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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 31st, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Missouri Tigers


Overall Rank: #105

Conference Rank: #10 Big 12


2005-06: 12-16, 5-11, 11th

2005-06 postseason: none


Mike Anderson takes over the Missouri Tigers and will bring his up-tempo style of play with him.  Unfortunately, all the players he needs to run that system aren’t in Columbia yet.  The next few years will be spent rebuilding, and Mizzou fans need to be happy to see progress and a few flashes of what is yet to come.


Who’s Out: Thomas Gardner split early for a shot at the NBA.  That shot didn’t work out, but the bottom line is that his 19.7 points will be missed.  The backcourt also loses Jimmy McKinney and James Douglas.  McKinney was the only other double digit scorer last year and Douglas saw a few minutes off the bench.  Kevin Young averaged 8.5 points and a team high 7.2 rebounds and his absence leaves some concern up front.


Who’s In: The backcourt could use some depth and they will find it with Keon Lawrence, J.T. Tiller and Stefhon Hannah.  In Lawrence, the Tigers may have a four-year starter.  He’s a tremendous scorer and put up solid numbers in the rebounding and assist categories throughout his prep career.  Tiller is an amazing athlete and was a nationally ranked triple jumper at Wheeler High School in Georgia.  Hannah, a junior college transfer, will see some minutes running the point.  He’s a smart floor leader on both ends of the court and can do some scoring when needed.  A couple junior college transfers will add depth up front.  Darryl Butterfield is still a raw player after performing just two seasons in high school and two more at the juco level.  The 6-7, 225 pound Butterfield is a tough, hardworking player and has a surprising amount of athleticism to go along with his large frame.  Vaidatos Volkus, a transfer from the prestigious Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, has experience on the international scene playing for the Lithuanian Under-20 team.  On the defensive end, Volkus can contribute in the post.  On the offensive end, his game can extend well past the three point line.


Who to Watch: It takes a rare breed of big man to run and gun like Coach Anderson is looking for.  Forwards Marshall Brown and Leo Lyons should fit into that system, but center Kalen Grimes doesn’t have the up and down speed necessary.  Brown averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last year and should develop into a big time player this season.  Lyons had some good moments as a freshman, but he’ll need to step up a bit in order to find a starting job.  The biggest concern is the frontcourt conditioning and depth.  Mizzou might have to go small for long periods of time to rest the big guys…or slow down the tempo for a bit, but that wouldn’t be very fun.


Final Projection: Besides point guard Jason Horton and wing Glen Dandridge, the backcourt will be comprised of newcomers.  In the up-tempo style everybody will get a chance to play and the team will find a good rotation.  Even if they start at the beginning of the campaign, don’t be surprised if Dandridge, Lyons and Grimes don’t hold onto their starting roles.  Even Horton, who averaged 4.5 assists per game last season, isn’t safe.  No matter who starts, Coach Anderson should once again have around ten players averaging between 10 and 30 minutes. 


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Jason Horton, Junior, Guard, 4.9 points per game

Tony Dandridge, Junior, Guard, 2.5 points per game

Marshall Brown, Junior, Forward, 9.6 points per game

Leo Lyons, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 points per game

Kalen Grimes, Junior, Center, 2.6 points per game

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