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The Missouri Tigers were supposed to make a deep run in last year's NCAA tournament. They were one of the highest scoring teams (over 80 points per game) in the country. The Tigers entered March Madness with 30 wins already under their belts.
But, then the wheels fell off against 15th-seeded Norfolk State.
Missouri was the third team (along with Utah State in 2009 and 2011, and Belmont in 2011) to lose in the Round of 64 after entering the tournament with 30-plus wins.
So, Missouri has something to prove this season.
But, second-year coach Frank Haith has a collection of senior players who want to change things up in 2012-13.
Michael Dixon, Jr. has been an excellent sixth man for Mizzou. In fact, he was the Big 12 Sixth Man Award selection last season. As much as that was a nice honor, I'm sure that Dixon would like to shine as a starter, not just remain as someone coming off of the bench.
Laurence Bowers was supposed to be a main part of the Tigers frontcourt last season. Unfortunately, he tore his left-knee ACL in early season workouts and was out for the entire year.
Haith has collected a number of transfers for this year's Tiger team, two of which are in their final season of collegiate eligibility.
Alex Oriakhi transferred from UConn after the Huskies were banned from the 2012-13 postseason. Oriakhi played a significant role on the 2011 championship team, but struggled to find his place last season after big-time recruit Andre Drummond arrived.
Keion Bell had three outstanding years at Pepperdine, scoring over 1,300 points (16.4 ppg) for the Waves. But, Bell's junior year ended abruptly because of an injury and a season-ending suspension.
After sitting out last year, the 6'4" 2-guard from L.A. should be ready to tear it up for the Tigers.