The long journey and recruitment of Webster Groves point guard Courtney Ramey reached its end, and the news is not what Mizzou fans hoped to hear.
Ending weeks of speculation on where he would end up, Ramey pledged his services to Texas on Friday, dealing a blow — albeit a predictable one — to an MU program in desperate need of replenishing ball-handling on its roster for 2018-19.
Per my son Courtney Ramey words: "After a long deligent process on which me and my family did our best to keep it just between us, the time has come after a lot of prayer and being very patient. I have finally decided on the school I want to attend:" pic.twitter.com/L4uW0GWvtY— Terrell Ramey (@Rameybasketball) April 27, 2018
After being initially rebuffed by the Rameys in the fall following Courtney’s decommitment last September from Louisville, MU coach Cuonzo Martin picked up Ramey’s recruitment again in late February and went hard. Martin showed up everywhere, watching all but one of Ramey’s games — the Tigers just so happened to be playing in the NCAA tournament that night — and was in the building to see the guard lead the Statesmen to a Class 5A crown.
Nabbing Ramey would have been the answer to the Tigers biggest glaring hole. He is the perfect floor general and a fierce competitor who I thought would be a precise fit for what Martin and the Tigers want to do, particularly with the new style of offense they’re running.
But in the end, the pursuit wasn’t enough.
Shaka Smart and Texas had been recruiting Ramey since before he committed to Louisville and had long been considered one of the favorites, even scoring one of Ramey’s two official visits. In the end, the longevity of that relationship was too much for Martin and the Tigers to overcome.
Even though Texas has struggled since Smart took over for Rick Barnes three years ago, the Longhorns have recruited at a high level and that continues today. Landing Ramey gives Texas five signees, four of which are in the top 100. And his commitment moves their class from No. 13 for 2018 into the top 10.
So what now for Missouri?
As February and March wore on, there were nuggets of information which seemed to point in Mizzou's favor. And the momentum shift over those two months made it appear that Mizzou sat in the driver's seat.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Recent developments suggested Missouri knew it might be falling out of the running. Mizzou scored a commitment from Evansville transfer Dru Smith today, who will join Illinois transfer Mark Smith in sitting out next season, and considering the Tigers are still going hard after forward Blake Hinson, the scholarship math didn’t really work out if the Tigers thought they still had a chance at Ramey.
We’ll have more on those spots in the coming days and weeks, but until then, good luck to Courtney.