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Missouri men's basketball tries to shake off bad loss

Monday, January 21, 2013 | 9:16 p.m. CST; updated 8:11 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Missouri guard Phil Pressey drives to the basket against Florida guard Mike Rosario in Saturday's game in Gainesville, Fla. Pressey, the preseason Southeastern Conference player of the year, scored only two points and had a career-high 10 turnovers.

COLUMBIA — Tuesday, February 19.

It’s circled. It’s starred. It’s marked. It’s Xed.

It’s the next time the Missouri men's basketball team plays against Florida, and Phil Pressey can’t wait.

The Tigers were embarrassed Saturday in Gainesville, losing to then-No. 10-ranked Florida 83-52, and Pressey, the preseason Southeastern Conference player of the year, scored only two points and had a career-high 10 turnovers.

“I’m just counting days down,” the junior guard said, who has already marked his calendar.

Missouri came into the game Saturday prepared to make up for struggles on the road last week at Mississippi, where the Tigers lost 64-49. Tigers coach Frank Haith talked about how his team needed to better deal with adversity and hostile road environments.

Saturday, there was no improvement.

“We’re disappointed, very disappointed with the fact that we didn’t compete like we needed to compete,” Haith said on Monday. “We didn’t handle adversity very well. We’ve got to do a better job of that. Everybody included, all of us.”

Florida started off the game on an 11-0 run and stayed well ahead after that. Missouri could not handle the full-court press, could not find any type of offensive rhythm, and could not defend off of the screen.

On Monday, Haith said his team listened to a speaker who talked about adversity, comparing the team to a lost GPS signal.

“When you go the wrong direction, the message on the GPS is recalculating,” Haith said. “That means you’ve got to be able to change directions. We don’t recalculate very well. Things set with us. We don’t stay in the present. That’s an exercise we’ve got to get better at.”

A game like this was just as hard to watch as it was to play.

“Once you get down that big, the coaches say there is no 17-point bucket, or 20-point bucket,” Pressey said. “It’s kind of hard to say that, because you’re like, 'I need to do this. I need to do that. We need to score as fast as possible.' I pray that we aren’t going to do that again.

“We kind of felt like we were embarrassed, disrespected. We were frustrated.”

The Tigers will have a break from their difficulties on the road this week, facing both South Carolina (11-6, 1-3 in SEC) on Tuesday and Vanderbilt (7-9, 1-3 in SEC) on Saturday at home, meaning that the Florida game is in the past.

For now.

“They played the better game that day,” Pressey said. “But I don’t feel like they’re better than us.”

The Tigers will have a chance to prove that on February 19. 


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