After a career-high 30 points against Baylor on Jan. 31, Missouri forward Leo Lyons was still getting some guff from coach Mike Anderson about rebounding.

Lyons grabbed six that game but both he and coaches felt he should have had more.

After a career-high 30 points against Baylor on Jan. 31, Missouri forward Leo Lyons was still getting some guff from coach Mike Anderson about rebounding.
Lyons grabbed six that game but both he and coaches felt he should have had more.
“Coach always stresses rebounding and he is usually OK with seven rebounds a game but I like to go out and get 15 or 18 like I know I am capable of doing,” Lyons said.
“He’s doing good but I think he can do better,” Anderson said. “He got on a roll about this time last year but I’m happy with what he has been doing lately, letting the game come to him.”
Lyons has averaged six in the previous five games since his return to the starting lineup against Baylor. The senior is coming off back-to-back double doubles against Nebraska and Colorado, grabbing ten and 15 rebounds in each game.
His re-emergence on both the offensive and defensive glass will be key for the No. 11 ranked Tigers as they host the Kansas State Wildcats in the penultimate home game of the season Wednesday night.
“They took the fight to us there so hopefully we have been improving on that since,” Anderson said. “But not just with Leo but Demarre (Carroll) and Kimmie (English) and Zaire (Taylor) and all those guys will rebound the basketball and give us a more physical presence.”
The Wildcats (19-8, 7-5) out-rebounded the Tigers 39-35 but managed to out-shoot them 53 percent to 39 percent, thanks in large part to a lot of second-chance points from the Wildcats. The 88-72 Kansas State victory on Jan. 28 was Missouri’s last loss.
Since the Missouri victory, Kansas State has won eight of its last nine games, including an overtime win at Texas just a few days before Missouri pulled off the same feat.
Missouri (23-4, 10-2) enters the game on a current six-game winning streak, with a 16-0 mark at Mizzou Arena in 2008-2009 and seeking an 11th conference win for the first time in 10 years.
A win not only would tie Missouri for second place with the Oklahoma Sooners but soothe the pain of a loss to Kansas State.
“It was probably my worst game of the season so just knowing that and watching tape I’m ready and I know the team is ready too,” Taylor said.
Anderson, who has gushed over the play of guards Taylor and J.T. Tiller for most of the season, called the Kansas State game their worst collective output of the season, combining to shoot 3-for-12 from the field and turning the ball over four times each.
The Wildcats backcourt of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen shot 13-of-22 from the field highlighted by Pullen’s 23 points and 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. In Big 12 play, the tandem is averaging 15 points and 39 percent shooting from the field.
“We hopefully will get better leadership from our guard play because I felt in that game we were just going all in different directions,” Anderson said. “The more we tried to do individually, the more we got into a hole.”
Kansas State’s player rotation has increased significantly since the Missouri game, having gone as deep as 11 players.
But Missouri players, particularly Lyons, feel primed for productive stretch runs. Lyons, over the final five games of last season, averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds. For a team very much in control of its post-season fate, the productive Lyons from last season would be welcomed back if the Tigers want to capture their first-ever Big 12 Conference championship.