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Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Brothers from Boston: More from coach Leo Papile

Missouri guard Phil Pressey and forward Alex Oriakhi played under the tutelage of Leo Papile, a well-known Boston area AAU coach who heads the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

Papile weighed in on the reunion of Pressey and Oriakhi at MU after Oriakhi’s transfer from Connecticut in April. Here are some extras from my interview with the former Celtics Vice President of Basketball Operations and current assistant to the USA men’s national development team:

On the BABC’s core seven, which Pressey and Oriakhi were a part of from 2005-2008: “It was a good group. I’ve been doing this since 1977 and this was the funnest group I’ve had. We had this core together for four years. They probably played 400-some games together.”

“It’s a historic year for Mizzou going to the SEC and we’ve got three guys (Pressey, Oriakhi, freshman Dominique Bull), two playing in a prominent role. We’ll get to watch them on TV up here and we’re all just really proud of them.”

On Oriakhi: “Alex was a Ben Wallace for us. He banged around in the lane and rebounded well. He was a real defensive force for us. He could easily lead the SEC in rebounding if he wanted.”

On Pressey: “The ultimate compliment you can give to a passer is that he’s one pass from a layup anywhere on the court. Phil was one of my favorite point guards in my 36 years.”

“There are a lot of people who doubted him because of his size, but we thought he was the best point guard in the country.”

“Phil was our starting quarterback for four years. He was that special.”

“Phil’s a little player-coach out there. You can trust him with the ball. I wasn’t surprised at the season he had last year.”

On Pressey and Oriakhi’s relationship:

“They pretty much made up their mind. The situation at UConn had just deteriorated and he looked at it like a situation to play with Phil. They’re good guys. They know each other. They like each other. They’ve had a lot of success with each other. They’re lifestyles are very similar.”

“They’re not guys who have a lot of distractions in their lives. They’re focused. They’re perfect for each other.”

“They’re soldiers and they’ll represent Missouri well in their first year in the SEC.”

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