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Catching Up with Mizzou Hoops Recruiting: August '15 Edition

Catching up on all things Mizzou basketball recruiting now that we've hit August 20th.

Our last go around on this recruiting rollercoaster was at the end of July (Link: A Few More Thoughts About Missouri's 2016 Class). So let's spend a little time catching up on a few of the 2016 names we already know about. First is De'Riante Jenkins, who has since trimmed his list to 10 and is trying to figure out visits, but no movement has happened there in a few weeks. I would peg him as a long shot, as it looks like Clemson, Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee might all have a bit of an upper hand.

There hasn't been any movement around Gorjok Gak either, the 3-star post from Florida only has 3 offers at this point (which is surprising) from Tulsa, UConn and Mizzou. Gak is somebody to keep an eye on to see if MIzzou tries to bring him on campus for an official visit, but one who is increasing his profile after a strong summer. He is also being recruited by Maryland, Florida and SMU.

Another offer that went out in July was that of Willie Jackson, presumably the guy that made Mizzou pay less attention to Xavier Sneed. Jackson has a visit planned to Mizzou (along with Penn State, Temple and Boston College) on September 18th and 19th. Since his scheduled visit he has been upgraded to HOT on the Recruiting Hot Board, and Mizzou coaches are very confident in their ability to land the 3-star wing.

Curtis Jones should be releasing his top 5 list any day now, as he teased in the tweet above, I've slid Jones to COLD on the Hot Board until the list is released because Mizzou is not expected to make the cut. Look for Indiana and Georgetown to dominate the top of the list, with Maryland, UNC, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Xavier and possibly Texas as other teams that could make the cut. But Indiana is the far and away leader at this stage.

No real updates for Reed Nikko, James Banks, Romello White or Tony Bradley at this stage. Of the four, Mizzou probably has the best chance with White, who still appears to be very open in his recruitment. Nikko looks like he might be a Minnesota lock. Banks is open, but leaving the school he's been at the last few years where he was coached by a former Tiger (Curtis Berry). Bradley was always a long shot. So with all the names that we've already talked about up to date, let's get to some new names and info.

Ar'Mond Davis, 6-5, 190 lb, 3-star Wing, College of Southern Idaho, Seattle WA

The Lowdown: Davis was formerly committed to play at Seattle University but didn't qualify out of High School. He chose to attend CSI and has elevated his profile substantially. Judging by his highlight tape, I'd wager that many higher profile programs likely stayed away from Davis due to his academics, which according to this piece from NBCSports, was always going to be tough to overcome. But this kid is a high major player all day long.

Things to like about how he plays: he's explosive off the floor and is fearless in attacking the rim. From his college stats from last season, he didn't shoot at a very high clip from three-point range, but judging by his release and how quick he gets the ball to the shooting pocket, it's just a matter of getting more shots up in practice, and better shots up in games. Davis has a visit planned to Missouri in September at this stage, although no date has been announced as of yet. He also plans on visiting Memphis, Penn St and Alabama.

Mitchell Smith, 6-10, 185 lb, 3-star, Post, Van Buren HS, Van Buren, AR

The Lowdown: Smith is already planning on visiting Mizzou on September 19th, and it appears likely that Mizzou will extend an offer to the 3-star big man from Arkansas on his trip. Mitchell is an intriguing player. He's fairly raw, but has nice skills around the basket and has a long stride that could make him a nice 4-year player in a lot of systems. I'm a little surprised at this stage that he's not already a Razorback, but I get the impression that the Razorbacks staff might have him a little on the back burner with some other offers to sort out before going hard after Smith. But otherwise he has offers from Creighton, Oklahoma State and Tulsa so far, with interest from Georgetown, Mississippi State and Tennessee.

It's nice that Mizzou is one of the first to get an official visit, but it's hard to see Smith leaving Arkansas if the offer is extended.

In addition to Smith's visit, he'll be joined by unrated Post player Jake Scoggins. Scoggins is joining Smith in what was initially thought to be an official visit, but now appears to be an unofficial visit. Scoggins is getting legitimate interest from the Tigers (along with Colorado, Louisiana Tech and a few others), but that interest is not likely to develop into a scholarship offer unless the Tigers are down a ways on their board. It's also possible that Scoggins gets offered a preferred walk-on spot on the visit, but I don't think his visit materializes a scholarship offer at this stage.

Jaylen Barford, 6-4, 180 lb, 4-star, Combo Guard, Motlow State CC, Jackson, TN

The Lowdown: I had held off putting Barford on the hot board for a long time because I wasn't sure that MIzzou would be taking as hard of a look at JUCO players as they have been, and I also wasn't sure if one of the top 5 JUCO players in the country would strongly consider Mizzou. But recently Barford released a top 5 that included the Tigers, along with Arkansas, Ole Miss, Memphis and Xavier. At this stage it appears as though the Musketeers may be in the best position. Barford is a strong rebounding guard who can play all three perimeter spots and is considered a high impact player.

He had high exposure at a recent Top 100 JUCO camp held in St. Louis, and Mizzou coaches came away very impressed and consider him a high priority. So this would be a big get. At this stage I'm not entirely sure how the perimeter play shakes out. I do believe what I've been told all along by the staff's wants in that they want 2 posts and a combo or a wing in the 2016 class. So I really don't know if they'll just take the first guy to commit from the Barford, Jackson, Davis trio, or if they'll take more than one.

There are a few more JUCO offers that appear out there. First is to Point Guard Darrion Strong from Coffeyville CC (KS). He also has offers from Tulsa, Miami, Iowa State, Houston and TCU, plus plenty of other interest. I'll feature Strong more if interest picks up. Also Mizzou has apparently offered Jimario Rivers, but I haven't been able to confirm that at this point. Rivers is a 6-8 combo forward from Southwest Tennessee CC, he has offers from Arkansas, Iowa State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Memphis and others.

Sort of saving the "best" news for last, and that is Tyler Cook news. I'm calling it "best" because it's probably not what Mizzou fans want to hear, but it is the best news I've got at this stage when it comes to importance. I've been asking around as much as I can, and from what I've been able to tell from a few folks around the St. Louis Hoops scene, and they believe that Iowa is the leader at this stage for Cook. I've been told that Cook really likes Iowa, but that Mizzou is by no means out of it and that the next couple months will be very important for whoever is going to land the 4-star big man. The Cook camp has been very quiet of late, so this is not coming from the recruit himself. But it would appear that the relationship that Corey Tate has with Tyler Cook may have been overstated by some.

Now, the sky is not falling here. The Crystal Ball at 247sports is still 10 out of 10 predictions for Mizzou (see above), including a pick that got in as recently as 3 weeks ago. There are still two months to go in the recruitment of Cook, plus he still has to take official visits. He still has a good relationship with the coaching staff, as well as several close relationships with people at the University already. Iowa has always been close, and for a long time I've been hearing that they'd be the toughest competition for Cook, so this could be some smoke. But at this stage I believe it to be a two team race, and both teams are close. However it sound like Iowa has the edge at the moment.

With all that said, we can put a wrap on this edition, as usual I'll try to hang around in the comments if anyone has specific questions on anything that I can answer.