November 12, 2008

Exploring the Options

On Tuesday night, Missouri played 14 players in its exhibition game against Missouri Southern. All but walk-on Jarrett Sutton played at least nine minutes and no Tiger was on the floor more than 24 minutes.

At times, the Tigers had five freshmen on the floor at once. There were multiple lineups with four players who were not part of the team a season ago. But that's all about to change.

"Coach threw a lot of different combinations out there," said senior DeMarre Carroll. "We really don't know what's going to happen in the regular season."

What's going to happen, according to the coach, are that some players will see their minutes decline. And it could happen as soon as Saturday's regular season opener.

"We've got a lot of guys that will get quality minutes," Anderson said. "But I think you've got to have a core group."

"We need everybody, all the way to our last player," Lyons said. "The young guys just got to be ready."

Particularly in cases like Saturday night, where Lyons picked up four fouls in just 13 minutes of action.

"Leo's got to figure that out," Anderson said. "He's got to have a little more pride in terms of stopping people."

The good thing, though, is that for the first time at Missouri, Anderson seems to have some options to turn to if one of his regulars is struggling. And it's a good thing, because the time for experiments and lineup switches is over. Are these young Tigers ready for the regular season?

"You know what?" Anderson asked. "We have no choice."

Missouri tips against Prairie View at 3:30 on Saturday.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!