Missouri senior Keanau Post didn’t make it off the bench and junior Ryan Rosburg played a season-low 11 minutes in a heartbreaking Braggin’ Rights loss Saturday against Illinois at the Scottrade Center.
The game will be remembered for Illinois senior Rayvonte Rice’s step-back, game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in a 62-59 win. It also might be remembered as a turning point in the Tigers’ season despite the loss.
Missouri dropped to 5-6, but played probably its best game of the season.
Part of that was a rotation that relied on a smaller lineup, shifting sophomore Johnathan Williams III to center with freshmen D’Angelo Allen or Jakeenan Gant at the power forward — or some combination of those players.
“I think we’re going to make some alterations,” first-year MU coach Kim Anderson said after the game. “I’m not saying the other guys aren’t going to play, but I came into this game with the idea that I wanted to play (Williams), D’Angelo and Jakeenan more — two of the three them at a time.”
That doesn’t mean Rosburg is finished. He’ll be needed against bigger teams and will remain part of the rotation.
“I still wanted Ryan to get a shot in there, but I wanted to play these three others guys and see how they did,” Anderson said. “And I thought they did well. We did match up pretty well against Illinois without that true post-up guy.”
Rosburg might continue starting, because Anderson has said he doesn’t put much stock in the significance of a starting five.
After playing at least 20 minutes in seven of Missouri’s first eight games, Rosburg has averaged 15.3 minutes in the last three games in Anderson’s quest to find solutions, particularly at the offensive end.
Williams, Allen and Gant all bring more firepower on offense than Rosburg.
Meanwhile, Post hasn’t played more than nine minutes since a demoralizing loss to Purdue during the Maui Invitational and has averaged only three minutes per game, including Saturday’s DNP.