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Report: Mizzou schedules official visit with Evansville transfer Dru Smith

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Cuonzo Martin is still looking for ball handlers.

mizzou basketball recruiting 2017-18

Earlier this week, Matt Harris broke down Evansville transfer Dru Smith. Smith has been flying under the radar with his recruitment, keeping things super quiet. But last night, news broke:

Mizzou’s company here is pretty solid:

  • Virginia Tech was an 8-seed in the NCAAs last year, and Buzz Williams has built them into a perennial tournament team after taking over a disaster five years ago. The Hokies have three graduating players, but they have five juniors, so stashing a transfer or two would make a lot of sense.
  • Xavier earned a 1-seed, then lost their coach to Louisville, turning to associate head coach Travis Steele. Steele has been on a roll since taking over, landing the commitments of grad transfers Zach Hankins, Kyle Castilin, and Ryan Welage. Losing four seniors off of a 29 win team means you need to restock quickly, and taking a traditional transfer would aid the transition from these graduate transfers in the following season.

And then you get to Missouri.

Most of us know Missouri’s scholarship situation through and through. Mizzou is still in desperate need of additional ball handlers and has offered several of the top available players.

mizzou scholarship count 3-19-18 no porter

And here are the scholarship offers we know about:

  • Courtney Ramey, 4-star PG, Webster Groves, MO
  • Mark Smith, transfer from Illinois, Edwardsville, IL
  • Dru Smith, transfer from Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IN
  • Aaron Calixte, grad transfer from Maine, Montreal, Ont.

Mark Smith is visiting this weekend and we feel if things are right for him he could commit at any time. Calixte has yet to set a visit, and Ramey hasn’t set any visits other than those he has already taken.

The Tigers have three spots open this season, as we still expect Jontay Porter to stay in the NBA draft. Even with Xavier Pinson signed, their deepest need is at point guard, as Jordan Geist is more comfortable off the ball. So adding a ball handler would be of the utmost important.

So Smith is visiting in two weeks. What should we read into this?

Mizzou is going to bolster the talent on the roster as best they can, and that could mean adding multiple transfers who would have to sit out. I do believe Missouri would add both Dru and Mark Smith if the situation were right.

But they have also zeroed in hard on Ramey, and Ramey comes first.

There have been some whispers that a decision from Ramey could come sooner rather than later. But at this point I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever seen a more buttoned up recruitment than what the Rameys have accomplished. The prevailing thought is that Missouri is the leader, but two Rivals writers predicted an Oklahoma State commitment the other day, and the most recent pick on 247sports Crystal Ball prediction is to Texas. Everyone thinks its down to those schools despite the top 10 Ramey released last week.

If Ramey picks Mizzou, he has a spot. Cuonzo will want to try to take Ramey and Mark Smith, and if both commit, I could see them moving on from Dru Smith.

Or, they could try to take all three, giving Ramey the bulk of the minutes at point next year with Pinson and Geist backing him up.

For now, all eyes turn to Mark Smith and his official visit to Columbia.