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Dennis Gates calls Alabama “the best team in the country” ahead of Saturday’s matchup


The Mizzou men's basketball team is coming off a big revenge win against Arkansas, but the Tigers need to keep that momentum rolling if they want to take down the team that Dennis Gates calls the best in the nation, No. 4 Alabama, on Saturday.

Even after Wednesday night's finish against the Hogs, Gates doesn't seem to be satisfied with his team's performance.

"I have not seen my team play well yet and I'm excited about that day when it comes, but some teams it takes a process to get to a side that they hadn't seen," Gates said. "I'm not in a day to day mindset, I'm in a big picture, and the big picture is what do we need to go through to get to that point."

As Gates continues to express why the Crimson Tide is the best team in the country, he put an emphasis on certain characteristics that the group displays.

"They've been weathered, these guys have experience, they have natural talent, they can make shots, they don't depend on just one source of offense, they can defend, they can play different styles and different paces," Gates said.

With the tough opponent headed to Columbia, one thing Gates is hoping will be on their side is the home court advantage. The Tigers enter the matchup 11-1 at Mizzou Arena.

"I love the atmosphere at Mizzou Arena, it's outstanding energy," Gates said. "When I say energy, sometimes I can't hear myself, I can't hear my players and they can't hear me, but I ultimately can only imagine how our opponents feel."

Gates said Friday that Noah Carter and Mabor Majak will be back in the lineup Saturday after missing last game due to "health and safety precautions."

Senior forward Kobe Brown said with Carter back and Mohamed Diarra having more minutes, that lessens his load in the paint.

"Those are two great players," Brown said. "You guys have seen Noah a lot, but Mo is just now getting in the rotation. He's a really good player and to be quite honest with you, I don't think you've seen truly who he is. He's 7-foot and plays the five for us, but he could play a guard position."

Another big piece of the Mizzou rotation made his return against Arkansas. Rock Bridge Alum Isiaih Mosley had 19 minutes in the game after not playing in nearly a month because of "personal reasons."

"Our job as leaders is to humanize these student-athletes," Gates said. "We have continued and will always continue to put our arms around each and every player. Our players have put their arms around Isiaih in his moments to help him when we knew he would say, 'Coach, I'm ready," and as this point, that's what he said."

Mizzou will host No. 4 Alabama Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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