The stealth of Cuonzo Martin and his staff on the recruiting trail is really impressive. You can go months without a peep from coaches or their pursuits, and then a day or two after the first grassroots session of the session, it’s a news extravaganza.
By my count, Missouri offered seven players over the last couple days — some more expected than others — but it solidifies the process and makes the picture a little more clear. First, let’s talk about who they offered. (Pete already covered this in Links, but just in case you missed it.)
Davion Bradford, 6-10 240, 3-star post, St. Louis MO, Mehlville
Bradford has been on the radar for a while. He played at CBC as a freshman, transferred to a prep school in Arizona for his sophomore season, and returned to enroll at Mehlville after the unexpected death of his mother. Since then, MU’s staff taken a renewed interest. He’s now playing for MoKan Elite on the grassroots circuit and in a secondary role behind top-10 prospect N’Faly Dante. While he’s a work in progress, there’s no teaching his size and mobility. Bradford floats between a three- and four-star rating depending on your preferred recruiting service, and there’s a lot of reason to like his upside.
Ryan Kalkbrenner, 7-0 210, 3-star Post, St. Louis MO, Trinity Catholic
Kalkbrenner has already been on Mizzou’s campus after taking an unofficial visit early last year, but he was a long way off from being an elite high-major prospect. He’s closing in on that status now. Kalkbrenner was already an elite shot blocker, but the rest of his game is really rounding into shape — development that’s drawn offers from most of the region’s power conference programs this spring. Obviously, he’ll need to add weight to his frame, but you can’t teach his uncanny timing off the floor, which pairs nicely with his IQ around the rim defensively.
John Hugley, 6-8 220, 4-star Post, Cleveland OH, Brush
Assistant coach Cornell Mann’s tracked the big man over the winter after he and Martin first took in a practice back in December. Over the weekend, Martin watched Hugley and All-Ohio Red during the first stop on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League Circuit. The big man, who has slimmed down from 310 pounds over the past two years, put up 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds — numbers good enough to become the fifth post prospect to pick up an MU offer. Strength and conditioning coach Nicodemus Christopher could also set to work sculpting Hugley’s body.
Jalen Suggs, 6-5 185, 5-star Combo Guard, Minneapolis MN, Minnehaha Academy
The offer to Suggs might look like a throwaway, and the likelihood of the Tigers landing Suggs is relatively remote. That being said, it’s not an offer entirely out of the blue. In the early days after Martin’s hiring, Suggs was one of the first prospects not named Porter to visit Columbia. An offer didn’t materialize, but Mizzou has quietly lurked on the periphery. The Minnesota native is a two-sport star — he’s a dual-threat quarterback — who also had an impressive offer list on the gridiron. Yet the path to a stable income will come on the hardwood, where he’s a top-20 talent. He’s also prep and grassroots teammates with a couple younger prospects who also landed MU offers.
Chet Holmgren, 7’0 200, 4-star Post, Minneapolis MN, Minnehaha Academy
Just watch this:
Chet Holmgren is only a HS sophomore and he’s already 7'0" getting buckets effortlessly pic.twitter.com/Lg4iZAUJ7t— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 30, 2019
This dude is a sophomore in high school, but he’s a 7-footer canning step-back 3-pointers. He won’t be a four-star recruit for very long. Holmgren is a fast-rising prospect who has added offers from everywhere in the last few weeks: Baylor, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Marquette, Iowa, Gonzaga and Maryland. Basically, if a coach has watched Holmgren live, they’ve ended up offering. He’s got a complete tool kit toolset offensively, all he needs is some smartly-added weight to his slender frame. It’s still too early to tell how Mizzou might be able to factor into his recruitment, but it doesn’t hurt to see whether the Tigers can get some initial traction.
