Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Faceless Missouri Jerks to 77-56 Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Faceless Missouri Jerks to 77-56 Win

Article excerpt

It's not that University of Missouri coach Norm Stewart wants to use a berserk, disjointed, punitive substitution pattern.

It's just that, well, he has to.

Or so the curious and visibly uptight Stewart said after Mizzou trudged to a 77-56 victory over Northwest Missouri State, a Division II opponent, on Tuesday night at the Hearnes Center. "If somebody would establish themselves, we could probably get a little better, or different pattern, but nobody can establish themselves," he said. "The other night, I'm looking at the stats and somebody's two for eight, and another guy's one for five. What are you going to do, flip a coin? Somebody's got to establish themselves. "Subjectively, I've got some idea as to who can play basketball, but it really doesn't mean anything if I look at (statistics) and the guy's shooting 28 percent and making 9 percent from the free-throw line and making eight (turnovers) and can't guard anybody and has got his damned uniform on backwards. "It's kind of hard to play him just on the fact that I think he can play." While Stewart says he questions the confidence level of his players, he's not questioning one of the reasons some close observers of the program believe it's battered: Because of the berserk, disjointed and punitive substitution pattern. How confident could first-year transfer Tyron Lee be after being hooked 45 seconds into the game? How confident could senior Jason Sutherland - a linchpin of the team - be after playing a total of 30 minutes in two g ames? Sutherland, normally a scathing competitor, looked emotionally empty Tuesday. But Stewart was in no mood to entertain questions about how he uses his team. Asked to elaborate on his lineup and plan Tuesday, he said: "I went out tonight and I looked up and the moon was in about an 84-degree position." He added, "What made me decide that? Because I'm the coach. So I watch them practice, so then you select your personnel after you watch them practice. …

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