March 27, 2009

Too much Tiller

GLENDALE, AZ--Listening to him in the locker room after his team's 102-91 victory over Memphis in the Sweet 16, you never would have guessed J.T. Tiller had just had a career night.

Despite dropping 23 points on a Memphis team that prides itself on defense, Tiller was as humble as ever.

"Those days come," Tiller said. "I'm glad it was today."

Simple as that, huh?

From the get-go, Tiller was making fearless drives to the rim and his teammates followed suit. He and fellow guard Zaire Taylor combined to score 37 points, with most of them coming in the paint.

"J.T. set the tone as far as offensively with the way he was attacking the basket," Taylor said. "He showed that you can get to the hole on them. Once that happened, I think the whole team just followed his lead and we just attacked."

Whether he was slashing in the lane, making a nice off-the-ball cut or grabbing a tough offensive rebounds, Tiller made a living Friday night amongst the trees. Not even Memphis' huge front line could slow him down.

Despite being a defensive-minded player, Tiller had 16 points at the break. His season-high before Friday was 15 points.

"His energy was just contagious," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. "He was like a bull in a china shop out there. He was going everywhere just bowling down everybody."

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