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Mizzou Football and Basketball recruiting have both improved this year

Better, but better by enough?

drinkwitz press conference

While I was putting together yesterday’s post regarding the 2021 recruiting class for Mizzou Basketball, I was thinking back to some thoughts I had back in July when Mizzou was cut from Jaden Akins’ list. Some fans in the mentions of Rock M Nation’s twitter account were having a hard time dealing with the news of the Tigers not even making an appearance on the final 6 graphic, despite everyone knowing that Akins was destined to play for Michigan State.

The odd reactions to the news led to multiple posts over the next few weeks, of which the goal was to get a better grasp of Mizzou Basketball Recruiting. You may remember them?

But one of the thoughts I had in my initial posts I didn’t really go further into:

Now, before we begin, I want to start this by saying this is not meant to denigrate the recruiting efforts of anyone, but more an exploration in expectations.

So Drink is Killin’ it!

This seems to be the consensus amongst most Mizzou fans at this stage. From my own standpoint, I even wrote about Drinkwitz’s success on the recruiting trail last weekend. So let’s look at Drinkwitz’s recruiting class of 2021:

Mizzou 2024 Commitment List

Pos Recruit Name Hometown Commitment Date Rivals Rate Rivals Rank 247 Rate 247 Rank Ht Wt
Pos Recruit Name Hometown Commitment Date Rivals Rate Rivals Rank 247 Rate 247 Rank Ht Wt
TE Whit Hafer Joplin, MO 2/25/2023 3-star 5.5 N/A 0.8478 6'7 230
TE-OL Ryan Jostes Washington, MO 3/11/2023 3-star 5.6 3-star 0.8619 6'6 280
QB Daniel Kaelin Bellevue, NE 3/13/2023 3-star 5.7 3-star 0.8826 6'2 198
DL Tionne Gray St. Louis, MO 3/18/2023 4-star 5.9 4-star 0.9007 6'6 305
5.68 0.8733

Rivals’ recruiting ratings don’t carry over to basketball the same way the ratings do with 247sports. So I’m strictly going to be looking at 247 composite rankings as the easiest way to compare successes. Now, there are 83 scholarships in a normal year (who knows what is going to happen with scholarships thanks to the impact of COVID), which works out to be almost 21 players signed in a class.

For comparison, basketball has 13 scholarships in a normal year, which works out to be 3.25 players signed per class. Turnover in basketball seems to be higher than football, so we’ll round up to 4 per class.

Mizzou Football’s class of 19 players is a good one, and they’re probably only going to take a few more, so the class is nearly full. 16 of the 19 are in the top 1000 players according to 247, with the average rating being 0.8674. The average ranking is akin to the 619th ranked player in the class.

Meanwhile, the basketball class is a little tougher to judge because of Kaleb Brown and Trevon Brazile being unrated, while even the last three unranked prospects in the football class have a rating. But I’m going to attempt to compare here. Thinking out loud a bit, if the average football class is 21 and the average basketball class is 4, that means one basketball signee is akin to 5.25 football signees.

So essentially, Anton Brookshire, Cuonzo Martin’s highest rated basketball player, is equal to Drink nabbing Travion Ford, Tyler Macon, Connor Tollison, Dameon Wilson, and Kyran Montgomery. And Yaya Keita equals Daylan Carnell, Shemar Pearl, Davion Sistrunk, Taj Butts, and Daniel Robledo. You get the idea.

Mizzou versus the SEC

So overall, Drinkwitz has stepped up recruiting at Missouri. Whereas Barry Odom’s classes finished 13th each year, Drinkwitz has broken through this year and has this class rated 9th!

In both sports, classes are bumped up with more commitments. And Mizzou’s class of 19 has more recruits than the classes below them. Mississippi State has 17, Kentucky has 14, South Carolina has 16, Ole Miss has 12, and Vanderbilt has 14. Of the five, I’d be most concerned about Kentucky and Ole Miss. Mississippi State has three 4-stars already on board, so they could move up too with just a few more additions.

Judging by what’s left, it’s more likely Mizzou drops to about 11th. They’ll probably get a few more commitments, and the average recruiting rank for the class is .8674, which is exactly what Arkansas’ 11th ranked recruiting class was last year.

On the basketball side, Mizzou’s 5-man class ranks 4th in the SEC. But as I said yesterday, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M, Arkansas — a lot of schools used to recruiting really well — are behind Mizzou. Last year was a banner year in SEC basketball recruiting and a class with Mizzou’s average rating would’ve landed them around 9th, and the “points” (whatever that means) would’ve been 10th.

We’re excited about the recruiting wins, really

But perception is a funny thing. When a football team lands recruit after recruit, it’s easier to get pumped up about the wins. But the basketball coach hasn’t needed to land as many players in recent classes due to some solid spring additions so the fall has been quieter. And while Cuonzo Martin seems to get crushed for missing out on his top guys, Drinkwitz seems to get a pass. I don’t know if the 2017 class set up a bad expectation or what?

There are nearly constant references to Zo missing out on recruits, but Dominic Lovett and Keontez Lewis, two high priority targets from East St. Louis, commit to Arizona State and UCLA, respectively, and there’s barely a peep about it. Look at the top players in the state of Missouri: Jakailin Johnson (Ohio State) and Gabriel Rubio (Notre Dame); both chose blue bloods.

The issue is— elite schools will nearly always be able to pluck elite players from wherever they need them. Caleb Love goes to North Carolina, Dontae Manning goes to Oregon. Missouri is down the pecking order, unfortunately.

Drinkwitz has improved over Odom’s recruiting, but he’s still got work to do if he wants Mizzou to be the destination when Ohio State comes calling. Cuonzo’s class is restoring some order for Mizzou basketball recruiting, but it’s still likely to be a modest class in the end.

Martin landed two of his priorities in Anton Brookshire and Yaya Keita, but missed on two others in Tamar Bates and David Joplin (both chose Texas). He worked to get Durugordon, and got a little lucky with Trevon Brazile making his decision before he could fully explore some intriguing options. Things worked out this year in ways it hasn’t in the last few years.

Both programs are recruiting well. But is it well enough to break through?