advertisement

Phil Pressey gets first start in Missouri men's basketball team's victory

Thursday, December 16, 2010 | 9:59 p.m. CST; updated 12:19 a.m. CST, Friday, December 17, 2010
This content requires JavaScript and Adobe Flash version 9 or later. Please ensure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser. The latest version of Flash can be downloaded from Adobe's website.
The No. 13 Missouri men's basketball team defeated Oral Roberts 81-62 on Thursday night at Mizzou Arena to improve to 9-1. Laurence Bowers led the Tigers with 17 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.

COLUMBIA — With Michael Dixon dressed in black slacks and a matching collared shirt, Phil Pressey shed his warm-ups to reveal his white No. 1 jersey. Then, under dimmed lights and pulsing music, he was introduced as a Missouri starter for the first time.

“It felt like I was in high school again,” Pressey said.

Pressey started his first game for the No. 13 Missouri men’s basketball team on Thursday, and the Tigers won 81-62 against Oral Roberts. Dixon had started every previous game this season, but was suspended on Wednesday for violating a team rule.

Throughout the game, Pressey seemed to be calm and controlled, carrying over some of his consistency that started in Missouri’s victory over Presbyterian on Saturday. After the Presbyterian game, the freshman guard seemed relieved, and admitted he had struggled earlier in the season.

“Every freshman has those times during the year. I was just trying to figure out where my role is or how I could help the team win. I just couldn’t figure it out,” Pressey said.

But, in the past two games, Pressey has become a contributor. After totaling 18 assists in the first eight games of the season, he has 16 in Missouri’s past two games.

Pressey’s passing abilities, as well as his on-court chemistry with fellow freshman Ricky Kreklow, were on display against Oral Roberts.

Five of Pressey’s team-high seven assists came in the first half.

With less than four minutes left to play in the first, Pressey brought the ball up the court and found an open Kreklow on the right side of the 3-point line. Kreklow sank the shot to put Missouri up 29-22. Then, he extended his arm to point a finger at Pressey to acknowledge the assist. The two met in the middle of the court and shared a half-hug before joining their teammates in the huddle of the media timeout.

Just two minutes later, they combined again for another big play.

Kreklow had successfully clamped down on Oral Robert’s Dominique Morrison, who had the ball. Eventually, Morrison threw the ball, hoping to find an open teammate. Instead, the pass found Pressey, who started the Missouri fast break. As he neared the basket, he tossed the ball in a high arc. The crowd groaned, predicting a turnover, but after the ball hit its peak it dropped directly into the hands of Laurence Bowers. Bowers scored, and Missouri continued to outscore Oral Roberts 20-4 to end the first half.

While threading passes to open teammates, Pressey also scored eight points on only six shot attempts, showing an improved shot selection from games earlier this season.

For Pressey, the transition to starting point guard is one that isn’t as tough as some might think. He is his team’s starting point guard in practice every day when the Tigers split up for scrimmages.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements