48.5% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. Tiger opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field. Missouri makes 71.7% of their free throws. Five Tigers score in double figures. Guard Marcus Denman leads the team in scoring with 17.2 ppg. He also averages 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals a game. Forward Ricardo Ratliffe leads the team in rebounds with 7.3 a game and also is scoring 12.4 ppg. Forward Lawrence Bowers leads the team in blocks with 2.4 a game. He is also scoring 12.3 ppg and averaging 5.9 rebounds a game. Michael Dixon is averaging 10.4 ppg and leads the team in assists with 4.8 a game despite the suspension and coming off the bench. He also leads the team in steals with 2.5 a game. Kim English is averaging 10.3 ppg. Missouri is averaging 36.6 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +0.2. They average 18.9 turnovers and 13.3 turnovers a game. The Tigers force opponents in 19.9 turnovers a game with their pressure defense. Missouri averages 10.3 steals and 5.4 blocks a game.
Missouri is outscoring opponents by nearly 25 points a game at home. Old Dominion can’t run with Missouri and must slow the tempo down. This game must be played in the 60’s for Old Dominion to have any chance of winning. If they can’t find a way to break Missouri’s relentless press it could be a long day for the Monarchs. Missouri can’t take this opponent lightly as they are a very dangerous team. Old Dominion must protect the ball as Missouri forces a lot of turnovers.
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