We received word just before tipoff that Namon Wright and D'Angelo Allen would be suspended for last night's game but would be eligible for the opener vs Wofford next Friday.
The two are expected to available when the Tigers take on Wofford, an NCAA Tournament participant last season, in Friday’s regular-season opener.
But the team didn’t miss them. Freshman guard K.J. Walton piled up a game-high 17 points on 6-for-6 shooting, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range, after joining fellow freshmen Terrence Phillips and Kevin Puryear in the staring lineup — along with junior guard Wes Clark and sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant. "I’ve been a little surprised at how well he’s shot the ball, but K.J. Walton’s a four-star recruit," Anderson said. "He’s a good player."
Mizzou Men's Basketball Head Coach Kim Anderson
"I was impressed with the way we started the game defensively. One of the things we talked about in practice was getting stops, and I think that we did that on 15 of their first 16 possessions, we kept them from scoring. We had a little bit of a lull when we substituted, but were able to do a pretty good job after that. Then in the second half, again I thought we limited them in the paint, and forced them to shoot a lot of threes. We did a better job of rebounding. We were outrebounded in the first half, so we challenged those guys in the locker room to rebound better. I thought we shot the ball better; I don't know if we were more comfortable, but we also got some really good passes. K.J. was the beneficiary of a couple of those passes. Overall, a good start. I like the effort. We changed our practices up a bit, and I could see it tonight. So hopefully we can continue on."
On the difference in energy for the new team:
"Russ (Woods) is like the energizer bunny. He's always running. He always gets his hands on a lot of balls. Doesn't always get it, but always gets a piece of it. Kevin (Puryear) was pretty active, Jakeenan (Gant) was pretty active, and Ryan (Rosburg) played well tonight."
On getting a young team ready:
"They need to be ready. Everyone needs to be ready. Obviously, we are a very young team. Eight of our 12 scholarship guys are freshmen or sophomores. It is encouraging to see them play without fear. We need our guys to play. They have created a very competitive atmosphere in practice, and that was something this program needed. We needed competition."
Freshman guard K.J. Walton
On using defense to turn on the offense:
"Not just offense, I try to use defense to help create offense, as well, because coach preaches that the most. So I try and use that to get me going when my shot is not going then I try to depend on that."
Freshman guard Terrence Phillips
On pace of the game:
"That's what we have been preaching for the last three weeks, just playing fast, playing hard and playing together. That pace was perfect. Maybe probably a pinch fast, but other than that, it was perfectly fine."
On playing together as a team:
"This is fun, there is no other way I can put this to you. I think the bonding was kind of a question we had asked all summer. How it was going to be? I think that really showed tonight. We really shot the ball well. We played really well together defensively. This was fun playing with each other tonight. I can't wait to do it again next Friday."