Missouri State’s leading scorer suspended for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’

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After playing in just 12 games last season due to a torn ACL suffered in an overtime loss to Wichita State, Missouri State guard Marcus Marshall has been one of the best players in the Missouri Valley Conference to this point in the season. Marshall’s averaging 19.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, shooting 45.9% from the field, 45.6% from three and nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe in 14 games played (13 starts).

Unfortunately for Marshall he won’t be on the court when the Bears take on Evansville Wednesday night, as it was reported by Lyndal Scranton of the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader before the game that the 6-foot-3 junior has been suspended indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

Multiple sources said that Marshall and head coach Paul Lusk had a disagreement during the team’s afternoon game-day practice.

Also of note in Scranton’s story is that “Lusk has been publicly critical of his upperclassmen, including Marshall, for a lack of leadership over the last week.” After winning their first two conference games Missouri State (8-8, 2-2) enters Wednesday having lost their last two contests.

No other Bear is averaging double figures for Missouri State, which averages just 64.9 points per game and is shooting 41.4% from the field. Missouri State is ranked seventh in the Valley in scoring offense and ninth in field goal percentage, with Austin Ruder (8.8 ppg) being the team’s leading scorer with Marshall out of lineup.

With that being the case Missouri State’s play on the defensive end of the floor is of even greater importance against the Purple Aces, who are averaging nearly 75 points per game and shooting 51.6% from the field. The Valley’s leading scorer, guard D.J. Balentine, is scoring a conference-best 21.4 ppg for Evansville.