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#MizzouMade: Marcus Denmon, Zaire Taylor, and Tigers in Korea

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Mizzou basketball greats from the last decade-plus haven't always flourished in the NBA. Fortunately, basketball has become popular in many parts of the world.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg v Phoenix Hagen - BBL
Rickey Paulding
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

Mizzou hasn't been the most successful program at creating NBA stars. Jordan Clarkson and DeMarre Carroll have certainly made the most of their opportunities, but if my math is right, there are currently 4.5 Mizzou favorites playing professional basketball outside of North America for every one playing in the NBA. Below you'll find as much information as I could reasonably find about all 9 of those players. (It turns out that researching international basketball involves a lot of web sites in other languages and statistics compiled in ways rather unlike what you see in college/NBA ball.)

Laurence Bowers -€” Bondi Ferrara (Italian A2 league, 2nd tier)

Bowers' player profile

Jabari Brown -€” Jilin Northeast Tigers (Chinese North Division team)

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Jabari Brown in April 2015
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Brown was on an NBA roster as recently as early October, but was waived by Milwaukee. He quickly signed with a Chinese team, being a known asset there after averaging over 32 points per game with Foshan in the 2015-16 season.

Jason Conley -€” Helsinki (top tier of Finnish basketball)

Conley's team is currently tied for first place with 14 points in a standings system similar to soccer. The team is actually 7-0, however.. Conley himself is averaging 27 minutes and 10 points/game and is the team's rebounding leader with 6.9/game. Check out the English language version of Helsinki's team site for more information, and to keep up with his play.

Marcus Denmon -€” Gaziantep Basketbol (Turkey)

Denmon has gotten off to a strong start in 2016, being named a top performer in week 1 of league play. His NBA draft rights were renounced by the San Antonio Spurs earlier this year.

Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Texas v Missouri
Marcus Denmon in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leo Lyons -€” KCC Egis (Korean League)

Ricardo Ratliffe - Samsung (Korean League)

Before I talk about the great article about the Korean league, do yourself a favor and check out KCC Egis's site. The team/staff/ownership (?) photos are wonderful.

Both Lyons and Ratliffe are playing in Korea, the backdrop of which is illuminated very interestingly in Scott Cacciola's New York Times piece on the annual KBL draft held in Las Vegas. The article is nearly a year-and-a-half old, but it documents not only the (frankly, bizarre) process for selecting international players for the KBL, but it uses as its focus the draft in which Ricardo Ratliffe is selected #1 overall.

Teams are permitted two international players apiece, so they come to the United States to round out their rosters. Players come because 20 contracts are up for grabs, and the pay is excellent: $30,000 a month for first-round picks and $20,000 a month for second-round picks, all tax free.

When the Thunders, as expected, selected Ratliffe with the top pick, Clark jumped to his feet.

"Champion!" Clark shouted as Ratliffe made his way to the front of the room. "My dude! I’m going to stand up for you, bro! Champion!"

As league officials scrambled to muzzle Clark’s enthusiasm, Ratliffe disappeared to the K.B.L. legal room, where he signed his new contract. He returned minutes later to don a team jersey and baseball cap for a photo op on the stage. The ballroom filled with applause.

Leo Lyons is mentioned and quoted in the article as well.

Rickey Paulding -€” EWE Baskets (German member of European 3rd tier league)

Here's a Mizzou Network piece from a couple years ago on Rickey Paulding:

At 34, Paulding has etched out a pretty successful career in Germany, and continues to perform solidly, averaging 12.2 points per game this season. More impressively, though, are Paulding's array of highlight videos on YouTube, such as this compilation of his 30 point performance from May.

Zaire Taylor -€” London Lions (top tier pro ball in UK)

Like Paulding, Taylor seems to have done well for himself playing professionally in the UK. His player profile page for the London Lions documents a successful stint: an MVP award, a League Title, and a number of other accomplishments.

But seeing is believing. Check out Mr. Coffee dropping 41 in a 2015 playoff game:

J.T. Tiller -€” Zwolle (Netherlands pro ball)

Tiller has been with a few pro teams around the world, but is currently on his second helping with Zwolle. A Eurobasket News article details his signing and gives further background on Tiller's career:

Tiller played most recently at Polpharma in Polish TBL league, but left the team in Dec.'15. In 10 games he averaged 9.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.2apg and 1.7spg last season.

The previous (14-15) season Tiller played at Landstede Basketbal Zwolle where in 35 Eredivisie games he had 9.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.4apg and 2.5spg (in top 3). He helped them to make it to the semifinals.