Signing day is obviously a big day for basketball programs. Hope springs eternal no matter where your class is ranked. This season Missouri and their two commitments rank just 43rd in the country and ninth in the SEC, but the Tigers answered the bell on their two biggest needs at Combo guard and Combo forward.
Today Mario McKinney, a four-star combo guard out of Vashon High School in St. Louis, and Tray Jackson, a Detroit native and a four-star combo forward from Sunrise Christian, officially put pen to paper and joined Cuonzo Martin’s 2019 recruiting class.
Missouri still likely has one more scholarship to give, and we were waiting to see whether Kobe Brown will take it. Granted, recruiting analysts have predicted Brown — a 3-star forward from Alabama — winds up at Texas A&M. However, he would give Missouri what they sought to add this offseason.
It’ll be interesting to see the impact of McKinney and Jackson on the roster next season.
They’re going to fit in and be expected to contribute, but the perimeter gets crowded in a hurry with a depth chart of Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Christian Guess, Xavier Pinson, Javon Pickett and Torrence Watson. McKinney will step in and play somewhere, he’s too excitable of a player to keep off the court.
While McKinney might be fighting and scrapping for each minute he gets, Jackson might be looking at a wide open competition at the combo forward spot. I say might because we don’t yet know what Jontay Porter is going to do post injury. Mizzou will also see Kevin Puryear graduate, likely leaving Mitchell Smith and K.J. Santos available to take over the starters minutes. Clearly both are unproven at this stage, leaving the door open for Jackson.
Tray Jackson is on board
Shortly after putting pen to paper on Wednesday morning, Jackson fired off this tweet.
Always dreamed about signing my NLI!! God blessed me to be the first in my family to do so Great day to be a tiger !! #MIZZOU— TJ (@_Trayjacks) November 14, 2018
Around 9:20 a.m., Mizzou sent out formal word that Jackson’s letter of intent was in hand.
Catch up and get to know Tray Jackson:
Mario McKinney inks his NLI
At 3:30 p.m., the Vashon combo guard — and younger cousin of former Mizzou guard Jimmy McKinney — signed his letter of intent. MU sent out formal confirmation of its arrival 10 minutes later.
Catch up and get to know Mario McKinney:
Kobe Brown picks Texas A&M
The Tigers’ pursuit of Brown has unfolded largely in the dark. Mizzou offered him on Oct. 12 after Martin watched a workout, and he took an official visit nine days later. Outside of those two events, we’ve been left to decipher clues deposited via social media.
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound prospect has passed on interviews, but announced via video that he’s headed to College Station.