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Happy NBA Draft Eve!

Mizzou Links for Wednesday, June 21

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Before we get to the NBA Draft stuff — [stops to sing “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie] it’s only a day away! — let’s go over a few things.

O’ Captains, My Captains

First, we are in the middle of voluntary summer workouts, and while I haven’t caught a glimpse of Connor Vanover and Curt Lewis yet, Dennis Gates has revealed his summer captains. Yes, in true Dennis Gates fashion, there are a lot of them. I know some people find that silly, but I love it. Kids love the recognition; I know my high school swimmers did, of which I had far too many junior and senior captains for a 30ish-member team.

So congrats to Curly Noah, Mabor Majak, Sean East, Nicky Buckets, and Ant Robinson. (links to each of the posts)

Rock M’mys

Next up... we’ve gotten quite a good response so far in the introductory category of the inaugural Rock M’mys. As of 9:30pm CST on Tuesday night, 668 (!) people have cast their ballots! Yay! Up until early Tuesday AM, D’Moi Hodge held a commanding lead with 51% of the vote with Ty’Ron Hopper not that far behind in 2nd. That is... until the Judd family saw the poll and shared it with the population of West Plains, Mo.

Well, lookie here! Ms. Judd has now taken a commanding lead, and while I was initially a bit thrown off by the sudden change in standings, it’s honestly kinda cool that she’s got so much support, and she’s certainly deserving — all the nominees are.

As a reminder, the awards will be running every Monday and Thursday through July 3. The polls will be open til July 4, so if you miss a day, you’ll still have a chance to vote!

Countdown to the Draft

It’s almost here!!! Time to focus on the NBA Draft, which takes place June 22 in Brooklyn on ESPN starting at 7pm. Let’s check in on Kobe and D’Moi, shall we? I can’t wait to watch these #MizzouMade guys in the league.

From their Kobe draft profile on Feb 21: Brown does a lot of damage in the post, and he doesn’t care which block he has to take someone on. Per Synergy, he tallies an elite 1.153 points per possession as a scorer in the post. His strength does a lot of the work for him, as he’ll bully his way into good looks. Still, he has the touch to finish even when he doesn’t get the cleanest of opportunities. Brown displays patience and solid footwork with enough burst to put the defender behind him when he gets them out of position.

Bullyball is a tricky skill to scale up, especially when a player isn’t a towering 7-footer. The good news is that Brown has started to display an inside-out element to his game. Brown has converted 45.6% of his threes on the season, taking 3.2 threes per game. Even better, he’s taking more difficult looks and showing an increased willingness to launch, with a 50% increase in threes per 100 possessions compared to a year ago. While he’s never going to be a player who flies off screens, he hit off basic “fill the opening” relocation and has good shot preparation footwork. If a defender sags on him, he’ll take the open look and make them pay.

From their D’Moi projections, entitled “D’Moi I watch, D’Moi I like” on March 3: D’Moi Hodge isn’t a player that is on many boards as of now. There’s a lot of hesitation on picking up a player that isn’t 6’5”+ or a guard that isn’t a lead initiator. The off-ball centric game of Hodge puts a theoretical cap on his value. While being a defensive menace, the likelihood of D’Moi becoming a player that could become versatile enough to truly defend three positions at the next level on a night-to-night basis is a big swing. The volatility of Hodge could be something that could scare teams from being confident in investing significant draft capital.

That being said, I don’t find it outlandish for a team to take him in the second round. Consider the players Hodge was compared to earlier. Gabe Vincent went undrafted and only played nine games for Miami in the 2019-2020 season. Cory Joseph was a first round pick, but fell to 29th in the 2011 NBA Draft. De’Anthony Melton fell into the 2nd round and was taken 46th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Patrick Beverly was the 42nd pick in 2009, but he didn’t even play until the 2012-2013 season. In retrospect, we can find reasons as to how these players could have/should have been taken higher, but NBA teams talked themselves down on those four. It could have been a size-based concern as to why they fell. It could have been due to level of competition. It may have been role, lack of a particular skill, or questions about athleticism. Regardless, those players have striking similarities to what D’Moi is doing at Missouri and we shouldn’t be surprised if he has a similar path to becoming a consistent NBA player.

Competitor who blends the strength of a forward and the finesse of a guard. Shades of Paul Millsap, David Roddy


Patient at-rim scorer who leverages his size and strength to generate space for layups.

Post presence with the ability to score over either shoulder. At the next level, he could thrive against switches.

Steady playmaker who minimizes mistakes. Missouri used him as a passing hub around the elbows. NBA teams could similarly rely on him in dribble handoffs, and he brings the versatility to handle pick-and-rolls.

Active rebounder who can crash the boards and jump-starts offense with coast-to-coast possessions.

Anticipatory defender who snuffs out opponents’ plays and constantly communicates with his teammates.


Is he a reliable 3-point shooter? Brown went from making a dismal 23.7 percent of his 3s over his first three seasons on 207 attempts to an outstanding 45.5 percent on 112 attempts as a senior.

