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Catching Up With Mizzou Basketball Recruiting: June 2015 Edition (Part 1)

There's absolutely nothing going on right now, so let's talk recruiting!

Last go around with our recruiting catch-up we talked about Mizzou rounding out the rest of the 2015 class, and touched a bit on the 2016 class. With K.J. Walton added to the roster and on campus already, Mizzou has it's scholarship limit reached for the season. At this point we do expect this roster to be the one that makes it to the start of the season, and with that we can talk about what Mizzou is looking for for the 2016 class, and beyond. Yes for the first time we're going to start talking about the 2017 recruiting class. So part one is going to be about 2016, then Part 2 will be all 2017 all the time.

The scholarship count works out that Mizzou officially has one available in 2016-17, and then four available for the 2017 class.

Scholarship Count 5-1-15

If, as we expect, Mizzou fills that last scholarship (at least) that leaves three players who will be seniors in 16-17, meaning that three more scholarships will be available to give out for the class of 2017.

Let's start with who Mizzou is looking at for 2016, who offers are out to, and what the priorities are... If you aren't aware, the headline below is a clickable link that has the Hot Board that I keep updated on a regular basis. So bookmark that to see the latest.

Mizzou Recruiting Hot Board

Player State Rating Rivals 247Sports Ht Wt Offer Status
C.J. Walker IN 148 137 6'0 180 ✔︎ ⬆︎ warm ⬆︎
Kobi Simmons GA 12 16 6'5 175 ✔︎ ⬇︎ cool ⬇︎
Bryce Aiken NJ 130 123 6'0 160 cool
Curtis Jones VA 55 34 6'3 170 ✔︎ ⬇︎ warm ⬇︎
Eric Hester FL 60 86 6'3 175 ✔︎ warm
Jamal Murray INT 15 9 6'4 180 ✔︎ cool
Zeke Moore MO - - - 6'6 175 cool
Xavier Sneed MO 80 - 6'5 180 ✔︎ ⬆︎ hot ⬆︎
Joshua Langford AL 17 15 6'6 200 ✔︎ cool
Braxton Blackwell TN 34 20 6'7 205 ✔︎ cool
Tyler Cook MO 79 71 6'8 240 ✔︎ hot
James Banks GA 100 48 6'10 230 ✔︎ warm
Tony Bradley FL 36 32 6'10 235 ✔︎ ⬆︎ warm ⬆︎
Barrett Benson IL 89 96 6'9 245 cool
Reed Nikko MN - - - 6'9 210 ✔︎ cool
Jeriah Horne MO - - - 6'6 220 cool

Again, technically Mizzou has one scholarship available to give out for 2016, however it seems as though the coaches plan on adding more than one player, with 3 the most likely scenario. The priorities are to get two post players and a wing. Last time we talked about Tyler Cook, Xavier Sneed and Curtis Jones. I've since downgraded Jones to warm since he's been quoted on schools recruiting him the hardest and Missouri wasn't on the list, plus every indicator says that he's planning on staying out east with Maryland, Georgetown and others firmly in the mix. Mizzou is still in good position with Cook and Sneed, but are rounding out their plans for additional help in the post.

Before we jump into the top targets beyond those two, let's do a quick recap on what's happened and run through some updates on guys that have been on the list for a while:

Who's out?

  • Joey Brunk, who had a Mizzou offer, committed to Butler
  • Miles Bridges, also had a Mizzou offer and was a former Rob Fulford player at Huntington Prep, trimmed his list to 8 and left Mizzou off. Those who made it: Michigan, Michigan St, Kentucky, Indiana, UNC, Iowa St, NC State, and Louisville. Michigan State has long been believed to be the leader since Bridges is originally from Michigan. Mizzou is definitely out.
  • Nolan Narain has a Mizzou offer and committed to San Diego State.
  • Troy Baxter picked up an offer but committed to South Florida.
  • Nick Ward has held an offer from Mizzou for almost a year, but committed to Michigan State.
  • Bryce Aiken never picked up that offer from Missouri, and is already looking elsewhere.

Who's likely out?

  • Look for C.J. Walker to further trim his list before the end of the summer and for Mizzou to be left off. The Tigers just don't have a big need at Point right now and Walker seems to be an Illini lean at the moment.
  • Josh Langford has a Missouri offer, but isn't strongly considering the Tigers. Kentucky, Michigan St, Michigan and Duke appear to be the front-runners.
  • Braxton Blackwell hasn't eliminated Missouri, but isn't thought to be considering them.
  • Kobi Simmons is a bit of a pipe dream for some, he's a strong Kentucky lean at this point.

Who's left?

