Following Mizzou Basketball recruiting is an exercise in futility.
Cuonzo Martin keeps things so close to the vest there is really no right way to discern who are the primary targets. With that said, we’ve developed a few tried and true methods to determine who MIGHT be on their list, and things have gotten more interesting of late.
The Junior College National Tournament has been going on the last week or so, and while there have been some exciting games, there have also been some really intriguing names pop up here during the last few days.
Probably the game of the tournament so far involved the undefeated and top overall seed Mineral Area Cardinals (my alma mater, actually) versus the Cowley College Tigers, who were the 8 seed. The Tigers stormed back from down 24 points early in the second half to win the game, and they were led by Kansas City Rockhurst product Dalen Ridgnal.
Interestingly enough, Ridgnal has gotten some interest from Missouri as he’s been absolutely dominant this season for Cowley. He’s averaged over 20 points and more than 10 rebounds a game, despite being listed at 6’6. But he’s got deceptive length and has expanded his shooting range, and was recently offered by Georgia. Despite the rest of his offers being of the mid to low major variety, Ridgnal has interest from some more high majors, including Baylor. We still don’t know what level of interest there is with Rigdal, and he doesn’t really seem to fit the profile of the type of player Mizzou may be looking for, but he is very intriguing.
On the other side of that game, was Mineral Area standout Malevy Leons.
6’9 F Malevy Leons (2021) of Mineral Area has heard from several Big 10, SEC, A10 & AAC schools today— JucoRecruiting.com (@JucoRecruiting) April 23, 2021
Leons averaged 18.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg & 3.1 apg this season
Mineral Area (24-1) went undefeated in regular season & made it to Elite 8 at Hutch
Leons is a native of the Netherlands, with good size at 6’9, and he likes to stretch the floor. Leons isn’t explosive, but he is crafty and adept at finishing around the rim. Again, we don’t know if Missouri is among the schools to reach out, but Leons seems to fit the profile of a skilled player capable of playing the five, which Cuonzo Martin has been looking for.
Last here (I’m keeping this brief because we don’t have a ton of information, but also our publishing platform has been sketchy tonight) is Ben Coupet, a transfer from UALR.
Ben Coupet Jr (@BenC_1) tells me that he has heard from the following since entering the transfer portal: DePaul, Mizzou Bowling Green, MTSU, SIU, UT Martin, UIC, Illinois State, Mcneese State, Duquesne, Miami (OH), WKU, Cal State Fullerton.— jake lieberman (@jakelieberman2) April 22, 2021
Averaged 10.3 PPG at Little Rock.
Coupet has good size but projects more on the wing, where he played at Little Rock. Coupet is a native of Chicago, having played his high school ball at Simeon High. He signed at UNLV, under Marvin Menzies, and had trouble breaking into the rotation in two seasons. After Menzies was fired, Coupet landed in Little Rock where he excelled in a low usage higher efficiency role on the wing.
I’d be a little skeptical that Missouri pursues too deeply here, but Coupet is an intriguing player with a nice skillset. In the right role I think he could do very well at the high major level.
I’d say this is a developing situation, but we’re really just trying to figure out where the next step is for the Tigers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