COLUMBIA – Suspensions of reserve freshman guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector after their marijuana-related arrests left Missouri coach Frank Haith with no backup guards for the Tigers’ National Invitation Tournament matchup with Davidson on Tuesday night.
“Do you want me to dress out? Who else could I put in?” Haith rhetorically joked Monday afternoon.
The answer Tuesday night? Danny Feldmann.
Feldmann, who hadn’t scored in nine appearances this season, played 22 minutes in the Tigers' NIT opening-round game. He played just 19 minutes the entire regular season.
"I think I did pretty well. I know I played hard as I could," Feldmann said. "I'm a little tired now."
He air-balled a 3-pointer late in the shot clock on his first attempt from the field but recovered to post a respectable stat line of four points and four rebounds, highlighted by his two-handed slam after driving the baseline in the second half.
Feldmann, Keanau Post and Ryan Rosburg were the Tigers' lone active reserves. Feldmann played both small forward and power forward.
"Danny really stepped up," guard Jabari Brown said. "He's really smart. He knows everywhere he's supposed to be on the court, both offense and defense. He's not adverse to making plays, and when his opportunity presented itself, that's what he did."
A Jefferson City native, Feldmann transferred to Missouri from Columbia University in New York after the 2010-11 season. The walk-on is a redshirt junior. He played the most minutes of his Tiger career because, well, Haith didn’t have many other options.
There were only seven scholarship players, plus Feldmann, dressed and at Haith’s disposal on the bench.
Clark and Rector were suspended. Corey Haith, Frank’s son who appeared in six games this season, was out with a torn ACL. Senior forward Tony Criswell was out, as well.
Add those discipline issues to a program that has seen three of Haith's high school recruits — Dominique Bull, Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic — transfer in the past two seasons, and an opportunity for Feldmann was created.
"I trust Danny," Haith said. "Danny, he works his tail off. Danny played at Columbia, so he's a pretty good player. He just keeps working.
"You never know when your opportunity is going to come. He took advantage of his tonight."
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.