Rosburg delivered another strong performance Saturday, scoring a team-high 21 points to help the Tigers snap a nine-game losing streak with a 75-64 Southeastern Conference victory against visiting Tennessee at Mizzou Arena.
“I have been playing like I have got nothing to lose,” Rosburg told reporters. “My days are numbered — I know that. I don't want to have any regrets looking back. I want to give it my all and play my heart out every game I have left. It's a countdown now and I am playing hard. The shots are falling and my teammates are finding me.”
The 6-foot-10 forward from Marquette High School in suburban St. Louis, who chose Missouri as a high school senior over Tennessee and Missouri State, has played in 121 games for the Tigers.
Rosburg’s last three games have been three of his best.
He set a career high with 17 points against Alabama on Feb. 6. Then he topped that performance with 24 points (and a season-high 11 rebounds) against Vanderbilt four days later.
On Saturday, against Tennessee, Rosburg produced the second-highest scoring output of his collegiate career with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, added five rebounds and two blocked shots in a season-high 35 minutes.
“It’s great,” Rosburg said. “I am happy we won. I would be just excited if I don’t score today but we still won. I have scored some points the past couple games, but it’s bittersweet every time because you want to win. Being a competitor, you want to win. This is much better.”
For the season, Rosburg is averaging 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds while playing 18.2 minutes per game. He’s started 15 of 25 games.
“Rosburg has such good footwork and I really like to learn from him because you don’t really see footwork like that very often,” Missouri freshman forward Kevin Puryear told reporters. “Ever since I got here he has always taken me under his wing and shown me the ropes and I really appreciate that from him. To see him have a moment like this, I couldn't be happier for him.”
The Tigers had plenty to celebrate on Saturday with the season’s largest crowd on hand to support Rhyan Loos, the 5-year-old daughter of assistant coach Brad Loos fighting cancer, and also see them snap a month-long losing streak.
Missouri coach Kim Anderson said afterward that he thought his team had grown up a little bit and matured and were determined not to let the game get away from them when the score got close in the final minutes.
“I just think they had a determination today and certainly the beauty of the day was probably figured into that,” Anderson told reporters. “They didn’t want to lose. I think they were tired of losing. We talked to them about that at practice several times. When I get mad I say ‘Aren’t you tired of losing and here’s what we have to do.’
“Today they executed and they executed pretty well. They zoned us a lot, but we were able to get the ball to Ryan and Kevin and the guys made some big plays, some big tip-ins. That comes from energy and activity and from not worrying about how many minutes you’re playing.”
But there is one Missouri player who only has so many minutes left as a Tiger. That’s why Rosburg is trying to make the most of them.