For the first time since the 2003-2004 season, when Mizzou was pre-ranked at #5, the Missouri Tiger men’s basketball team is ranked in the preseason coaches’ top 25 poll, as Mizzou comes in ranked 15th.
The Tigers are one of five Big 12 teams who make the top 25, just the third time that has happened. The ranking is Mizzou’s highest since the 31 win season in 08-09, when MU finished 9th nationally. K-State was #3, Kansas #7, Baylor #14, and Texas #25 to round out the five Big 12 teams.
The Tigers return a lot of scoring from last year despite the loss of veteran leaders J.T. Tiller and Zaire Taylor. Juniors Kim English (14.0 ppg), Marcus Denmon (10.2) and Laurence Bowers (10.2) are back along with healthy forward Justin Safford, the team’s lone senior who averaged almost nine points a game.
Missouri also has some new talent coming in that could make an immediate impact. Columbia native Ricky Kreklow comes in to provide Mike Anderson with a creative play maker through his passing. Anderson will also have a rebounding machine in Ricardo Ratliffe, the top junior college player. Also, the addition of the two Pressey brothers, Phil and Matt, who Anderson has known since they were babies will help provide a solid bench.
You can check out the Tigers during their open practice on Saturday at 2 p.m. prior to the MU-OU football game.