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C.J. Roberts commitment means the Tigers are changing gears going forward

The athletic guard from the Dallas-Fort Worth area will fit right in on the roster, but his signing means the Tigers only have one more spot to fill.

Good news has been hard to come by when it comes to Missouri basketball of late. With the Tigers getting shut out for most of the summer in recruiting after two bad seasons, something good was needed. Kim Anderson and the Tigers got something good to happen yesterday when they landed their guy in 2017 combo-guard C.J. Roberts, a 4-star on Rivals and a 3-star on 247sports, Scout and ESPN.

Roberts is an explosive athlete and high volume scorer with the ability to make shots at all three levels. He’s played both on and off the ball in high school and projects to play both at the college level, although primarily he’ll be thought of as a point guard due to his size. At 6’0 and 175 lbs, Roberts could stand to point on a little weight but should provide an immediate impact for a program that has struggled to score the last few years. Roberts has the ability to catch fire and carry the offensive load and has perhaps as high of a ceiling as any guard (outside of to top 3 or 4 guards) in the country.

Kim Anderson and Steven Shields identified Roberts as a guy they could get and made him an immediate priority. And it paid off when they brought him to campus.

His biggest inconsistencies right now are things which can be coached out. He’s prone to playing out of control and making erratic decisions with the ball, but overall he’s got the kind of ability you can get excited about. Roberts has the kind of shot-making ability of Michael Dixon or J.J. Frazier, both smaller, lighter combo guards, but two guys who could absolutely fill it.

Missouri isn’t looking to fill a lot of spots at this stage, so with Roberts taking one of two scholarships, let’s take a look at the Scholarship Count as of today:

scholarship count 9-19-16

With Missouri holding onto their last scholarship this season, the scholarship situation in 2018 will be clear from NCAA sanctions. They’ll have all 13 scholarships to give out, and I anticipate the Tigers will use their last scholarship. On who? Let’s talk about it.

Mizzou Wants A Big

The top priority with the last scholarship will be a big man. The only problem with this is the pickings are slim, as they usually are when it comes to finding and securing talented post players. Missouri is still making attempts with Garrison Brooks, although the heat has picked up as he’s gotten recent offers from UNC, Baylor and Arizona State. Couple that with the Bruce Pearl effect, and I think you can summarily write him out of the picture.

Evan Battey is an intriguing prospect who recently picked up a Mizzou offer, but it’s hard to see the 4-star post leaning to Mizzou with Miami, Colorado and Purdue all in hot pursuit and all having already lined up official visits.

One name we haven’t talked about yet but could make his way into the picture is Anthony Longpre. I honestly don’t know how you pronounce his name, but he’s a 3-star 6’9 220 lb post player from Maryland. He has a bit of an interesting story because he was at George Washington on an official visit when the news broke that GW’s coach, Mike Lonergan, was fired. He originally named a final five in August, but Mizzou is trying to get in late and make an impression over Washington State, GW, St. Joe’s , Princeton and Kansas State.

Another key aspect to keep in mind is the fact Missouri can take a 5th year Graduate Transfer again, so I’d imagine if they don’t settle on a big with this class, they could take a long look at a few next offseason.

More 2017 Recruiting Updates

So with Roberts committed, Mizzou is basically going to switch off of recruiting Marcus Carr, Victor Bailey and Elijah Joiner. They’re still in on Nojel Eastern a little bit, but as the days have ticked by, Eastern’s recruiting has picked up as everyone has seemed to think they can get in, but it’s looking like Cal, Michigan State and Ohio State might be the three left standing. But Purdue, Seton Hall, West Virginia and DePaul have all joined Missouri in visiting Eastern within the last few weeks.

The Tigers will also be keeping an eye on international competition to see if any late bloomers come out, but for the most part I’d be surprised if they end up signing anyone else in the early period.

Hey, Something About 2018 kids?

Christian Bishop was offered by Missouri last night. Bishop is a fast rising kid who has grown a lot in the last few years and paid Missouri an unofficial visit this past weekend and played with the current Tiger squad. He impressed enough that Kim Anderson went to Lee’s Summit West to watch him workout, and Mizzou offered him on the spot. Bishop received an offer from Tulsa just a few days earlier, and looks like a solid high 3-star level player who has flown under the radar because of his enormous growth spurt and lack of AAU exposure. But Bishop looks like the kind of kid that can play at the SEC level, with long arms and a good left-handed release.

Missouri also recently offered Ayo Dusunmu, a combo guard from Chicago who figures to be on the cusp of a 5th star before too long. A rangy 6’3-6’4 guard with huge upside, Dusunmu is being recruited by Chicago native Emmanuel Dildy.

Don’t forget you can follow Dildy on twitter now: @emandildy