Reed Nikko, 6-10 Post, Maple Grove, Minnesota
Reed Nikko was on full commitment watch over the weekend as he took his official visit to Columbia. As the weekend wore on many wondered (including myself) if it was going to happen at all. I'd heard yesterday early that the coaches were pushing for a commitment before his visit to Kansas State, and they got one as Nikko announced the news via Twitter last night. Nikko is the Tigers third commitment in the 2016 class, and likely their last for this recruiting period. This also puts them over one scholarship for the 2016-17 season.
Nikko said Mizzou has told him they don't have an open scholarship "on paper" but they'd take his commitment. He trusts a spot will be there— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) October 6, 2015
Nikko chose Mizzou over a final three that included Iowa and Kansas State, and other scholarship offers from Minnesota, interest from Creighton, Nebraska and more. For a while it seemed like the Minnesota native was destined to stay at home, as most thought once he got a scholarship offer from the Gophers that he'd be a lock to end up there. However, for whatever reason, nothing ever materialized for Minnesota, and Mizzou was able to prioritize Nikko and by late August the Crystal Ball at 247sports flipped to Mizzou.
According to sources inside the program, the coaches like Nikko's size, as he's a solid 6'10" and closer to 230 lbs at this stage. He's never really lifted weights, so his ability to get really strong and hold good weight is high once he hits a college weight room. The coaches also liked his ability to seal the low block, which is one of those skills that is better if you don't have to teach it at the college level, and apparently that's something Nikko does very well. He's got solid athleticism, pretty good feet and soft hands for a player his size. He's got decent range, with the ability to step out to about 15 feet and be a consistent shooter as well.
The staff also likes that he's been able to overcome some real adversity in the loss of his father Russell in 2013. From Dave Matters article on the commitment:
"I know he's looking down on me right now and I'm sure he's proud," Nikko said in a phone interview. "But a lot of what I've done the past two and a half years has been for him. It means a very great deal to me to do this for him. He coached me growing up."
|Osseo, MN (Maple Grove HS)||6'10 / 230|
Nikko's commitment does mean that Mizzou is technically over the scholarship limit for next season. But Steve Walentik's tweet last night should help explain why Mizzou might do this.
It's worth noting that the last time #Mizzou didn't lose at least 1 player to transfer at the end of a season was 2009 after its Elite 8 run— Steve Walentik (@Steve_Walentik) October 6, 2015
I've been told at this point that barring anything unforeseen, like some kind of mass exodus, that Missouri is done recruiting for the 2016 period. Obviously they'll keep on some targets just in case something happens, but they'll mostly be turning their focus to the 2017 class. Since I know you're all wondering, yesterday news came out from Adam Zagoria that Bam Adebayo has set his 5 officials. Although nothing is entirely set in stone in recruiting, Mizzou is not amongst the finalists. I'll be marking Bam down as cold on the Recruiting Hot Board until I hear anything else, but for now his officials look to be at NC State (where just about everyone thinks he's going to end up), Kansas, Kentucky, Wake Forest and Auburn. It's worth noting that Rob Fulford's connections to Andrew Wiggins helped Mizzou get as far as they did, but Team Loaded's (Bam's AAU team) relationship with Adidas seems to be helping NC State even more as Bam and his AAU teammate, and current NC State commit Dennis Smith Jr seem likely to land there together.
I'll have more coming later in the week as we start taking a look at who Mizzou is concentrating on in the 2017 class, and I've been told there will be quite a host of unofficial visitors this weekend as well. As usual, follow me on twitter to get the news first, but I plan on having a "weekend visitors" piece up on Friday.
Let's wrap this up with a look at the Scholarship count.
That's all I've got. Congrats to Reed Nikko on being the newest Tiger!