Missouri’s junior center Jeffrey Ferguson watched Monday’s game in street clothes. Ferguson served the first game of a three-game suspension for participating in an unsanctioned summer league earlier this year. Ferguson missed last season to play in an international amatuer league in Canada.
Brown University also had a notable absence. The team announced Sunday that Jason Forte, a senior guard and co-captain, has been suspended for “an indefinite period of time.” Brown coach Glen Miller would not elaborate on why Forte was suspended.
“All I will say is that it was a team incident and his behavior wasn’t beneficial for the team,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we’ll straighten the situation out with Jason and he’ll come back down the road.”
Forte was the Ivy League Player of the Year and an All-American selection last season. Forte was not on the Brown bench Monday night.
HALF EMPY OR HALF FULL: A sparse 6,981 fans witnessed the Tigers’ first official home game in Paige Sports Arena, Missouri’s new $75 million stadium.
That’s 4,000 fewer fans than last week’s exhibition game against Northwest Missouri State, and only about half of the arena’s total capacity.
That works out to about $10,700 worth of stadium per fan.
SHUT ’EM DOWN: The Missouri defense closed on the lane in the second half of the Tigers’ victory and forced Brown to settle for the outside shot.
The Bruins made only two field goals from inside the 3-point line in the half: A layup by forward P.J. Flaherty and a late shot from guard James Daniels.
The Tigers, though, continued to have difficulty defending the perimeter, allowing Brown to shoot 11 for 21 from 3-point range.
“I think our communication just has to improve,” MU coach Quin Snyder said. “They got some open looks on poor communication in certain situations that we can’t give up. They shot 50 percent from threes, and a lot of those were open shots. That’s something we got to get better at.”
A LITTLE BIT COUSY: In a move reminiscent of Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy, Spencer Laurie MU’s sophomore guard, stole the ball in transition and made a behind-the-back pass to fastbreaking freshman Glen Dandridge.
Dandrige’s momentum-grabbing dunk helped the Tigers to a 33-32 point lead at the close of the first half.
“I just got a hand on it and the clock was running out so I just tried to get over to it as fast as I could,” Laurie said. “I don’t know about Bob Cousy necessarily, I just kind of reacted, you know, and whatever happens happens.”