With the announcement that Jordan Barnett is officially transferring to Mizzou, it's always a good time to figure out what that means for the roster. We'll take some time to look at the short term vs long term shaping of the roster and see how taking a transfer at this stage of the game affects both the count on the number of scholarships, vs the layout of the roster positionally. So first, a few things:
- Mizzou is still recruiting for the 2016 class, we've told you this on a few occasions, but this continues to be true even with the Barnett transfer.
- The main target at this stage is Deshawn Corprew, from Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, NC. Fulford was in North Carolina as recently as last Friday (prior to the South Carolina game) to see Corprew. I've been told that Mizzou coaches are confident they can land Corprew at this point. They are still looking at Eron Gordon also, but Gordon's reception hasn't been as strong as Corprew.
It's still possible that Mizzou does not sign Corprew, and does not sign another player for 2016. That is a possibility. All that matters at this point is that they end up at 13 scholarships by August, when school starts. If they can end up at 12, maybe even better since that would be year 2 of the sanctioned scholarship out of the way. The key time for all this to shake out though is in the spring, and there are still a lot of games to play for the roster to shake out.
With that out of the way, here's our Scholarship Count graphic that I love to use to much:
As of now, Missouri has to drop at least one guy to get to 13 by August, two if they sign somebody like Corprew (and I've been told they will sign Corprew if he wants to commit) or if they don't sign anyone and want to use the "sanctioned" spot next year. Or THREE players if they want to do all of the above. So my favorite game of "look at the end of the bench" can start any day now.
Kim Anderson has been playing all 11 guys, and all 11 have contributed at one point or another. Which makes the game tough because the three least amount of minutes played vs Georgia (Allen, Gant, Walton) have all had stretches and flashes of high potential. If you look at minutes averaged by season, Gant moves up and Woods moves down. Woods is going to be a senior, so it seems a stretch that you'd lose him (plus Mizzou can't afford to lose post players). I was asked last night about who would leave, and the truth is I don't know. It's really hard to project when everybody is getting some minutes.
With that said, we can talk about who I don't see leaving, since that's a much shorter list. Kevin Puryear has stated that he doesn't want to be anywhere else, so I feel secure locking him down for one spot. Woods is a position of need and only on scholarship for another year, so he's unlikely. As is Wes Clark, it's possible that Wes seeks out a chance to win in his last collegiate season, but at this point he's stuck it out this far, why not another year? I also think Terrence Phillips is going to stick around, he's not from Missouri, but I don't know of many kids that have bought into the experience like he has. It's probably safe to assume that Jordan Barnett will be in uniform next year, and I would guess Cullen VanLeer, another Missouri kid who is a freshmen, is also pretty likely to return. At that point however, I'm going to stop. Every other guy has a legitimate reason to move on. Some more than others.
I'm like the staff adding Barnett. He's a talented, high character, kid who needed a new situation. He was recruited heavily by Rick Barnes at Texas, and was recruited but not heavily by Frank Haith and company. Barnett is more of a traditional small forward, but has the size and strength where he could play the power forward position in the right situation. While at CBC, the Cadets generally ran small and let Barnett fill any spot that needed filling. They ran a high paced offense and he fit in well with that approach. For the sake of the roster breakdown I'm going to call Barnett a Combo Forward because I see him filling a similar role as D'Angelo Allen, a guy that can flex between the 3 & 4 spots. The difference being that Barnett is a much more gifted shooter/scorer.
|Mizzou Roster Breakdown|
|P O I N T G U A R D|
|Wes Clark||Jimmy Barton||Terrence Phillips||Priority|
|C O M B O G U A R D|
|W I N G|
|Namon Wright||Cullen VanLeer||Willie Jackson||Priority|
|C O M B O F O R W A R D|
|D'Angelo Allen||Kevin Puryear|
|P O S T|
|Russell Woods||Jakeenan Gant||Adam Wolf||Reed Nikko||Priority|
As you can see there are a lot of guys in the middle of this. Whichever wing stays, you'll need them to improve with the ball in their hands. Wright, VanLeer and Walton are all guys that have varying degrees of ball handling ability. Wright is probably the strongest at this point, with the two freshmen being a little scary. I could see Walton develop into a nice combo guard with his size and ability to get into the middle. At this point it will largely depend on who comes back as to where these roles fill in, and with so much basketball to play, it's hard to pinpoint who might be most likely to move on.
So we'll keep monitoring the situation and pass along any thing new that I hear. But for now, just keep watching those minutes.