Good news everyone: we are just days away from the summer session starting up, and the newcomers are expected to be on campus as soon as this Friday.
We’re very close.
In the meantime, very little has happened. But let’s at least cover what has.
Top 8 for Torrence Watson
Based upon the schools that made his list, four-star St. Louis guard Torrence Watson is obviously interested in staying close to home. The school furthest away would be Michigan.
Cuonzo Martin has made Watson a high priority for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Watson fits exactly what Martin wants to do. Martin spent the entire first AAU session in Atlanta following the Ramey Jets, Watson’s AAU team, while his assistants went to EYBL and Under Armour events. Having the head coach follow your team around is the very definition of being “recruited hard” by a school.
It’s clear that Martin wants Watson, and the Tigers are in a fairly enviable spot to land him.
The job isn’t done by a long shot, but they’re in as good a position as they can be. As I mentioned above, Watson wants to stay close to home, so let’s look at distance to his home:
Here’s the distance from Whitfield High School to each school on the list.
- SLU: 15 miles
- Mizzou: 109 miles
- Butler: 268 miles
- Vanderbilt: 326 miles
- Kansas St: 354 miles
- Marquette: 388 miles
- Creighton: 419 miles
- Michigan: 526 miles
Clearly SLU is the closest. If you’re in St. Louis, North Grand Boulevard isn’t far from anything and accessible to everything. But Mizzou is second on the list. The major outlier is Michigan, who I’ve been told is in very good position due to Beilein and his focus on Watson.
There are some very, very good schools on this list, and Watson is a good student, so that could play a role. If I had to guess at a top five, I’d say: Mizzou, Michigan, Butler, Vandy, and SLU.
Other recruiting odds & ends
We’re probably a month or more from seeing Missouri’s priority list for 2018 take shape. I’d expect them to start working on official visits in September and October, with a likely early signing class of around 2-3 players, with the ultimate class ending with 4-5 depending on any transfers.
Here are the top names to look out for in the next few months:
- Torrence Watson (duh)
- Brandon Johns (East Lansing, Mich., No. 52 per 247Sports Composite)
- Marcus Bingham (Grand Rapids, Mich., No. 83)
- Alex Lomax (Memphis, No. 136)
- KJ Hymes (Phoenix, No. 139)
- Jordan Lathon (Grandview, Mo., No. 169)
- Christian Bishop (Lee’s Summit, unrated)
Lathon is the only guy currently without an offer, but I’d expect it to happen at some point before the school year begins. He was recently offered by Illinois and also has offers from Northwestern and Iowa State, among others.
What about 2019?
2019 kids are getting closer and closer to being able to receive contact from coaches, and we’re going to start seeing the Tigers priorities for that level flesh out as well. My 2019 names to keep an eye on:
- James Wiseman* (Nashville, No. 9 in 2019)
- Marcedus Leech (Poplar Bluff, No. 21 in 2019)
- Francis Okoro (Normal, Ill., No. 22)
- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Mission, Kan., No. 31)
- Romeo Weems (New Haven, Mich., No. 83)
- Mario McKinney (St. Louis, No. 96)
- Rocket Watts (Detroit, No. 146)
- EJ Liddell (Belleville, Ill., unrated)
* This is kind of a why not more than anything. Wiseman is rumored to be moving to St. Louis, so proximity could be a good thing for Missouri. But Wiseman is also one of the top players in his class and has been a priority for top programs (specifically Kentucky) for more than a year.