Yesterday was sort of a banner day in Mizzou basketball recruiting. Well, as much of a banner day as you can have without getting a commitment. Mizzou continued its search for a post player or two by serving up two more offers. They were also eliminated from Hazelwood Central wing Xavier Sneed's list when he came out with his top 5.
Top 5 alphabetical order Creighton Illinois Kansas State Witchita State Xavier (Cincinnati)— ✖️Xavier Sneed✖️ (@Luh_Sneed20) July 28, 2015
#MizzouTwitter was not pleased with this news.
The fans are happy about this, and I don’t blame them. pic.twitter.com/oU7wEYx0WZ— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) July 28, 2015
Needless to say, this was a surprise. For the last few months I had been hearing that Mizzou was prioritizing other wings, and liked other wings more than they liked Sneed. I even told someone privately yesterday that I felt Mizzou was screwing up the recruitment of Sneed, and that they were likely to lose him to another school if they weren't careful. My sense was always that the connection with Tate was likely going to be enough to get them to the final list, but I didn't think they were doing enough to have him land at Mizzou. I kept Sneed at 'hot" on the Recruiting Big Board because I always felt that the staff would come back around to Sneed when they realized a few things:
- Xavier Sneed is a homegrown kid who was coached by somebody who is currently on the staff, and he's very talented with a very high ceiling.
- Most of those other wings they "liked better" were likely long shots to land on campus in Columbia.
For whatever reason it didn't happen. Whether or not MIzzou coaches themselves had moved on, or whether Xavier told them he wasn't interested, there was another disconnect between a Missouri basketball player and the state university. Couple that with a lot of what the coaches have been saying about "knowing who they can recruit," and you can understand the frustration with a lot of fans. Perhaps it's a vocal minority that is upset by something like this, but beyond that there is a huge risk of apathy amongst the fan base, if it hasn't already set in.
Now if you really want to freak out ... many have thought for a while that Tyler Cook was a slam dunk for Mizzou. I always felt that was pushing it a bit. The info I've always had was that Mizzou should feel good about the recruitment of Cook, but probably not comfortable. The 4-star PF from Chaminade does have a good rapport with the Mizzou staff, but he's got options, and good ones. He also has a very close relationship with the staff in Iowa, as well as good relationships at UVa and Arkansas. Those schools round out the top four from the list of six he released earlier in the summer. And all signs are pointing to a showdown with Mizzou and Iowa in the front seat. If you thought #MizzouTwitter had a meltdown last night, just wait and see if Tyler Cook goes elsewhere. Full blown nuclear-reactor meltdown.
That said, there are still reasons to feel positive about the path of this recruiting class. Cook is the most important, and Mizzou needs one more big and a wing. The wings they are likely to prioritize at this point are De'Riante Jenkins, who is still waiting on a Mizzou offer, and Willie Jackson the 3-star WF from Ohio. I've still got a few calls out to some people to find out what happened with the Sneed recruitment, I'll let everyone know what I find out if I do.
How about we move on to more positive news, here is the current scholarship count:
Blessed to have received an offer from the University Of Missouri! #Tigers— Gorjok Gak (@Gorjok12) July 27, 2015
The Lowdown: Gak is a player who I think could end up at Mizzou. He's a bit raw on the skill set, but he's a big time rebounder and has shown up well against tough competition this summer. He's long and lean right now, but his athletic ceiling is through the roof, and with the size and length that he has, the NBA isn't out of the question if he develops. Mizzou is in pretty good shape with Gak; currently he only has three offers: Mizzou, UConn and Tulsa. I would anticipate that to increase as other dominoes start to fall. He also has interest from Tennessee, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and South Florida.
And the spelling seems to alternate between Gorjak and Gorjok. I'm going with the latter because that's how he shows up on Rivals, ESPN, and Twitter.
Missouri tossed out scholarship offers to Gorjok Gak and Romello White today, a source says.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) July 27, 2015
The Lowdown: White is a former Tennessee commit who opened his recruitment back up after Donnie Tyndall was fired. White is much more polished than Gak but is more of a true Power Forward who does a great job of sealing his defenders and gaining inside position, which helps him to get easy scores. He's not a great athlete and doesn't have the bounce that Tyler Cook has, but he's a bit of a bull on the interior. Since decommitting, White is fielding a LOT of offers, so it would surprise me if he ends up at Mizzou. The 116th ranked player according to Rivals, White has offers from Alabama, Georgia, UNLV, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, SMU, Marquette, K-State, and Auburn.
Before the Sneed news broke, I said yesterday that a dream class for me would be Cook, Sneed and Gak. If I had to amend that, I'd probably insert De'Riante Jenkins in for Sneed, but that's a big hill to climb, and the Tigers have still not offered Jenkins. So it remains to be seen what level of interest there is there.
One more thought: it's possible that the coaching staff may have de-prioritized the wing position after going through workouts with the guys they have on campus. Perhaps K.J. Walton, Namon Wright and Cullen VanLeer have impressed so much that the staff is going to look elsewhere, like to the post.
Arlando Cook is still out there waiting to see if Mizzou offers, and meanwhile he's adding offers left and right.
It's at the point now that I don't think Cook is an option for the Tigers. Most likely they are going to add two post players in this class. Tyler Cook is important in this because the Tigers need him more than anything. I just don't get the impression that they are in good enough shape with some of these other posts to lose out on Cook and expect to land two freshmen post players who can contribute in year one.
UPDATE: Mizzou Offered Arlando Cook. I have plans to talk to Cook about his offer. So I'll add more thoughts to what this means when I post our conversation.
|Mizzou Roster Breakdown|
|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*|
|W I N G|
|Namon Wright||Cullen VanLeer||Priority 2|
|C O M B O F O R W A R D|
|D'Angelo Allen||Kevin Puryear||Priority 4*|
|P O S T|
|Ryan Rosburg||Russell Woods||Jakeenan Gant||Adam Wolf||Priority 1|
|Hayden Barnard||Priority 3|
*will look to fill these roles if other priorities fall through or there is more roster attrition.