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Missouri might not be finished with its 2016 hoops recruiting class after all

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Mizzou may not be done for 2016, and talking priorities in 2017

It's been awhile since we've provided a recruiting update, but with the 2016 class wrapped up, and lots of time before things in 2017 picked up, it felt like a nice time to just take a big breath and let things ride out for a while. The staff didn't stop recruiting obviously, quite the opposite. Coach Anderson and his staff have remained busy over the last few months, so let's take a time to figure out where things stand.

So first things first... Mizzou isn't done with 2016. Now, as things go, this is going to be a very fluid situation. Since Martavian Payne left the roster, Mizzou is officially at it's scholarship limit should Payne not return. At this point, he is not expected to return, although Coach Anderson certainly left open the possibility. Payne gone means there are currently 11 scholarships taken on the current roster, and with Ryan Rosburg set to graduate, three scholarships are available next year, with three already signed. Which means: No available scholarships.

Mizzou Scholarship Count 12062015

Yet...

Mizzou has not offered Gordon to date, they are gauging the interest level at this point. Let's give Gordon the treatment anyway.

Eron Gordon, 6-2, 170 lb, 4-star Combo Guard, Indianapolis Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN

The Lowdown: Eron Gordon is the younger brother of NBA player Eric Gordon, who famously committed to Illinois before backing off and committing to Indiana at the last minute. Gordon isn't as highly touted as his brother, but is still a fine player with a bright future in basketball. While Eric was a one-and-done type of talent, Eron is more of a four year type, but could have an instant impact no matter where he ends up. For now, Mizzou is seeing what interest is there from Gordon, he originally set an announcement date in the early fall, only to push it back. The favorites at the time where LSU (close to where Gordon's brother plays for the Pelicans), Seton Hall and Nevada. He also currently has scholarship offers from Arizona State, Auburn, Indiana and Purdue. Most gauge Gordon's recruitment to be completely wide open at this point, so this could be a situation similar to how Mizzou got in on K.J. Walton late and got him on campus. Gordon would create even more depth on the perimeter, and projects long term as a very high major contributor. He's a physical guard with the ability to finish in traffic, and also has a nice release on his jump shot. He's one of the more efficient scorers at guard in his class, and would be a major coup for Mizzou to land the guard.

At this stage, Mizzou isn't actively recruiting for 2016, but they are preparing. Not all 11 guys on scholarship right now are going to play enough minutes to keep everyone happy. So a defection or two from the current roster is possible. And the staff is just trying to be prepared for the possibility by continuing to recruit for the 2016 class. As of right now, if Mizzou takes another in the '16 class, it's likely to be a ball-handler type guard, like Gordon. He's a bit more of a natural shooting guard, but can handle the ball and likely projects as a combo guard at the college level. Gordon isn't the only name I've heard Mizzou is tracking so far.

Deshawn Corprew, 6-5, 190 lb, 4-star Wing, Quality Education Academy, Winston Salem, NC

The Lowdown: There hasn't been quite the same amount of contact that the Tigers have had with Gordon, but Mizzou has in fact reached out to Quality Education Academy about Deshawn Corprew. Corprew is a 3 to 4-star wing (depending on the service) from North Carolina who plays at a school that Coach Rob Fulford is pretty familiar with from his days at Huntington Prep. Corprew initially committed to Arkansas-Little Rock, to the surprise of many, before not signing his Letter of Intent and reopening his commitment. Since then Louisville, Indiana, Kansas State, Florida State and Virginia Tech have all jumped in. And now Missouri is looking to get into the mix.  This is still early, but we'll continue to keep an eye on any developments.

Talking 2017

Mizzou is currently planning a three man class for 2017. The staff, and just about everyone else, would prefer a three man class of Michael Porter Jr, Trae Young, and Jeremiah Tilmon. The priorities of those players also lines up with the positions of need for the class, a ball-handling guard, a scoring wing, and a post player. Of the three, Tilmon is the player Mizzou is most likely to land, with Porter and Young coming next. The proposed "package deal" of Porter and Young is pretty interesting, as both players seem to be trending away from each others schools in the Crystal Ball.

