Missouri coach Frank Haith says he hasn’t settled on using a seven-man rotation despite the fact that the Tigers have basically played that way since the Las Vegas Invitational.
Against West Virginia, UCLA and Western Michigan, only two reserves have played more than 5 minutes in any game.
Beyond senior forward Tony Criswell and freshman point guard Wes Clark, playing time has been scarce.
“We need to continue to develop those guys on our bench,” Haith said. “And I think we will. I feel good about how we’ve been practicing this week, and I’ve seen some good stuff out of our guys.”
Junior center Keanau Post has logged 13 minutes in the last three games for Missouri, 10-0, which climbed to No. 23 in the latest Associated Press ranking.
Freshman guard Shane Rector has seen the floor for 10 minutes, while freshman forward Torren Jones has only played three minutes, including a DNP against the Bruins.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, (junior forward) Danny (Feldmann) does things at practice we like, too,” Haith said.
Missouri’s bench was dealt a blow when sophomore forward Stefan Jankovic chose to transfer last month.
Still, Haith understands that depth will become increasingly important as the long season goes along, but the NCAA’s new emphasis limiting defensive contact is a factor, too.
“The way the game is played, you don’t know because of foul trouble,” Haith said.
That means Post, Rector and Jones must gain some experience and earn some minutes to take the pressure of the Tigers’ starting five.