  • Jamal Murray still has Mizzou in the picture, however its looking light a fight between Michigan State, Kentucky and Oregon at this point. Most expect Murray to reclassify to '15 and pick amongst those three.
  • Eric Hester picked up an offer at the beginning of the spring evaluation and seemed genuinely interested in the Tigers. However there is not a lot of push from Mizzou because of a lack of need at the position, and Hester is looking like he might stay in Florida at either UF or USF. Louisville is in the picture as well.
  • Reed Nikko has an offer on the table, and hasn't garnered much interest from other Power 5's, but I imagine he's more of a backup plan at this stage, but could enter into the picture if Mizzou strikes out on their top targets.

With all that said, the two top guys on Mizzou's list at this point (after Sneed & Cook) are:

James Banks, 6-10, 230, 4-star C, Stockbridge, GA

The Lowdown: We mentioned Banks in our last roundup, so lets go a little deeper on the situation. Banks is ranked somewhere between 40 - 100 depending on the service. He's a long athlete with developing skills but runs the floor well and seems to block all the shots in his area. Where Missouri gets in the picture is that Banks is coached at his high school (Mt. Vernon Christian School) by former Mizzou Tiger Curtis Berry, who played for the Tigers from 1977 - 1981. At no time did he play with Kim Anderson, but the current staff are certainly trying to use the connection to his alma mater to hopefully get Banks on campus and in a Tiger uniform. Banks was recently on an unofficial visit to Kentucky, and his recruiting process is really starting to heat up with around 20 offers to various Power Five schools. He currently does not have a favorite but is Mizzou's top target at Center. The lead recruiter on Banks is Rob Fulford.

Tony Bradley, 6-10, 235, 4-star PF, Bartow, FL

The Lowdown: Bradley was recently offered so Mizzou is trying to get in fairly late on an elite prospect. Bradley is a highly ranked 4-star Post player from the Tampa Bay area of Florida. He currently holds 23 offers with the favorite being North Carolina. It would be a long road up to land Bradley, but as you can see from the film he's a highly skilled post player with good feet. His upside is high, but I would be surprised if Mizzou was able to get him on campus.

There are a few more players on the list to fill in should Banks or Bradley not work out. One that has already been on campus is:

Arlando Cook, 6-9, 215, NR PF, Connors State via St. Louis, MO

The Lowdown: Cook is a St. Louis kid who played at Madison Prep and had some mid-major interest when he went the JUCO route to Connors State out of Oklahoma. From there Cook has boosted his profile and is probably looking at a solid 3-star rating once he's been evaluated. He currently holds offers from Tulsa, Houston, Kansas State and LSU. SLU, Mizzou, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Arkansas are all recruiting him but have not offered yet. Cook is a bit of a combo forward but with more emphasis on the interior. He's got good bounce off the floor and has the ability to handle the ball on the perimeter. My favorite move that he makes in this highlight tape is the one at around 1:00 where he spins and shields the ball from the defender to absorb contact. That's a great instinctive move.

I've been hesitant to introduce Cook at all in these pieces because I've a hard time imagining that the staff focuses much on the JUCO ranks for this class due to the roster overload you would have with the graduating class of 2018 where there are already 5 players on scholarship. If there is unexpected attrition, I could see Cook fitting into the roster but until players from that class specifically start to bolt, it's not really a move that makes a lot of sense.

__ __ __

So to wrap up a bit, the Tigers top priority at this point is still Tyler Cook. After Cook, Mizzou would prefer to get one other post player, and if they have room a wing. I get the impression that the Tigers feel they have a better chance with Banks than with Bradley, they're also interested in Barrett Benson and the aforementioned Nikko. Assuming at this point they're able to land Tyler Cook, if their next two choices for a big (Banks and Bradley) fall through, its possibly they make the offer to Arlando Cook, as I think the coaches are confident in being able to land him if they offer.

The Tigers are going to continue to pursue Sneed, but the list of suitors grows by the day. He'll have plenty of options, and keep in mind that he would be a bit of a luxury because the wing is pretty loaded with the last two classes. So there isn't a strong need at that position, provided everyone remains happy and on the roster. That's the second trick. If they need a third roster spot and Sneed goes elsewhere, I like the Tigers to look for a combo guard at that point. Somebody who can handle the ball and play on the wing.

Mizzou Roster Breakdown
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshmen 2016
P O I N T    G U A R D
Wes Clark Jimmy Barton Terrence Phillips
C O M B O    G U A R D
Martavian Payne Tramaine Isabell Priority 5*
Montaque Gill-Caesar Cullen VanLeer Priority 3
Namon Wright K.J. Walton
C O M B O    F O R W A R D
D'Angelo Allen Kevin Puryear Priority 4*
Ryan Rosburg Russell Woods Jakeenan Gant Adam Wolf Priority 1
Hayden Barnard Priority 2

*will look to fill these roles if other priorities fall through or there is more roster attrition.

In Part 2 we'll make the move into 2017, and look even deeper into the future where guys like Michael Porter, Jr, Trae Young and Jeremiah Tilmon live.