If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering Missouri Basketball under Cuonzo Martin its you never know when news is going to strike until it does. Surprise commitments are becoming the new norm, and announced commitments are becoming the outlier.
Axel Okongo, out of left field, committed to Missouri today, taking up the Tigers final scholarship for the 2019-2020 season. Okongo is 7’0 tall, and is from a town called Saacy-sur-Marne in France, which is about an hours drive east of Paris.
I’d heard there was some contact between Okongo and the Tigers but didn’t follow the trail as much because this is a little against type for Martin. He’s focused on freshmen in filling out the roster the last two seasons, and Okongo’s stats from Northwest College in Wyoming aren’t exactly awe-inspiring (in Okongo’s defense however, JUCO stats are rarely exact and news is scarce).
But Okongo can fill a need. He’s big and moves pretty well, and Missouri currently has only two traditional bigs on the roster in Jeremiah Tilmon and Reed Nikko. Nikko is a senior this season and Tilmon expressed interest in testing the NBA draft waters this past spring.
We’ll have more reaction as we get more information, but in the meantime here’s a highlight video which shows a little of what Okongo can do:
There are some additional videos out there I’ll dig into tonight and see what we end up with. But for now, Welcome to the Tigers, Axel! and M-I-Z!