The damn already broke on the 2023 recruiting class for Dennis Gates, and it’s a very solid start.
2023 Florida Point Guard Anthony Robinson II committed to Missouri on Thursday, quickly after his official visit to Columbia. It’s rare to start collecting commitments this early, but apparently Robinson liked what he saw on his official visit and decided to make his move.
In the linked article above, 247sports’ Eric Bossi got a few quotes from Robinson. What stood out the most was the previous relationship with Associate Head Coach Charlton “CY” Young. Proximity to Robinson’s high school likely helped, since he attended the Florida State University school, a laboratory high school affiliated with FSU.
CY was really excited about the commitment, and seemed to be in the driver seat with getting Robinson on board.
With the 2023 class kicked off, it seemed a good time to revisit the roster situation. And revisit our roster count graphic, updated with the initial pledge of the 2023 class.
In a recent post we looked at the updated online roster for the Tigers, and every player listed as a senior on the scholarship graphic above is listed as a senior (or graduate senior) on the online roster. The only surprise for me was the inclusion of Mohamed Diarra in the Junior class instead of as a Sophomore. For that reason we’ve updated the classification of Diarra and he’ll be listed as being a junior.
Obviously, because of COVID and what is basically considered a free year, the next couple years are going to be a little sticky when it comes to figuring out the available scholarships.
What we know is that DeAndre Gholston, Tre Gomillion, and D’Moi Hodge are out of eligibility. Kobe Brown, Nick Honor, and Isiaih Mosley all could opt to play another season in college. With one scholarship available, Mizzou has at least four spots to fill for next season and at most 7.
With Sean East, and now Anthony Robinson, Gates and his staff are probably looking for one more additional ball handler. With a minimum of 3 spots available after Robinson.
The benefit of landing a high-upside long-term prospect like Robinson is it still allows you to be flexible with the rest of your class. Robinson is listed as a point guard but he’s just as comfortable off the ball. He’s not a primary initiator at his high school, and switches on and off the ball with this grassroots team. He’s got a lot in common with East, a capable ball handler who is probably more a natural fit as a combo guard.
These days a point guard is a lot less likely to be seen as a primary initiator as much as just the guy who handles the ball more when there’s back court pressure. It’s useful to have multiple capable ball handlers on the floor, something the previous staff often struggled to maintain. And when they did, Mizzou was pretty good. Robinson is that guy. A capable ball handler, maybe not a traditional point guard but he’s fine with the ball in his hands. And can be the primary ball handler for many years to come.
What’s left for the class?
I fully expect Mizzou to add at least one more post in the class, if not two. We know they’d really prefer to have one more on this current roster, but a certain Western Kentucky transfer decided to stick it out in the bluegrass state.
I also think they’re hunting for a high level shooter. Right now I’d keep an eye on Parker Friedrichsen, a 6-4 guard out of Oklahoma as a possible primary target for that role.
I expect a pretty big week for Eli Drinkwitz this week, so hopefully Dennis Gates and his crew stay on the quiet side.