As expected, to date Missouri has had no movement in the Crystal Ball for either player. Porter is trending towards Washington (with Kansas lurking), and Young has Duke leading (with Kansas, Texas and UCLA lurking). At this point, it's still pretty unclear which direction they are heading, and unknown if the package deal actually happens. I've said before I'd be surprised if it happened. I expect both players to make independent decisions, and I'd put the odds of both guys ending up at Mizzou at about 1.6%. Things are trending well with Tilmon though:

Always keep in mind with the Crystal Ball predictions for a kid who still has a year to go, they change a LOT. But the last two predictions coming in have been for Mizzou. Which is a good sign, it means Tilmon knows he is a very high priority for the Tigers staff. One of the early concerns with Tilmon was his academics. East St. Louis High students are always going to deal with academic concerns, but Tilmon has since transferred to LaLumiere in Indiana, and the prep school should help him make sure he gets eligible.

Beyond the top three, there are some excellent players on the perimeter who Mizzou is very much in the mix for at this stage. There are also players with Mizzou offers but the Tigers are on the outside looking in at this point. Let's talk about those players first:

Proooobably Not Gonna Happen

  • 5-star centers Mohammed Bamba & Ikey Obiagu both have offers and aren't likely to consider Mizzou.
  • 5-star CF Billy Preston looks headed for either Arizona, or the Big12 or Pac12.
  • Charles O'Bannon, Jr. He's a west coast kid, and a 5-star. If he doesn't end up following his dad to UCLA I'll be surprised. If he gets out of the Pac12 I'll be stunned.
  • Nojel Eastern, a 4-star CG from northern Illinois, is a player Mizzou likes a lot, but seems like a Big10 kid, most likely Michigan State.
  • Quade Green, a 4-star PG from Pennsylvania, doesn't appear to be strongly considering anyone in the SEC.

Unlikely, but still possible

Mizzou still has offers out to other 5-star players who are incredibly unlikely, but they are still actively recruiting them. Trevon Duval, a 5-star PG from Texas by way of New Jersey, is atop the list. Most experts have Duval pegged for Maryland, Kentucky or Duke, but Duval has so far stayed clear of naming favorites, and Mizzou has been to Texas a few times to visit with them. Until he starts to trim his list, I'm going to keep Duval on the "possible" list even it's unlikely.

Jay Jay Chandler is another point guard who Mizzou recently offered, and seemed receptive to the offer. Chandler is a slick 6-4 lefty, who has explosive athleticism. Many think he's headed to A&M, or possibly Kentucky if their offer shows up, but there's still a lot of time.

Mitchell Ballock is a highly regarded wing from Eudora, Kansas. Eudora is right down the road from Lawrence. It's possible Ballock doesn't end up a Jayhawk, and he has come out and said he's not a KU lock (like many think), I just have a hard time imagining he leaves Kansas to go to Missouri. Also, L.J. Figueroa seems to be likely to stay in the Southeast, but unlikely to land at Mizzou. ACC, AAC and a few SEC schools are high on the list.

Garrison Brooks, a 4-star post from Auburn, AL is almost assuredly an SEC post player. At this point it looks like he's either staying in Alabama at the state school, Auburn or leaving to cross the border into Mississippi State. But Missouri isn't out of the question. At this point, the Tigers are spending their time and resources on Tilmon.

The rest of the board...

Most of the rest of the board are guys which have a longer road on the recruiting trail. I like Mizzou's chances with Victor Bailey, Jr. He seems like a good fit at Mizzou, and not just because his father is an alum, but his recruiting is starting to heat up and he'll have a lot of opportunities in Texas, and also seems like a solid fit for Shaka Smart's system. Jordan Goodwin seems like a player who could land at Mizzou, he's got a lot of interest in staying close to home, and has offers from Illinois and Missouri, who appear to be the two favorites.  After those two, the rest is a bit of a tossup, and we'll know more as things progress into the first of the year. Mizzou plans to kick things into high gear on 2017 in January, as they can start having players in for Official visits from the 2017 class then.

We'll try to keep it all as updated as possible, because I expect the news to start flowing fast and loose. Until then:

Make sure you watch the Recruiting Hot Board for regular updates!