Gafford, Anderson preview Missouri

Daniel Gafford

  • On the team’s confidence: It’s pretty low now because of the way we’re playing. We played with some fight but it wasn’t what we needed. We have to play the way we played early in the year.

  • His leadership role: I’ve become more vocal. I used to try to lead by example. The young guys can get down on themselves after a mistake, but we can’t have that. I go up to them and give them a pep talk and try to get them back in the game mentally.

  • I could have been moving around more instead of standing in one spot and crowding the lane. … I’m not frustrated at the lack of shots at time. Every dog has their day.

  • On defensive lapses last 3 games and how do you correct it: We have to protect the inside. Once they get the ball on the inside there’s no resistance. I have to step up my defense. In ballscreen D, we have to fix that. There’s lot of things we need to fix and we will. It’s part of the process. We’ve been giving people the game the way we’ve been playing defense of late. We just let them have it and we lie down. We get in the game and try to play, then we move away from that and it goes in a different direction.

  • Ole Miss made sure I didn’t attack the glass, and I didn’t go after it like I normally do. It was a really off game for me. They were sending 2-3 guys to box me out.

  • Once we get the next win under our belt then our confidence will come back to us. … Coach A tells us all the time to not let go of the rope. We have to bounce back.

  • Wednesday’s game is a big game. We have to protect homecourt. Missouri just got a big win and we can’t play down to their level and we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot. … It’s tough to see a guy like Jontay Porter go down with a knee injury. You don’t get to play basketball every day and when you can’t play, it’s tough.

Mike Anderson

  • Not off to the start we want to, but there’s a lot of basketball to be played. Missouri is trying to get wins like we are. They won a big game at A&M, and Cuonzo Martin’s team are always going to defend. We need to play a total, good game. We’ve been trying to just win with offense. We have to have a defensive effort and continue to get better in a lot of areas. Have to take care of the ball and defend.

  • On Gafford: He’s getting a lot of attention. He’s played so well in his career. Our spacing hasn’t been the greatest. If the spacing is better then it opens up lanes for passes to him and gives him room to operate. He’s got to be able to touch the ball. He’s not a black hole. We have to execute better.

  • Momentum plays were a factor at Ole Miss. Down 6, we didn’t have patience and sped up and played too fast and Ole Miss took advantage of it.

  • On the 4 spot: We have to keep trying to find answers, whether it be Reggie or Gabe. We’ll continue to work that spot.

  • We have been letting people run their offense and we’ve been playing on our heels. Rotation has to be better, and we have to fix it. The offside help, it has to be a lot better. We’ve been better throughout the year. Defense has been what we’ve hung our hat on, and we have to get back to that.

  • I’ve talked about patience all year long. Keyshawn Embery-Simpson gave us some quality minutes, and so did Gabe. You match that with good starters minutes and that’s a good formula. Isaiah Joe is playing with some pop, too. We need that throughout the roster. We’re an energy team.

  • You don’t panic. If they don’t see you panic, they don’t panic. What we do works. Some winning will take care of things. These guys continue to stick together. Defensively, we have to dig into the trenches and get stingy and say, ‘If we don’t score, they don’t score.’

  • We want to come out with a sense of urgency, especially from a defensive standpoint. We have to be there with Missouri’s shooters. They’re going to make some shots, but I’d like to see us even if they make those shots push the pace and get the game to our liking.