This is what you call a flip, and just like that, Missouri’s hole a combo forward has been filled.
On the same evening he backed off his pledge to Minnesota, top-100 prospect Tray Jackson announced he had committed to Missouri, joining Vashon guard Mario McKinney Jr. in the Class of 2019.
Landing the Detroit native, who is a 6-foot-8, 210-pound prospect, is a crucial rebound for the Tigers staff, which was left cobbling together backup plans after E.J. Liddell picked Ohio State in early October. The commitment is also a win for assistant coach Cornell Mann, who has extensive ties throughout Michigan and had worked diligently for a breakthrough in his home state.
The buildup to Jackson’s decision was swift. Around 9 p.m., Jackson announced via Twitter that he was withdrawing his pledge to Minnesota. A report ($) out of Minnesota indicated Jackson was wavering, and once it became public, Jackson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he would announce a new destination in short order.
By that, he meant a mere two hours.
Since Jackson took an unofficial visit in early June, Missouri slowly emerged as a likely favorite to land the multifaceted big man. The Tigers seemed poised to seal up a commitment when they set an official visit for Sept. 22. Instead, Minnesota swooped in and secured a visit of its own two weeks before Jackson was set to show up in Columbia. And on Sept. 10, Jackson picked the Golden Gophers.
At the time, reports indicated assistant coach Kyle Lindsted played a pivotal role. Before moving to the college ranks, Lindsted served as the head coach at Sunrise Christian Academy, where Jackson is currently spending a prep year.
Yet Missouri and Mann never entirely abandoned their efforts. Now, they’ve acquired an ideal fit for their system, a player who projects to slide easily into the void created by Kevin Puryear’s graduation and Jontay Porter’s likely jump to the NBA ranks.
In the coming days, we’ll have a scouting breakdown of Jackson and project how the roster looks with him in the fold. In the meantime, some highlights:
It’s OK, you can be giddy. He’s good.