Nov. 13, 2012
Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith
“Obviously we didn't come out with the energy that we needed to have, again, in the first half and I thought we missed so many bunnies around the basket that you could see our guys just build up a little tension there. I thought we came out in the second half, got it going defensively, knocked some balls loose, executed a lot better and we made some nice adjustment in terms of how we played in the second half.”
On how much the first half was because this team is a work in progress...
“I think it’s all of that. I think we did miss some bunnies. We missed a lot chippies and it’s how you let that affect your game. That is what I saw. When things don’t go well and you have a little bit of adversity we were not as connected, as tight as we need to be in terms of lifting one another up and playing harder from the defensive end.”
On what were you thinking when you were walking off the floor at half time...
“We didn’t play very well so we had to get our guys to play better. In terms of getting those guys to understand what kind of team we want to have and you only have but so many of these opportunities and we are not taking advantage of an opportunity tonight.”
On how impressed where you with how quickly Laurence Bowers has come back from injury...
“Watching Laurence on tape, obviously I didn't coach him last year, everything was athletic plays. I think he's got a game where he is doing some other things too in terms of shooting the basketball, handling the ball, making good passes and he was a good passer before, but I think he's gotten better. There is no question he has gotten better.”
On Laurence Bowers improved outside shooting...
“Well it makes our spacing better, and our flow will be better when he is constantly knocking down shots. People have to guard him (now), so your spacing is going to be better on the court. That's the thing we will do with Laurence different than we did with Kim English in how we play, we will move him around a little bit more, because I think we can run our offense through him. The other thing that makes our offense good is that when you are struggling, you want to throw that ball inside and when you have a guy like Alex Oriakhi who can make free throws, it definitely helps.”
Mizzou Player Quotes
On how much time he devotes to practicing his three-point shooting…
“Like I said, it was just repetition, just shooting, coming up to the gym at night shooting on the gun, shooting after practice. Coach told me that I needed to knock down the three-ball. We lost a sharp shooter in Kim English, and I wouldn’t dare say that I’m the sharp shooter Kim English is, but I’m going to continue to work and when the opportunity’s there, I’m going to shoot it with confidence.”
On developing his three-point shot…
“Whenever you do something so much, it just becomes repetition. Like I said, I was just shooting after practice all the time, just putting extra emphasis on trying to be able to make the three. The year before I only shot eight threes and didn’t make any, so that was something I really wanted to improve upon. I just have to keep working.
On what Coach Haith said to the team at halftime to get them going…
“He got on us. Obviously we came out and didn’t play well. It was a lack of energy. I take the blame. I didn’t have my team ready. He just got on us. He said we could play a lot better. It was a sense of us being lethargic, and coach got on us and we came out in the second half playing with a fire under us. We ended up playing great, so that halftime speech was a spark.”
On the need to get better starts…
“We know we didn’t come out well. Phil [Pressey] and I, we’re definitely not going to let this happen again as captains. Next game, I said in the huddle that we have to put two halves together. We’re going to come out with a better focus.”
On the offensive struggles in the first half…
“Like coach said, we missed a lot of bunnies in the first half. Credit to their defense, but we work on those layups and finishing (around the rim) every day. We just have to get better and keep practicing, and that’s what we’ve got to get better on is making layups. Just get back to the basics.”
On lack of offensive flow in the first half…
“I don’t think it was trouble with flow. It was just we didn’t finish in transition like we normally do. If time after time we continue to miss layups, it’s going to build over. We got it together in the second half, and that’s why the game is 40 minutes, not 20.”
On refocusing when shots aren’t falling…
“That’s big. That’s when defense comes into play. When you go on the road you’re not going to always hit shots, and things aren’t always going to go your way. You can bring defense every single game and defensive effort. That’s what Coach Haith and his staff try to get us to do. If we bring that, then it’s not going to matter whether our offense is going or not because we can stop people.”
On the effect of having Bowers on the offensive end…
“It’s just like my freshman year when he was playing, it’s nothing new. I’m just happy to have him back out there, and hopefully we can have a successful season.”
On the emphasis of getting close shots and drawing fouls when the offense struggles…
“It’s common sense, the closer you are to the basket, the higher your field goal percentages are. So if we get two feet in that paint with our bigs, we’re either trying to get them to score either by themselves or on the free throw line. When you have bigs that can make free throws, it helps you out there a lot with Laurence [Bowers], Stef [Jankovic], Tony [Criswell], Alex [Oriakhi], and [Ryan] Rosburg.”
Alcorn State Head Coach Luther Riley
On what can be taken away from a game like this…
“My team and I learned that when you play on the road against a good team in a hostile environment, you have to play for forty minutes. You can’t play for twenty minutes or even fifteen minutes, you have to play for forty minutes. You have to execute on both ends, give them one shot, block out and rebound. Offensively, you have to trust the system, (we had) too much individual play.”
On the second half disparity…
“If you notice the first half, they had eight to twelve offensive rebounds and they were just missing put backs. It was a concern of ours going into the half. It was the first thing we addressed going into the game, Oriakhi and Bowers were really good offensive rebounders, they really crashed the boards hard and that was our main concern. In the second half, they turned up some defensively and we just stopped doing what we were taught to do and started playing to much individual basketball. Their difference was (Phil) Pressey playing with poise the entire game. He managed the game when he didn’t have the ball and they trusted him to mange the game. He did a great job, give Coach Haith credit his team was prepared and it showed.”
On any nerves coming into the game….
“You have to get used to the atmosphere. Those guys have big bodies. I’m going to talk to the strength and coach after this interview. Those guys. My God, they are some nice sized guys and they did a wonderful job. They stuck with their system that was the main thing.”
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