Clemons charged with domestic assault

It suddenly seems like weeks ago that Missouri found out that high scoring Jason Conley was coming to Columbia. Since that announcement, Najeeb Echols has transfered and starting point guard Ricky Clemons was arrested on friday. If the Tigers thought they were thin before, the margin for error in the backcourt just disappeared.

The one position that Missouri had to remain injury free and incident free this season has suddenly been exposed.

Missouri's starting point guard, Ricky Clemons, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree domestic assault. He has been suspended indefinitely from the basketball team and won't play in Saturday's game at Oklahoma State.

Clemons is the only true point guard on the Tiger's roster, so this does not bode well as Mizzou enters the teeth of their conference season.  Jimmy McKinney will be counted on to fill in for Clemons at the point while the situation is resolved.

According to a Columbia police report, an incident took place at Clemons' apartment late Thursday evening.  Clemons, alledgedly choked a 20-year-old female and physically restrained her from leaving his residence.

Clemons, who has reportedly denied any wrong-doing in the incident,  has been charged with a second-degree domestic assault.

To put it mildly, this was not what the Tigers needed right about now.   Coming off an embarrasing performance at Syracuse, Mizzou needed to have a good performance at Oklahoma State this weekend to get back on track for the balance of the Big 12 schedule.

Complicating issues further, with the loss of Najeeb Echols, the Tigers are actually down two players who can run offense from the point position.

Yes, the Tigers will miss Clemons' 17 point-per-game average, and his six assists per game.  What they will miss even more is their floor leader and offensive penetrator.

Obviously, this is going to push Josh Kroenke to the fore, who will have to fill in for McKinney at the shooting guard slot.  Kroenke will have to look for his shot and not hesitate to shoot when he gets open. 

More importantly, this will likely be a defining moment for the entire team which has not shown consistent effort or desire in several games this season.  Juniors Ricky Paulding, and especially Travon Bryant will have to snap out of their respective 'funks' and play with NCAA Tournament level intensity.

This may also give Quin Snyder an opportunity to move Bryant out to the three, and Paulding to the two for stretches against OSU.

Clemons is, of course, innocent until proven guilty.  However, as Missouri fans have found out almost every year, athletes have to almost be above reproach given their high profiles.  Whatever Clemons was doing Thursday night, he wasn't thinking of the team. 

A team that could ill-afford to loose him right now.


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