College Basketball Rankings: Missouri Shoots Up To No. 13

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Kim English #24 and Marcus Denmon #12 of the Missouri Tigers celebrate as the Tigers defeat the Cal Golden Bears 92-53 to win the Progressive CBE Classic tournament on November 22, 2011 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

A dominant stretch of non-conference play has the Tigers near the ranks of the nation's elite teams.

After blowout victories over Notre Dame and Cal in the CBE Classic last week, Missouri's basketball team was one of the biggest gainers in the college basketball polls, moving up eight spots to No. 13.

There hasn't been a adjustment period for the 6-0 Tigers under new head coach Frank Haith, as Missouri has yet to win a game by less than 15 points this season.

The team is led by a balanced scoring attack from the perimeter, with senior guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English both averaging over 18 points a game on over 50% shooting.

To make up for the loss of senior forward Laurence Bowers in the pre-season and hide their lack of depth in the front-court, the Tigers have continued the up-tempo attack favored by former coach Mike Anderson. Of their top six players in terms of minutes played, Ricardo Ratliffe, a 6'8 240 forward, is the only player above 6'6.

Missouri will need more production from Steve Moore, a 6'9 270 senior, and Kadeem Green, a 6'8 210 freshman, when they enter Big 12 conference play and face future NBA lottery picks like Baylor's Perry Jones III and Kansas' Thomas Robinson.

They'll get a good test of their interior defense on Dec. 6 when they play Big East power Villanova in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats feature Mouphtaou Yarou, a 6'10 250 center projected to be a first-round pick next year.

For the most up-to-date news and analysis on Missouri sports on the internet, check out Rock M Nation.

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