After Missouri’s overtime loss to UCLA Friday night at Pauley Pavilion, Phil Pressey probably isn’t focused on anything other than the 97-94 final score. Rest assured that many others are looking at his record-breaking 19-assist performance, which accompanied his 19 points.
Pressey is perhaps the nation’s best pass-first point guard, which makes the 19 assists against UCLA impressive, but not surprising. His ability to penetrate off the dribble collapses the defense and creates opportunities for the weapons Missouri has on the floor, including Laurence Bowers, Keion Bell, and newcomer Jabari Brown.
To put the numbers in perspective, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info:
– Pressey had equaled his career high with 12 assists by halftime. That was one away from the school record, which he roared past in the second half.
– The 19 assists is the season-high for any player in Division I, passing a mark set by Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams (16 assists vs. Monmouth)
– The Missouri guard tied an SEC record of 19 assists, which was equaled only in 1976-77 by LSU’s Kenny Higgs and in 1967-68 by Tennessee’s Bill Hann.
– He was three shy of the NCAA assists mark of 22, held by Avery Johnson, Tony Fairley, and Sherman Douglas.
– Pressey’s 19 assists were the most by a member of a team from a BCS conference since Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves had 20 assists in a game in 2000.