Feb. 10, 2015
South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
Our hearts go out to Wes Clark. It is moments like that as a coach makes you sick. And I know Kim [Anderson]. He is fighting to create a culture and I know Wes is one of the guys that has bought in to what he is fighting for. After the week we had last week, where we didn’t put up much of a fight at Arkansas and then went in to Vanderbilt, and I think everybody knows what took place there. We are a team trying to fight for confidence and fighting to reconnect with its identity we had earlier in the year. League play makes it hard but we have some guys that are really, really trying. Sindarius [Thornwell] – I hope his enthusiasm from the last two days shows him that he can play with the confidence that he did today. He was in attack mode and I hope that permeates to some of the other guys on the team.
On if he has seen players stepping up
Sindarius obviously. He came in the last two days and practiced like a guy that said, `what happened at Vanderbilt was embarrassing, and I’m not interested in being a part of a team that ever goes through that again.’ That was his whole demeanor the past two days. Then I was all over Ty [Johnson] during the course of the game because I thought he was being about as passive as he could be on both sides of the floor. Coming down the stretch in the second half of the game he started to engage, make some shots, and make some plays. I think he assisted on Sindarius’ shot. We need him to be aggressive and he was. Laimonas [Chatkevicius] today played with a little enthusiasm, with a little energy. That is all we ever ask from him. Don’t go out there and play like you despise being on the floor, go out there and play like you actually enjoy doing this. When he does that, good things happen. I don’t know what he was thinking there late in the game. A lot of times, everyone wants to criticize the officials and we don’t compliment them, I think, when they make the right call. It took courage to not blow the whistle on that play because there are a lot of officials that would have just blown the whistle and given the technical foul. I think it was Pat Adams, he understood the situation, that the young man was not upset at him. It takes courage to not call that technical there.
Sophomore Guard Sindarius Thornwell
On team confidence level
A win always boosts your confidence. I think in the locker room there are good vibes right now, everybody is happy and is feeling good about the win. We are just ready to come in and get to practice Thursday.
Junior Guard Brian Steele
On stepping into his new role
It is just the next man up. We knew Justin [McKie] was down and coach told me I might be slipping into the lineup but I always stay prepared. There is never a day when I am not in the gym and I have played before, so I was just ready to go when I heard about Justin. I wanted to contribute any way I could.
Missouri Head Coach Kim Anderson
Good evening, I was really proud of our guys and the way they responded. I thought the game started off with South Carolina doing a great job early. They do such a great job of denying you from catching the basketball. And early on we were having a lot of difficulty. Then we started getting the ball to the basket a little bit and it loosened things up, made some shots, made some 3-point shots to tie us back at halftime. I was really, when Wes [Clark] went down, I think there were seven minutes left to go, 13, shows me where I was. I thought we really stepped it up a notch. We were forced to play with one ball handling guard and even at the end we played with four big guys. So I loved our effort but obviously we didn’t win the game. But I was really pleased with how we fought and competed and we did a fairly good job of guarding them with the exception of rebounds. They just killed us on the offensive boards, I think every offensive rebound they got, it seemed like they got something out of it. And every scramble, every ball that we didn’t get that was on the floor they picked it up made one pass and knocked down a 3. I don’t know if it was fatigue that figured in or not but you have got to give them credit.
On Wes Clarks injury
I didn’t see it. Frank [Martin] yelled at me because Frank was looking at it and I was behind it. I don’t know anything right now, I think he went to get x-rays at the football stadium but we won’t leave without him. So we may know in a little while.
On if he expected trouble from the offensive glass
Yeah, I did, just because the one thing they do really well is play so physically hard and on the offensive boards they get their hands on a lot of basketballs. I’m looking down here and the big guy gets four offensive boards and [Mindaugas] Kacinas gets four, I mean they are just relentless on the boards, and [Michael] Carrera gets three, those guys attack the boards. Hopefully that’s something, someday that we can do. We have a lot of young guys and hopefully they saw tonight how physical South Carolina was going for rebounds.