For a program long mired in what felt like a never ending cycle of bad news, Mizzou Basketball has now had nearly two weeks of positive run.
JUCO Forward Ed Chang kicked things off by committing, then a few days later Grad Transfer Drew Buggs made his commitment to play for the Tigers, rounding out of the 2021 roster. Quickly after Cuonzo Martin began putting together the next class, and this didn’t take long.
2021 3-star combo guard Anton Brookshire, from Springfield (MO) Kickapoo, made his commitment to Martin and the Tigers Thursday. From Matt’s commitment piece:
Martin’s steadily forged a relationship with the combo guard, who held offers from Missouri State, Tennessee State, and UNLV. While that list of suitors appears modest, several Big 12 programs had started putting out feelers to Brookshire this spring.
Brookshire averaged 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Kickapoo, which reached the semifinals of the Class 5 state tournament before it was canceled this spring. While Brookshire’s shooting, especially off the bounce, is potent, he steadily expanded his mid-range toolkit as the season unfolded.
That was on full display during the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in early January.
Against nationally ranked Oak Hill Academy, Brookshire racked up 33 points, burying 7 of 12 3-pointers, and followed it up with a 20-point outing the next day against Christ the King. Over three games, Brookshire averaged 23.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, all while canning 44.4 percent of his attempts behind the arc.
Brookshire is a very good building block to start the class off. He’s a guy with a reputation as a shotmaker, and has been known to meet the challenge, hitting big shots along the way. You get an in state commitment for a position of need, and a guy who solves a clear existing problem.
I mentioned on twitter I think Brookshire is on the cusp of being a 4-star prospect. He’s currently ranked as the 161st best prospect in the country, though he’s still listed at 6’0 and 155 on 247sports and part of the rating of prospects is size in comparison to their skill set. We know Brookshire is around 6’2 now, and sources have indicated he appears to be still growing. If you add another inch or two to Brookshire, with his skill set, I think you have a 4-star prospect.
He’s not an explosive athlete, but he’s fluid and has great shot mechanics, and he’s better with the ball than advertised. Brookshire is a an excellent first entry for the class, and fits into the scheme Missouri has built over the last couple years of multiple ball handlers and shooting. And in some ways, Brookshire’s skill set may fit better than some of the guys on the current roster.
Sot let’s take a look at that roster:
With a full roster on for next season, and a graduating class of six players, plus Brookshire committed, Missouri has five available scholarships
Here’s an idea of the roster breakdown by position to get an idea of where they might be looking with the rest of the class:
So planned scholarships in 2021:
- Point Guard: 1
- Combo Guard: 1
- Wing: 3
- Combo Forward: 2
- Post: 1
Kobe Brown obviously can slide into the combo forward spot, and I think you have to consider Xavier Pinson at risk to not return after next year since he's testing the waters this year. So where are the needs?
In the essence of balance you are probably looking for at least two more at either the point guard or combo guard position. The post position will be an important addition, expect at least one there. I think if you can add a wing as well, you should.
If you’re Cuonzo Martin it would make a lot of sense to focus on a post, and probably two more guards for the class. That’s a class of four, which leaves room for spring pickups.
One name I neglected to mention in last week’s piece on the roster was 3-star St. Louis DeSmet forward Yaya Keita. Missouri offered him at the end of March and have seemingly made him a priority. Keita is a bit on the raw side, but he’s got great size and plays with a lot of effort and intensity. See below...
I think it’s important for Missouri to be patient with this class. There are some excellent names on their board, but more importantly the spring period is becoming a time where you can get excellent depth and high ceiling players via transfer. Mizzou will go hard after Tamar Bates, Kobe Bufkin, and Jaden Akins, they’re going to pursue Keita, and seem to be enamored with David Joplin, a combo forward from Wisconsin.
From last week’s piece, the remaining known targets:
Anyone I mention below may have varying odds, but I still see it as possible Missouri stays involved at least.
Hunter Sallis, 5-star CG: likely playing himself out of the reach of the Tigers. Sallis has offers from his home state Nebraska, and virtually every other program at this stage.
Malaki Branham, 4-star CG: an Ohio native with a lofty ranking but who’s recruiting hasn’t exploded yet.
Tyrese Hunter, 4-star PG: Hunter has been a priority target at Marquette, but the Wisconsin native still has other options and Missouri has been in touch.
Jordan Nesbitt, 4-star WING: Nesbitt has been a hot topic with Mizzou fans since the Tigers haven’t offered. I don’t think they get involved but you never know so I’m including him in someone to keep an eye on.
Julian Roper, 4-star CG: Committed to Northwestern
Anton Brookshire, 3-star CG: Committed to Missouri
Julian Lewis, 3-star WING: Another Michigan player who looks like more of a mid-major plus level player, than a high major guy but he’s developing more and more and has become a reliable shooter.
Hercy Miller, 3-star CG: Yes this is Master P’s son, but Miller was apparently excited to receive the offer from Missouri. He’s playing prep in Minnesota but is a California native. USC recently offered which could throw a wrench in the plans.
El Ellis, JUCO PG: Ellis has kind of blown up, so we’ll see if the Tigers stay involved. But adding a JUCO guard wouldn’t be a bad idea in a quest to balance the classes.