Cuonzo Martin needs to have a big offseason in recruiting, and he knows it. We talked after the commitment from Anton Brookshire that Missouri was replacing six scholarships, or nearly half the roster, after next season.
At the time I advocated for Missouri to look for no more than four freshmen signees, and looking to fill the other two via transfer to even out the scholarships. Overall Missouri probably needs a player at virtually every position, with the lowest level of need at the wing spot. So they need ball handlers, and probably a couple bigger bodies.
So with a long list of needs in the class, Missouri is spreading out more offers than we’ve seen in the last few years. Last year they were pretty laser focused on a few higher end recruits like Caleb Love, but more out of a position of want rather than need. Without a lot of scholarships to give out, Missouri only went after who they wanted rather than who they needed.
That isn’t the case in 2021. They need some dudes.
And over the last few weeks they’ve been tossing out some offers.
Peyton Watson, 5-star Wing, Long Beach Poly, CA
Notable offers to date: UCLA, USC, Arizona, Washington(basically the entire Pac-12). Texas Tech, Michigan, Maryland
Mizzou doesn’t tend to waste a ton of time on 5-star guys they can’t get, and I’d like to take a moment to say something I think not a lot of people know about. A scholarship offer doesn’t signal the beginning of a recruitment, but comes during the process of recruiting a player. The offer is something which is a little overblown these days, whether a school offers a kid or not.
Some players require an offer in order to be recruited, it’s used as part of the game. Others don’t worry about the “official offer on twitter” kind of stuff and worry more about the process. The “offer” as we know it is more a tool of social media, and grassroots programs, to pump up the status of a player.
Missouri has been involved with Watson for a while. Since he’s a five star player, I don’t really need to tell you he’s good. He’s got range, he’s a slippery driver, and has the body to be an elite defender. I don’t think Mizzou would get involved at this stage if they didn’t feel like there was a chance.
Is it a good chance? No. I mean, let’s be honest. 5-star kids from Los Angeles leave the West Coast all the time but they don’t often leave the West Coast for middling programs in the SEC. I wouldn’t invest a lot of hope, but the Poly-connection is there. Mizzou just signed Drew Buggs who attended the same school. And as the Great Michael Scott via Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Blessed to receive an offer from Missouri pic.twitter.com/wM0G3MIDFP— James Graham III (@JamesGrahamIII2) May 20, 2020
James Graham, 3-star Combo Forward, Nicolet, WI
Notable offers to date: Georgia, Cincinnati, Florida State, Wake Forest
Graham is a really intriguing prospect. He was offered by Florida State just a day or so before Missouri, and I’ve often talked about how Martin seems to be trying to construct his roster a lot like Leonard Hamilton does at FSU. He’ll take risks on lower ranked guys, and he’ll take risks on size. So in a lot of ways Graham fits in with what Zo is looking for.
He’s listed as a small forward on 247sports, but if you watch the tape, there isn’t a lot that’s small about Graham. Of all the players offered so far, Graham is the closest to the description of for the modern day combo forward. He’s not likely going to spend a lot of time guarding opposing wings, but his ability to stretch the floor and play offensively at multiple positions puts him in a mire desirable category.
In interviews post offer he’s sounded very receptive to the recruiting pitch, and Martin seems to be directly involved. Graham would fit in a lot of ways because of his multi-positionality and a body which seems ready to contribute on defense right away.
Logan Landers, 3-star Post, 6-10, Cedarburg, WI
Notable offers to date: TCU, Houston, Texas A&M
Landers is someone who is interesting, a big skilled white kid from Wisconsin? Sure seems like he’d be a fit at his home state school, right?
Not so fast! I’m sure Wisconsin is checking in, but they haven’t completely jumped in the water and have let more non-regional programs take the early bait.
Landers has great size and is really skilled. He’s probably going to spend a fair amount of time defending the opposite post but his ability to stretch the floor makes him more of a Jontay Porter-lite than someone like Tilmon or even Mitchell Smith.
I’m curious to see where this recruitment goes because I really like the idea of a skilled big like Landers as an addition to this class, and having the kind of diversity and skill in the post is a good place to start.
Extremely blessed to receive an offer from the University of Missouri ❗️❗️ pic.twitter.com/bTxTLbEiTS— LegendGeeter4 (@LegendGeeter4) May 18, 2020
Legend Geeter, 3-star Combo Forward, 6-8, River Rouge, MI
Notable offers to date: Central Michigan, Toledo
Missouri is the first high major to jump in on Geeter, but he’s been pegged as a potential break out candidate in Michigan for a couple years and it’s never quite happened. There are a few scouts who thought it might’ve happened this summer, but, ya know... Covid.
Geeter has reported to have been surprised by the offer, but he still fits a profile for the kind of player who Martin and the Tigers have coveted in recent years. Geeter has good size, and he’s not an explosive athlete but he uses his body around the basket well. With a developing mid-range game and the ability to shoot the ball to 3-point range Geeter is a guy who is still figuring it out.
As far as combo forwards go, I probably like Graham a little more, but Geeter would certainly be a guy who could fit well as a developmental prospect.
Mizzou’s Cuonzo Martin and staff will virtually meet with 2021’s Sean Durugordon on Monday, he told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) May 23, 2020
Expect Durugordon to land some more offers here in the next couple of weeks.
Sean Durugordon, 3-star Wing, 6-6, Putnam Science Academy, CT
Notable offers to date: Penn State, virtually every mid major in the Northeast.
This one is new as of yesterday, but certainly something to track. The fantastically named Durugordon appears to be a rising prospect with high majors catching on. He’s a very good athlete who can get to the basket and pulls up hard off the dribble. From the below film the handle appears a little loose but the motion on his jump shot looks compact and fluid.
The wing position isn’t as big of a need as ball handlers and big men, but they’re still going to need someone who can fill in behind the upperclassmen. I like Durugordon’s ability, but this is still too new for me to wrap my head around the potential of an offer and determine how he might fit into the class.
We’re still figuring out the pecking order, but they seem to be expanding the list at Combo Forward and Post. They’ve already added a combo guard and are looking for at least one more at the position.
The combo forward list seems to be Geeter, Graham, and David Joplin, with Landers being one of the prime targets at Post along with Yaya Keita.
All in all this class has the potential to be a really good one, even if the rankings aren’t favorable this is a list that full of guys you can get enthusiastic about.