Danny Spewak is an RTC correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter @dspewak. He filed this report following Missouri’s victory over Florida at Mizzou Arena.
Phil Pressey knows the haters exist. He knows what they say, too. You shoot too much. You turn the ball over too much. You make stupid decisions late in games. You’re a team cancer. You’ve regressed from a year ago. You hardly look like the SEC Player of the Year. You play too out of control. As Missouri has tumbled out of the national rankings — thanks in large part to a 1-6 road record — Pressey has taken the majority of the heat for his high turnover rate and questionable decision-making. Some of it is overkill and exaggeration; some of it is rooted in truth.
On Tuesday, Pressey made everybody shut up with a gritty performance on national television in a 63-60 victory over fifth-ranked Florida. “He was dialed in on both ends,” his coach Frank Haith said. The turnover bug hit Pressey early, which partly contributed to the Tigers’ 13-point deficit with about 11 minutes to play in regulation. Missouri couldn’t defend the perimeter, Pressey wasn’t creating, and it appeared as though Missouri would slide further toward the wrong side of the bubble with a home loss to the Gators.