Rosburg impresses against No. 1 Kentucky

With his dad in the stands, the third-year forward had one of his best performances of the season.
Missouri Tigers forward Ryan Rosburg (44) attempts a rebound Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. Kentucky beat Missouri 69-53.

Ryan Rosburg’s parents weren’t too pleased with their seating assignment during Thursday night’s game against No. 1 Kentucky.

Nestled in the northwest corner of Mizzou Arena, one row in front of the media, it’s not exactly prime seating. Individuals like high school sophomore and prospective Mizzou basketball recruit, Michael Porter Jr., sit courtside.

Parents? Throw ‘em in the corner.

“A third-year player and we’re back here in this corner?” his dad, Paul joked. “Really?”

Eight points and countless dad high-fives later, the Rosburgs have a legitimate claim for a seating upgrade.

“Ryan gets to play now because he produced,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “I'm happy for him. I like Ryan.”

Every dunk was greeted with 360 degrees of high fives from the proud father. Paul, the Oprah of slappin’ five, hooted and hollered all night, emphatically waving his hand at friends, random fans, and media alike. You get a high five, you get a five, everybody gets a high five!

Ryan’s six first-half points came on two monstrous dunks and a goaltending call. A pick-and-roll from sophomore guard Wes Clark electrified the season-high 13,034 fans at Mizzou Arena.

Last Friday, Anderson spoke about Rosburg’s play. The junior played just six combined minutes in the previous four games, scoring no points.

Despite the limited playing time and scoring drought, Anderson praised the big-man’s attitude — especially in practice.

“He’s been great,” Anderson said Jan. 23 of Rosburg’s attitude. “He’s continued to come to practice and work hard. I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity at some point.”

That opportunity came Thursday night, and the junior took advantage, even when it came to free throws.

Claiming Rosburg has struggled at the line this season would be an understatement. Shooting .185 on free throws, the junior made just five of twenty-seven freebies entering Thursday’s contest.

But it wasn’t the average Ryan Rosburg night. The junior went to the line with 10:01 remaining in the second half, sinking both shots.

By the end of the game, down by double digits, fans sporting black and gold climbed the stairs, exiting a suddenly quiet arena. Two proud parents didn’t move. Sporting a gold pullover — and a similar receding hairline to his son — Paul Rosburg stayed to the bitter end.

“He’s my biggest fan,” Ryan said. “He’s been around for a long time, the highs and lows.”

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