It’s almost shocking news these days when news gets out that Mizzou Hoops offered someone. Cuonzo Martin and his staff haven’t shown they’re the type to whip around offers in order to see who bites. Instead the process appears to be more methodical and reasoned.
Tuesday night Mizzou fought their way through 40 minutes against Kentucky. Then Martin and Cornell Mann made the trip to Dayton, Ohio, where Sean McNeil, a 6’4” scoring wing, plays as a true freshman for Sinclair Community College. McNeil was a lightly recruited player out of Kentucky who has since blown up with offers from West Virginia, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State as well as Dayton, Colorado State, and Toledo. Many others have reached out and it would seem like the offers are only going to pile up from here.
McNeil is a 2019 recruit because he’s a full qualifier, so like Jordan Geist, he can transfer after just one season at JUCO and have three years to play.
But what this offer signals more than anything, is Mizzou is hunting for a wing.
*Suggs has not been promised a scholarship as a senior, so we’re adding an asterisk because he’s the most likely candidate to receive one if one goes to a walk on.
**As has been pointed out: Mark Smith should be listed as a Junior. This graphic was created in the offseason before we knew that Smith was eligible to play and I forgot to move him into the Junior slot when I added Suggs.
Next season Mizzou currently has 11 promised scholarships, with one more potentially given out depending on what they do with Ronnie Suggs and also depending on everyone returning (which at this point I don’t think you can count on). The known options, so far, are few. As Martin seems to like it. He works stealthily.
So here are the known options at this point:
- Harlond Beverly, 4-star CG, # 181 Monteverde Academy
Beverly is a lithe slick combo guard who has long been on Mizzou’s radar and has been on campus at Missouri so his relationship with Cornell Mann is solid, but Mizzou has rarely been one of the top contenders for his services. However Beverly opted to wait for a spring signing and some of the suitors have fallen back, and while that happened Mizzou tried to rekindle their connection with Beverly. There’ still a ways to go here but Mizzou has made every attempt to get back in. Only time will tell if it gets serious.
- Myron Gardner, 3-star WING, # 215 Spire Academy
If there’s an early favorite amongst these offers to land on campus permanently it might be Gardner. He’s originally a Michigander, so the connection to Mann is easy to peg. But Gardner is a springy physical forward who fits Martin’s style to a ‘T’. Gardner was a little banged up in the spring or he might’ve been a little higher ranked. The main competition for his services would appear to be Xavier, Georgetown, and Cincinnati. All programs who pride themselves on toughness, so he appears to be in the right mix with the right schools.
- Sean McNeils, NR WING, Sinclair CC
Not much is known about the new prospect on the radar. But I was able to watch his highlights on YouTube, so it’s tough to make a real assertion on his ability. The competition level didn’t look great, but there are both things to like and things to be critical about. He’s obviously a guy who can shoot the ball, and shooting typically translates. There’s a small hitch at the top of his jumper and he certainly likes to go right for a dribble pull-up. He is a good athlete and his size at the position should allow him to fit in well at the next level.
There are still a few other ‘offers’ out there though Mizzou hasn’t shown much interest recently. Isiaih Mosley hasn’t been hearing from the Tigers which means they’ve likely moved on, and Keion Brooks appears to be down to Kentucky and Indiana, not sure Missouri was ever really in the picture. But the three players mentioned above would seem to be the building of a priority list.
Right now Mizzou is not looking for posts. They have Reed Nikko and Jeremiah Tilmon next year, with Tray Jackson, K.J. Santos, and Mitchell Smith all lined up at combo forward. I could see the Tigers checking in on more combo forward prospects but with the success of it’s four guard lineup and more exciting athletes coming into the program next year I’d imagine they’re more likely to play with one post in the future, that with two more traditional bigs like they have for most of the season.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on where the offers extend from here but these three offer up a glimpse into what MIzzou is wanting to accomplish on their roster as well as a refined look into their priorities for finishing off the 2019 class.