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Black and gold and diamonds


Senior forward Keith Ramsey, left, and freshman forward John Underwood fight for a rebound at the Oct. 23 Black and Gold game at Mizzou Arena. Photo by Rob Hill

New faces and leaders have found the spotlight during 2009–10 Tiger basketball preseason, but Mizzou’s pesky defense never left. The Tigers forced 30 turnovers in an 83-60 victory over Northwest Missouri State Nov. 13, 2009, at Mizzou Arena. Guard Marcus Denmon and forward Laurence Bowers — both sophomores — had 13 points each to lead all scorers.

Missouri won both of its exhibition games and opens the regular season at home against the University of Tennessee at Martin Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009.

The Tigers beat their first opponent of the preseason, Truman State University, 96-33 Nov. 6, 2009, in Columbia. Mizzou blasted off to a 23-1 lead in the first half and limited the Bulldogs defensively to just 5.9 percent shooting (1-of-17) from the field in the second half.

“This game gave us an opportunity to play a lot of guys,” Missouri Coach Mike Anderson says. “We try to work on some of the simple things and try different combinations of players in these games.”


Sophomore forward Laurence Bowers shows off his 2009 Big 12 Tournament championship ring. Photo by Rob Hill

The Tigers tipped-off the 2009–10 campaign with the annual Black and Gold game on the eve of Homecoming Oct. 23, 2009, in front of 5,324 fans. Mizzou’s 2008–09 team members received their Big 12 Tournament championship rings in a pregame ceremony, and a portion of ticket sales went to the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia.

In a display of run and gun all for fun, Missouri’s fleet of high-flying guards took over the contest. Led by sophomore guard Kimmie English’s 32 points and 22 from freshman newcomer Mike Dixon of Kansas City, Mo., the Black team dished, dashed and dunked their way to a 91-82 win.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, BA ’78, JD ’81, was the honorary coach of the Black team, while UM President Gary Forsee led the Gold side. Forsee selected senior guard J.T. Tiller first overall when the coaches drafted players three days prior.

Not typical of Anderson’s teams, the offenses dictated the game.

“Coach said, ‘Get this out of your system, because you know what’s coming,’ ” Tiller says. “It’s back to defense and all seriousness tomorrow.”

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