SEC basketball coaches took part in a teleconference yesterday morning. Quite a few were asked about Mizzou.
"That’s a team that’s looking to go worst to first," said Alabama coach Avery Johnson, who was impressed with Martin's ability to bring in strong talent in a short period of time and added that any influx of talent into the SEC will be welcomed.
"It's great for Missouri, great for the SEC, and it's going to continue to upgrade SEC basketball," he said. "The teams in our conference will be much stronger, and our strength of schedules will be very good."
(Translation: It’s about damn time Missouri started carrying its weight around here.)
“I’m excited for Cuonzo,” said Arkansas’ Mike Anderson, Mizzou’s coach from 2006-11. “Timing is everything. He’s been able to put together a tremendous recruiting class. We always (say) coaching is sometimes overrated. You’ve got to have players.”
Martin has reconstructed Mizzou’s roster with five newcomers, headlined by 6-10 forward Michael Porter Jr., the country’s top-rated recruit and winner of multiple national player of the year awards. Mike Anderson was still coaching at Mizzou when the Porter family arrived in Columbia in 2010. Porter Jr., who played at Father Tolton High School before moving to Seattle for his senior year, was 12 at the time and starting sixth grade.
“I can remember when the kid was 6 feet (tall),” Anderson said. “He shot up like a cannon.”
Andy Kennedy on Martin and #MIzzou: “It’s certainly exciting when you’re able to make the splash Cuonzo’s been able to make"— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) June 26, 2017
Kennedy: “I think certainly Missouri basketball’s going to take a big step forward this season."— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) June 26, 2017
“It’s a tough lesson for Jeremiah to learn, but we’ll continue to push forward and help him grow within it,” Martin said.
He declined to delve into specifics about any discussions with Tilmon, an East St. Louis (Ill.) graduate from Martin’s hometown.
“We have a lot of conversations with our guys and, for me, I don’t start having conversations when an incident takes place, if it takes place,” Martin said. “Luckily, I’ve been blessed. Everywhere I’ve been we’ve had successful young men on and off the court. But whatever we talk about, he knows what we talk about as a team and as a family. I talk to our guys about those things all the time.”
By the way, in case you want to see hoops assistant Chris Hollender in action, Mizzou Network mic’d him up at a recent practice.
- Cordova, Tenn., athlete Cam Jones released his top five yesterday. Mizzou made the cut, along with Indiana, Memphis, Mississippi State, and Tennessee. The home-state Vols are perhaps the favorite at the moment, though they are already up to 15 commits. The longer Jones waits, the less likely there will be a spot available for him there, I guess. (That, uh, isn’t a problem at Mizzou at the moment.)
Everybody who believe in me, thank you pic.twitter.com/2KLhG5OpY9— Cam Jones (@KingCam_1) June 26, 2017
- Media training for Mizzou football players? Probably can’t hurt.
- PowerMizzou spoke to Mizzou commit Tyrone Collins’ high school coach ... who is also Phil Bradley’s son.
- The Trib’s Blake Toppmeyer previews Purdue. I love the Jeff Brohm hire, and he’s taking on a ton of grad transfers to plump up the two-deep a bit, but it’s probably going to take him a year to get things arranged. The return trip to West Lafayette could be pretty rugged though.
- Incoming Mizzou second baseman Mark Vierling still looks up to his brother Matt, a star at Notre Dame.