1993-94 team honored

Columbia, Mo. – The Missouri Men's Basketball Team got the 2013-14 season rolling with a convincing 73-48 exhibition win over Oklahoma City Friday night (Oct. 25) at Hearnes Center.
Mizzou Athletics honored the 1993-94 undefeated Big Eight Conference Championship team during the game, which took place at the historic Hearnes Center. Legendary Missouri coach Norm Stewart and nearly every member of his championship team attended the game.
Admission was free and fans were encouraged to arrive early for pregame festivities that included autographs and a ceremonial jersey presentation to the 1993-94 players and coaches. Coach Frank Haith's squad wore uniforms from the championship season and Stewart addressed Mizzou nation at halftime.
"On behalf of Missouri basketball, the 1993-94 team, players, coaches and staff, we want to thank you for coming out," Stewart said. "I know that you came out to see the basketball game and I know that you came to see the great team of 1993-94. We've got great fans. We always have and I think we always will."
Redshirt junior Jabari Brown, who started nearly every game for the Tigers during the second half of the 2012-13 season, returned to the starting lineup alongside senior Earnest Ross. Ross, a native of Cary, N.C., made 10 starts last year for the Tigers and was a crucial player off the bench. Jonathan Williams, III, a freshman from Memphis, Tenn., and transfers Jordan Clarkson and Keanau Post made their first starts in a Tiger uniform.
Brown gave the Tigers an early lead after hitting his first shot beyond the arc and the Tigers never looked back. Mizzou held a commanding lead over Oklahoma City throughout the entirety of the game and played in various combinations constructed by Haith and his staff.
The Tigers led Oklahoma City by 19 (43-24) at half and shot an impressive 53.8 percent from the floor during the first half.
Mizzou got off to a bit of a lethargic start in the second half as Oklahoma City cut the lead to 10 (51-41). The Tigers soon got back on track and went on a 14-0 run in six minutes as the trio of Clarkson, Brown and Ross showed flashes of greatness with well-timed and well-executed plays throughout the remainder of the game.
As a team, Mizzou shot 52 percent from the floor and 31 percent from beyond the arc as well as recording 46 rebounds. Brown led the team in scoring with 15 points and five assists. Ross was just behind Brown and recorded a double-double by scoring 13 points and 12 rebounds. Williams had an impressive freshman debut, scoring 10 points. Leading the scoring for Oklahoma City was senior Kaleb Smith who tallied 15 points.
The Tigers return to action, next Friday, Nov. 1, when they take on Central Missouri in their second and final exhibition game of the season. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. For more information on Mizzou Basketball follow mutigers.com and @MizzouHoops.

Opening statement…
“I thought the festivities before the game were absolutely incredible. I thought Coach Stewart was just amazing. Just standing out there with him and talking to him. I’m just so happy for them and that it turned out the way it did. I’m really excited for that team to be honored. You could feel that this was a special moment for them.”
On the game…
“It was the first exhibition game. We didn’t shoot free throws well and we missed layups. We turned the ball over, so those are things that we’re going to be able to fix. I think it’s great for something like this to happen early because you can really do some teaching. When you’re practicing against each other you think you’re better than you are. I do think we have a good ball club, but we need to have some tough moments, which we did.”
On Jordan Clarkson’s play at the point…
“Jordan can really play the position. He’s worked hard at it. I’m really pleased at where he’s at as a point guard.  He has great instincts and he’s only going to get better. He got kneed in the thigh and shut it down and gave Wes some good hard minutes.”
On Wes Clark’s performance…
“I think we got casual in the second half. He had a couple plays where I thought he could have laid the ball up.  He made some poor decisions. It’s the speed of the game. Understanding the transition from high school to college and when the lights are bright. That’s the thing that he needs to adjust to.”
On Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown…
“I thought EJ rebounded, obviously, he had 12 boards. I think Jabari had a couple baskets where he had paint touches. We didn’t get as many paint touches tonight as we normally get. Throwing the ball into the post and driving more is something we have to continue to work on.”
On Johnathan Williams III…
”I think he’s got a little L-Bow (Laurence Bowers) in him. He has a chance to do some things like Laurence. He can dribble into a post-up and has a good skill set. He really goes and rebounds the ball too and I like that about him. He’s a kid who will get better and better because he works his tail off. I think he’s going to have freshman moments. We’re going to get him out there early and let him play through mistakes.  When kids play with effort, that heals a lot of mistakes, and I think Johnathan does that.”
Missouri Player Quotes
Earnest Ross
What did you take away from the pre-game presentation for the 1993-94 team and how they responded to that and the environment tonight?
“I just took this as a favor to be able to represent the 1993-94 team on a court that we normally do not play on. Some people don’t even get one chance to play on this court, so we took this opportunity to be able to represent them. We had to do what we had to do on the court for our coaching staff and show how hard we were going to play, but at the end of the day the game was for them.”
How did you think the teamwork was with a lot of new guys and parts to this game?
“I think we did well, but it is something we definitely have to work on. If you look at the roster, we have a lot of young guys. For them it was their first game action, and (the first time) for them to get out on the court, to get that experience. They got to see how fast the pace of the college game is. They got to see how certain players like the ball in certain spots, and it was just all a learning experience.”
Jabari Brown
What did you take away from the pre-game presentation for the 1993-94 team and how they responded to that and the environment tonight?
“I agree with Earnest. It’s an honor. What stood out to me was even though it has been 20 years, the reception they got from the fans, I just hope that is something after a great year that we’ll be able to have when we come back in 20 years. It was truly an honor playing here at the Hearnes.”
Did Jordan (Clarkson) seem ready to finally get out there?
“Definitely. I think he kind of felt how I felt when it was finally time for me to play. It’s here now and you have to try and temper your emotions because you don’t want to go out there trying to do too much. I thought he did a good job of playing under control and playing his game by distributing the ball.”
At a timeout in the second half you guys had went on a run, and it seemed the defense really stepped up, what changed for the defense after that timeout?
“The coaches continued to stress those little things to us. We have a lot of young guys. It’s a tough thing transitioning into the college level, the different defensive rotations and where you need to be. I feel like when we are where we’re supposed to be, and we’re playing with an intensity it enables us to get out on the break, and I think we are a really good team once we’re on the break. So I think that was the difference for us.”