Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Missouri's Leo Lyons Suspended

Perhaps the biggest story out of the Big 12 this week is the indefinite suspension of Leo Lyons, who is second on Missouri in both points (14.6) and rebounds (6.2) per game. I'm not going to sit here and give you self-righteous indignation about the behavior of this kid, because you surely get enough of that from sports radio and the tv analysts, and I don't feel it my place to judge the character of somebody that I don't know. It does seem, however, like Mike Anderson did get stuck with a bunch of kids with behavior problems. It was just the hand that he was dealt, and I believe that he has done a good job of suspending these kids when he feels like they're being detrimental to the team.

Most Big 12 fans, of course, still remember the Stefhon Hannah situation last season. Hannah was the team's leading scorer, and was booted off the team (and left the school entirely) after an incident at a club. Going back to research that briefly, I'm reminded that Lyons was actually tangentially involved in that incident as well.

That all said, I do think that Anderson is doing as good of a job as he can to bring in better kids, both at basketball and at life in general. And Lyons will not likely go the way of Hannah, since it seems clear that he will be allowed back on the team in a couple of weeks if he behaves properly in the interim. It's quite possible that Hannah's absence was the difference between the Tigers making the Tournament or not last year, and I am sure that Missouri fans are hoping that an extended period of time without Lyons will not doom this season as well. Time will tell.

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