Mizzou basketball forwards adjust to loss of Safford
In an earlier game, Missouri's Justin Safford (23) and Nebraska's Jorge Brian Diaz (21) battle for the tip during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver) By Dave Weaver
COLUMBIA – Playing without the injured Justin Safford for the first time during Saturday’s 63-53 loss at Kansas State, the three remaining forwards on the Missouri men’s basketball team held their own.
They weren't outmuscled under the basket, helping Missouri total just three fewer rebounds than the bigger Wildcats.
The game was the first big test for Steve Moore, who had been averaging less than 10 minutes per game but was the clear candidate to fill in for Safford. Moore answered the call, swatting five blocks in 19 minutes. He played solid defense throughout his first game as one of Missouri's primary big men.
“It definitely felt different. I really don’t know what to say … ,” Moore said Monday, slightly startled not just by increased playing time but also by the extra media attention.
Coach Mike Anderson said the 6-foot-9 forward will continue to play more minutes. Without Safford, Moore is the player with the biggest adjustment to make.