How was your Tuesday?
Sophomore guards Namon Wright & Tramaine Isabell no longer on Mizzou's online roster. Should be formally announced soon.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 15, 2016
Full Statement from Kim Anderson pic.twitter.com/ywZ5jZj0SZ— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) March 15, 2016
"Tramaine Isabell and Namon Wright have made the Mizzou Men’s Basketball program aware of their intentions to transfer. We will fully support these requests on the condition of Tramaine and Namon completing their academic requirements to close the semester. We appreciate what both Tramaine and Namon contributed during their time with the program and wish them the best as they continue to pursue their academic and athletic goals."
Tramaine Isabell and Namon Wright were removed from the online roster after deciding to transfer today, making it pretty darn official. Both players showed flashes of brilliance during their time at Missouri, but their inconsistency, along with others of course, is one of the reasons why the Tigers have struggled to win games.
What is the Scholarship situation?
What about the APR?
The scholarship issue has been resolved. Missouri is currently looking at adding 2-3 more players, and they now have three available scholarships going into next season. In my piece about D'Angelo Allen transferring I said this:
Isabell is a good student, and could transfer without costing a retention point, but right now it doesn't seem clear if they would want Isabell to move on. I think you can say the same about Namon Wright as well, there's certainly a lot of improvement with Wright if you look past his shooting struggles. However with Barnett, VanLeer, Walton, Willie Jackson and possibly one more wing coming in next year, that position is certainly crowded. Wright is also a good student, which means that his grades are likely to be good enough to leave without costing a retention point
This was my not-so-subtle way of saying I think those two were leaving. Things are always complicated when it comes to the APR, and having two players who could leave without hurting you left a lot of writing on the wall. Particularly when it comes to players who seldom got praise from the staff in the press. Remember Kim Anderson's big sigh and "They've had their moments..." quote from his press conference about a month ago? Yeah, he had a hard time being happy about the sophomore class. I even spent some time breaking down the progress of the class:
The production most expected from the sophomore class this season has prevented the Tigers from taking any steps forward (in as much going from 214 to 190 in KenPom can hardly be considered a step forward). For the most part, the freshman class has been solid. They're good some nights, not-so-good other nights, but overall, I think the consensus is that they've been good. But then there's the five-man class signed by Kim Anderson in 2014 that was heralded by many, including myself.
It's funny to look back upon the positivity that many of us had that summer, as it just seemed like Kim was making all the right moves. As the reality has set in, the 5-man class has been largely disappointing in its production this season. How you can typically mark a team's improvement is through the individual player development. When you're building the foundation, the young players have to mature and get better. Well, have they?
Short answer... not really. The issue is a little more complex when it comes to Jakeenan Gant though. The staff does like Gant, and feel that he can be a very good positive player for the program, possibly removing some of the problems in the roster may help Jakeenan become a harder worker and fully buy in to what the staff is trying to accomplish. So Gant can still help them, and he's far and away the most talented player on the roster, and has been for the last two years.
So this doesn't hurt the APR, Mizzou gets the openings it needs, but they lose two capable ball handlers. Where do they go from here?
Well, we've talked about the players Mizzou is still actively recruiting and I feel like Cheickna Dembele, Deshawn Corprew, Eron Gordon and Kyran Bowman are all the top targets for the Tigers at this point. The staff feels good about their chances with the first three, and are still working on Bowman.
They've also got some feelers in at the Junior College level, but I think it's safe to say that Dembele, Corprew and/or Gordon would make the staff incredibly happy. It's still unclear if the Tigers are going to use all three scholarships, or take their sanction next season and go with 12, and there's still a long spring to get through workouts before we know if everyone is coming back.
I'd think it's safe to say that the coaches have the group they want going forward, and they think this is the roster that will help them start the rebuild.