(#3) MISSOURI 71, TEXAS A&M 62
Saturday, February 18, 2012 – Reed Arena – College Station, Texas
MISSOURI POSTGAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH FRANK HAITH
“This is a really, really good road win for us. I thought we showed great poise there in the second half, executed extremely well and made some big stops when A&M made their runs. All in all it was just a great road win for us.”
On the guard production today…
“It was how the game was flowing. I think obviously we need post presence every night, and we need to throw the ball in there and play inside out, but I think A&M does a good job guarding in the post. They have a lot of big bodies they throw at you. We struggled a little bit in the paint with our post guys by not driving the ball. I thought we executed extremely well in sharing the ball. Once we had good ball and player movement we had a chance to attack closeouts and then we had a chance to run a good offense.”
On the team’s free throw shooting…
“Teams that are able to win games, you’ve got to be able to make free throws down the stretch and get the ball to the right guys hands. Mike Dixon is all-time leading free throw shooter in school history. Marcus shoots 80-plus. Phil’s in the 70s. We’ve got a number of guys. It’s a nice thing to have there’s no question about it.”
On the charge call near the end of the game…
“It was a charge, at least from my viewpoint it looked like a charge, but I’m all the way across the court. You know, those plays are bang-bang plays and Steve is really good at moving his feet and getting in position to make those plays. The college game, the line has really helped but I think the one thing about those plays when you’re playing a guy one-on-one and anticipating, those plays can go either way. And I thought Steve did a nice job of putting his chest in there and taking it.”
It was a business trip but did you enjoy being back in Aggieland?
“Yeah, it was great to be back in College Station. Four years here and I have a lot of good memories. My son was born here. It still looks the same, except I didn’t have a chance to coach in this building. But they’ve done a nice job here of creating an atmosphere for basketball.”
G MICHAEL DIXON
On his second-half play…
“It’s a tribute to the offense. We get put in great spots and we have a lot of guys who can break down a defense, so it’s just really hard to defend. When we move the ball and a lot of guys touch the ball on offense, and someone drives and breaks down the defense, you’re going to get a good look. That’s just what I was able to do a few times.”
G KIM ENGLISH
On A&M’s run at the end of the game and what the team was thinking…
“Just get a stop. And when we did, continue to be strong with the ball and run our late-game offense. The game is never, ever over, at home or on the road. They had some fortunate plays go their way but I was just pleased we closed the game out.”
On the second-half play of Marcus Denmon and Michael Dixon…
“Those are guys we count on, and again our offense is an equal-opportunity offense. That’s the way Coach Haith designed it. The go-to guy is the open man and we just bank on those guys to make open shots and fortunately they did today.”
On the team’s effectiveness when Phil Pressey scores...
“It’s obviously a big plus. He’s been doing it the last three games. He shot the ball well. It’s opportunities and we do well when guys make plays and trust in each other offensively.”
TEXAS A&M POSTGAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
“I’ve got to congratulate Missouri. I thought they played an excellent game. They’re very difficult to guard. They’ve got five guys who could get 20 on any given day. I thought we did a pretty good job offensively, I just thought defensively when it came down to it we couldn’t guard them at the end of the shot clock.”
On the charge call near the end of the game…
“Well, I didn’t know David could knock down a 6-9, 300-pound guy to be honest with you. But we have to get those kind of breaks against a very good Missouri team. Again, you have to give Missouri credit.”
How tough is Missouri to beat when they have three guys scoring like they did?
“We did a good job on Ratliffe in this game of taking the paint away and trying to clog up the paint, but they do a great job of spreading you out and making the extra pass. We needed them to not shoot it well. We had opportunities offensively where we missed some wide-open threes that you’ve got to make against a good offensive team like Missouri.”
What does it say about your team where you were able to keep fighting back?
“Our guys have done a really good job of staying in games and not breaking. Other than for whatever reason Iowa State, they’ve given us the most trouble. But I like our toughness, especially at home. We’ve done a really good job. We had another good crowd and our guys fed off that and never gave in.”
On Jordan Green’s game…
“Jordan continues to get better. His effort in practice is good all the time and because he does the right things, good things are going to happen for him and he’s going to help our team continue to get better.”
On having to guard Kim English with a post player…
“That’s where they hurt us, when we had to go big. Khris did a pretty decent job of guarding him, it was a good matchup for him, but when we had our post guys on him they had a hard time guarding him. They move the ball so well and they’re so disciplined and unselfish offensively that they’re very difficult to guard when English is playing that well. You pick your poison. You take Ratcliffe away, English hurts you. They have so many weapons that make them a top-five team.”
G JORDAN GREEN
How tough is Missouri to defend?
“There’s a reason they’re the number three team in the country. Those guys can really play hard and really drive the ball and do everything at every position. They play four guards, and they’re really tough because they have a lot of weapons around the perimeter and you have to be aware of everybody. So it was tough.”
On your game…
“I thought I played well offensively, kind of took my time. But I’m my biggest critic so I was disappointed in how I played on defense. I gave up a stretch of I think six straight points, so I was disappointed in that. I take when someone scores on me pretty personally.”
F KHRIS MIDDLETON
On the difficulty of Missouri having so many weapons…
“It’s tough. They’re a great team and they have good players at every spot.”
Are you feeling better out there?
“Yeah, I’ve been working a lot on my leg and my knee, and getting treatment a lot. Each day I’m feeling better and better and trying to gain more confidence.”
Does it say a lot about this team that you guys kept fighting back every time they stretched the lead?
“Yeah, this year has been tough on everybody. But this team will keep fighting no matter what. We got down and we just fought back. We didn’t get the ball to bounce our way a couple of times at the end of the game, but you’ve just got to keep fighting.”