In what is becoming par for the course of late, Missouri offers a scholarship to a player, then a few days later he commits someplace else. Last time it was Kameron McGusty, and yesterday it was Ryan Kriener, who was offered by Mizzou on Monday.
Kriener is a true post player who grew up in Iowa, was born a Hawkeye fan, and committed to Iowa over offers from Missouri, Wichita State, Northern Iowa and a few others.
I am extremely blessed to say, I committed to be an Iowa Hawkeye today! #HawkeyeNation— Ryan Kriener (@4theTRIBE) July 30, 2015
With Missouri on the lookout for a couple post players, it hurts to lose a kid you were just starting to dig in on. It's highly doubtful that Kriener's offer was committable, and he was probably more likely a backup to Tyler Cook, James Banks and Gorjok Gak to name a few. Still, it eliminates a potentially solid backup plan from the list.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TYLER COOK?!
The latest info I have on Cook is mostly positive for Missouri. As of this past weekend Cook was thought to be a Missouri lean, with Iowa still very much in the game. Is it possible that Kriener committing to Iowa spells the end for them and Cook? Not really. It's conceivable that Kriener pushes Cook more toward Missouri than he already is, but be sure that Iowa would still take Cook if he wanted to commit.
Outside of Iowa, Arkansas and Virginia are still lurking but aren't likely. At this stage, Missouri needs to keep doing what it's done so far: make Cook the one and only priority for the 2016 class. I'm fairly certain that Mizzou fans would be totally fine signing one or two bums in this class as long as Tyler Cook is signed as well. I can also attest that the staff has done everything they can to make him their priority.
Cook and Kriener are very different players, so both schools were recruiting each separately. Cook is more of a short-corner big, who is going to be a ball screen-and-roll guy, sitting in the short corner and waiting for a dump off after a guard drives into the lane. He's a high-level finisher, whereas Kriener is more of a traditional back-to-the-basket type with the ability to stretch the floor with this jump shot.
Let's get to the latest two offers for the 2016 class...
New offers for 2016 Upward Stars Wing De'riante Jenkins: Georgia, Rutgers, Mizzou, South Carolina & Tennessee http://t.co/V26qufohUD— Russ Wood (@RussHoops) July 29, 2015
De'Riante Jenkins, 6-5, 175 lb, 4-star Wing, West Oaks Academy, Orlando, FL
The Lowdown: One of the main reasons why Mizzou had slowed down its recruitment of Xavier Sneed is because the staff is apparently falling in love with a few other wings. The guy at the top of the list at this stage is Jenkins, a long, rangy athlete from Florida who is seeing his stock steadily rise. He's currently ranked as the 63rd best player by both 247sports and Rivals, 61st by ESPN and 62nd by Scout. So you can see there's pretty much a consensus by the services that he's a pretty good player.
Jenkins currently holds offers from Indiana, Georgia, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, among a few others. Clemson was the apparent favorite according to the Crystal Ball on 247sports, but I think that was premature, as his stock has begun to soar, and he has had some better offers come through in the last few months. His options are wide open at this point, and Missouri coaches feel they can sell him on the future of the program.
My take is that after whiffing on Sneed, they need to sell him hard on the program. If Missouri wants a wing in this class, they had better get Jenkins or Willie Jackson, or they are probably going to regret the way they handled the Xavier Sneed recruitment. At this stage, I like their chances with Jackson moreso than Jenkins just simply because Jackson has a lower profile.
Jenkins isn't the only guy who got a Mizzou offer this week. St. Louis native, and JUCO Forward Arlando Cook got one as well.
Arlando Cook, 6-9, 215 lb, Unrated Combo Forward, Connors State, St. Louis, MO
The Lowdown: We've talked about Cook before. The way offers were flying in for Cook over the summer, and I halfway expected him to get one from the Tigers more quickly. But the staff still sat tight, and waited until Tuesday to offer Cook. I'm not really sure the reasoning on waiting, but Cook is waiting until the spring period to sign so it shouldn't affect his recruitment much at all. Cook doesn't have a rating right now, he was a 2-star out of High School, but I'd give him at least a 3-star at this point based upon his offers: Mizzou, West Virginia, Iowa State, Arizona State, Nebraska, Memphis, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Nevada, LSU, Tulsa, Houston and Kansas State.
Cook is a St. Louis kid who played at Madison Prep (a year behind Martavian Payne) and didn't have a great offer list out of high school. So he went to junior college at Connors State in Oklahoma and spent the last year working on his game. Down the stretch of the season, things started to click for Cook, and suddenly he was scoring efficiently and at high rates. He ended up winning the regional MVP award (basically a post-season tournament MVP before nationals).
It's quite possible that Missouri takes three bigs in this class now. Taking both Cooks and another big like Gak or Banks would make sense now because Arlando Cook is somebody who has enough flexibility in his game that he could see minutes on the wing, while Tyler Cook is more of a true post. Perhaps the biggest thing about Cook is that he's a bucket-getter -- he gets buckets, and he does it at an efficient rate, which means he knows the shots he should take, and he gets himself into position to take those shots.
Here's the updated hot board:
Mizzou spent a good portion of July hustling around the country and checking out players. They came out of it eliminated by eight of the players on the hot board, though only Xavier Sneed was a surprise. They offered two players who days later committed to other schools, and they zeroed in on their top-of-the-line target, Tyler Cook, and started getting feelers out for 2017 and 2018.
We expect Tyler Cook to make a decision in September or early October, and Missouri is still the leader at the moment. What will be interesting to watch is to see who else the Tigers get to fill out their class if Cook pledges in the fall. I think the staff knows that getting James Banks isn't likely, but the "backup" (if you want to call it that) in Gak is such a high-ceiling player that I'm sure the Tigers would take his commitment if he wanted to give it.
As we move into August, we'll start to turn some more attention to the players in the 2017 class who have offers out already.