In part one we already refreshed the names on the list. Most of whom you are already familiar with. Whether the last name is Liddell or McKinney, the Tigers top targets haven’t moved much. So...
Where things stand as of now
E.J. Liddell: Everyone wants to know where Liddell is heading next year, and we’re likely a long time away from figuring as much out. All the prognosticators seem to think this is a four team race right now with Missouri facing off against Illinois, Kansas State, and Ohio State. Liddell has been on each campus unofficially and has yet to set up any official visits. He’s gotten more recent offers from Louisville, Florida, Texas A&M, and Connecticut but none have been able to break through as of yet.
We’re still mostly monitoring this as a battle for Mizzou against those top four, with Ohio State and Illinois maybe being the toughest opponents. Ohio State already has a commitment from a 5-star power forward and have certainly clogged up their roster with young talent as Chris Holtmann has taken over. Meanwhile, Missouri and Illinois have cleared the way for Liddell to find all the playing time he could want. At this point the one thing very much in favor for the Tigers is Cuonzo Martin has established a close relationship with E.J.
Mario McKinney: McKinney seemed like the most likely to pull the trigger on a commitment early, but he’s had a bit of an interesting offseason. Hoping to play more of a traditional point guard role for his AAU program, the Bradley Beal Elite, McKinney has found himself behind elite 2021 guard Zion Harmon and 2019 guard Yuri Collins in that role, mostly playing off the ball. As a combo guard, McKinney is still the electric player we all know and love, but as his role has been less defined he’s seemingly slowed his recruitment down while even floating the idea of holding off a commitment until after his Senior season.
I would still peg Missouri as being the favorite to land McKinney, but like Liddell he has received offers from Florida, Louisville, and others to accompany Illinois and Kansas State. Liddell and McKinney are also very close friends, which is why it would behoove the Tigers to try to press the gas a bit and try to reel McKinney on board.
Malik Hall: Every so often an update will come out on Hall which seems to remove Missouri from the conversation, then the very next update puts them right back. Hall has had a very good summer seeing the likes of Villanova, Oregon, Texas, and Memphis jump into the mix to go along with long time schools like Purdue, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. I’ve always considered the Tigers to be a bit of a long shot with Hall, but as the summer progresses we’ll see if there’s a chance for Mizzou to squeeze it’s way into the final groups.
Terrence Hargrove, Jr.: With Hargrove’s move to the BBE this summer, many thought his recruiting would take off. He struggled early to find a role on a loaded team, playing behind elite 2020 recruit Moses Moody on the wing and Liddell manning the combo forward spot. With those early struggles, Hargrove just hasn’t seen his stock take off the way most of us expected. He’s picked up offers from SLU and Colorado, and Missouri State recently to go along with New Mexico, Illinois State and Missouri. The Tigers are in good position but as roles change and other players emerge, they may be able to slow down the recruitment with Hargrove and hope they can still turn to him if things don’t pan out with a player like Malik Hall.
Rocket Watts: When you talk about guys who have blown up, Watts is towards the top of the list. He’s an elite scoring guard out of Michigan, and while his recruiting hasn’t exactly been an open book, it’s easy to see that the Tigers are right in the thick of things. He’s picked up more offers recently from Illinois, Wake Forest, Oregon, Providence, Louisville and Minnesota, but a lot of scouts and experts have pegged this as a battle between Michigan and Marquette. Lurking in the shadows is Missouri, who have already had Watts down for an unofficial visit.
Please be greater don’t please these haters 1x pic.twitter.com/xTrhJGwUmg— Rocket X Watts X jr (@kingJay79) June 17, 2018
Several weeks ago, Watts tweeted out that a release of his top-seven schools would be imminent. But that list hasn’t been unveiled, and Watts has been busy suiting up for Team USA basketball at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Canada. That being said, multiple sources indicated MU will likely survive the cut down and remains in good standing with the Detroit native.
Tray Jackson: Matt wrote about Jackson extensively, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time on him, but I certainly agree with Matt that Jackson could be the first foray into Michigan to pay dividends. Jackson is everything you could want when it comes to positionless basketball. Watching his highlight video proves what the coaches see. Jackson is a guy who is just now starting to see schools get involved as Oklahoma, Xavier, and DePaul all seem in good shape along with Missouri.
Harlond Beverly: The big combo guard from Michigan seems destined to end up at Michigan State. Missouri put in early work, but when the Spartans really want a player it’s hard to out-maneuver Tom Izzo on an in-state kid. Then Beverly decided to throw a wrench into everyone’s plans and transfer to basketball factory Monteverde Academy in Florida. I would still list State as the favorite, with Ohio State and Xavier also lurking but trailing the Spartans even with Beverly’s move to south Florida.
Antavion Collum: Collum is truly the player who defines positionless. He’s 6’8 but plays the role of lead guard for his high school team, but once the ball is entered he seems to move to the wing. On defense he mostly defends on the wing and in the high post, meaning he isn’t likely going to guard the opposition point guard often. With that said, Collum has struggled this spring with inefficient play on the circuit. Because of that he hasn’t quite seen his recruitment take off. He’s been hotly pursued by new Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis and has been on campus to Oxford as well. It’s easy to see them as the early favorites, but I’m not entirely sure Missouri is hotly pursuing Collum either as it looks like Jackson, Liddell, and Hargrove might all be ahead of him.
Marcus Watson: A player who has seen his recruitment take off this spring is Watson. A physical wing and explosive athlete, he has all of the schools all over the southeast going after him hard. Right now, Missouri is not among those schools. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Clemson and Florida are all deep in the mix at the moment.
Jalen Hill: Hill is another guy who’s stock has been rising. He’s another player who Missouri offered earlier than most which usually allows them to stay in the hunt longer. But with Hill being more of a West Coast guy (based in Nevada) and it looks like he’ll likely stay out west once a decision is made.
Yuri Collins: Despite playing starter minutes for the Bradley Beal Elite, and getting a fairly quick Missouri offer last year, Collins hasn’t exactly taken off with his offer list. Collins style of play and overall lack of explosion likely prevented a bunch of schools from hopping on, but his AAU and high school coaches swear by his ability and will go to bat for him. He’s a bit of an old school point guard with the ability to find the open man and make the right play more often than not. Right now I don’t know think Collins is very high up on the list and just boasts offers from DePaul, SMU, SLU and Missouri State, so if the Tigers decided to jump in it would likely be late and with the plan to develop Collins over a few years.
Isiaih Mosley: Maybe to the disappointment of many Missouri fans, the potential marriage of Columbia kid Mosley and his hometown Tigers doesn’t seem real likely right now. Mosley has recent offers from SMU, Missouri State, and Bradley. So he hasn’t quite seen many high majors reach out to date, and his contact with Missouri has fallen off slightly, meaning the Tigers have more wings ahead of Mosley, and right now so do a lot of other schools. On the circuit Isiaih has proven to be one of the elite shooters, but he’s gonna have to be patient if he wants to land more high major offers.