Gosh, it seems like there’s more excitement and interest around hoops media gatherings than there used to be. Can’t imagine why.
Here’s a rundown:
Martin expects his team to play at a much faster speed than Barnett and Puryear were accustomed to under Kim Anderson.
“Coach Martin is very big on pace of play and speed,” Puryear said. “That’s what we’ve all been adjusting to. When we get there it’s going to be a great thing because we’re going to be able to get down the court at a fast rate and get into transition.”
“The thing I like about him is he’s an aggressive scorer,” Martin said. “He looks for his shot. ... I’ve never played with him, but he appears and looks like a good teammate. He’s not a guy that’s forcing bad shots. He understands the game and he wants to be a good player. He knows who he is.”
Jordan Barnett echoed Martin’s sentiments about Porter’s down-to-earth personality, despite his star appeal.
“He’s a really grounded guy,” Barnett said. “He’s really humble, which may not be something that you expect, but he’s a really humble guy and really willing to work with everybody and get to know everybody.”
“What Michel brings to the table and J.B., with the big guys, we’re going to have a lot of length, especially on the perimeter,” Puryear said. “We’re really going to have a complete team. We’ll have some bangers, some shooters, some ball-handlers. We have a wide variety of talent that all complements each other.”
New Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin was understandably and necessarily coy when asked if he anticipated using the team’s 13th scholarship for 2017-18, but his tone and the hint of a smile was telling.
“We’re always recruiting,” Martin said with a lighthearted inflection. “You know that.”
Martin discussed his early impressions of team chemistry and the role of upperclassmen during a meeting with reporters Tuesday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.
“I think those guys are doing a great job as we speak,” Martin said. “Just in practice, the way they communicate, directing traffic. It’s how you lead with your work ethic — leading off the court, helping the young guys understand how hard you have to play, what it takes to be successful.”
- The NCAA Track & Field championships begin today in Eugene. Alex Pascal and Reinhard Van Zyl will get things started for Mizzou tonight with the javelin, but the main event for Mizzou, so to speak, is the women’s 5,000m on Saturday evening. Karissa Schweizer will be going for her third national title of the year.