The Frank Haith Era: So How's It Going Now?

We'll delay the final two Wall inductees for another day while we revisit basketball.  To say the least, there was some good news in the last week.  And we finally have quite a few answers overall, don't we...

April 7: What Happens Now?
April 14: How's It Going?

Who Ends Up on Haith's Coaching Staff?

The staff appears just about set now.  We already knew about Tim Fuller, Ernie Nestor, Isaac Chew, and Todor Pandov. Now, with last week's news that Matt "GOOOOOOOOOOSE" Lawrence has been hired as a graduate assistant and Toby Lane as Director of Basketball Ops, that should do it.  This is a really interesting staff, and though we obviously have yet to see how they will work together and what product they will put on the court, it certainly looks great on paper -- a recruiting ace in Tim Fuller, an X's-and-O's man in Ernie Nestor, another solid recruiter with tons of Missouri ties in Isaac Chew, an Eastern European strong man in Todor Pandov, a well-liked alumn in Lawrence, and, in Lane, a coach who worked closely with Haith in Miami.  And considering how Fuller, Haith and company closed the deal on two solid recruits this weekend, the early signs have to be considered encouraging.

How Many Presseys Are on the Roster Next Year?

Two!  Woohoo!  Next question!

Do Those Testing the Waters Return?

Yes!  Woohoo!  Next question!

Who Does Haith Sign for the 2011 Recruiting Class? -AND- How and When Does the 2012 Recruiting Class Begin Taking Shape?

(Throw the 2013 class in there as well, I guess.)

Here's where things have begun to get interesting.  We heard all about the two 2013 commits from his past weekend, but they're not going to be seeing the court for a while.  The symbolism of their commits means more than their on-court abilities at the moment.

If you are a PowerMizzou subscriber, you've heard quiet a few intriguing names of targets thrown out recently ... but very few of them are from the class of 2011.  As Gabe at PM has said many times recently, a) Haith and company are not going to take a kid just to take him, and b) if they're still on the table in the 2011 class, there's probably a reason.

We know the staff is interested in big man Jervon Pressley, though he visited this weekend without committing, and it seems a little blurry whether he actually has an offer or not.  (He says he does, but Gabe is skeptical.)

Then there's Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore, who also visited this weekend but will wait until he has taken all of his visits to decide on a new school.  At 6'7, 230 pounds, Philmore averaged 15.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.  He's an inside-outside player who grabbed 2.5 offensive rebounds per game but still managed to shoot almost two 3-pointers per game as well.  I was going to see how he did against major conference competition last year, but unless I'm missing a game in there, it appears Towson didn't play a single major conference team in 2010-11.  Not sure how that's possible, honestly.  And they still went 4-26.  Ggh.  Philmore was not a high-usage player, but he is a decent ball-handler for his size, and he shot 80% from the line.  Obviously if he were to come here, 16 & 7 would not be reasonable, but I see no reason why he couldn't average 8 & 4 for a couple of seasons, which would certainly be nice off the bench.

(Philmore and Pressley would also give us the wonderful opportunity to have the following players on roster next year: Matt Pressey, Jervon Pressley, Phil Pressey, Isaiah Philmore and Steve Moore, which I'm pretty sure is something that could be taught in English classes.)

Beyond Pressley and Philmore, we know that Mizzou has taken at least passing glances at Virginia center Matt Gorski and Ontario shooting guard Justin Edwards (who visited this past weekend), but it doesn't appear they have offers yet.

So here's where we stand at the current time:

Season Point Wings Bigs
2011-12 Phil Pressey (So.)
Mike Dixon (Jr.)
Marcus Denmon (Sr.)
Kim English (Sr.)
Matt Pressey (Sr.)
Ricky Kreklow (So.)
Laurence Bowers (Sr.)
Ricardo Ratliffe (Sr.)
Steve Moore (Sr.)
Kadeem Green (RSFr.)
2012-13 Phil Pressey (Jr.)
Mike Dixon (Sr.)
Ricky Kreklow (Jr.) Kadeem Green (So.)
2013-14 Phil Pressey (Sr.) Ricky Kreklow (Sr.)
Ish Wainwright (Fr.)
Kadeem Green (Jr.)
Tyrek Coger (Fr.)
2014-15 Ish Wainwright (So.) Kadeem Green (Sr.)
Tyrek Coger (So.)

