It's about that time!
With the basketball team leaving a little bit to be desired these days, I thought we'd take some time to look at some potential future Tigers with a recruiting update. First, the scholarship layout looks like this:
It wouldn't surprise me at all to see more fluidity in the scholarship breakdown than what is shown here, mostly because there are still a lot of guys that may or may not stick around. And on top of that, there are really only a few guys that are Kim Anderson's recruits, and when it comes to being a new coach, there is usually some turnover from there. That being said, I think most people really like the base of Freshmen and Sophomores on the roster, and if they keep their noses clean, I would hope they all stick around.
— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) January 27, 2015
So if the status quo remains the same, we're looking at adding one more player to next years class. I've heard that Mizzou is planning on adding at least two more. I'll let everyone else speculate on who isn't coming back next season at Mizzou, but there are a couple that I think are certainly at risk with one obvious target. We'll see what happens. Here is the list of players who were available the last time we talked about recruiting.
√ At the top of the list was Antonio Blakeney, who I thought Mizzou had a very good chance of landing as late as early December. Things started to turn a bit with his visit to LSU, and some heavy recruiting by his friend and AAU teammate Ben Simmons, and LSU landed him. From the beginning I thought LSU was the biggest threat, and that's where he ended up.
▼ Mizzou is all but out of the Caleb Swanigan sweepstakes. He hasn't visited, isn't planning on visiting, and I doubt Mizzou is still recruiting him in any real way.
↔ Thomas Bryant continues to talk to the media and tamper down any ideas that Missouri is NOT in the picutre. He has listed a top 4 (which has grown from 3 so thanks Coach Cal) of Kentucky, Indiana, Syracuse and Missouri. At this point I'm not sure I see him heading to Syracuse, he seems to shoot down his mom's clear choice in interviews a bit too much. I think Mizzou is in the picture, and Indiana is a darkhorse, but I think he's waiting to see what unfolds at Kentucky. If Lyles, WCS, Towns all leave he is probably headed to Big Blue.
▲ Ted Kapita announced a top 3, Memphis, Arkansas and Missouri. I think the top two for him are Arkansas and Missouri, and I think he's a strong bet to end up at Mizzou at this point. Word is that his official went really well, and that may have sealed it.
▼ Things are quiet on the Jaquan Lyle recruitment. I think Mizzou is in the picture, but I'd guess it's a long shot. Indiana, Oregon and LSU appear to be the favorites at this point. I think he's either heading back to Oregon or to LSU.
▼ Mizzou kicked the tires on Traci Carter, but there wasn't much mutual interest. It looks like he's going to stay out east.
↔ Kobe Eubanks listed Missouri in his top 8 but hasn't planned a visit. It will be interesting to see if he comes out to Columbia to see things, that would put Mizzou in a much better position than just being on a list of 8 schools. Oregon looks like the favorite so far, with Pitt also in the mix. Louisville, Georgia, UConn, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Kansas were also on the list.
↔ I don't think much has changed with Levi Cook. He picked up on offer from Va Tech, he has no offer from Missouri, and I get the impression that he'll only get offered if Mizzou gets turned down by several other options.
√ Mizzou landed Terrance Phillips in early January. If you haven't read up on him, here's the article when he committed.
▼ With the commitment of Phillips, I think the interest in Dequon Miller has lessened significantly.
? Mychal Mulder is a guy who is still out there and there hasn't been much movement either way. Most JUCO guys wait until the spring period anyway. So once the season wraps up I think we'll probably see if Mizzou has any real interest.
So that wraps up the list. Let's get into some...
Not much going on with new names, just a few:
Who he is: A tough as nails wing from Oklahoma City. Jolly was injured for much of last year with blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was able to work out, but wasn't capable of contact. And his stock dropped a bit. He's back to playing and the shooting guard is making up for lost time. He's currently not ranked, but with the way he's playing that is likely to change and change soon.
How Mizzou is in the picture: For a team that needs players, Missouri is checking Jolly out soon. He fits the mold of a more longer term wing solution that Missouri has been recruiting, also Jolly could have more of an earlier impact that some that have already signed on.
Is there a chance?: I don't know how strong of a chance there is right now, as he is probably not a huge priority with the current roster and available scholarships. Missouri absolutely needs players, and Jolly is one. But more than players they need some inside guys. I can see interest picking up significantly in Jolly if there is some, now unforseen, roster turnover. So it would make sense to get in good with the young man just in case he might be needed.
Who he is: A tall, soft shooting German. There's not much info on him other than this article: BC Recruiting Euro Forward. From what I can tell, he's got a great touch on the outside, but isn't what you would call an elite athlete. Obviously he needs to add weight, but anyone that can knock down shots from the outside has to be considered at this point
How Mizzou is in the picture: Again, not much info is out there at this point. We don't know what connections there are in any, but judging by Rob Fulfords ability to bring in international players to Huntington Prep, I would guess that he is the lead recruiter on that one.
Is there a chance?: If Lukas wants to be a 2015 player, I would be surprised by there being too much interest. He seems to fit in the same sort of slot as VanLeer, only taller. There would probably need to be significant roster turnover if he were to end up in Columbia. That said, he is planning an official visit in March. So there's that...
'15 recruit Lukas Meisner tells me he is taking an official to #BCEagles and Missouri in March. 6'8" SF that can shoot lights out— ERIC HOFFSES (@EAHoffses) January 25, 2015
2015, More thoughts...
So with officially one more scholarship, Mizzou's top target is Thomas Bryant. After him its clearly Ted Kapita. Would Mizzou take both? Yes, the would. I think at this point it's more likely they end up with Kapita than Bryant, but getting both isn't completely out of the question just unlikely.
One thing to keep in mind about this list is that there is also the possibility of some reclassifications. The two most talked about are Thon Maker and Jamal Murray. Reclassification is something that happens more with players from Canada, as their academic calendar is different, which allows for them to "graduate" early and enter college. It's what Montaque Gill-Caesar did last summer to enroll in Missouri for this year. Missouri is a dark horse for both Maker and Murray because of the flexibility of the roster and also because of the Canadian connection that Coach Fulford has fostered over the years.
Like most, I don't think that Maker ever plays a day of college basketball. He has handlers that are looking for the quickest payday, BUT... IF Maker were to play in college, I think Missouri is a darkhorse in that competition to land him. But again, he's not going to college, and 98% isn't going to Missouri in the slim chance he does play in college.
Jamal Murray is much more likely to both reclassify and play in college. He's a top 20 player in 2016 and is giving serious consideration to reclassifying to '15 which would intensify his recruiting in a big way. Missouri is in the mix with a host of other schools including Oregon, Syracuse, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan and Louisville. Murray is one of my favorite players in the '16 class, so if he came out in '15 I would very much like to see Missouri make every effort to land him. Having success with a Canadian player currently on the roster can only help. Murray is listed as a Point Guard but plays more like a Combo Guard, and was listed in one of our earlier breakdowns.
If I had my pick...
With one scholly, the priority has to be on a big man so it's obvious that you want Bryant. Next would be Kapita. After that it gets tough, because as bad as Mizzou needs a big, there aren't a lot of choices. I've yet to see or hear anything for JUCO bigs they might be on, but that's a possibility. With two schollies up? I think you look to a wing next. If Murray is there, you HAVE to take him if you can get him. Jolly would be a nice addition if Murray isn't available or goes elsewhere. After Murray and Jolly, I'd probably turn my attention to Mulder. Mulder is a very nice player, but I'm not sure I'd fully commit until I had used up some other avenues.
That's all for now. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to stick around in the comments some and answer anything that I can.