During college basketball season, Alvin Muse Sr.’s Lincoln Navigator can be found traveling interstates throughout the Midwest.
With two sons playing Division II basketball, he’s traveled to many schools, places like Iowa State and Notre Dame last year.
Last night his son Alvin Muse, a starting senior guard for Bemidji State, brought him from South Holland, Ill. to Columbia, a 400-mile trip that took more than six hours.
But Muse Sr. said he doesn’t mind.
“It means a lot to us,” he said. “They appreciate it and they always let us know.”
For Muse Sr., the trip to Columbia was a brief jaunt. Bemidji State is nearly twice as far, taking him 750 miles and 11 hours away from home.
Alvin Muse, who led the Beavers with 11 points, didn’t take nearly as long to find his way on the scoreboard, connecting on his first two 3-point attempts within the first five minutes.
Alvin’s brother Andre plays for Division II Quincy.
EXPERIMENTAL RULES: The sparse crowd of 6,135 and the Bemidji State Beavers weren’t the only oddities that contrasted with what fans usually expect to see at Mizzou Arena this season.
Markings on Norm Stewart Court denoted three experimental rules. The 3-point line was extended to 20 feet, 9 inches, there was a restricted area arc just in front of the basket and the lane was extended one foot on each side.
Missouri coach Quin Snyder said he liked the rules. He said the 3-point line could be brought back and by widening the lane, it makes the court more spread out.
He added that the rules would fit well with the Tigers’ offensive approach if implemented.
“I think our team is well suited for it,” he said, “because we’re really going to try to space and spread the floor.”
Senior guard Jimmy McKinney, who hit a long shot just in front of the new 3-point line in the first half, said that the extended arch was something that he didn’t really notice much during the game.
TIGER BAPTISM: With 1:34 remaining, walk-on Nick Berardini saw his first action outside of the Black and Gold game. Although it was brief, he savored the moment.
“It’s a dream come true, I have been thinking about playing college basketball since I can remember,” Berardini said. “I felt like a deer in the headlights at first — a little bit because I wasn’t sure ... I knew what we were supposed to be doing, but so much was going on and I was so excited.”
Seconds later, he was on the verge of a steal and fast break opportunity but came up short and committed a foul.
“As they say in football, I saw green,” Berardini said. “I was going to have Marcus on the fast-break for a dunk if I were just a half step up.”
THE RECRUITING TRAIL: Today the NCAA recruiting sanctions against Missouri are officially lifted, marking the first day the Missouri coaching staff can travel to scout and talk to players.
Snyder said this will boost his program.
“We’ve had a lot of success being home,” he said. “That being said, I think we can have a whole lot more success when we actually get to step foot on a high school campus.”
Not only does this allow Snyder and his staff to see players, but to clear the air on the cloudy situation.
“It’s amazing how much disinformation is out there,” Snyder said. “There are kids that think that you can’t go out till 2010 ... We get the chance to go out there and set the record straight.”
This allows the Tigers’ coaching staff to get commitments from players for next season before the Nov. 9 signing date.
“It comes at a good time even before the signing date, for us to get a chance to go out and see some key guys,” Snyder said. “We’re going to try to fit a lot in the next few days.”