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December 20, 2010

Pressey out against Illinois



With the status of Mike Dixon Jr. up in the air, Missouri got some more bad news at the point guard position. Phil Pressey fractured a finger on his right hand in practice on Sunday and will be out "about two weeks" according to Mike Anderson.

"It was like a loose ball and I like reached in and hit my hand on something," Pressey said. "I didn't even think it was that bad because I barely even hit my hand."

Pressey will not play on Wednesday night against Illinois. Dixon might.

"He's fulfilled some of the things I put in front of him," Anderson said of Dixon. "He's going in the right direction, but it could be the day before the game or a game day decision."

With or without Dixon, Matt Pressey and Marcus Denmon will eat up some of the minutes at the point against the Illini.

"We'll have to do it by committee," Anderson said. "It's not a great way to start this (press) conference off, but at the same time, it's part of basketball."

"If I didn't work at it in practice or if it was something that was new to me, then it might affect me," Denmon said. "But I feel since we do it every day in practice, it should just be second nature….The way we play and the way we share the ball with each other, me finding my offense should never really be a problem."

Over his last three games, Pressey had totaled 27 assists, including a Missouri freshman record 11 against Central Arkansas on Saturday.

"My dad always tells me everything happens for a reason, so I guess this is a time I have to go through," Pressey said. "I guess it gives me an opportunity to work on my left hand. The good thing is it's not that long."

"I think he's finding his groove so to speak," Anderson said. "He's understanding his role on this basketball team, getting his confidence going. I think that's huge for this basketball team."

Anderson said the recovery time could be more than two weeks. Pressey doesn't plan for it to be.

"As quick as I can get back out there," Pressey said. "If it hurts and I can play with it, I want to play with it. I don't mind it hurting. It's just that they don't want to take the chance of me hurting it any more. I guess whenever I'm ready."

But the tenth-ranked Tigers will have to play on without Pressey against Illinois. A game that is already one of the toughest on the Tigers' schedule just got that much tougher.


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