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Pulley cleared to play for Missouri

Thursday, December 4, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:27 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A day after committing 19 turnovers, Missouri received some encouraging news that might be a remedy for its ballhandling woes.

Junior college transfer Randy Pulley was cleared for action coach Quin Snyder said Wednesday. Pulley gives the Tigers three active point guards.

“I think Randy gives us more depth at point guard,” Snyder said. “Physically he’s a different player. Randy’s more of a power player.”

Finals come first

Despite being available to play against Indiana on Saturday and Gonzaga on Dec. 13, Snyder said Pulley, who is 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, would not play until after the completion of his finals. Therefore, Pulley, along with transfer Jason Conley, will play their first games against UNC-Greensboro on Dec. 21 at Hearnes Center.

“The transition any player makes from high school to college or junior college to college is a big one,” Snyder said. “In talking to Randy, basketball is secondary right now.”

The Tigers are taking a commercial flight to Seattle for the Gonzaga game. The trip will cause the players to miss class before finals.

Keeping their options open

Pulley and Conley bring the No. 4 Tigers two more options as ballhandlers. An inability to consistently take care of the ball has been an area that plagued the Tigers thus far this season. Including the exhibition season, the Tigers have committed at least 19 turnovers in every game.

Without Pulley, sophomore guard Jimmy McKinney garnered most of the minutes at the point guard. McKinney, the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 15.5, committed six turnovers in the Tigers’ 90-85 victory at Oakland on Saturday. He has also averaged 35.5 minutes.

After McKinney played a team-high 33 minutes in the Tigers’ first exhibition game, Snyder elected to play freshman Spencer Laurie. Playing Laurie ended the possibility of redshirting him.

Laurie played his best game as a Tiger in Tuesday’s 70-61 win against Coppin State. He scored three points and had two assists.

Pulley waits patiently

As the Tigers struggled with turnovers on the court, Pulley patiently waited until his situation was resolved.

“I think that’s been hard for him,” Snyder said. “He’s been a terrific teammate through the whole thing.”

Because of NCAA regulations, Snyder was unable to comment on the specifics of the delay of the certification.

Pulley’s pass-first presence in the MU backcourt should help lower the turnovers. Snyder said the additional competition should motivate the ball handlers because mistakes might result in lost playing time.

MU declared Pulley, who transferred from Barton (Kan.) Community College, ineligible indefinitely before their first exhibition game Nov. 10 because three to six of his transfer credits were not certified.

Two seasons ago, Pulley played in 31 games as a freshman point guard at St. Louis University.


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