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Presser Notes: Mizzou Hoops looks to secure spot in NCAA Tournament against LSU

Missouri men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates met with the media prior to Wednesday’s matchup against LSU.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri men’s basketball is set to take on LSU Wednesday night after picking up one of its most dominant victories of Southeastern Conference play in Saturday’s 22-point win over the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Columbia Tigers (21-8, 9-7) will look to avoid a Bayou Tigers (13-16, 2-14) team with nothing to lose under first-year head coach Matt McMahon. Mizzou took down LSU 87-77 in the pair’s last meeting on Feb. 1 in Columbia.

Here are some quotes from Missouri men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates prior to the rematch.

Dennis Gates | Head Coach

  • “You don’t look at records during this moment in the year, but you just look at effort, and our guys will continue to give those efforts that I think are representative of our program.”
  • “I don’t look at any of those things,” Gates said when asked whether he takes a moment to reflect on bringing Mizzou one of its best seasons in eight years. “I don’t celebrate things like that. I’ll celebrate their graduations, their weddings, I’ll celebrate those things.”
  • “Continue to spread the word because it matters to our fans. It matters that we opened up season ticket sales for next year, it matters.” Dennis Gates on the importance of the media telling Mizzou’s story and the opening sale of 2023-24 season tickets.
  • “I don’t look at our season as two games. I look at our season as the total amount of games from the very beginning to the very end to make sure we evolve in a certain way...the fans, they do the same, (and) it’s a roller coaster ride.”
  • “I apologize for giving (our fans) any kind of stress that we’ve given them, but more so, I think it’s important that we continue to look at the big picture. We won’t know that until April 1 or April 3 to see if our goal was met.”
  • “(LSU) can shoot the ball. They have a dynamic shooter, guys that can drive, guys that can get to the free throw line and obviously guys that they can feed the ball to.” Gates on what stands out about LSU
  • “I think the (Mizzou) family has embraced me being an outsider coming here at this institution from the very first day of the press conference...I’m the stranger and hopefully they continue to embrace me and our program and the young men that we continue to recruit.” Gates on how the sense of family has developed throughout the season.
  • “The fans, they show up, the players feel supported. We just want to continue to build on to the tradition of all the former players.”
  • “(I) had an opportunity to talk to Doug Smith last night...That was amazing just to hear (graduates) consistently watch our games and support the way that they have.” Gates on that family extending to former alumni of the basketball program
  • “We weren’t able to put away a stingy team...LSU is a great team and (its) record is not indicative of who they are, so we try not to and will not look at their record as any indicator of anything.” Gates on the last matchup between LSU and Missouri
  • “Our team is built on a committee, and we’re going to continue to play how we play...We do have depth. We have guys that can step up at any day of the week.”
  • “I’m proud of what Aidan Shaw did after a DNP. When we subbed him in, we created a run. We went from six to 20 (points) in our lead, and those are impacts that I think give a young guy like that confidence, but it also gives his teammates confidence.”
  • “We have to continue to have guys step up. No different than Nick Honor (stepping) up with his level of selfishness, which was very much needed.” Gates encouraged Honor to be more selfish and shoot the ball prior to Saturday’s game against Georgia