home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 15, 2018

Kevin Puryear

Kassius Robertson

Nashville, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: Our 3:30 time slot features the University of Missouri Tigers. They are the No. 8 seed in the West Region. They are out of the Southeastern Conference. They'll play Florida State, the 9 seed, in Friday's second game. The men's basketball contact is Patrick Crawford.

We have Kassius Robertson and Kevin Puryear on the dais. We'll go to questions immediately.

Q. For either one of you, now that you've had time to study Florida State, obviously you guys (indiscernible) with them on Sunday. But what stands out to you about them?
KEVIN PURYEAR: I'd say really just their speed. Being in the SEC, Arkansas is probably one of the fastest teams in our league. I think kind of the comparison that I'll draw with them. They have some really good guards. Like to attack the lane and they've got some guys that can really get in the lane and those guys that can get in the lane really and complement the shooters as well as for kicks. Got some big guys on the interior that can block shots as well. I think they're a pretty well rounded team so it's going to be a good challenge for us.

KASSIUS ROBERTSON: They've got size, athleticism. They're good at breaking down guys off the dribble and getting into the paint. Working it inside-out. So, yeah, I think they're going to be a good challenge.

Q. Just the basic, you know, what the experience has been like as you're finally here and able to soak it all in.
KASSIUS ROBERTSON: It's been really cool. The hotel we're staying at is really cool. Obviously, this will be our first day of practice over here. So it will be nice to get on the court over there and kind of feel the place out.

But I don't think I've taken it in completely until we start playing, I think. So I hold off my answer until we actually start playing.

KEVIN PURYEAR: Kind of piggyback off what he says, it's been really fun, just able to interact with some people since we got here. Extremely humbling opportunity for us. We worked extremely hard to put ourselves in this point. To be here is surreal. I'm a junior, this is my first time here. This is Kassius' first time here as well. Just soaking in every opportunity that we get and it's been really fun so far.

Q. Kevin, you talked about when you've committed to Missouri, about bringing the program back to a place like this. How much does this mean to you after the past three years. For Kassius, obviously, you said it was your ultimate goal for a while. Similar question.
KEVIN PURYEAR: I mean, it means a great deal to me, growing up in Missouri and being a fan of the program, pretty much my whole life.

I always dreamed of getting this team back to this point and being able to contribute to that. It's a feeling I can't really describe, especially after winning the total of 18 games my first two years of college.

So like I said, just extremely humbling experience and really glad that -- unfortunately, I mean, they sucked but taking those bumps I took and learning along the way, I needed all those lessons to get me to this point here. Makes it even more special to experience it with these guys.


Q. Gentlemen, I know you guys have tried to work Michael Porter back into the mix here. Has that been challenging? How have you tried to navigate through practice and in games recently?
KASSIUS ROBERTSON: We just let him -- he's a great player so he's not going to try to be somebody he's not. He's going to come in, play the game. And don't forget, we did have three, four months of practice with him before the season started so it's not like he's a stranger to us. We know exactly how he plays, who he is.

So it's just a matter of getting him game reps, and this has been -- and practice reps and this has been the last couple weeks. He's been able to get a good game under his belt and now he's had a week of good practice. So I think he's fine. I think it's not really any concern of ours to make sure he's back and back with the kind of flow of the team. I think he's doing fine.

KEVIN PURYEAR: I would say the same. He's a very, very selfless player. So he's not one, like Kash said, to do anything completely out of character. We love playing with him. He's working to get back into his game self and he's been out of the game for quite a while now. But he's coming along really nicely.

With how we've been practicing leading up to this point, full speed, getting up and down for a while practice, I think that's helping him even more to get acclimated so he's been doing a great job thus far.

Q. You're down to eight players now. How much has been emphasized this week with not getting into foul trouble and trying to play with such short depth?
KEVIN PURYEAR: To be honest, I don't think we've talked about that at all. I don't think we want to get away from playing how we play. Our last game was pretty bad as far as, you know, us fouling. Probably the worst game we've had all year as far as guarding without fouling. But that was probably the only one I can think of in recent memory where we've had a game like that.

I think we really want to stick to our principles, not be tentative, even though we're low on bodies, still play aggressive and play how we play. Everything else will take care of itself.

Q. Both of you, you talk about working Michael Porter back in. How much does it help, even with the numbers you've got right now, you got to the tournament and now you get to add him back into the mix? Does that provide maybe an extra dose of confidence as you get ready to take the court?
KASSIUS ROBERTSON: Yeah. I mean, I think it's obviously a great help to our team any time you can add that type of talent to your team, nobody would say no.

He brings so many things to the table, not just scoring as well. So when he is playing at his best, which I don't think anybody's seen in college basketball just yet, nobody has got an real good look at it so it's kind of hard to scout for them too.

And he just, like I said, he brings so many different dynamics to the game, especially for us. Like, you know, Alec said, we're down on bodies. We're really low on bodies so it's kind of perfect timing that he came back and kind of helped us out with that as well. So there's so many tangibles that he's brought by coming back.

Q. If you were to win Friday, you'd add Jordan Barnett back into the mix Sunday. Is it an easier integration to bring him back in the fold if you were to win tomorrow night, than it would be with Mike because he's been out for so long?
KEVIN PURYEAR: For sure. Barnett's only been out for -- this will be his only game all season. So, you know, I don't think he'll really miss a beat, honestly. He's been a great producer for us all year, rebounding, shooting, you know, just being that gritty guy that we've needed all season.

So I don't think it will be very hard to get back into the mix of things and, you know, if we win that first game, I think he'll come back in full swing.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Best of luck tomorrow night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297