Missouri vs. SIUE: Tigers open basketball season

Doug Pensinger

The Tigers begin the season as SEC contenders and ranked as one of the top 15 teams in the country.

The No. 15 Missouri Tigers take on the SIU Edwardsville Cougars in their season-opener on Saturday night in Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers are 91-15 in home openers but have only lost one of their past 38.

The preseason was good to the Tigers as they won both of their games by an average of 29.5 points and got contributions from newcomers such as transfers Earnest Ross and Keion Bell and freshman Stefan Jankovic. Ross, Bell, Alex Oriakhi and Jabari Brown make up a transfer class that has been considered one of the best ever.

The transfers join point guard Phil Pressey, who was selected as the preseason SEC player of the year and preseason first team All-American by CBS Sports.

The Tigers don't play a currently ranked opponent until Dec. 28 against the 13th-ranked UCLA Bruins so they'll have plenty of time to jell before hitting the difficult games on their schedule.

This is the third consecutive season that the Tigers have been ranked entering the season and the last time that happened was from 2001 to 2004.

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