It’s still spring of 2023 and the headlines are all about the transfer portal. For Mizzou, there are still decisions to be made, and visits to occur. And tomorrow I’ll discuss the cost/benefit of high school recruiting and the transfer portal, and how’s it’s changed over the last few years (plus we’ll hear from Matthew Cleveland on where he’ll play next year, which the latest intel would suggest it won’t be in Columbia). But, at least for now, high school recruiting is still very much a part of the roster building approach from Dennis Gates and his staff as evidenced by their pursuit and signing of three prospects from the 2023 class.
In 2024, much of the pursuit has been the same as we’ve seen the staff prioritize what we might consider functional size.
With the portal season getting closer to wrapping up (the last day for non-graduates to enter the transfer portal is May 11th), I figured now would be a good time to reset the board for the 2024 high school recruiting class. The class itself could be a very good one for the Tigers as they’re deeply in the mix for several highly talented players, and the board is short. In all there are only 31 offers to players in the class (per 247sports.com), and 7 of those have already committed. So only 24 offers remain, and while 24 is still a good amount we are focusing on a few moreso than others.
I don’t expect this to be a big class. I think Mizzou would take 4 players tops, but three seems more likely. So here is who you might want to keep a close eye on:
Annor Boateng | 6-5, 205 | Little Rock, Arkansas
Depending on the service, Boateng hovers in the high 4-star to low 5-star range. He’s an athletic and strong wing prospect who Missouri has identified as a top target. He’s already been on campus for an unofficial visit back during the season. He has also stated his intentions to keep Mizzou on his list for the long haul, along with Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, and some newer schools like Virginia Tech, Stanford, and Florida. We’ve often talked about how hard it is to pry elite kids out of Arkansas, but Boateng and his family aren’t born and bred Arkansans. Boatengs parents are academics who moved to Arkansas from Ohio when Annor was young. This is why Boateng might be more gettable than most elite Arkansas prospects. Though Muss and his NIL backup is always formidable.
I don’t expect any quick commitments here, but Boateng is a prospect I’m paying particular attention to. In a recent article on 247sports he spoke highly of his relationship with the Missouri staff.
Annor Boateng highlights from Adidas 3SSB Chapter 1 with the Arkansas Hawks! @3SSBCircuit @annor2024 pic.twitter.com/QpBh3lUJJr— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) April 23, 2023
Jarin Stevenson | 6-10, 200 | Pittsboro, North Carolina
Stevenson is the higest rated prospect on this list currently, as he sits at 16th overall in the 247sports Composite. Stevenson has been on campus already for an official visit, and when asked about his top schools, the Tigers always make the list. At 6’10 he’s a skilled forward with the ability to stretch the floor. Stevenson is looking to make a decision by the end of the summer and he’s exactly the style of player who could fit into any system.
The other programs involved are North Carolina, the presumed favorite because Stevenson’s mother played at UNC, along with Virginia and NC State. He also took an official visit to Georgetown under Patrick Ewing. His father is a former CAA player of the year at Richmond, so basketball is in the family blood. And Charlton “CY” Young is the lead recruiter.
John Bol | 7-1, 190 | Wichita, Kansas
One of the more intriguing names in the entire 2024 class is 22nd ranked 5-star center John Bol. He’s only been in the United States for a few years. He played high school basketball at CBC in St. Louis before transferring to Sunrise Christian in Wichita this past season. Bol is Sudanese and moved to the United States for basketball. His size and mobility is intriguing, but he’s very much a work in progress.
Because of the size/mobility side, Bol is a hot prospect who can help you defensively right away. Bol has visited Michigan and Florida and been to Missouri on an unofficial visit.
Peyton Marshall | 6-11, 310 | Marietta, Georgia
Another intriguing big, Peyton Marshall has already made it to Mizzou for an official visit. But he took a trip to Auburn and then committed to Bruce Pearl. But after Wes Flanagan left for an assistant job at Ole Miss Marshall decommitted and opened things back up. Missouri had Marshall in for a visit in the fall, and as a St. Louis native the prospect of playing close to home and in front of family was intriguing to Marshall.
He’s a top 50 prospect and a girth but skilled big with soft hands and good feet. The Tigers along with Mississippi State and Ole Miss have been on Marshall hard.
Marcus Allen | 6-6, 190 | Chandler, Arizona
An early offer, Allen is a name to watch in this class because of his long time relationship with CY, who gave Allen one of his first offers. Since then CY has moved onto Missouri where he’s made Allen a priority target. At the same time Allen transferred to finish his High School ball at Compass Prep in Arizona where he teamed up with 2023 Missouri signee Trent Pierce. The lineup for the top 50 wing’s talents is long and it's growing by the day.
Recently the list for Allen has gotten deep. Initially it looked like Missouri might be able to keep the lead against schools like Xavier and Florida State, but since Ohio State, Arkansas Miami, Michigan, Michigan State and others have all jumped in. Still, the relationship with CY is strong.
Dallas Thomas | 6-7, 170 | Little Rock, Arkansas
Another Little Rock prospect, Thomas recently released his top 5 schools and he’s got a thing for Tigers. Memphis, Missouri, Clemson, and LSU were his top schools along with the home state Arkansas Razorbacks. Thomas is a rangy hybrid wing ranked 70th in the 247sports.com composite. His size and athleticism are intriguing but Thomas needs to gain strength in a big way. He’s already been on campus for an official visit, and his versatility would make a lot of sense for Missouri. Currently Columbia is the only of his final five which has hosted Thomas for an official visit. So perhaps something to keep an eye on.
Yesterday, '24 Dallas Thomas included Mizzou in his top 5.— Order On The Court ⚖️ (@DataMizzou) May 5, 2023
The Little Rock native did include Arkansas. However, multiple Arkansas prep players have transferred out of Fayetteville in recent years. pic.twitter.com/K1SqdbCRWM
There are a few point guards to keep an eye out for, but right now that area is a bit murkier than the wing and big market. Curtis Givens has a Missouri offer and has spoken highly of the Tigers. Travis Perry made it to campus, but in recent interviews has not mentioned the Tigers amongst the schools in hot pursuit. There’s also T.O. Barrett, who has been on campus and is just outside the top 100. Barrett is more of a combo guard, but a name to monitor. Recently, the Tigers also offered 3-star combo guard Isaiah Brown out of Orlando, and 3-star wing Kameren Wright out of Gainesville’s The Rock School.
Over the next few months we’ll probably learn a bit more about some secondary targets, but Mizzou and their staff feel very good about their position with some of their top targets. Soon enough we’ll know what to make of the rest of the 2023 transfer class, but in the meantime you can watch up on some exciting prospects for the fall.