Mike Anderson previews trip to Missouri

Mike Anderson

  • Rematch game with Missouri. Missouri has been playing well and been up in games, but like what took place with us on Saturday, they’ve let some leads slip away. It’s a game of runs, and you’ve got to give yourself a chance to win. With the advent of the 3-point line, you can erase a lead real quick.

  • We know it’s going to be a physical team that rebounds well, and Cuonzo does a great job with them. I’m anxious to see how we respond after a tough loss. SC did what they had to do at home. Eight games left, and we’re still in contention. “There’s still a conference championship at stake.”

  • I expect all of Missouri’s guys to be ready to play. We’re going to prepare for them all to play. Everybody has basketball players and they’re on scholarship, so they’re good players. When you don’t have some guys, it elevates sometimes the other guys around him.

  • Gafford got some of those fouls the other day, and his rhythm wasn’t there. … The exchange between Gafford and I, there were no words. It was probably just some frustration. Dan has been good about … fouling was a issue last year. It’s about position, moving your feet and he has to use his length. He’s been doing that this year. Sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s got to figure it out on the floor in terms of when to go block a shot or play positioning and when not to.

  • The first half was probably the best defense we’ve played. It was tenacious, we were active and made it hard on Chris Silva to score. Then we came out, defense dictated tempo. When they made their run, when we didn’t get stops we stopped pushing the basketball. We just kind of started walking it up the floor and it became a tempo that favored SC. We’re right where we want to be, but they took advantage of the momentum and we couldn’t take advantage of momentum on either end.

  • On the grind: We’ve been doing it. You have to tailor your practices. We got shots up yesterday, watched film and shot free throws. We’ll get after it for 45-50 minutes today before taking off for Missouri. We’ve got to manage their time, and that’s the learning curve of a team like this. You have to take care of your body when you’re not under our supervision. Energy is so important this time of year.

  • We’re coming out and executing early on with our gameplan. Our defense is now causing havoc and getting us into a rhythm offensively. We have to start inside-out and get teams in foul trouble. We’re playing attack basketball on both ends early to grab leads. When you go on the road you have to make shots, too.

  • It seems like we’re getting into a much better rhythm defensively. The DNA of this team is defense and these guys are understanding of that a little more now. We still want to be an uptempo team.

  • I think Dan is having a great season. Think about where he was last year compared to now. He’s on the top of everyone’s scouting report. He was the focal point of what was coming back. Isaiah is one of the top 3-point shooters in the country, Mason is shooting it well and Jalen dishes out the assists. You look at what Dan has done. His production has gone up from last year.

  • On Joe: It’s critical to our success. We have to have guys knock shots down because they’re putting 2-3 guys on Dan. It’s critical he makes shots and others do, too.

  • If you watch basketball, we’ve had games where we’ve been 16 down, come back and go up. There’s a lot of time in basketball. We had a 13-point lead with 15 minutes left. That’s a lifetime in basketball. You want to be ahead at the end. You want to build on those leads, but if you watch around the country … it’s called learning how to win and learning how to finish.

Any word on if Mark Smith or Tillmon are gonna be ready to go for this one?

Believe they’re listed as questionable. Missouri writers believe there’s a better shot Jeremiah Tilmon plays than Mark Smith. Anderson, though, is preparing as if both will play.