COLUMBIA — Missouri basketball players Marshall Brown and Leo Lyons returned from suspension to help spark a win over Kansas State on Saturday. The return of Darryl Butterfield and Jason Horton remains unclear.
The players were suspended Tuesday along with Stefhon Hannah following a fight outside Athena Night Club last weekend that left Hannah with a broken jaw. Horton was arrested Friday afternoon on charges stemming from the fight. Hannah could miss the rest of the season because of his jaw injury.
When asked after the game about the status of Butterfield and Horton’s suspensions, coach Mike Anderson said: “I guess we’ll deal with that. A lot of those things are game-time decisions.”
Brown said he was told that he would be returning the morning before the Kansas State game, but that he wasn’t allowed to discuss other specifics of the suspension. A statement from Anderson released at 6:17 Friday night said that all five players remained suspended indefinitely. Butterfield, Horton and Lyons didn’t speak to the media after the victory over Kansas State. Hannah is at his home in Chicago.
There was no announcement that Brown and Lyons would be returning until they were seen in uniform during the team’s shoot around about an hour before tipoff. The team announced the players were reinstated in a press release a few minutes later.
Brown and Lyons came into the game with little fanfare after a TV timeout with 13:45 left in the first half. Fans at first seemed torn, almost caught off guard when Leo Lyons was blocked while trying to get inside for a slam dunk. There were some boos, but the crowd didn’t quite know how to react. As the game went on, fan reactions to Brown and Lyons remained more subdued than to the rest of the players.
Brown ended up scoring two points in nine minutes but Lyons played 26 minutes and scored 13 points, the second most on the team.
The five players were suspended when Missouri lost 66-62 to Nebraska on Wednesday. Only six scholarship players and two walk-ons were available to play in the game. Seven grinded it out with Nebraska, four playing more than 35 minutes.
“It hurts, man, sitting there watching your teammates go to war, go to battle, especially when you know you could go out there and help them out,” said Brown, who also said Missouri would have won with the suspended players. “It’s kind of a helpless feeling, you know, what can you do?”
Brown said the suspended players apologized to their teammates.
“People make mistakes,” Brown said. “I think we made a mistake. Like I said, we’re all family, so I think they accepted it, and we’re moving from that.”
Horton was arrested at 12:20 p.m. Friday on suspicion of third-degree assault. A release from Columbia police said an unidentified 26-year-old Columbia man reported he was assaulted by Horton outside Athena Night Club on Jan. 27. The release, from Capt. Brad Nelson, also said another witness identified Horton as an assailant. Horton, Brown, Butterfield and Lyons were questioned by police on Friday. Horton was booked and released later that afternoon on a summons to appear in court.
Butterfield was suspended for an exhibition game earlier this year after being arrested and charged with third-degree domestic assault and then pleading guilty to peace disturbance.
“We’ve got 10 right now, that’s the only thing I’m thinking about,” forward DeMarre Carroll said. “Ten players, that’s who I’m practicing with. We’re not going to prepare like we’re going to have more players, we’re just going to prepare like we have 10.”
For the second straight game, Butterfield and Horton were on the bench but in street clothes against Kansas State. They were all smiles after the victory.
After the game, a jovial Butterfield ran out onto the court to celebrate the win with Lyons. Horton stood giving his teammates high-fives as they walked off the court.