Bully ball was Brown’s go-to way of creating offense in college, but he’ll be facing bigger, stronger players in the NBA, making it a hard transition for him.

Standing about 6’7” with a 7’1” wingspan, Kobe Brown has impressed many teams during his pre-draft workouts. Having the ability to play anywhere on the floor and attack the basket on offense given his size, Brown would be a nice addition to a rebuilding Wizards roster.

The Spurs complement the youth of Wembanyama and Rupert with one of the older college prospects on the board. Kobe Brown has to find his position defensively, but 6-foot-8 forwards who can shoot, face up, handle, and pass like Brown have inherent upside in the modern game.

  • The Athletic (June 20)- #36 on John Hollinger’s Big Board. Listed as Tier IX: Potential Role Players

It’s easy to look at his frame and worry he’ll get cooked on defense, but Brown also has fast hands and reads the game well; his rate of 2.8 steals per 100 possessions is pretty extraordinary for a husky power forward. Because he’s 23 and had an outlier senior year, teams will be looking at Brown with a microscope to make sure it wasn’t a fluke year. But there is at least some history of players like this succeeding as pros, and Brown may end up another example.

As a senior, so much of Kobe Brown’s game changed for the best and improved overall. One example is how he became more explosive within the halfcourt of the offense, best exemplified by going from 14 dunks in his first three years combined in the halfcourt, to 23 as a senior in the halfcourt. While this could halfway be attributed to him maturing and being older than his competition with more experience, the improvements across the board make it seem like a real, sustainable improvement to his game and polishing of his skillsets that could scale up in a smaller role in the NBA.

Expected role: Versatile two-way forward

More Kobe & D’Moi News

Eastern Conference executive No. 1: Kobe Brown is a good athlete. He’s going to be a little bit undersized for a power forward, but he does a little bit of everything. He can shoot the 3, put it on the floor, create for his teammates. He’s got a pretty good basketball IQ. He’s shown improvement each year he’s been in college. … And he’s an absolutely great kid. Works his butt off. Can he be, he’s not the rebounder as this name I’m about to throw out — but he’s about the same size, body is somewhat similar, and the same offensive player at the same stage coming out of college: Paul Millsap. A 6-7, small power forward, plays bigger than they are. Paul learned how to play defense, became a better shooter in time. Kobe is probably a year older than when Paul came out, doesn’t rebound as well. But he is a much better offensive player than Paul was in college.

“I’m probably not as high on him as the consensus. I think he’s undersized. I struggle to figure out who he defends. I think the coaching staff at Missouri put him in a role where he was able to excel. He’s done a good job with his conditioning, but that could be a problem down the road. He shot it well last season for the first time in his career. Is that real? The question is whether he’s going to make it athletically. Really high-character kid.”

  • The Field of 68 discusses Kobe:
  • The USA Today RookieWire’s Draft Workout Tracker 2023 has an up-to-date list of players who have had official workouts. Both D’Moi and Kobe have been to Portland as well as Indy. Here’s the link to Kobe’s interview with Indy. Additionally, Kobe has been to Charlotte and D’Moi to Washington, Minnesota and the LA (Lakers). UPDATED: Kobe apparently worked out for my Nuggies on Tuesday.

A quintessential three-and-D prospect, D’Moi Hodge should be on the radar for many teams in the second round or as a priority undrafted free-agent signing. Hodge shone in his lone season at Missouri, averaging 14.7 points on 47.7% shooting, including 40% from three-point range. The Tortola native is a disruptive defender with quick hands, as evidenced by his 5.1 steal percentage this past season. At 24, Hodge may have relatively less room for growth, but his ability to consistently knock down shots while being a menace defensively is valuable in today’s NBA.

Hodge stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 190 pounds, which makes him a little bit on the bigger side for a guard, although he hardly has elite size. But he has developed a reputation as something of a defensive stalwart.

He can pressure opposing ball-handlers as they bring the ball upcourt and set up their team’s offense. He is also adept at getting steals and occasionally even blocking shots.

Hodge averaged 2.6 steals per game for the University of Missouri this past season. The two seasons prior to that, he played at Cleveland State University, where he came up with 2.2 steals per contest during the 2021-22 campaign and 1.7 steals a game the year before.

Offensively, Hodge has shown great improvement with his 3-point shooting, going from 29.9 percent two seasons ago to 40.0 percent this past season. He is adept in catch-and-shoot situations, and he can also create his own shot off the dribble a bit, but he may not have advanced skills in that department.

Overall, he put up 14.7 points a game during the 2022-23 season for the Tigers.

On to the Links!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:


  • Tune in this morning to see where/if the Show Me Squad is seeded in the TBT bracket! Apparently, over 100 teams applied for 64 spots.
  • Hope everything is okay with Coach Hollender. He only took the job at Wichita State in the last couple months, and I was excited to see him and Ronnie reunited. In his place though, another former Tiger!


  • You simply love to see it.

Other Mizzou Sports, Etc.

  • SOFTBALL: Maddie Snider has found her new home, and so has Riley Frizell!

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