COLUMBIA — Darryl Butterfield’s suspension ended and the Missouri men’s basketball team defeated Missouri Western 113-55 in the Tigers’ final exhibition game.
Butterfield, who did not play in MU’s Black and Gold scrimmage or the team’s first exhibition game against Missouri–St. Louis on Saturday, entered Thursday night’s game at Mizzou Arena with 4:17 seconds left in the first half to put an end to his suspension.
Butterfield was suspended after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor peace disturbance Oct. 29 in Boone County Court. He played nine minutes.
“Darryl has completed all of the things I’ve put before him,” coach Mike Anderson said. “I made the decision that he’s ready to be part of the team again.”
Anderson would not elaborate on what steps Butterfield had to take in order to get back on the court, but said that him playing against the Griffons was the next step in the process.
Forward Leo Lyons said that Butterfield being back on the team is going to take pressure off him and fellow forward DeMarre Carroll. Lyons said that Butterfield will be able to play some high-energy minutes and give other forwards some time to rest.
Guard Keon Lawrence agreed with Lyons assessment.
“It means, a lot,” Lawrence said of Butterfield’s return. “He’s one of those energy guys. He gives you everything he’s got when he’s out there.”
Every player scored for MU, as the balanced Tigers attack displayed MU’s superior talent over its Division II opponent. The game was never in doubt. The Tigers led 64-19 at halftime, and the Tigers dunked more than a kid with a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk.
Lawrence was a standout, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
MU’s regular season begins Monday when the Tigers play Central Michigan at Mizzou Arena in the first round of the Columbia Regional of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. The other teams in the Columbia Regional are Fordham and Central Missouri.
“We’ve got everybody on the team now,” Lyons said. “So we can focus on this first game on Monday.”