When it comes to team needs, Missouri undoubtedly has a few. One of the big priorities for the 2017 class, however, has been the need for a premier bucket getters, and the Missouri coaches have narrowed their list down to just a few guys, with one in the drivers seat. That player is C.J. Roberts. Roberts is a scoring point guard from the northeast side of Fort Worth in Texas, who we talked about back in the beginning of August. From the article:
Roberts has been on the radar a bit longer than Bede, so his offer list is a bit more rounded. The Texas Point Guard is a fluid shooter with good quickness and a compact body that should make him an effective lead guard at the college level. Missouri is in solid position with Roberts, who boasts offers from Alabama, LSU, SMU and Baylor amongst others. It won’t be easy to land Roberts, but the Tigers are in good shape right now to land an official visit, which is a good step.
Since then Roberts has emerged as the top priority for the Tigers in this class after missing out on a few other guys including Michael Porter, Jordan Goodwin and Trae Young. Roberts isn’t the instant impact the staff was hoping to land with some of their earlier efforts, but he’s a freshman who will upgrade the talent on the roster and possibly challenge incumbent starter Terrence Phillips for playing time with the different things he brings to the table. Kim Anderson has stepped up to show Roberts how important he is to the Tigers future, with lead recruiter Steve Shields. Anderson and Shields have prioritized the Texas guard, and have him coming to campus this weekend. With Roberts headlining a list of visitors for the weekend, it becomes a pretty important weekend. So much so that I’m putting Mizzou Nation on commitment watch.
A commitment is not certain, but it’s very possible as the Tigers feel very good about their position with Roberts and their prioritization has not been lost on the guard. So be on the watch, Missouri fans.
Joining Roberts on this big weekend are two top priority targets in Torrence Watson and Carte’Are Gordon. If all goes according to plan, Missouri will add two players with the 2017 class then possibly only have one or two spots int he 2018 class. We all know things rarely go perfectly to plan, and this all goes up in the air if the Tigers have another disaster of a season. But only adding two players, the two players I believe the Tigers would prefer would be Watson and Gordon.
There’s still a long way to go in the recruitment for both, but the latest scuttlebutt has the Tigers in good shape with both guys. This is the second trip for both since early August, and the more times you get guys to campus the more you can show them how important they are.
Gordon is going to be very tough keeping him out of the hands of Kansas. Bill Self and company have made the 5-star big from Webster Groves a big priority, and that’s always going to be tough ground for Missouri to make up. Travis Ford has kicked up recruiting St. Louis area kids, so it’s also possible he could make a run at Gordon as well. Watson has Iowa State and SLU hot on his trail, and boasts recent offers from UNLV, Texas A&M and others. So it’s a big weekend for the Tigers coaches, not from a numbers stand point, but you don’t really get more important visitors than the ones they have coming in.
Now a note about some recent offers
The Tigers coaches are still hustling trying to fill their scholarships for 2017. If Roberts accepts one, where does the other go?
One guy who picked up an offer from Missouri recently is 4-star post Evan Battey from California. Battey is the 114th rated player in 247sports, and uncommitted but with visits planned to Miami and Purdue. He also has already visited Colorado. Each player gets five official visits, so schools are scrambling to try to be one of the last two visits. New Mexico, DePaul and Fresno State join Missouri in the hunt.
Another interesting name to pop up was Kwinton Hinson, an unrated wing originally from North Carolina now enrolled at Tyler Junior College in Texas. What’s interesting is I checked with a few sources around Missouri and while it seems Hinson is a guy who is on Missouri’s radar, and Emmanuel Dildy is recruiting him, he does not currently have an offer. Obviously there was a bit of a miscommunication, so at this point I have no problem keeping Hinson on the Hot Board, but I’d hesitate to call him a priority. There are other guys at the position who the Tigers are targeting, like V.J. Bailey, Nojel Eastern and our next player on the list, Elijah Joiner. Joiner is a Chicago guy, so obviously a Dildy connection. Joiner is a bit of a combo guard, more of a natural scoring off guard, so he would fit in much the same way as Bailey. Joiner is a tough, physical and competitive kid. He’s still behind those other guys as well, but I expect Joiner to make it to campus, and could end up being the guy with the last scholarship.
The last guy we’ll touch on is Talen Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker picked up a Missouri offer on his recent unofficial visit, and could become a viable backup option in 2018 if Missouri misses out on Torrence Watson, I can see Horton-Tucker becoming a much bigger priority. THT is from Simeon High School and is a guy who will be see his stock rise some over the next year, as he already has DePaul, Iowa State and Michigan State sniffing around.
That’s a wrap, we’ll be on commitment watch this weekend with C.J. Roberts. But otherwise enjoy the Mizzou-Georgia matchup.