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Mizzou Men’s Basketball picked to finish 9th by Media

Cuonzo Martin took Jontay Porter and Kevin Puryear to the Media days, what did we learn?

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Preseason Media poll picked the Tigers 9th

Here’s the full top to bottom selections:

  1. Kentucky
  2. Tennessee
  3. Auburn
  4. Mississippi State
  5. Florida
  6. LSU
  7. Alabama
  8. Vanderbilt
  9. Missouri
  10. Arkansas
  11. South Carolina
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Georgia
  14. Ole Miss

You all know my picks as #14 (Texas A&M) and #13 (Ole Miss) have been revealed. But there does seem to be a fair amount of consensus throughout SEC media about the top-middle-bottom of the league. The teams can flux a little bit here and there but most seem to have the top three the same, the middle is four through nine, and the bottom is consistently 10-14.

Missouri is solidly considered to be towards the back of the middle. But one (or two) thing(s) could certainly improve their fate quite a bit.

Mizzou has applied for a waiver for Mark Smith and Dru Smith

With the FBI investigation now on trial the NCAA seems to be treading as lightly as possible when it comes to granting transfers eligibility. There have multiple transfers made eligible immediately around the country and Missouri looked at their two transfers and had to think: “Why not us?”

Very clearly if the Tigers would be granted a waiver on one or both of the Smith’s the entire outlook on the season would change. Adding guard depth to the front court would likely move Missouri up the chart with in the league at least a few spots. Dru Smith is the player Missouri needed last year and could really really use this year. Mark Smith would probably play a bit more a backup role off the bat, but that would be a good thing for him. The upcoming year not playing in games were going to be spent developing. He can do that with lower expectations in a support role this season, and the Tigers could use his shooting.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Northwestern Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The one question Missouri has right now is at guard and one or both could help. They’re likely to start with Jordan Geist and whoever is next is anyone’s guess.

Right now it’s Geist, Torrence Watson and possibly K.J. Santos at the top of the depth, and the news on K.J. Santos isn’t great.

K.J. Santos is still not practicing with a foot injury

Santos was originally a well regarded 4-star recruit who’s ascent became derailed due to a foot injury. A fracture is awfully bad news, especially for a team looking for the versatility he can provide.

The’s top 101 players left Jontay Porter a little low for my taste

If you’re looking for the full list it’s here: Top 101

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Porter came in at 40, behind Jordan Murphy at Minnesota and Jon Elmore at Marshall. List like these are completely subjective and I have a great respect for Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander and all they do covering college basketball. I don’t know exactly where I’d have Jontay but there are SEC Players like Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington in the 20s, and I think Jontay is better than both of those guys. Gafford is excitable and a fun athlete and Washington was actually my favorite player on Kentucky last year going into the season. But Porter does SO MANY MORE things than Gafford and Washington. If he becomes anywhere close to as effective inside the 8-10 foot range as Gafford and Washington he’ll blow their value out of the water.

As it stands right now, I wouldn’t take either guy over Jontay.