Jan. 5, 2013
Mizzou Head Coach Frank Haith
"Obviously this was a great win for us. We beat a really good Bucknell team; well coached, just position defense. The first half we were impatient a little bit on both ends of the court. Obviously, I thought Stef (Stefan Jankovic) gave us a lift in the second half. We were executing much better on offense and obviously the name of the game is making shots."
On late game situations...
"My coaching philosophy is five seconds or under I usually try to take one if we are up by three. I like to foul and make people make two things to beat you. I thought we handled that situation at the end of the game very well."
On going into conference play...
"I love where we are at. I love our team; I love our attitude and our toughness. You hear these guys talk about toughness and it is something that we emphasize. This is a really good team. You understand when you play different styles - Bucknell's style was they get back and set their defense, they play position defense and if you don't shoot it well, they are going to be tough."
Junior Guard Phil Pressey:
On if he could sense that Bucknell wanted to make him beat them offensively by shooting the ball and not setting up his teammates for points...
"Yeah, I shot out of respect of how the defense was playing me. I mean we ran our offense and I know when we run our offense whatever shot presents itself I have to take as well as my teammates."
On the play of Stefan Jankovic at the start of the second half...
"We weren't surprised. He is a freshmen, he is going to come and go. That's how freshmen are. That's how I was when I played. I just told Stef to stay ready, you never know when you're name is going to be called. He produced and I am happy for him."
Senior Forward Laurence Bowers:
On the challenge Bucknell's Mike Muscala presented the Tigers...
"Well he is a really good player and we knew that coming into the game. You know he had a great game and I would say a reason they (Bucknell) were so competitive. I mean I think he is going to continue to play the way he did. You got to respect a guy like that, he had a great game."
On what made Bucknell so effective on setting the pace of the game...
"I would say they weren't attempting offensive rebounds at all in the first half and what not. They would rim back and get back on defense. They would pack the paint and we knew they were going to try and drag out the possession. That is just how they play; they just executed their game plan. But I thought down the stretch we showed toughness and came away with the win"
On the difference between today's game and the UCLA with the team being able to finish...
"We didn't execute down the stretch and we wanted to make sure that we didn't have any of those same plays this game. I thought everyone on the court showed true toughness and Phil dictated the pace of the game. We came away with the win, this was a great win for our team and I'm ecstatic"
On how big of an advantage it is to finish off the last three conference games against Illinois, UCLA, and Bucknell and how it will benefit them going into conference play...
"Those three games were a good challenge for us. I thought we handled them well. Obviously we fell short one game. I think we learned a lot from today even though we won. We just have to continue to get better these next two days and prepare for Alabama."
Bucknell Head Coach Dave Paulsen
"We are really disappointed. I thought we played well, I thought we really executed the game plan, I felt we really competed. But what we told our guys in the locker room after the game is this veteran group that has played in a lot of games, has come close a lot of times and we need to find a way to summon a little bit more to come through at the end to win a game like this. So it's disappointing. You have to give a lot of credit to the poise of Missouri and certainly Phil Pressey, who really played exceptionally well in the second half when they needed him the most. That's what All-Americans do. A lot of things to draw upon for us. I think in the past a team like us would come in and, wow you guys played great, you competed, you were right there with them. We didn't come here to get a moral victory. "
On keeping Phil Pressey out of the paint...
"Well in the first half especially, we did. At half time he didn't have any assists. Our goal with him going in was to make him score, hopefully not 26, but to not let him be a distributer, because that really fed them. We did a great job in the first half. In the second half as he started to hit some of those shots, he stopped behind a couple of ball screens, hit a couple threes, then he was able to also set his teammates up. It was a solid effort, it was a good effort, we needed just a little bit more."
On how unique Phil Pressey is to guard...
"Watching all the tape, the DVDs of him playing, if I didn't have to prepare to play against him, it would have been a treat. Just watching him, the Illinois game and the UCLA game, he's an unbelievable passer and we just wanted to take that part of his game away. He's the best passing point guard that I've coached against since I've been at Bucknell."
On not taking advantage of key opportunities...
"If we would have scored the ball a little bit better down the stretch. We had some good looks with some good players, we had some opportunities. I think if you come to Missouri and you hold them to 66 points, if you said that going into the game I would have signed up for that. We just needed to be able to convert a few more plays. Still, I thought in the first half, we did a good job of keeping them off the glass. But they still had 13 offensive rebounds and they are averaging 17 I think. But you just can't give a team like Missouri extra possessions."
Bucknell Senior Forward Mike Muscala
"We're a veteran group and we all came to Bucknell to play in these types of games, so it hurts. But hopefully this game makes us a stronger team going forward. Right now I think we're all just ready to get into conference play."
On what Bucknell did well in the game...
"I think we did a good job defensively, rebounding especially, that's Missouri's biggest strength and something they lead the country in. I think that we did a pretty good job keeping them off the glass. In the second half we just let them get in to too much of a comfort zone, that hurt us."
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