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With 2 key visitors coming to town, could Missouri score a basketball commitment?

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It's been a quiet period on the basketball recruiting front for Mizzou, but with a couple high priority targets coming in could a commitment happen this weekend?

Mizzou Target Willie Jackson in AAU action this summer
Mizzou Target Willie Jackson in AAU action this summer

Mizzou basketball is on commitment watch this weekend with two very high priority targets coming in for official visits. I've said all along that Mizzou is looking to fill 3 scholarships, and they'd prefer to have two bigs and a wing. This weekend is a chance for them to show off the campus to a big and a wing, filling two of the three spots.

Officially, Mizzou has 2 scholarships to give out with Montaque Gill-Caesar vacating his scholarship with a transfer, and Ryan Rosburg set to graduate. But with normal roster attrition almost expected at this stage, Mizzou is counting on having on additional scholarship to give out, but could wait until the spring to fill that spot, which would make sense and give them time to show on court improvement and engage Arlando Cook, who has stated he plans to wait until the spring to sign. Here's a breakdown of the scholarships over the next few years.

Basketball Scholarship Count 7-28-15

So the big important visitors this weekend are Willie Jackson and Mitchell Smith.

Player From Ht/Wt
Willie Jackson Cleveland, OH (Garfield Heights) 6'6 / 215
Rating Offer Rivals 247sports Status
- 198 hot
Official Visits:
Akron - 9/02
Temple - 9/11
Missouri - 9/18
Boston Coll - 9/25
Penn St - 10/09
The Latest:
(Update 8/02/15) Upgraded to "HOT" after official visit scheduled
(Update 7/12/15) Mizzou offers scholarship

We profiled Jackson a bit when he was offered back in July. Not much was known about Mizzou's interest in Jackson at the time, but he quickly became the top target on the wing for the Tigers and remains a high priority for them. In fact, word is that the Tigers strongly deemphasized their recruiting of Xavier Sneed because of how they felt about Jackson. If their scouting is right on this, Jackson would be a big pickup and could finish Mizzou's hunt for any perimeter help for the year (unless there's unexpected attrition). Another thing to like about Jackson, he's a big time rebounder for his position.

Steve Walentik had a nice Q&A with Mitchell Smith, which I encourage you all to read. But here he is talking about what kind of player he would bring to the program:

Q: What do you feel like you do well as a player? What can you bring to a college program?

A: I'm a versatile big man. I'm not like most big men you'll see. I'm not just going to rough-house somebody in the paint and just back you in. I'm more of a person who can back you in and finish with post moves, but I can also step out and hit a jumper. So for bigger people who aren't as athletic as me, I'm going to go by you, and then I can make plays at the rim. Most colleges didn't see my jumper this year on the team I was playing on, but I have been developing a jumper and ball-handling has gone up for me, so I feel like I'm not going to be like most big men. I can step out, and I can handle the ball.

Player From Ht/Wt
Mitchell Smith Van Buren, AR (Van Buren HS) 6'10 / 200
Rating Offer Rivals 247sports Status
- 205 hot
Official Visits:
Missouri - 9/18
The Latest:
(Update 9/10/15) Received offer from Mizzou
(Update 8/09/15) Scheduled Official Visit to Missouri September 19th,

Smith is a kid that needs to put on some weight, but has the athleticism to be a very good player at the SEC level with the right development. For a long time it appeared that Smith was likely to land at Arkansas, but the Hogs backburner'd him a bit and it allowed other programs to sneak in. Currently Smith lists Mizzou, Creighton, TCU, Wichita State and Arkansas as his leaders. And the case for Mizzou locking him up is pretty strong considering how quickly Corey Tate and Kim Anderson have been able to build the relationship with him.

So we are officially on commitment watch this weekend to see if Mizzou can wow these two players enough to snag a commitment from them.