Paul Rosburg hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent weeks.
His son, Missouri junior Ryan Rosburg, had played more than five minutes in a game only once since Dec. 30, a span of seven games.
Rosburg, who started 32 of 35 games as a sophomore last season, hadn’t even made it off the bench in home losses against Tennessee and Arkansas.
All that changed Thursday against Kentucky, when Rosburg scored eight points on three-of-three shooting.
He had two dunks and also went two of two at the free-throw line with one rebound in 25 minutes, his most extensive action since logging 26 minutes Dec. 5 at Oklahoma.
“I had to be ready,” said Rosburg, who scored the most points since a season-high nine against Chaminade on Nov. 26 at the Maui Invitational. “Obviously, I haven’t been playing much, but I knew that I would get a chance sometime and, luckily, I made the most of it for the most part tonight.”
Rosburg’s performance didn’t go unnoticed by first-year coach Kim Anderson.
“Ryan gets to play now, because he produced,” Anderson said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to emphasize in practice, and he’s been practicing well, so I had no hesitancy putting him in. I’m happy for him. I like Ryan.”
Of course, nobody was happier for Rosburg than his father, who could be seen slapping joyous high fives left and right with every play his son made during the Tigers’ most recent game.
“He’s my biggest fan and been around for a long time with the highs and lows, so it was good to see he was happy,” Rosburg said.
Of course, Rosburg wasn’t the only Missouri player with a bounce-back game against the top-ranked Wildcats.
Five days after missing a pair of free throws that could have won the game or at least forced overtime in the closing seconds against Arkansas, sophomore point guard Wes Clark poured in a career-high 19 points.
He also had four rebounds, four assists, three steals and only two turnovers in 35 minutes.
“I wasn’t nearly as worried about Wes as everyone else was … ” Anderson said. “I thought he’d respond. He’s like that.”