Missouri’s shrinking bench got even shorter this weekend when senior Jordan Barnett was arrested by MU police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Sunday evening, after the Tigers held a watch party celebrating their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013, coach Cuonzo Martin said the senior is suspended from the team. Barnett won’t play in the Tigers’ first-round matchup against Florida State on Friday.
“He can travel,” Martin said. “He can practice, but he won’t play.”
Barnett was stopped at 3:26 a.m. Saturday for a traffic violation at Stadium Boulevard and Ashland Road, and the senior was later arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and failing to drive within a single lane.
The MU student-athlete handbook states an athlete arrested for driving under the influence will be suspended from team activities for a minimum of one week for a first offense.
Martin said if the Tigers win Friday, Barnett could play in a second-round matchup.
The senior started all 32 games for the Tigers this season and was Missouri’s second-leading scorer at 13.7 points per game. He also led the team with five double-doubles.
“Regardless if he’s (celebrating the Tigers’ NCAA Tournament berth with teammates) or not, I’m still super proud to be his teammate,” junior Kevin Puryear said. “That’s our brother, regardless of the mistakes he’s made. We’re always going to be by his side.”
Down to seven scholarship players Friday, the Tigers will rely on increased minutes from the recently returned Michael Porter Jr. and walk-on Brett Rau.
Martin said he expects Porter to be more comfortable after his 12-point performance against Georgia in the SEC Tournament. Porter attempted 17 shots, and Martin said he expects the freshman to gain more rhythm in his shooting after getting his first full collegiate game out of the way.
“We keep moving,” Martin said of the suspension and his team’s short bench. “That’s what it is. … Keep going.”
Supervising editor is Pete Bland.