Word leaked out shortly after the game against Lipscomb wrapped up that 3-star Point Guard Terrence Phillips committed to the Tigers. We talked about Phillips in the last Recruiting Update in December.
From the PowerMizzou article penned by Gabe DeArmond:
Missouri got a comeback win over Lipscomb on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers also got some help for the future. Oak Hill Academy point guard Terrence Phillips committed to the Tigers during his official visit.
"I was sitting there watching practice and then watching the game, I see where I can really be needed," Phillips said. "I know for a fact they had 14 assists as a team today. The whole month of December, I averaged 14 by myself. I think I can bring that playmaking ability they're missing right now."
It almost seems like a bit of a joke at this point. In August Jimmy Whitt committed to Arkansas, a few days later Kevin Puryear committed to Mizzou.Then again in September, Antonio Blakeney committed to Louisville, a few days later Cullen VanLeer committed to Missouri. Now, Blakeney (after decommitting from Louisville) picked LSU over Missouri, Terrence Phillips got his offer and he committed. Whether or not you agree with the recruiting tactics, it appears that Kim Anderson has a plan. Phillips doesn't necessarily fall into the "Missouri kid backup plan" role, but he's an under-recruited 3-star recruit, who is a gamer.
Phillips comes from good genes by being the brother of Brandon Jennings. He's currently at Oak Hill Academy, which if you aren't familiar with, is a basketball factory. He's on pace to set the all time record at Oak Hill for assists. When you consider that Rajon Rondo is an alum(and he's pretty good at passing the ball), that's quite a feat.
He had offers from Loyola Marymount, Auburn and Georgia State. He announced that he was down to Missouri and Loyola despite not having offers from either at that point, but felt pretty good that he would get those offers, and did. Mizzou's offer came on his official visit on Saturday.
Mizzou baby! pic.twitter.com/WsxXqL6jwK— Terrence Phillips (@FloorGeneral03) January 4, 2015
I do like this from Jerry Meyer, of 247Sports.com...
"@BKSportsTalk: While you're here -- how come Terrance Phillips wasn't more highly recruited? Size?" Poor evaluating by college coaches— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) January 4, 2015
Meyer is one of the most respected recruiting analysts in the business and the director of scouting at 247. I honestly haven't watched anything other than highlight tapes, and as far as I can tell he's a pretty good player, but everybody looks good in highlight tapes. The things that I like about him are the past first approach, getting his teammates involved, and embracing that role. He's an above average athlete, but he's a bit small which is probably why he's not been offered at many high majors. A good strength program could do a lot for him, as quickness is not a problem.
From his scouting report on ESPN:
He lacks ideal size but he's a true point guard with versatile tools to impact the game in a variety of ways, and the type of tough competitor that any coach would want running his team.
Phillips fits the ideal that Kim Anderson has set to this point of finding pieces to fill a role. When he arrived in Columbia, Anderson, with Tim Fuller's help, targeted Keith Shamburger to be the main point guard on his inaugural team. Shamburger is/was a smaller guard with a tendency to be more of a pass first type. A floor general who can create for other players. The fact that Phillips twitter handle is @FloorGeneral03 is only a coincidence, I think. I mean, I'm pretty sure that Missouri didn't start their point guard search with a look through twitter handles. But you never know. Phillips stated that his closeness with Coach Rob Fulford was a big reason that he committed, that he bought into the idea that he could help build this program back up to national prominence. I like that kind of talk.
Because highlight videos are fun.
So technically Mizzou has one more scholarship to give, and they HAVE HAVE HAVE to be looking at a big for that spot. There is still some possibility of some roster turnover outside of the current available scholarships, but with a younger roster you can't count on a whole lot of that. Some of it would need to be forced, and I'm not sure Anderson would do that to take on more freshmen. Ted Kapita might be the most likely, Thomas Bryant is still probably the top target. Part of the problem is that there just isn't a ton of high major big man talent left out there. Levi Cook is a cross between Monte Hardge and Ryan Rosburg, somebody who Mizzou is tracking and I'm the opposite of excited about. But he's big.
Technically Caleb Swanigan is still out there as well, but I don't see that happening, and there's been basically zero buzz on that front in months. Mizzou could make do next year with JW3 and Gant as the main bigs with Allen and Rosburg coming in off the bench. But it would be a lot better for the class balance if they were able to get a true big in this class.
But for now, let's welcome the newest Tiger commit, Terrence Phillips. He's got a great opportunity to help bring the Missouri basketball program back to national prominence.
Keith Shamburger (Sr.)
Wes Clark (So.)
Tramaine Isabell (Fr.)
Wes Clark (Jr.)
|Wes Clark (Sr.)
Tramaine Isabell (Jr.)
Terrence Phillips (Fr.)
Deuce Bello (Jr.)
Namon Wright (Fr.)
D'Angelo Allen (Fr.)
Montaque Gill Caesar (Fr.)
Deuce Bello (Sr.)
|Namon Wright (Jr.)
D'Angelo Allen (Jr.)
Montaque Gill-Caesar (Jr.)
Cullen VanLeer (So.)
Keanau Post (Sr.)
Ryan Rosburg (Jr.)
Johnathan Williams III (So.)
Jakeenan Gant (Fr.)
|Ryan Rosburg (Sr.)
Johnathan Williams III (Jr.)
Jakeenan Gant (So.)
Kevin Puryear (Fr.)
|Johnathan Williams III (Sr.)
Jakeenan Gant (Jr.)
Kevin Puryear (So.)