While the 2020 recruiting class has largely focused on the Tigers’ wants — namely 5-star guards Josh Christopher, Caleb Love, and 4-star wing and Kentucky commit Cam’Ron Fletcher — the Tigers’ needs have always been on the interior.
Their needs were met with the pledge from Jordan Wilmore, a 3-star center prospect currently at the Skill Factory, a prep school in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Wilmore has great size, being listed at either 7’2 or 7’3 depending on the publication. Elite size is difficult to find, and elite size with mobility is even more rare. So the Tigers believe they may have unearthed a diamond in the rough with Wilmore, as early offers from Tennessee and Ole Miss seemed to have dried up in favor of Southern Utah and Jacksonville State.
Wilmore went the prep route in hopes of expanding his opportunities, and then Cuonzo Martin came calling.
So how does Wilmore fit into the plans at Missouri? Let’s look at the scholarship count:
Officially, Missouri has filled up its scholarship quote if Wilmore signs — as expected — in November. He takes the scholarship currently occupied by Reed Nikko, who will graduate and use up his eligibility at the end of this year.
On top of Nikko, right now Axel Okongo is still technically a senior with just one year of eligibility. Missouri is pursuing a waiver to grant him another year. Okongo is originally from France and played his prep school ball in Canada before committing to play for his Wyoming Junior College. While he has officially played just two years in college, he started his clock a year earlier while dealing with some Visa issues.
So Nikko is gone, and Okongo might be as well. There is also some potential movement for the Tigers next offseason, which we can’t exactly quantify or expect at this stage of the preseason. There is always a chance someone turns pro and rumors have been consistent about Jeremiah Tilmon and his desire to earn a paycheck sooner rather than later. Plus Mitchell Smith and Dru Smith are both entering their fourth year in college, with Mitchell having sat out a year following an ACL tear, and Dru sitting out last season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules.
Just like that, and there are five players who could, for one reason or another, elect to not be in Tiger uniforms in 2020-21. While the potential exists for that much turnover, I don’t think we’ll see all five gone. Missouri has long been looking like they’re willing to sign three players in the class. So maybe there’s one more waiting to commit before signing day in November.
Projecting departures is never easy, so here is what the roster would look like with just Wilmore and no losses in 2020-21.
This is a pretty balanced roster. For the sake of clean lines, I slotted Kobe Brown in on the wing instead of a Combo Forward, but I expect a lot of his minutes to come at the four. There’s a lot of balance here, but you can also see why Cuonzo Martin and his staff were in heavy pursuit of Caleb Love— the depth at ball handling positions is just so-so.
Guessing at a depth chart two years out might prove a little difficult because a lot depends on this upcoming season. It’s even harder to project what Missouri might get from Wilmore year one, as up front he appears to be at least a project. With his size and mobility, he could see some early minutes as a defensive replacement.
Right now, we’re working on getting more film of Wilmore, as what's available online is mostly from two years ago and so we don’t know what he looks like now. Based upon the older video, we can see that he does move pretty well. If we’re able to gain some more current video, we’ll provide a more in-depth scout. Until then, Wilmore presents a little more than a mystery other than elite size.