This post may be a bit short, since I get the impression we’re in for a busy week. But with two commitments in two days it felt like a good time to look at the scholarship count and roster breakdown to see if we can project what is coming a bit.
New Missouri Head Coach Dennis Gates has added two transfers to the 2022-23 roster in the last two days. One via the JUCO route, and one via the transfer portal. Here’s a primer on everything that’s taken place.
We’ve made note that you can expect Dennis Gates to be more active in the JUCO ranks than Cuonzo Martin was. And so far that’s held true. On top of yesterday’s news it was rumored that Sean East, the nation’s top ranked JUCO point guard, was on campus yesterday for a visit. So he’s still hunting for players. Which tells me we haven’t seen the last of the roster exits as well.
I’d also add that Gholston seems to be of a position that seems well stocked already on the roster. Read into that what you want, but an off the ball scoring guard wasn’t what you would immediately point out as a position of need. I’m reading this addition as Gates knows there are some exits expected, and possibly within the class of to-be seniors.
To the count...
Having Gholston filling into the senior class works well because it keeps things open for the 2023-24 roster. Which right now is still WIDE open with 7 open scholarships. Before this is over I’d expect that number to drop down closer to 3 or 4 spots. Mainly because the freshman class is light, but so is the junior class. Any additional JUCO targets may end up in the Junior class, and I’d think another transfer or two, plus Aidan Shaw, are always possibilities.
The roster by position.
I’m still being a jerk here and highlighting the PG spot. Realistically, Jones can fill in at PG, and we’ve seen enough of Jarron Coleman to know that in a pinch he can handle the ball. But I’d imagine Coach Gates will be very interested in filling in multiple additional ball handlers. Gholston isn’t a point guard, but he does appear to have at least as good of a handle as Coleman. So another player who can fill in if needed.
Yesterday we highlighted the players who Coach Gates had made contact with who are currently in the transfer portal. I glossed over the JUCO recruiting, but I think the two pieces from the Matts should have highlighted what we know, Junior College recruiting is going to be important towards the roster rebuild for Dennis Gates. There are a few names of players we’re closely monitoring, and they are:
- Sean East (mentioned above), former UMass and Bradley guard, now at John A. Logan in Illinois. East is the #2 rated prospect and #1 point guard per JucoRecruiting.com. He was on campus yesterday and we briefly thought he was the commitment when Gholston announced. Needless to say, notifications are on.
- Mohamed Wague, who has already been offered by West Virginia, Wague is a little more of a brutish prospect over the skill and finesse of Diarra. He’s currently at Harcum College in Pennsylvania and made the NJCAA Tournament 1st team. He’s a skilled rebounder who lacks polish but is good around the rim.
- Nae’qwan Tomlin, a New York wing from Chipola Community College in Florida. Tomlin shot over 37% from deep and flashes good athleticism and has great positional size at 6’8 and 195 pounds.
- Deshawndre Washington is originally from Morgan Park High School in Chicago and signed with Robert Morris before heading to Suburban College (a Chicago area JUCO) and then Northwest Florida State College in the Fort Walton Beach area of Florida. Washington and Tomlin are similar in that they’re lengthy wings with the ability to hit outside shots and defend with good length.
I would not expect Gates to assemble the JUCO All Stars at Missouri, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him add East (who seems to be the priority) and one other off this list. But judging by how extensive the list is, plus the amount of contacts which have been made in the transfer portal, it’s clear Gates is expecting more turnover. And then there’s this:
Aidan Shaw had a Zoom meeting with Dennis Gates yesterday. The new Mizzou coach will visit Shaw next week.— Anthony Kristensen (@AMFKristensen) March 26, 2022
Shaw is still expected to be a priority as well.
There’s a lot still going on, obviously. And Gates still hasn’t officially hired an Assistant Coach.