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Mizzou players have a chip on their shoulder in Nashville

Mizzou Links for March 8, 2023.

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All eyes on the prize this March

Mizzou is going dancing for only the third time in the past 10 years. That much is no longer in doubt.

But first, Mizzou has business in Nashville.

With the Tigers set to watch the first two days of games due to their earning a double bye in conference play, Dennis Gates will have some extra time to rest his players and prep for any possible opponent the team could play. Apparently there are plans in place for any scenario.

Gates said with a sheepish smile that he can’t give out secrets, but there is a process in preparing for a team that MU has already played.

Gates can go back to the coaches he assigned to scout either Ole Miss, South Carolina or Tennessee for the Tigers’ regular season games and have them watch games they played since Missouri prepared for them the first time.

The Tigers will have to be ready for anything, but specifically the possibility of running through several top-level teams if they want to bag their first SEC Tournament trophy. And while that’s motivation enough, the players have a little something extra to play for.

Honor also mentioned that he believed D’Moi Hodge had been slighted in the regular season voting. That’s my point guard!

On a non-basketball note, Gates was asked about the touching moment from this past weekend’s Senior Day. With Isiaih Mosley walking without a family member, Gates and Desiree Reed-Francois quickly joined his side and escorted him to the line before giving him familial hugs. When asked about this moment, Gates had some powerful words to share:

“I’m by my players’ side every day of my life and every day of theirs. It’s that simple,” Gates said. “That’s my commitment to them, each and every last one of them. Now, ultimately, I’ve done that in the past where everyone’s not having the opportunity to come from a complete family. Some have different backgrounds. I’ve had kids that have been adopted. I’ve had kids that I’ve coached that (have) been wards of the state … or maybe just different environments all together. International kids (or) kids with parents just not able to be here. I always have my guys’ side and be by their side and I will always have their backs. I think it’s just a very important position that I hold. … I’ll say this: Being a coach, there’s only few professions that title never changes. No matter how long you’ve been in that person’s life, I’m going to always be, ‘Hey, it’s Coach Gates.’ And I take that very seriously.”

That’s exceptional stuff. Who else is glad this guy is at Mizzou?

To watch the full presser, you can stream it on ABC 17’s site below.

Yesterday at Rock M

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