COLUMBIA — It has become an increasingly common sight in recent weeks: an enraged Frank Haith on the sideline, his suit jacket off, stomping and yelling in what is, in part, an effort to fire up his Missouri basketball team.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
They will tell you I have intense moments, Haith said.
Particularly on the road, where Missouri is 0-4 this season. Good teams find a way to execute in hostile environments, and the Tigers proclivity to hoist quick shots away from Mizzou Arena has led Haith to rant, rave and do whatever he can to get them to patiently run their offense.
If you ask those guys, theyll probably tell you Im pretty hard (on them), Haith said. I dont think Im that hard, but Im sure they think that.
But there still appears to be a belief that Haith has been harder on this seasons team, 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference, than last years senior-led group, which finished 30-5.
I didnt see him do it much last season, senior forward Laurence Bowers said, but last seasons team, I dont think they gave him as much heartache as we have this year.
Junior guard Phil Pressey agreed.
Yeah, I guess you can say that, Pressey said. We didnt lose much (last year). Those games we did lose, he did get on us. But the more you lose, the more he yells.
Haith has been yelling a lot lately, senior center Alex Oriakhi acknowledged with a hearty laugh. Aided by sluggish starts, Missouri has turned in some real stinkers on the road in all three of their SEC road games, trailing Mississippi by 11, Florida by 17 and LSU by 13 at halftime.
Hes definitely calm, Oriakhi said of his normally even-tempered coach. But when were not playing the way were supposed to, youre going to see a different side of Coach Haith, especially at halftime in locker room.
Oriakhi then detailed Haiths routine.
First, its the jacket dont tell him I said this, now, Oriakhi said with a laugh. Then he throws the jacket, then the marker.
We know when we missed up at halftime, so were just sitting in the locker room, almost waiting for it.
Both Oriakhi and Bowers say the routine is effective.
First the jacket comes off, then the tie comes off, Bowers said. He definitely finds a way to bring the most out of us. But we cant keep letting him do that. Hes going to mess around and pop a blood vessel.
The Tigers will get another chance earn their first road win at 8 p.m. Thursday, when they take on Texas A&M in College Station.
Going to A&M, we have a chip on our shoulder, Bowers said. I can tell you that, because we havent won on the road.
Bowers said its important for Missouri to get out to a strong start. He knows that if they dont, theyre going to hear about it from Haith at the break, routine and all.
Hopefully, he wont have to do that this next game at halftime, Bowers said.
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