Last week was forgettable, to say the least, for Missouri.
The Tigers saw their their top target decide to stick with his current program. A recruiting priority and long-time elite prospect stayed out west to suit up with his brother. And a reliable reserve from a proven Big Ten program will search for a bigger role at Cincinnati.
However, Cuonzo Martin and his staff refreshed their recruiting board.
So, I figured a little primer on these new targets would beneficial. Keep in mind, we only know who the Tigers have contacted.
Drew Buggs - PG, 6-3, 195, Grad Transfer, Hawaii (208)
%Min: 86.8, ORtg: 91.5, Poss.: 20.8, Shots: 20.2, eFG: 40.5, TS%: 43.2
Notable: 30.5% assist rate
The California native spent his first four seasons at on the island, which included a redshirt season as he recovered from a serious leg injury he suffered as a high school senior. Without a doubt, Buggs is a pass-first guard, sporting a 30 percent assist rate. The rest of his offensive package? Not all that threatening. Last season, he shot 26 percent from behind the arc and 41 percent inside of it. While he has good positional size and instincts, Buggs wouldn’t be signing on to fill a scoring role.
Missouri made overtures, but Buggs is taking his time. This might be a reasonable play for insurance in Xavier Pinson keeps his name in the NBA draft. Not so much if Pinson and Dru Smith are coming back.
Minnesota, Iowa State, Gonzaga, Arkansas, and UCF are all involved.
UPDATE: Buggs has cut his final list to Missouri, Iowa State, and Loyola Marymount
Jose Perez - Wing, 6-5, 200, Soph Transfer, Gardner Webb (218)
%Min: 57.4 (missed 10 games), ORtg: 94.7, Poss.: 27.9, Shots: 27.3, eFG: 37.7 TS%: 44.8
Perez reportedly spoke with Martin and listed MU as one of his early suitors. However, the New Yorker is still fielding calls, including Memphis, Georgia, Marquette, Dayton and Illinois. Perez has terrific size and put together a stellar freshman season in the Big South. His sophomore season saw regression across the board, and he left the Bulldogs with 10 games remaining in the regular season. That comes off as a bit of a red flag. But it’ll be up to MU’s coaches to understand the context surrounding that move. Assessing how well Perez would fit into the Tigers locker room might be as pressing an issue as whether he can regain his scoring touch.
Courvoisier McCauley - Wing, 6-5, 205, Soph Transfer, Lincoln Memorial (DII)
%Min: 79.2, ORtg: 113.6, Poss.: 27.0, Shots: 23.0, eFG: 60.5 TS%: 62.9
The most intriguing prospect on the list also has the most intriguing name. (Any man named after a good Cognac is okay with me.) The Indianapolis native was a late-bloomer in high school and left to follow a path to Division II. It didn’t take McCauley long to assemble a dominant freshman season. The question is to what degree it translates at the high-major level. Physically, McCauley is sturdy, and his natural instinct is get downhill—an attribute Mizzou could use on the wing.
The competition figures to be thick. Georgia, Iowa State, Marquette, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Georgetown, Minnesota, DePaul and others in trying to land him.
UPDATE: McCauley committed to DePaul on 4/22.
Francis Okoro - Post, 6’9, 235, Soph Transfer, Oregon
%Min: 39.0, ORtg: 106.1, Poss.: 12.8, Shots: 9.4, eFG: 53.7 TS%: 56.2
Two years ago, Okoro was a recruiting target — along with E.J. Liddell — on a stocked roster for Brad Beal Elite. Now, the former four-star recruit is on the move from Eugene. Since heading out west, he’s never cracked the lineup to the extent you’d expect for a player of his pedigree. His offensive game isn’t fully fleshed out, but his rebounding and intimidating presence around the rim make him worth pursuing.
Jarred Hyder - Combo Guard, 6-3, 180, Fresh Transfer, Fresno State
%Min: 70.0, ORtg: 93.6, Poss.: 19.8, Shots: 18.5, eFG: 44.8 TS%: 49.4
On Sunday night, Hyder trimmed his list to five school, and Mizzou made the cut. They’re also the only program not located on the West Coast to hang in the mix. No one would deem Hyder an efficient player, but he was productive as a freshman in one of the nation’s better mid-major conferences, including a 23-point outburst against San Diego State. Playing heavy minutes and showing flashes hint a much higher ceiling.
In a way, Hyder reminds me some of Pinson. The question is whether he’s better suited to play combo guard. In ball screens, he’s inclined to hunt for his shot rather than make a read that sets up a teammate. His body control and knack for making a play are enticing. Sitting out a year and developing might set the stage for major leap.
One last name to throw out, but we have no real reason to assume Missouri has reached out, is Deandre Williams:
Evansville forward DeAndre Williams is in the transfer portal, source told ESPN. Averaged 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds as a sophomore. Houston native.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 20, 2020
Williams was incredibly efficient as a combo forward, and he is older, despite just being a sophomore. But the level of skill and efficiency will make him a hot commodity.
Soon Matt will have a piece which will go over expectations for any immediately eligible players. I’d be on the lookout for that.