Oct. 31, 2012
McCollum looking for higher intensity
By David Boyce
When you are a NCAA Division II basketball team playing at a highly ranked Division I school and you don’t come up with a shocking upset that makes ESPN, plenty of good can still be found.
And that is where Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team found itself Tuesday following a 91-58 exhibition loss against Missouri Monday evening at Mizzou Arena.
Obviously, the Bearcats would have liked a closer game. Still, they learned things they need to do to be competitive once the games start counting.
“I think we got to compete and play hard,” McCollum said Tuesday morning. “I know I always say that, but that’s the thing about this team. We are not going to go in and out talent people. You have to go in and play hard, play physical and go inside and play to your strength.
“Getting beat by that much isn’t that big of a deal against that caliber of a team. The issue comes when you do not play as hard as I thought we should for stretches.
“Once we calmed down, we were able to play more of our game and get some things done. They obviously turned their switch off a little.”
Missouri scored just one more point than Northwest in the second half.
“In those types of settings you have to use each other,” McCollum said. “If you do not use each other, you have zero chance of coming out of there. If you play with any selfishness, it makes it difficult. We can learn from that.”
Northwest has a little over 10 days to get ready for its first regular season game. The Bearcats open at home against Graceland on Nov. 11. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m.
Between now and then, the Bearcats have so much to work on that practice won’t seem like a grind.
First off, McCollum wants to see the health of senior point guard DeShaun Cooper improve.
Second, the Bearcats will continue to work on developing a strong inside presence.
“We got so much to work on,” McCollum said. “We have to have great practices right now. We have to compete against each other. This time is important. We’ve had two scrimmages. We know what direction we are going and how we have to play and what we have to do to be successful.”
The Bearcats will have another scrimmage next week and then the fun begins. Northwest will play 10 games during the fall semester, including two at the Hawaii Classic on Dec. 15 & 16.
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