Dec. 15, 2013
Missouri Head Coach, Frank Haith
"Obviously, I want to give Western Michigan credit. Steve really had them ready to play. I knew it would be that kind of game. They won their league last year, and they have two really good players on their team. I know we have played a couple teams together, but I watched Oakland play Michigan State last night right down to the wire. These guys beat Oakland pretty bad. So, I knew they were a capable team and the way they played and we were going to have to be patient. We weren't early in the ball game and we had some live ball turnovers. It's good for us to have those types of games to scrape it out to get it done."
On what the eight day lay-off did for the team...
"Well, our guys are very good at not making excuses. The next game after exams is always tough. You don't have any rhythm with your practices. You have a 9 a.m. practice one day, and a 6 p.m. the next day. Based on exam schedules, some guys are late to practice and some have to leave early because of study sessions and we had a layoff. So I think all those things factor in and our execution was poor. We could not hold on to the ball. We got the ball knocked out of our hands, and those are plays that happen when you have time off."
On the team scoring 24 points in the paint...
"Yeah, we want to get even more. You have to be patient and run a good offense. So, that's where we really forced the issue when there was no play down there. We drove in there and tried to make things happen when they were in good position. That's when you spread the ball around, and hit the most open guy."
On Western Michigan getting within two points in the second half...
"I think it was good for us, and being able to make plays. I thought Wes Clark made some big shots. Jabari (Brown) made some plays too. We did not execute at the level that we need to execute at in some of those situations. We had some really good execution plays, particularly there at the end of the half. We just need to be consistently good at execution. Late in the game you can't be turning the ball over, and try to get the ball in bounds. That's where we had some mishaps."
On Clark and Clarkson's play tonight...
"Wes is in charge, and in late clock situations we want the ball in Jordan's hands. That's pretty much how we have executed thus far. Wes is only going to get better and better and better. And I think he had a tough first half with those four or five turnovers and then he finished the game making really big plays in a tight ball game. That tells you about his toughness and his competitive spirit. All of those things we can utilize to help us win basketball games."
Missouri Player Quotes
Sophomore forward Ryan Rosburg
On the defensive keys in the first half....
"Executing the game plan and trying to realize who their shooters were and who could do what was the key. They are a really good team. They are really solid and do not mess up much, but we executed our game plan."
On the long break between games....
"I do not think we were rusty. I think that we came out flat and we did not do some things we wanted to do. That's why we work. We have a whole week to prepare for Illinois to figure out what we are going to do."
Senior forward Tony Criswell
On the team's offense...
"I do not think we needed a lift as much offensively as we needed our energy. I tried to bring as much energy as I could and I think that we picked it up as the game went on."
Western Michigan Head Coach, Steve Hawkins
On the overall outcome of the contest...
"It was obviously a tough, heart-felt game, and physical. The game sort of came down to a couple of things. Number one, we shot the ball really poorly in the first half. I thought Mizzou did a nice job on us defensively there too, but we didn't shoot great. In the second half, every time we got right there and cut it to two, their big time players stepped up and hit big shots. They sort of kept us at arms' distance, and that's what big time players do."
On his team's offensive downfalls...
"Well there are two different things. In the Northwestern game we just weren't aggressive. We were just completely out of sync in the Northwestern game, and they did a nice job as well. And then in this game here, I felt like the kids were ready and we were aggressive, but we just missed shots. Sometimes playing on the road will do that to you."
On how his team prepared to guard Jordan Clarkson...
"The one thing that I felt with all four of those guards (Clark, Clarkson, Ross, and Brown), is that they have big guys that can move their feet. If we played their ball screens and if you're not aggressive with those guys and they get to playing downhill then you can forget it. We had to bounce them out, and that was our only real shot at keeping them in check. If Clarkson lives in the middle third of the floor, there's going to be issues. We wanted to keep him out of the middle third and get the ball out of his hands and get him going the other direction. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. He's a good player."
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