If we were to offer and receive commitments from Pressley and Philmore, things would shape up like this:

Season Point Wings Bigs
2011-12 Phil Pressey (So.)
Mike Dixon (Jr.)
Marcus Denmon (Sr.)
Kim English (Sr.)
Matt Pressey (Sr.)
Ricky Kreklow (So.)
Laurence Bowers (Sr.)
Ricardo Ratliffe (Sr.)
Steve Moore (Sr.)
Kadeem Green (RSFr.)
Jervon Pressley (Fr)
2012-13 Phil Pressey (Jr.)
Mike Dixon (Sr.)
Ricky Kreklow (Jr.) Kadeem Green (So.)
Jervon Pressley (So.)
Isaiah Philmore (Jr.)
2013-14 Phil Pressey (Sr.) Ricky Kreklow (Sr.)
Ish Wainwright (Fr.)
Kadeem Green (Jr.)
Jervon Pressley (Jr.)
Isaiah Philmore (Sr.)
Tyrek Coger (Fr.)
2014-15
Ish Wainwright (So.) Kadeem Green (Sr.)
Jervon Pressley (Sr.)
Tyrek Coger (So.)

It certainly looks as if Mizzou will probably only use two of their three remaining scholarships for this class, swallowing some for next year.  That is, unless the late Maryland coaching change (and whatever dominoes it tips) results in some unexpected recruits asking out of their LOIs and becoming available.

As Gabe has pointed out, the 2012 class is interesting because, while there could be anywhere between about nine and 11 scholarships to give out, the 2013 class might take shape so well that the staff decides to swallow some schollies again for that class.  It's an interesting thought and a tough balance considering ... well, look at the 2012-13 roster above.  No matter how well the 2013 class is going, you'll still need to bring in 3-4 guys, minimum, who are capable of contributing rather quickly.

We all know Rodney Purvis is the big fish for 2012, but even with the commitment of Coger, Mizzou still faces long odds of landing the player who could end up the No. 1 guard, and a top five player, in 2012.  He's the pipe dream, but there are still quite a few realistic options, like Olathe center Willie Cauley, Louisville de-commit Negus Webster-Chan, and Nevada small forward Winston Shepard, who is known to have a Mizzou offer.  Just for grins, here's how the what-if roster takes shape if Mizzou (improbably) lands all of the potentials listed above.

Season Point Wings Bigs
2011-12 Phil Pressey (So.)
Mike Dixon (Jr.)
Marcus Denmon (Sr.)
Kim English (Sr.)
Matt Pressey (Sr.)
Ricky Kreklow (So.)
Laurence Bowers (Sr.)
Ricardo Ratliffe (Sr.)
Steve Moore (Sr.)
Kadeem Green (RSFr.)
Jervon Pressley (Fr)
2012-13 Phil Pressey (Jr.)
Mike Dixon (Sr.)
Rodney Purvis (Fr.)
Ricky Kreklow (Jr.)
Winston Shepard (Fr.)
N. Webster-Chan (Fr.)
Kadeem Green (So.)
Jervon Pressley (So.)
Isaiah Philmore (Jr.)
Willie Cauley (Fr.)

2013-14 Phil Pressey (Sr.)
Rodney Purvis (So.?)
Ricky Kreklow (Sr.)
Winston Shepard (So.)
N. Webster-Chan (So.)

Ish Wainwright (Fr.)
Kadeem Green (Jr.)
Jervon Pressley (Jr.)
Isaiah Philmore (Sr.)
Willie Cauley (So.)
Tyrek Coger (Fr.)
2014-15
Winston Shepard (Jr.)
N. Webster-Chan (Jr.)

Ish Wainwright (So.)
Kadeem Green (Sr.)
Jervon Pressley (Sr.)
Willie Cauley (Jr.)
Tyrek Coger (So.)

There will still be the need for another wing and maybe another big in that scenario, and considering the odds of landing Purvis are small, they'll obviously need to have some backup point options as well.

(As for 2013, there's probably no need to speculate too much on players who cannot sign LOI's for another 18 months, but obviously some really interesting names are floating around.)

So anyway, that's about where we stand.  As we watch other schools go through almost exactly what we went through not too long ago, we can see that things for Mizzou are starting to take shape, and I think it's safe to say that quite a few people are feeling at least marginally better about the Frank Haith hire than they were about five weeks ago.

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