The story of the Mizzou hoops offseason very much follows the lyrics of Migos’ hit song Bad & Boujee; “We came from nothing to something.”
Mizzou ended the season with just two wins in the SEC and the resignation of head coach Kim Anderson. However, 1,900 miles away, Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar was fired after a similar season. With the news came the biggest recruiting asset, arguably in Mizzou history, five-star recruit Michael Porter Jr.
But, four-star Blake Harris may be an equally important part of the puzzle. His release from Washington and commitment not only puts Mizzou in the top 10 recruiting classes in the nation but officially grants the Tigers contender status.
It’s no coincidence that his nickname is “Blizzy Blake” and his parents wore the shirts “My Boy is Bad and Blizzy” to his senior game. He’s just that good. But it’s easy to sweep his acquisition under the radar because of his team-first attitude. In the recruiting process specifically, Harris has always looked to play somewhere besides Porter Jr.
“Me and Michael, since the summer said we were gonna play together no matter where we go,” Harris said in a phone interview yesterday. “Mizzou was one of my top three. [and] I loved it so I just committed on the spot.”
Porter Jr. and Harris have only known each other for less than a year, but their friendship has grown deep. They played together last summer at some intense recruiting camps and now, Harris says, that they communicate nightly. How does their relationship on the court work?
“He’s the best player in the country, so of course he scores the ball very well, and that gives me easy assists,” Harris said. Not only did Harris find Porter Jr. last summer but also solidified the type of player and person he hopes to model himself after: Chris Paul.
Among the 10 schools vying for Harris’ attention, those that showed the most promise were Michigan State and NC State. But Cuonzo Martin was a huge selling point.
“Coach Martin just connected with me,” Harris said. “He’s a man of God, that’s why I like him. [And] he cares about more than basketball stuff.”
And then you gotta give it to the Co-Mo experience.
“The fans made us feel like rockstars, taking pictures and autographs, applause whenever we’d go anywhere, even when we were in the car, they’d stop and try to talk to us,” Harris said. On the recruiting trip, Harris even got to photobomb a sorority’s senior pictures and see the personalized banners made for him throughout campus.
We might be graduating, but @ADPiMizzou seniors think these three guys at @Mizzou is picture perfect. pic.twitter.com/kJ875lZqXx— Emma Rechenberg (@erechenbergtv) April 10, 2017
Harris will be back in Columbia this summer to start classes and train with the team.
As for the other companion from the recruiting visit, Kevin Knox II, he hasn’t committed yet, but in Harris’ eyes the choice is easy.
“I hope he comes and joins the party.”