Binghamton-Missouri Preview

Missouri has easily handled its first five opponents, whether

they’ve been ranked or unranked.

The No. 21 Tigers would seem to have a good chance at continuing

that trend Sunday when they return home to seek their best start in

five seasons against winless Binghamton.

Missouri has won all of its games by 15 or more points with an

average margin of 85.2-58.8. It appeared the Tigers (5-0) would

finally get a challenge with a matchup against No. 20 California in

the CBE Classic championship game Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo.

Instead, Missouri thumped the Golden Bears 92-53 behind a

season-best 58.8 percent shooting. The Tigers’ pressure defense

also forced a season-high 21 turnovers during their most lopsided

win over a ranked opponent in school history.

“This is the best I’ve felt in my four years, because it’s the

most selfless team I’ve played on. We’re all 10 guys, plus three

transfers – we’re buying into the process every day,” said senior

guard Kim English, whose 19 points led six players in double

figures.

English, second on the Tigers with 16.0 points, might be ready

for a strong final season after seeing his scoring average drop by

four to 10.0 during his junior campaign. He’s also shooting 56.5

percent in the first five games after failing to top 40.0 percent

in his first three seasons.

Fellow senior guard Marcus Denmon, meanwhile, is seeking to

build on his best season (16.9 ppg) and has averaged 19.6 in the

first five contests, one of five players in double figures for

Missouri. Some more strong performances from both players might be

enough to help their team match its 9-0 start from 2006-07.

“We’re working. We’re a work in progress,” Denmon said. “We

continue to do the things we need to do to get better as a team.

… Everything else will take care of itself.”

The Tigers should be more than enough to take care of the

Bearcats, who have dropped three straight road games by an average

of 17.7 points and have failed to score more than 49 in each of

their past two.

Binghamton shot a season-low 31.8 percent during a 66-43 loss to

St. Peter’s last Sunday. Leading scorer Robert Mansell (16.3 ppg)

was held to nine points and freshman big man Ben Dickinson had five

after averaging 18.3 in his first three games.

This is the first matchup between Missouri and Binghamton. It’s

also the Tigers’ first game against an America East Conference

opponent.