COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Coach Frank Haith won't be there when Missouri opens its season at home against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night.
The opener marks the start of a five-game suspension Haith received from the NCAA last month for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while coaching at Miami.
"It's going to be pretty hard," he said. "You can imagine. It's something I've never experienced."
Haith won't be allowed to communicate with the team until after its Nov. 25 game against IUPUI. He'll also miss matchups with Southern Illinois, Hawaii and Gardner-Webb. Tim Fuller will serve as interim coach.
"The most important thing is those 16 heartbeats in the locker room," said Fuller, who is getting his first head coaching experience. He arrived with Haith in 2011 and played at Wake Forest when Haith was an assistant with the Demon Deacons.
Missouri returns just one starter, Jabari Brown, for the second consecutive season and less than 40 percent of its scoring, rebounding, assists and steals from a 23-11 campaign last season. Brown, a junior, averaged 13.7 points in 2012-13. Senior Earnest Ross added 10.3 a game off the bench.