October 30, 2007

Black and gold game tips off Tiger season

A few hundred Missouri fans got their first look at the 2007-08 Tiger basketball team on Tuesday night. But more noteworthy than the Tigers who played in the black team's 101-95 win was one who did not.

Senior point guard Stefhon Hannah was dressed in street clothes and did not play.

"Stefhon Hannah is a coach's decision," Mike Anderson said. "I'm just not happy with some things he's doing right now off the court. That's just team rules. You've got to follow team rules. We'll address that and we'll see what takes place during this period before the next game."

Hannah watched the game alongside fellow senior Darryl Butterfield, who is serving a suspension . Anderson said he did not have a timetable on a return for either player.

Meanwhile, the Tigers that were on the floor put on an offensive show for the most part. Each team shot better than 54% from the floor and the Tigers put up 196 points total. Transfer DeMarre Carroll led nine players in double figures with 29 points. The junior added 11 rebounds.

"You can see the kind of toughness he brings to our basketball team," Anderson said of Carroll's unofficial Tiger debut. "He has a great nose for the basketball. He'll stick his body in there, you'll see him on the floor, he'll take charges. He just does a lot of the little grunt work."

Other standouts from the night were Matt Lawrence, who canned seven of 11 three-pointers on the way to 24 points to lead the gold team. Sophomore guard J.T. Tiller matched Lawrence's 24 points and added a game-high three steals and two assists.

"He's one of those guys that's been bringing it every day," Anderson said of Tiller. "I always thought he was one of those kamikaze guys that will leave it all on the floor…It ain't about his offense, that's the thing I like. He plays defense, he shares the basketball, he plays till he's exhausted. You see him, he's out there, he doesn't want to come out. I love those guys, I really do."

Keon Lawrence (19), Jason Horton (11), Marshall Brown (24), Leo Lyons (16), Zaire Taylor (11) and Vaidotas Volkus (15) also hit double digits in scoring. Throughout the offseason, though, Anderson has preached that the Tigers must improve defensively this season. For a night, at least, he wasn't too concerned about the effort on that end of the floor.

"This is one of those fun games, I think, more than anything else," Anderson said. "I thought, for the most part, the guys that were out there, they played with purpose, they played with passion."

The fun and games are over now for these Tigers, though.

"This is the last fun night for them," Anderson said.

Mizzou opens the exhibition season on Saturday against UMSL at 3 o'clock at Mizzou Arena. Fans can stay after the game to watch the football Tigers take on Colorado on the arena video board.



 

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