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Mizzou basketball presser notes: Seton Hall edition

Dennis Gates and Aidan Shaw spoke to the media prior to Mizzou’s matchup with the Pirates on Sunday in Kansas City.

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

After a narrow 73-64 defeat to Kansas last week, Mizzou will look to regroup against Seton Hall on Sunday. The contest will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City, which will mark Mizzou’s first visit to KC since 2019.

Ahead of the matchup, head coach Dennis Gates and sophomore forward Aidan Shaw spoke to the media. Here’s what the two had to say:

Dennis Gates | 2nd Season | Head Coach

On how the game against Seton Hall in KC came to be: “We {Seton Hall head coach Shaheen Holloway} developed an unbelievable friendship beyond just recruiting, beyond competition. {There was a} scheduling opportunity with the dates that we provided...to play a team in the Big East. And Shaheen Holloway was looking for the same day against a quality opponent.”

On the biggest lesson he took away from the loss at Kansas: “We let one get away...just dialing in the details. We’ve got to shoot more than zero free throws in the first half. I’m excited about what we did in the second half; we won the second half. But that first half, the middle ten minutes of the game, I want to be able to concentrate in a different area of execution.”

On the performance of the younger players against Kansas: “You want to give them a taste of the competition. No matter how many minutes they played, it was great that they were able to do so. We want them to play in the most hostile environments. I think they did well, but it wasn’t good enough...Ant Robinson wants that fast break back. Trent Pierce wants one of those open three-pointers back. Jordan Butler, he would love to have one of those opportunities back.”

On the lineup adjustments with Caleb Grill set to miss the next few weeks: “The only adjustment we have to make is next man up. Our team was built on depth. We have guys that can play. I want to challenge Curt Lewis. I want to challenge Jesus {Carralero}. I want to challenge different guys to step up and play...I want to challenge Tamar Bates to give us more, I want Sean East, Nick Honor to give us more. We have the depth that allows us the opportunity to get through what every team goes through: the knick-knacks of college basketball, the physical part of it and the injuries that come up.”

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

On what specifically he wants to see out of the players that need to step up: “Noah Carter needs to knock down more shots. Our guards need to continue to take care of the basketball. Caleb Grill was probably one of our highest-graded defenders...I truly believe by committee, we will have to continue to get better.”

On certain numbers that’ve stuck out thus far: “We want to put pressure on the basketball offensively and defensively. We were able to force Kansas into 16 turnovers. The issue is we didn’t have the same or even plus in the points off turnovers. That’s something we want to focus on. The other thing is we want to continue to be ourselves. We want to have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio...we have to get to the free throw line, and I don’t think we’ve done that good of a job.”

On how Mizzou can increase their free throw attempts: “We can’t blow our own whistle. We’ve just got to continue to play how we play.”

On the exciting prospect of playing in Kansas City: “It’s a tremendous thing. Being able to get there this season is very important. We also want to have future games there, and we will have future games there. We just need our fans to be able to show up.”

Aidan Shaw | Sophomore | Forward

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

On his return to a familiar place (Shaw’s hometown is Overland Park, KS, which is about 30 minutes outside of Kansas City): “I’m excited to go back to my hometown. Being able to see familiar faces in the crowd will be nice. Getting my family to come out to the game, getting as many tickets as I can.”

On how many of his family and friends will be in attendance: “My mom said something about 20. It might be more than that. I might have friends that show up that I didn’t know we’re coming. We’ll see.”

On his performance as a rebounder: “I feel like with the year of experience under my belt, rebounding has become a little easier for me. I’m kind of seeing the game, and it’s slowing down for me. Rebounding is definitely really important for me.”

On lessons he took away from the Kansas game: “I think we feel like we can play with anybody. We had a little stretch in the first half we could’ve done better on, so just knowing that we need to stay on each other and keep each other locked in...making sure there’s no dips. Stuff like that will help us down the line.”

On generating momentum similar to last year’s team around this same time: “Holding each other accountable. Having a player-led team, coaching on the floor, just being able to be coachable and be a sponge. Everyone needs to be a sponge.”

On the team’s chemistry as non-conference play nears its end: “I definitely see us gelling...just getting games under our belts and just playing together...you get to feel how everybody plays and you know where somebody is going to be or somebody’s going to be in a corner when you drive, stuff like that.”

On the adjustments with Caleb Grill sidelined: “He’s very physical. We call it a spark, he’s a spark for sure, brings a lot of energy to the game...everybody needs to step up and bring that same energy.”

On how Mizzou plans on mitigating Seton Hall’s paint-centric offensive attack: “We’ve got a lot of length. Me and Connor {Vanover}, we’re all physical guys in the post.”