After Beating Them, Mizzou Coach Praises Opponents In Their Own Locker Room

Mizzouri Tigers head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin gave the Stephen F. Austin team a pep talk after they lost.
December 20, 2017, 7:23pm
Screen capture via Twitter/@SFA_MBB 

Giving teams pep talks in locker rooms is your job as a coach. But it's not so often that you give the opposing team a pep talk in their locker room. So when Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin did just that last night, it was his first time doing so.

The game was incredibly close between Missouri (now 10-2) and Stephen F. Austin (10-2)—to the point that Missouri snuck away with a one-point win at 82-81. But Martin was so impressed by Stephen F. Austin that he asked permission from their coach Kyle Keller to give them a chat, and Keller obliged:

"I'm serious, man," Martin said. "I want to thank you guys for allowing me to come here, man. You don't owe me nothing. But I just want to tell you, because I know you're upset now, that you've got a hell of a team."

Stephen F. Smith is no stranger to pulling off some upsets. They have made the NCAA Tournament for three of the past four years, and have snuck away with some early round upsets. Before last night, they had just beaten LSU 83-82, but it seemed like their luck had come up short against Missouri.

Hard to tell how the players all took it—Martin's visit could have been insult to injury. But maybe with some distance they will be able to appreciate how cool it was for the opposing coach to break precedent and pay you some respect.