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What Dennis Gates and Noah Carter had to say: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

On the eve of facing a pack of Gators, Dennis Gates and Noah Carter gave their thoughts ahead of trying to avoid an 0-5 start in conference play.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Still searching for that first conference win. Mizzou (8-9, 0-4 Southeastern Conference) returns home to face Florida (11-6, 1-3) after suffering defeat at Alabama. As always, Dennis Gates was made available to the media and this week’s player inclusion was Noah Carter, who has tallied 56 points over the Tigers' last three games.

Dennis Gates

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

On Florida and Todd Golden: “Todd Golden has done a great job. Last year, they were an injury away with Collin Castleton. An injury cost them an NCAA tournament. They were playing great basketball, and they’ve just had great consistency this year, but also some depth and unbelievable opportunities from their players as it relates to the category of rebounding.”

On how Mizzou can limit Florida’s second-chance opportunities: “I think ultimately, we got to play some good defense. We have to be able to get into a position where we’re not in a scramble, we play solid, keep guys in front of us. That is very important in any game.”

On the Alabama game: “I think you look of the game from the since in different quads. So the first 30 minutes were right there. In fact, the first 20 minutes we’re right there we’re probably six free throws away from going into halftime with the lead.”

“When you look at that second half, we still fight through that adversity. We’re able to draw some fouls, get to the free throw line, we’re able to cut that lead but we weren’t able to take it. And when you’re playing on the road, you got to be able to put teams at a disadvantage.”

On Mizzou’s connectivity: “I love the way that our guys compete against each other. I think that’s ultimately the most important thing. Some of the results aren’t where we want them to be; of course, that’s the case. But our guys are still out there fighting every possession. They’re doing a great job in scouting reports. They’re doing a great job in other areas and it’s just the connectivity that stands out the most.”

“The affirmation that they’re giving each other and the positivity that you hear, those things are not just words, they’re actual behaviors. Our guys are doing a great job at preparing now we just want to see the results in game.”

On Sean East II and his impact: “Sean East was a little bit under the weather last game and for him to get to the point that he did to go out there and compete, we’re proud of him. He did not want to miss a game. He gave his very best. He gave his very best out there with whatever energy he had.”

“He is the glue for us. He is the one who communicates the most. We just have to see a majority of that communication take place in games as well, which is where I think his biggest growth has been in terms of leading games.”

On what happened with him and Tamar Bates going into halftime: “The context of me and Tamar’s conservation is allowing his actions to play versus words. Not being pulled in because we did see the chippiness take place in the first half, but staying as focused as he could be. And I was giving him more affirmation of a great job versus a ridicule. It wasn’t anything from a negative standpoint, and he understood everything.”

“The other part of that is the referee was coming to talk to my player, and I wanted to talk to my player first. And if you watch the big picture of it, I stopped the referee from talking to my guy, and I wanted to be the voice to my guy.”

Noah Carter

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

His takeaways from the Alabama game: “Obviously, man, we wanted the W. We wanted to come away with that win, but I’m looking at that overall game, we fought, showed great fight, especially in that run to close out the first, and then right before the under eight minutes, we were right there, a two-point game. They started hitting shots to extend that lead so I believe the game was a lot closer than the final score.”

On how the team has stayed together: “We kind of talked about it today. Losing can sever teams, you know, split them apart and being a close, tight-knit group like we are, you know, we’re brothers, we’re going to stand up for each other, and we’re never going to split up, and we’re never going to point fingers at each other.”

On Coach Gates: “Just having him as our leader and pushing us and making us better, specifically in this past week has been very nice.”

“He gets on our butts during practice, but you know, also pulling us to the side and letting us know he believes in us and he wouldn’t be yelling at us if he didn’t care. So you know, just letting us know that he’s going to be on our butts, but he also needs to expect us to go out there and do great things.”

On what he thinks is key to limiting Florida: “I think the most important part is we got to keep our rebounding shell expanded. I feel like sometimes we get too collapsed and that’s when rebounds go over our heads, and we’re not able to secure defensive rebounds. So just fighting to keep that rebounding shell as big as we can and going in and aggressively grabbing rebounds, and we’ve got to have all five guys and if you’re not boxing somebody out, you got to look to crack down and get rebounds.”