Welcome home, faithful listeners! The Zoulogy podcast returns to cover all the hot topics in the MizzoUniverse. Oscar, Dan Keegan, David Morrison are joined by special guest and St. Louis correspondent Martin Winkler in this episode to discuss:
- The hiring of men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin
- Ceding the moral high ground when hiring assistant coaches
- Landing Michael Porter Jr. and setting expectations for 2017-2018 season
- Taking a look at the changing roster
- Basketball recruiting is a thing for Tigers fans once again! — If you don’t believe me scroll down the page for some recruiting updates.
Then we pivot to Missouri football spring practice:
- Drew Lock’s progression progress. Yes we’ve talked about this a lot already.
- WR Nate Brown’s injury and RB Nate Strong’s absence
- Riding the Damarea Crockett-rocket
- The Return of D Line Zou?
- Missouri’s nickelback defense
- Recruiting St. Louis in football!
- What others storylines are there to watch for the Spring Game and until the fall?
2017 McDonald’s All-American Game
Every team at every level of basketball wants a player like Michael Porter Jr. He’s the ideal hybrid forward for the modern game, pairing the size of a big man (6’10) and the skill set of a wing with elite athleticism.
"He might be one of the single most talented guys I've seen come through the program," said B.J. Johnson, assistant direct of USA Basketball. "A guy that has elite size, athletic ability, shooting ability ... he has the total package."
ESPN’s Paul Biancardi has already invoked the name of Paul George as a comparison. The rough outline isn’t hard to see. At 6’10, Porter combines the height of a big man with the skills of a guard. He ties it all together with a special ability to run the floor and finish above the rim. It was on full display during FIBA Americas.
Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois
When: Wednesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. CT
How to watch: Watch live on ESPN
|Pos.||Name||High School||College||Pos.||Name||High School||College|
|F||Wendell Carter||Pace Academy(Georgia)||Duke commit||C||DeAndre Ayton||Hillcrest Prep (Arizona)||Arizona commit|
|G||Trevon Duval||IMG Academy (Florida)||Undecided||F||Michael Porter Jr.||Nathan Hale (Washington)||Missouri commit|
|F||P.J. Washington||Findlay Prep (Nevada)||Kentucky commit||G||Gary Trent Jr.||Prolific Prep (California)||Duke commit|
|G||Quade Green||Neumann Goretti (Pennsylvania)||Kentucky commit||F||Brian Bowen||La Lumiere School (Indiana)||Undecided|
|F||Kevin Knox||Tampa Catholic (Florida)||Undecided||G||Troy Brown Jr.||Centennial (Nevada)||Oregon commit|
|F||Nick Richards||St. Patrick’s (New Jersey)||Kentucky commit||G||Jaylen Hands||Foothills Christian (California)||UCLA commit|
|C||Mitchell Robinson||Chalmette (Louisiana)||Western Kentucky commit||F||Jaren Jackson Jr.||La Lumiere School (Indiana)||Michigan State commit|
|G||Collin Sexton||Pebblebrook (Georgia)||Alabama commit||C||Brandon McCoy||Cathedral Catholic (California)||Undecided|
|G||Lonnie Walker||Reading (Pennsylvania)||Miami commit||F||Charles O’Bannon Jr.||Bishop Gorman (Nevada)||USC commit|
|F||Mohamed Bamba||Westtown (Pennsylvania)||Undecided||F||Billy Preston||Oak Hill Academy (Virginia)||Kansas commit|
|F||Kris Wilkes||North Central (Indiana)||UCLA commit||G||M.J. Walker||Jonesboro (Georgia)||Undecided|
|F||Jarred Vanderbilt||Victory Prep Academy (Texas)||Kentucky commit||G||Trae Young||Norman North (Oklahoma)||Oklahoma|
McDonald’s All-American recruiting targets
Didn't say it would be to Mizzou, but said Porter's working him hard to come to CoMo. Also visited Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Florida State.— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) March 28, 2017
For the record, Kevin Knox’s father played football for Florida State's 1994 national championship and those other programs have really blue-blood. From everything we’ve heard, Knox is looking at which schools can provide maximum minutes and a style of play that showcases his abilities. Just getting Knox to visit may be a coup.
“Michael [Porter Jr.] has really been trying to get me to go to Mizzou,” said Bamba. “He was like, ‘C’mon bro. They have the best facilities.’”
Despite Porter’s efforts, Bamba said that he does not want to take any more visits, saying, “Four was plenty. It’s taken a toll on my mom, father, brother and sister.” He has taken an official to each of his final four schools, visiting Michigan (Sept. 2), Texas (Oct. 28), Kentucky (Jan. 20), and Duke (Feb. 26).
Missouri’s chances for either Bamba or Knox would seem marginal, despite Porter’s talk of working behind the scenes and having “big plans”. That’s not stopping him from trying, and all the more power to him.
A few other recruits to watch
East St. Louis center Jeremiah Tilmon isn’t playing in tonight’s game, but that’s not stopping him from being recruited.
Porter Jr. said Mizzou still needs to add size. Hasn't given up on East St. Louis' Jeremiah Tilmon: "I'm on him hard."— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) March 28, 2017
Sharp shooting guard and former Cal commit Jemarl Baker asked out of his NLI and is looking around but so far he hasn’t shown interest in Mizzou.
2017 Jemarl Baker has re-opened his recruitment. Schools so far Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, Duke, Marquette, Virginia & ASU— Earl Watson Elite (@earlwatsonelite) March 28, 2017
Shooting guard and Illinois high school player of the year Mark Smith got a visit from Cuonzo Martin last night. The Tigers are probably in the backseat on this one but Smith is the kind of player that fits Cuonzo’s hard-nosed style.
Illinois HS player of the year @Mark_Smith_13 of Edwardsville tells me he's meeting with Cuonzo Martin & Tom Izzo tonight.— Charlie Marlow (@CharlieMarlow_) March 28, 2017
Missouri has contacted former Washington commit, three star forward Mamoudou Diarra. According to this article in the Seattle Times, Diarra was very close with Lorenzo Romar and had not made any other visits prior to committing.
Mamoudou Diarra, a 6-foot-9 forward from Bamako, Mali who played at St. Louis Christian Academy in Missouri, has asked for a release from the national letter of intent he signed with the UW.
“He put in that request awhile ago and we’re expecting to get that any day now,” said Gateway Basketball Club’s Scott Schroepfer, who coahed Diarra’s AAU team. “With the new coach, he’s going to de-commit initially and re-open his recruiting process.”
It just so happens another former Washington big man, Matthew Atewe, is on the market and Missouri has reportedly shown interest. Atewe wouldn’t be a sexy recruit right now as he doesn’t provide the upside of some other names, but he would provide a reliable rebounding and defensive presence plus a one year lease would keep a scholarship spot open for the deep 2018 recruiting class. If needs Missouri to bring a graduate transfer in to fill its need at power forward/center this would be a viable option.
Upcoming Missouri recruiting events to watch
On April 22, 2017, Mizzou point guard commit CJ Roberts as well as women’s basketball recruits Kelsey Winfrey and Elle Brown will be playing in Kansas City at Winnetonka HS. Both women signees were recently named to MBCA all-state team.
You can check out the entire roster here.