Marshall Brown’s aggressiveness has been a key to his high-point production during the Big 12 Conference men’s basketball season. But that aggressiveness has also led to consistent first-half foul trouble for Missouri’s starting forward.
In four of the Tigers’ six conference games, Brown has been forced to sit on the bench during the first half because of early foul trouble. Brown said because playing so aggressively is somewhat new to him, keeping out of foul trouble will take some time.
Missouri coach Mike Anderson said he is confident Brown will be able to make the adjustment.
“He’s playing well, and he wants to do something so bad,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you just have to relax and just go ahead and play basketball and let it take place. But he’ll get better at it.”
Brown played only four minutes in the first half against Texas Tech on Saturday. Brown was visibly upset with himself after he picked up his second foul just three minutes into the game, swinging his arm through the air to show his frustration.
“It’s tough sitting on the bench watching your team play,” Brown said. “... We had some players step in and fill my place.”
Thinking he was going to be replaced immediately, Brown started walking toward the bench after getting called for his second foul. But the next play had already started and Brown’s defensive assignment, Texas Tech guard Martin Zeno, made a 3-pointer before Brown could put a hand in his face.
Forward Darryl Butterfield then came off the Tigers’ bench to replace Brown. In 12 minutes against the Red Raiders, Butterfield had two points, three rebounds and two steals.
“I think Butterfield gives us a toughness,” Anderson said. “...Marshall got in foul trouble, and you saw him inserted right in there, and he did a good job.”
Anderson said he also likes that Butterfield, 6-foot-7, is both quick enough to guard opposing teams’ guards and big enough to guard opposing forwards and centers. While his offensive numbers are nothing to get excited about (41 percent shooting from the field), Anderson said he thinks Butterfield is starting to get more involved on that end of the court.
“I think offensively, now he’s starting to feel in the flow,” Anderson said. “He can knock down some shots. He probably wants to knock down a lot more, but that will come in time.”
TIGER STILL HURTING: Saturday’s game against Texas Tech marked the second consecutive game forward Vaidotas Volkus did not play because of a leg injury. The most recent time he played, Jan. 15 at Kansas, was Volkus’ most productive game of the conference season. In 11 minutes, Volkus had five rebounds and two points.
“He’s one of those guys that it could be the next game he could play,” Anderson said. “But he’s starting to practice a little bit. He’s in a little pain.”
HANNAH AWARDED: Junior Stefhon Hannah received the Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week award for the third time this season. In Missouri’s two wins last week against Colorado and Texas Tech, Hannah averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists. Hannah broke a Missouri record by winning the award for a third time in the Big 12.