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Whatever Happens, Cuonzo Martin Deserves Credit in the Recruitment of Caleb Love

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It’s down to Missouri and North Carolina for Caleb Love, and Cuonzo Martin deserves credit for making it to the finish line

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

You should know by now, but in case if you didn’t— CBC five-star point-guard Caleb Love has trimmed his final list to two teams and Missouri is indeed one of them. There’s just one problem — so is blue-blood North Carolina.

A final decision is expected next week, and all signs point to a commitment to North Carolina. Sam Snelling and Matthew Harris did a good job of breaking that news down yesterday.

When the recruiting process of Caleb Love officially started, I’m 100 percent sure every Missouri fan would have been just fine making it into the final two for this highly-touted recruit. Now that has become a reality. When Love released his top six schools, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but Missouri is still alive— to a degree.

To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. Cuonzo Martin has the opportunity to do that on the recruiting landscape, although the chances of pulling off that coup are looking pretty slim. I wouldn’t even bother looking at the latest 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.

The Martin era started with a bang by bringing in the Porter brothers, and there was, of course, a perfect plan in place to land them. It didn’t work out as everybody hoped, but I’d still do it 99 times out of 100 if asked to do it if asked again... who wouldn’t?

After the Porter era, Martin’s goal for this program is to return to sustained success and stability, and he’s got a plan for that with the recent recruiting momentum he’s built.

Martin has worked his magic by prying Jeremiah Tilmon, Mark Smith, and Javon Pickett from Illinois and Torrence Watson from Ohio State, landing Evansville transfer Dru Smith, and bringing in Mario McKinney Jr, Tray Jackson, and Kobe Brown to build an intriguing core to get excited about in the future.

However, Martin has had some critical misses that could have taken this program to new heights: Courtney Ramey (Texas), E.J. Liddell (Ohio State), and Cam’Ron Fletcher (Kentucky), just to name a few.

Landing Caleb Love would single-handedly make up for those misses in a heartbeat. Next week we will find out if that is the case, for better or for worse.

This was why Cuonzo Martin was hired at Missouri, and we are so close to seeing him work his magic with these caliber of recruits. Martin is just waiting for his breakthrough. It may not happen with Love, but it’s coming.

Competing with the blue-bloods on the recruiting trail is an exciting time to get this program back where it needs to be, and Cuonzo Martin deserves credit.