With the signing of Jordan Geist this morning, it appears as though Missouri is done recruiting for the 2016 class for the most part. There's still the outside possibility they can find room for an impact big with the last remaining scholarship, and guys like Cheickna Dembele and Omer Yurtseven remain targets at the position, but it seems very unlikely that either lands at Mizzou. So, in effect, the Tigers are done recruiting for 2016, and can begin focusing on 2017 and beyond. So first, let's talk about Jordan Geist.
Proud to join the Mizzou Basketball family. Want to thank Coach Anderson and the Missouri Staff for this opportunity #GoTigers— jordan geist (@jordangeist12) April 15, 2016
Jordan Geist, 6-3, 185 lb, Combo Guard, Ranger College, Ranger TX
Geist has been listed on most sites as a point guard, but I'd expect him to play plenty off the ball if he wants to see the floor. Mainly because it's difficult seeing anyone unseating Terrence Phillips from a ton of minutes. However, inasmuch as Frankie Hughes being a combo guard when he's more of an off guard, Geist is a combo guard while being more of a point guard. So I'm listing him at Combo Guard, as that's where I expect he'll play most of his minutes.
The story on Geist is that he played his senior year of high school with 5* Forward Caleb Swanigan and won a state championship, but he didn't have offers higher than the Horizon league after it was all said and done. So Geist chose to go to Junior College as a way to elevate his profile, and he was able to under the tutelage of former Texas A&M, Kentucky and Texas Tech coach Billie Gillespie at Ranger College. Geist was a 2nd team All American, where he averaged 15.1 ppg while shooting 45% from the floor, and 35% from 3-point range. Geist isn't a great athlete, but he's a good one who is highly skilled with the ball. He's got good lateral speed so he should be a solid defender, and he does a good job getting to the rim, and draws contact as a fairly high rate.
Geist is a 2nd team JUCO all american, He’s currently a freshman and full qualifier, so he will be a soph next year with 3 years eligibility— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) April 15, 2016
From Kim Anderson on Geist:
"Jordan Geist has a winner’s mentality on and off the court. His ability to be another trustworthy ball handler and relentless defender for Mizzou Basketball was important to us. Jordan is a savvy player who immediately brings solid experience and leadership to our squad. We’re excited to have Jordan and his family become a part of our program, and we cannot wait to have him in Columbia this summer."
From Jordan Geist on why he chose Missouri:
"The atmosphere and culture surrounding Mizzou’s program is very exciting to me. The campus is beautiful and the basketball arena is second-to-none. Coach Anderson and his staff treated me so well on my visit. That made me excited to be a part of the program. Playing in a great conference was also important to me. The SEC has great competition and has tough programs to play against. And I’ll be getting great coaching from the Mizzou coaches. I know they’ll prepare us the right way."
At this point I expect Geist to contend for playing time and possibly even a starting job on the wing. You can pencil in two starters in Phillips and Kevin Puryear, but outside of those two the competition for the other three spots should be fierce. A quick look at the roster and how it breaks down by position looks something like this:
|Mizzou Roster Breakdown 2016-17|
|P O I N T G U A R D|
|Jimmy Barton||Terrence Phillips||Priority|
|C O M B O G U A R D|
|Jordan Geist||Frankie Hughes|
|W I N G|
|Trevor Glassman||Cullen VanLeer||Priority|
|C O M B O F O R W A R D|
|Jordan Barnett||Adam Wolf||Willie Jackson|
|P O S T|
|Russell Woods||Jakeenan Gant||Kevin Puryear||Reed Nikko||Priority|
Geist is essentially a backup point guard and potential starter at off guard. If I had to craft a starting lineup today I'd have Phillips at the point, K.J. at the off guard, then Barnett, Puryear and Gant as the forwards. Maybe not a great ball handling group, but the size and athleticism on the wing could help offset the lack of interior size and rebounding. If Geist is good enough to start, then you could slide Walton to the wing, and use the foursome of Jackson, Gant, Puryear and Barnett as a small but quick and athletic interior. Anything you get from Russell Woods or the freshmen bigs would be considered a bonus, but I've a hard time seeing any of them beat out Puryear, Gant and Barnett for minutes. Essentially, Mizzou has one point guard, two combo guards, two wings (although the staff feels VanLeer could play PG minutes in a pinch), two combo forwards and five posts. So while they're thin with true PGs and Wings, they've build in a lot of flexibility with guys that can play multiple positions.
How this works out remains to be seen. But if, in fact, this is the finished roster for the Tigers, it's one that has built in a lot of roster competition in a relatively small amount of space. So it would seem that next season would invite additional roster turmoil. With 12 guys that feel fairly evenly matched up, who gets the clock?