Mizzou was dealt a blow before they found out where and who they’d play in their NCAA Tournament opener with the news of second-leading scorer Jordan Barnett’s arrest for DUI early Saturday.
Cuonzo Martin announced Sunday Barnett would serve a one-game suspension during this Friday’s first-rounder against Florida State. Echoing Martin’s recent comments to 101ESPN, Mizzou athletic director, Jim Sterk said the decision was a collective one and meant to help Barnett and his teammates learn a lesson.
“Cuonzo said that ‘if (Barnett) is allowed to practice, I will practice him,’ because practice is not always fun,” Sterk said in an exclusive 101ESPN interview. “It’s the games, it’s the travel. He’s not going to travel with the team.
“It’s a situation where, yeah, he made a mistake and he owned up to it,” Sterk added. “And he’s paying dearly because if we don’t win, he’s not going to have a game in the NCAA Tournament. That is significant, having a DUI is significant, and we feel we’ve reached a good place with that as we can in a tough situation.”
You can hear Martin’s entire talk with The Bernie Miklasz Show below, along with other snippets regarding Cuonzo Martin’s first year on the job in CoMo.
On hiring Martin and seeing him develop as Tigers head coach:
“I knew kind of what I was getting, but he’s been better than advertised…He knows how to run a program and even he said he’s learned over time in his different stops with things. So I think this is a culmination of his career as well with pulling together all the experiences he’s had and being able to put them together for good use at Mizzou.”
On the current team’s success:
“A lot of pieces they’ve pulled together have done a great job…They got a little bump in the road with Jordan, and now we’ve got to modify it a little bit and hopefully have a good game and make it to the second round and bring him back and even be stronger.”