Mizzou-ISU Postgame Quotes



Feb. 29, 2012

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Frank Haith, Head Coach

Opening Statement...
"Heck of a win. I tell you, Senior Nights are tough. They're tough because of all the emotions, the routine is so different, and it showed early in the ballgame. We were struggling a little bit in that we were tight. Give these guys credit; we turned our defense up. Iowa State is a terrific ball club. I said this early on, they are an NCAA Tournament team. They have one of the toughest matchups in the country in Royce White. He's just a load to guard. But, I'm proud of these guys and what they've accomplished this year."

On the emotion of Senior Night...
"It's the end of a chapter. These guys have had some special moments over four years, and I'm just proud to have been able to come along for the ride this last year."

On Mike Dixon...
"He was outstanding. Mike has been on a roll. He was a little shook after the Kansas game; I think he felt like he struggled late in that ballgame. But he has been playing well the last half of the year. Mike is an important guy, he really is. The shots he made [tonight] were critical, because we had missed a couple of bunnies around the hoop. When you start to miss bunnies, miss a couple of free throws, you start to get tight. He kind of loosened things up by making those shots."

On Senior Night Festivities...
"Guys have families all over the country coming in and they are trying to take care of the tickets. You have a lot of distractions and things they are trying to deal with and it's because it's not just a normal game. Warmups were different. We had a lull because we have so many seniors, so we had a long stretch introducing those seniors. We had a lot of dead time that we normally don't have at home games."

On preparations for postseason play...
"We really have to stay true to what we've done all year. We have to continue to do our preparation work how we've done it all year. This team is used to doing things, and we've been pretty consistent in how we've prepared our guys."

On Steve Moore's hustle play...
"I think that gave us the lift to finish the game out. That's a great play to give up your body. We kept talking about that in our huddle, `I want to see someone make an effort play.' Our identity is to win the effort game. I don't know if we were winning the effort game, and that play right there was a sign of us getting back to who we are."

Missouri Players

Kim English

On what the team did to stop Royce White at the end of the game...
"Well Steve (Moore) did a great job in the middle stretch. I mean Royce (White) is such a dynamic and different kind of player. But Steve game us some big minutes in the middle stretch. I think he took a charge, and Ricardo (Ratliffe) got a steal. He's so good because he's got such great hands, and when he's making shots, he's definitely a tough matchup."

On throwing his shoes into the student section as he exited the floor...
"I didn't know whether I should leave my shoes at center court, kiss the floor, or throw my shoes into the student section. But I felt if I left them at center court, I'd just be a `nobody.' I mean the janitors would probably just come by and sweep them up. So I chucked them, and I hope I didn't hurt anybody."

On how Mizzou turning the game around toward the final minutes...
"They are such a good team; an NCAA tournament team without a doubt. They had only one-less win than we did in this league coming into tonight. So we didn't expect to blow them out at all. Games like these are like tournament games, where all you are trying to do is find a little window where you can get a little cushion. And at the 8-minute mark we just focused on winning every possession and getting some big stops."

On the team's execution in close games this season...
"We really only have one loss in our close games all year. Oklahoma State got us by more than one possession, and Kansas was really the only close game we have lost. We've executed down the stretch in many games, like Baylor and Texas. Kansas was the only game where our execution faltered down the stretch for like a 6-minute period. We've been in those kind of games all year, which is great because teams want to be `battle-tested.'"

Marcus Denmon

On handling the emotions of Senior-night early...
"Because we have so many seniors, it was a really emotional. Early, I felt the same way that Coach (Haith) felt, which was that we came out too tight. We started to get our defense going and getting stops, and to be able to come back and finish it up on the home floor was just great."


On the underclassmen feeling pressure to win this game for the departing seniors...
"I don't really think we felt pressure because we prepared so well for this game. I think we are confident rather than pressured. We are confident in our abilities and we really want to get a win, every time we step on the floor, not just on senior night."

Iowa State Head Coach Fred Hoiberg

On the play of sophomore forward Royce White...
"He did a good job of getting the ball. He does such a good job creating out there for our other guys. But they made an adjustment. They put a bigger guy on him. I still thought we got some good looks in that second half. That's the aggressiveness we talked about Royce playing. When he's got the ball in his hands, his first look is going to score the basketball. That was his mindset tonight. He still did a great job getting our other guys the ball."

On Missouri containing White...
They did a good job with that. Different teams play us different ways every night. Some teams double team Royce, which opens up shots for us. He is as an unselfish player as there is. And then there's some teams that try to take away the three's. We could see that was what they were trying to do - play Royce one-on-one and stick with our shooters. I thought especially in the first half, our movement was great. We did a really good job. When they went zone, we moved the ball side to side, shifting their defense. But different teams play us different ways. And they were trying to take away our three's tonight.

On what the Cyclones need to focus on going into Kansas City...
Well, we've got a huge game on Saturday and that's our focus right now. We've got to go home and clean some things up. We've got two days of prep for Baylor and we need to do a lot of work with how we're playing. So going back home, it's going to be a great Senior Night for two great guys, Korie [Lucious] and Will [Clyburn]. Hopefully we'll go home and take care of business. Then we can start worrying about Kansas City.

On playing several tough teams before going into Kansas City...
Three tough teams, really. We had to play Kansas State last week. We had a great game Saturday. We really battled tonight. We come here, we get 18 offensive rebounds. We got 18 assists. It's just the turnovers. We're playing well, and again, this team has lost one game in this building, and there's a reason for that. They're really, really good. They're really fast, and they play a unique style with four guards. So we came out and battled, just too many turnovers.

Royce White, sophomore forward:

On playing against Missouri on the road...
"They're a great team, and they find ways to get easy baskets. They hit some tough shots, too. For Senior Night, all the emotion, coming into their house when they're a top-ten team, there's not a better loss you can come by, especially in this conference. I'm proud of the way we fought. We look forward to seeing them again."

On the second-half adjustments both teams made...
"Missouri played the lanes well. They're a quick team, and they outplayed us in that area. They're a good defensive team, especially in this building. They used a bunch of different guys to guard me, like Matt Pressey, Ricardo Ratliffe, Steve Moore and Kim English. They did a good job on me defensively."

On his first-half play:
"I was very confident and I took what they gave me. I want to play hard for our seniors as we're getting close to the end of the year."

Scott Christopherson, senior guard

On how Missouri defended him and the Cyclones' other wing players...
"I thought they played our shooters about normal. They're not just going to leave people open."

On the importance of turnovers, especially in the second half...
"We had some critical turnovers in crunch time that led to transition baskets for Missouri. I thought at times we guarded them well in the half-court. Coach said they had 24 transition points, and that's what they thrive off of. It's too many to give up to win a game like that."

On Missouri's transition offense...
"You have to give them credit. One time in the second half, I got by Michael Dixon, but he gave a great second effort and poked the ball out from behind me. A lot of guys would just stop and let you go. At the same time, we had some self-inflicted turnovers, and those are the ones you just can't afford to have against a team that's that good."



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