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Dennis Gates and Tamar Bates preview Sunday’s battle with the Shockers

Gates and Bates met with the media to recap the Pitt game and look ahead to what is in store against Wichita State.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Gates and Tamar Bates met with the media to recap the win over Pittsburgh and discuss what the team needs to do to come out on top against Wichita State (7-1).


Dennis Gates | Head Coach | 2nd Season

  • On other Mizzou Sports: “First I want to say good luck to our volleyball team as they embark on their First Round NCAA Tournament game versus Delaware. Dawn Sullivan has done a tremendous job and I’ve seen in their practices that it is an unbelievable environment for learning and teaching. I also want to wish coach Eli Drinkwitz and his players good luck, but as fans I want people to know that we have to support our bowl and buy tickets.”
  • On Sunday’s atmosphere: “We’re going to need our crowd. We’re going to need our community to come out and support us the best that they can and create a home court advantage.”
  • On this season’s schedule: “We inherited a schedule with Kansas and Illinois consistently. Then, there’s the new ACC/SEC Challenge. And, I just wanted this year’s schedule to be a difficult challenge in the areas we need challenging. The other part is coaches, the coaching we’re facing is great. I thought we had enough retention with our guards coming back to be able to go into venues and compete.”
  • On starting Aidan Shaw and Tamar Bates on Tuesday: “They were able to earn those spots and made me make a decision to put them there. Thanks to my other assistant, Sean East II, who thought of the obvious. There’s no set starters. Complacency is something that will continue to get in our way if we let it.”
  • On Sean East II: “Last year, he took a backseat and was trying to find his way. This was his fourth school in four years. This is his first time entering a second year with the same school, and that gives your comfort and camaraderie.”
  • On what he looks for in the team following a loss like Jackson State: “How do they look at you after the game? Are they blinking or looking away during film? Or do they have positive body language?”
  • On improvements he wants to see: “We’re not getting to the free throw line enough...Our assist-to-turnover ratio is still low to me.”
  • On Ronnie DeGray III: “I love all my players and they will always be my former players. There should be no booing, there should be no negative words said about him at all. Antlers, if you’re listening, he’s one of us. He was a part of our NCAA Tournament team.”

Tamar Bates | Guard | Junior

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • What he was thinking when he was put into the starting lineup: “Just to be ready. When I talked to East, I told him history was kind of repeating itself because my first start and my last one was on the road, so I was ready for the opportunity and didn’t want to let the team down, but I felt like a played pretty well for my first start.”
  • On what he and Aidan Shaw brings to a starting lineup: “A spark from me and Aidan would just be giving energy on both ends of the floor. Obviously, I’m sure Sean wanted to make a change because we just needed to start games a little faster.”
  • “And that’s not saying that we started games horrible with the lineup that we had at first, but we just wanted a new look, a new feel and we were able to execute from the start of the game and that just rolled over to the rest of the 40 minutes.”
  • How the team has meshed through the first few weeks: “I feel like it’s getting better with time. We have a lot of older guys on the team who have been in college basketball for a minute. So obviously the guys that transferred and the freshmen have learned a new system. How close we are off the court allows us to be able to communicate and, you know, mesh a lot better on the floor.”
  • “It all comes with time and playing games and I feel like that as the season’s been going on, we’ve been better offensively.”
  • On playing in Mizzou’s offensive system: “This system definitely caters to my game a lot more. It allowed me to play off instincts and obviously, when we run sets, I’m able to be in spots to help affect the team in a good way on the offensive end.”
  • “The system, I felt it would benefit anybody who can shoot the ball, drive it fast and just be a good decision maker, so it like it’s just a good place for me to play my game.”
  • On how to generate more free throw attempts: “Continue to attack the paint violently. Make the refs make the calls. I mean, we know going on the road we’re not probably going to get the whistle as much but that’s not going to make us shy away from getting paint touches. At home we are going to continue to be more violent when we attack the rim and play off two feet.”
  • On winning the rebounding battle against Pitt and what to learn from it moving forward: “I feel like my takeaway would just be that if we’re focused on that for 40 minutes, obviously we can compete with anybody.”
  • “We just got to continue to focus on rebounding the ball. I mean, that’s really all it is. It was just a mentality. We knew we had to block out every possession for 40 minutes.”
  • On Wichita State: “I know a lot of guys personally on the team just because a few of them are from Kansas so it’ll be fun to see them and compete against them.”
  • “I know they’re a big team. They rebound, they run, they try to you know, play in high-low situations a lot. I’m sure they got a lot of guys that can shoot the ball well.”