MU's Lyons out of Wednesday's lineup

Monday, January 12, 2009 | 7:48 p.m. CST; updated 12:29 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Missouri forward Leo Lyons was suspended indefinitely Monday and will not play in Wednesday's home game against Colorado.

COLUMBIA — Missouri forward Leo Lyons is suspended indefinitely and will not play in Wednesday's home game against Colorado, after he was arrested and charged with a traffic violation and failure to pay a traffic fine from 2006, according to Missouri men's basketball coach Mike Anderson.

Anderson said what takes place in the next few days will determine if Lyons is allowed to play Saturday against Iowa State.

Anderson said Lyons was stopped by Columbia police Sunday night in Columbia. Police said Lyons failed to turn on the lights on the vehicle he was driving and failed to display proof of insurance. Anderson said police then learned there was a warrant for Lyons for an unpaid fine for making an illegal U-turn in 2006, and Lyons was arrested.

"The theme here is responsibility," Anderson said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "Leo failed to meet his responsibilities as a driver, and it led him to this unfortunate situation. We preach responsibility to our young men every day, and we are going to help Leo learn from this mistake. We'll continue to monitor the situation and once we feel comfortable that we have all the facts and Leo meets his obligations, then we'll move forward."

It was the third time in three years that Anderson suspended the senior. In 2006, he violated the team's academic policy. Last season, he missed a game for violating team rules stemming from his role in the incident outside a bar in Columbia that led to the suspension of five Tigers players.

Lyons practiced with the team Monday afternoon, and forward DeMarre Carroll said he doesn't expect the suspension to be a distraction. Carroll said he spoke with Lyons on Sunday night after the incident and expects him to come back and respond well.

"I look at it as either a reality check or you just come back and be passive," Carroll said. "He understands the sense of urgency."

Lyons is second on the team behind Carroll with 14.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Anderson said his first change to the starting lineup this season will be a game-time decision, but Keith Ramsey seems to have the inside track on replacing Lyons. The junior college transfer leads the team with 14 blocks and is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in the past seven games.

"I think Keith is (ready), and Justin (Safford) is too," Carroll said. "But I think Keith more because he finally found his niche. He gets out there, he brings energy and he protects the goal."

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Frank Bier January 12, 2009 | 9:31 p.m.

Sounds like a repeat of last year!

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