Kennedy Chandler, 6-1 190, 4-star Point Guard, Memphis TN, Briarcrest Christian
The floor leader for the Mokan Elite became a target for Mizzou and the staff when Chandler went head to head with Caleb Love of the Brad Beal Elite and matched him stride for stride. (MoKan prevailed 60-59.) Chandler hails from Memphis, and if you’ve been paying attention, Penny Hardaway is quickly assembling a fence around the Bluff City. That will likely be the case as Chandler’s profile grows. He’s athletic and has good size, which means he’ll likely be fielding more and more offers as Florida State, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, and St. Johns have all jumped in recently.
2022 Offers... it’s that time.
Prince Aligbe, 6-6 190, NR, Minneapolis MN, Minnehaha Academy
Truly blessed to receive an offer from the University of Missouri!✊ pic.twitter.com/0ojDJVt9pU— Prince Aligbe (@prince_buckets) April 30, 2019
HE ISN’T RATED BECAUSE HOW ARE WE TALKING ABOUT 2022?
Seriously, though, Aligbe is blowing up and playing on Team Sizzle’s 17U team as a freshman. He’s got a long way to go, but there is a lot to like. He’s explosive and ahead of the curve with his body. As you may have noticed, Aligbe attends the same school as Holmgren and Suggs, so Martin was making his rounds to Minneapolis and offered all three elite prospects.
The seven offers which went out bring Mizzou’s current scholarship offer count in each year to:
2020: 19 (17 are uncommitted). Right now, I still think the leaders in the clubhouse for the Tigers are Caleb Love and Cam’Ron Fletcher and Josh Christopher, with several of these newly offered bigs potentially emerging as priorities.
Meanwhile, we haven’t seen the board expand at guard positions. MU did watch point guard Ty Berry at the Under Armor Associations stop in Kansas City, but his name isn’t a new one in the mix. Down in Atlanta, Scooby Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound jack of all trades out of Michigan, put together a solid first weekend in the EYBL. Michigan State and Michigan loom large, but the Spartans are also in hot pursuit of Fletcher. If MU’s chances with Fletcher start to flag, they could pivot to Johnson. Tempting as it might be to toss out Chaminade wing Luke Kasubke as an option, Xavier and Kansas State have been dogged and emerged as frontrunners.
Finally, you can see the remaining list of prospects — and their grassroots statistics — at the end of this piece.
2021: Four (all uncommitted). It’s hard to read too much into the board at this point. Last spring and summer, Mizzou’s staff tried to get a foot in the door with offers to wing Patrick Baldwin Jr. and combo guard Jaden Hardy, both of whom are consensus top-five talents. Toss in Chandler and Holmgren, and it’s clear MU is gauging whether it can get traction with any of prospects at the upper end of the market. What’s worth monitoring is which local prospects — whether that’s in St. Louis or Michigan — also join the board. Those scholarship offers have typically indicated which recruits will be priorities. It’s all well and good to offer Chandler, but it might be as notable if wing Jordan Nesbitt, a top-70 talent who plays at St. Louis Christian Academy, gets one.
2022: One (Aligbe is uncommitted). Yeah, that’s two years off.
Matt will have more on the post targets in the coming days, and Mizzou will have in homes with Love and Fletcher on Thursday. We’ll be here as things progress.
Missouri Basketball Recruiting | Class of 2020 Offers
|Moses Moody||6-5/185||Wing||North Little Rock||AR||26||14.8||5.3||1||40||27.3||83.3||47.1|
|Caleb Love||6-3/175||CG||St. Louis||MO||33||19.5||3.5||5||52.9||50||78.9||65.7|
|Cam'Ron Fletcher||6-6/190||Wing||St. Louis||MO||42||12||7.5||1.8||45.2||10||60||49.4|
|Scooby Johnson||6-6/180||Wing||Benton Harbor||MI||129||18.5||4||3||52.9||27.8||53.6||58.4|
|Luke Kasubke||6-6/175||Wing||St. Louis||MO||196||12.8||4.3||2||46.5||33.3||50||55.9|
|Davion Bradford||6-10/240||Post||St. Louis||MO||NR||5||3.7||0||77.8||0||33.3||72.7|
|Ryan Kalkbrenner||7-0/210||Post||St. Louis||MO||NR||9.5||7||1.2||54.2||0||84.6||63.9|