One Shot Can Make All the Difference
COLUMBIA- Down four points in Saturday's game against Oklahoma, the Missouri Tigers needed a spark. Freshman guard Ricky Kreklow ignited the Tiger offense, showing how a single shot can change the entire tempo of the game.
Previous to Oklahoma, it had been four games since the last time Kreklow walked off the court with any points to his name. Before that, the last time any of those points came from beyond the arc was over a month.
That all changed with a single shot.
Setting up from three-point land, Kreklow banked his first three-pointer in conference play in the first half of Saturday afternoon's game.
"I said it on the radio, I thought that was a big bank shot for him. I mean intended, unintended, it went in and that happens in basketball," Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson said.
Although, Kreklow's contribution to the Missouri offense stretches far beyond his numbers in the points column.
"Anything positive that he can give us, including points, that's always good. And it was good to see him really put the ball through the hole [Saturday]," sophomore guard Michael Dixon said.
According to Anderson, Kreklow's energetic play stems from his practice habits.
"The thing that I like about him is he's done all the ugly little things. He does all the little nasty work. I mean he gets cuts, scratches, bruises in practice. It's no difference in the game. So it was good to see him go out and have some success," Anderson said.
On a team that ranked No. 2 in the nation last season in points from its non-starters, Kreklow established himself as a crucial part of the Mizzou bench. He averages just over ten minutes a game.
"You know one of the things that we told our guys, he hadn't made a shot. And he's a shooter, I watche that kid in high school. He's a kid that can shoot the ball. Sometimes all it takes is one and that's what happened," Oklahoma basketball coach Jeff Capel said.
Trailing the Sooners for an entire quarter, Kreklow's three-pointer sparked a Missouri 11-0 run from which they would not look back; winning the game by 23 points.
"You know the first one, I thought was luck to be honest with you," Capel said.
Sometimes a little luck is all it takes.