After 5 years of covering and watching Cuonzo Martin and his more reserved approach to recruiting, the last few weeks and even months watching Dennis Gates has left us all shellshocked.
From the roster turnover so far, to the offer list which continues to grow and grow, what we’ve learned so far is Dennis Gates isn’t shy about building a list. Earlier this week was the first day coaches could contact 2024 prospects. Mizzou was active.
After some mopping up, the tally of reported contact between #Mizzou and 2024 prospects landed at...71.— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) June 16, 2022
This is the last series of screenshots. Again, players are sorted by 247 composite rating. pic.twitter.com/pTOWWaJgOV
Feel free to click and read Matt’s entire thread. But obviously coaches had contact with 2024 recruits prior, but they couldn’t initiate direct contact. It’s a funny silly rule but it does prevent coaches from blowing up recruits prior to their Junior season. By my count, Mizzou had offered 15 or 16 players from the 2024 class prior to getting the green light to start contacting players. Which means Mizzou reached out to an additional 55 players beyond the 16 they had already offered.
Martin was much tougher to follow in his list of kids with offers and interest, but he rarely got much past 30 offers in a class. In some ways it was easier to follow because there was just less to track. But that isn’t the early M.O. for Gates. He’s been busy.
The 2024 class is the first full class the Mizzou staff will really be judged upon. It’s the entire cycle. Just as the 2017 class wasn’t indicative of Cuonzo Martin’s recruiting, the 2022 and 2023 class aren’t going to be how we should judge Gates’ recruiting, either. It might be difficult for Gates and his staff to make up the necessary ground with higher level players. The kinds of players other staffs have been invested in for multiple years and need to close down a decision within a few months instead of having that relationship built over several years. Instead, those first few classes are often made up of creativity.
This isn’t to say there can’t be the right combination of players; it’s just generally a better idea to understand how well a coaching staff can recruit.
And the fun part is we’re probably at least a year before we start finding out.
Iowa State, again?
The matchups for the Big 12 / SEC Challenge were released a couple days ago. They’re mostly ingtriguing.
- Arkansas at Baylor
- Auburn at West Virginia
- Alabama at Oklahoma
- Kansas at Kentucky
- Texas at Tennessee
- Texas Tech at LSU
as well as:
- Ole Miss at Oklahoma State
- Florida at Kansas State
- TCU at Mississippi State
And of course... Iowa State and Missouri! For the second straight year the Conferences are matching Mizzou up against the Cyclones. On top of that, Kansas and Kentucky are playing again, as are Texas and Tennessee.
Missouri and Iowa State have played each other 150 times. The next matchup will have connected them as many times as anyone in the country. So you would think I’d be excited for another chance to play an old conference foe, right? Well, not exactly. Maybe a portion of this is due to the Tigers’ lack of success in the most recent two matchups. Each game got ugly. But each of the last two matchups were in Ames. This game is in Columbia.
It would just be nice to play a former rival instead of either Iowa State again. It would also be nice to not have to see a non-former rival— TCU and West Virginia spring to mind. Kansas State has a new coach, Missouri has a new coach. That matchup could make sense. Oklahoma State could as well. They’re trying to save the premier matchups for the more premier teams. So Baylor, Texas, and KU are all reserved to face the top programs in the SEC. Missouri hasn’t been that. They also have a previously scheduled matchup with KU, so that isn’t needed.
So Iowa State it is.