Yesterday, 6’9 Layton, Utah Forward and 2016 recruit Jakoby Kemp committed to Missouri. The courtship heated up quickly between Kemp and Missouri; on Monday I was the first to break the news about the interest in Kemp. Tuesday came the scholarship offer, and he committed a few hours later.
Jakoby Kemp is a fine, under the radar pickup. Lsu, Memphis, TCU were involved. Late growth spurt. Athletic, ball skills, and very versatile— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 28, 2016
Who he is: Kemp is a 6’9 (or 6’10 — depending on the publication) forward from Layton, Utah. Layton is a community south of Ogden, north of Salt Lake City. Kemp is a supremely under the radar prospect due to his being a bit of a late bloomer and an injury during his junior year that limited his ability to participate in the AAU cicuit. I’ve heard from various sources that Kemp grew five inches in the last year, but his junior profile on MaxPreps.com has him listed at 6’8, and averaging 6.8 ppg.
Late bloomer would be an apt description of Kemp, he didn’t have a profile on any of the major recruiting sites that I saw yesterday, though now he has a Rivals profile. He’s a mobile stretch four who has a good handle on the ball, soft touch on his jumper and great length. He doesn’t look to be an explosive athlete, but his skill level and size/length should help him overcome that part, particularly if he’s playing more away from the basket.
How did this happen? Not a ton is known at this stage, but I do know schools like LSU, TCU and Georgia Tech were pursuing Kemp before his commitment to Missouri. In fact he had a visit scheduled to LSU before cancelling just two days before his commitment. Apparently Kemp’s lack of exposure in Utah prevented him from gaining enough of a profile to see his recruitment pick up, sources have told me they like him because he has guard skills, and they believe he can contribute right away.
In his own words:
On what led Kemp to commit to Missouri, and if he feels he can contribute right away:
"I just felt it was the right place for me to go. It's not going to be an easy road but if I work hard enough I believe I can help."
On how he would describe his style of play:
"I describe my game as fun, I try to imitate Kevin Durant."
Now we obviously don’t expect Kemp to have the kind of impact Durant had as a freshman at Texas, but he certainly has the size and shooting touch to become a sort of Durant-lite with enough work over the next few years. Personally I’m not sure what to think of Kemp, mainly because this happened fairly quickly, and I’ve learned that guys that are available late, are available for a reason. It’s a bit confusing because he LOOKS like he’s got everything you could want. Size, length, decent athleticism, good footwork, ball handling ability and nice shooting touch. So why was he available? I don’t know, I guess we’ll just be hopeful.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for... the updated scholarship count! Missouri has now filled twelve of a possible thirteen scholarships. Missouri's self-imposed scholarship sanctions require them to forfeit one either this year or in 2017 so the likely bet is they'll take the hit this year to get it out of the way.
Meet me this evening at 7pm as I’ll go on Facebook Live to talk about Kemp, 2017, 2018 recruits and more. If you have questions, leave them below!