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Scholarship Math: The roster is set for 2023-24, I think

Kaleb Brown, Isiaih Mosley, and Connor Vanover provided a lot of context for next season.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it’s been an eventful week for the Missouri Basketball roster.

After a relatively quiet period after the commitment of Jesus Carralero, Mizzou made quite a bit of noise since last weekend. Let’s recap, and then look at how things are shaping up for next season:

First things first, on Isiaih Mosley:

There was never an expectation Mosley would be on scholarship next season. Most of the spring the info we had was that Mizzou was open to brining Zay back, but Mosley would need to navigate the offseason first. If he were to be on the roster next season it would be as a non-scholarship player. I’m not sure exactly what changed, but Mosley decided he wanted to forgo any additional college and go be a pro. Missouri, for their part, was comfortable with Mosley’s decision and supportive. All spring long Gates and his staff were building the roster as if Mosley would not be there, and now we can analyze and critique those efforts with a full picture.

I was surprised by Mosley’s decision. I thought the situation at Missouri was going to be a good one for him if he could play more regularly. And I’m not sure if there would be a better all around setup for NIL efforts. Professionally he’ll have options, but they’ll be limited.

He didn’t declare for the draft so he cannot be drafted or sign with an NBA team. But he can sign with a G-League team or a pro team overseas. I’d be surprised if he ended up overseas. For one, the money is the G-League is much better than it used to be. But also he’s still likely in a situation where being somewhat closer to home makes sense.

It was a whirlwind year with Mosley committed to Mizzou, but we’re left with just as many what-ifs about what could have been as we were with Michael Porter, Jr.. I’m not convinced that Mizzou would have achieved a whole lot more than they did already, but Mosley is a fun unique player who would have been a lot of fun to cover if he were just on the court more.

Next, Kaleb Brown is back?

I know, I’m surprised too! But this goes to show what we were saying all along that the younger Brown was not pushed out the door and into the portal. There are always exit meetings with every player where both Brown and the staff get on the same page. Expectations are outlined and this gives players all the information they need to make an informed decision on their future.

Obviously Kaleb heard enough to at least enter the transfer portal and explore his options. We don’t know how many schools contacted him, or if he took any visits other than to Texas-San Antonio. But he ultimately decided he liked his situation at Missouri better than his other options. So he’s back.

With that said, I think the path to him being a major role player on next season’s roster is a very narrow one. Gates stocked his backcourt with experienced guards who have been productive at the High Major and Mid-Major plus level over multiple years. But at the very worst you have a guy who is familiar with team expectations, has been around the staff for more than a year, and by all accounts is great in the locker room and community.

Welcome back, Kaleb!

Connor Vanover is very tall!

The last move noted above was the addition (FINALLY) of a tall person to the roster. We’re mostly familiar with Vanover from his time in Fayetteville, but he should be able to help in a few key areas. Additionally, he’s the type of big Gates covets. He’s skilled enough to help the Tigers play the 5-out on offense, and his defensive rebound rates and block rates give you hope around the rim.

When Vanover committed it was assumed he was taking the last scholarship. Then Kaleb Brown returned and if you wanted to know what that meant for the scholarship situation I have your answer right here: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Scholarship Math!

Here is the graphic I used to update Matt Watkins’ roster tracker post:

mizzou basketball scholarship count 06-05-2023

It’s much more difficult to figure out who is and isn’t on scholarship these days. But what we can do is talk about the entire roster. It’s a much larger roster than we’ve had in some time. 8 seniors, 3 juniors, 2 sophomores, and 5 freshmen. 18 players and five of those are not on scholarship.

Mizzou signed two preferred walk-ons this past spring in J.V. Brown and Danny Stephens. Those two will join Jackson Francois as PWOs, along with Mabor Majak. Majak was on scholarship last season but it was understood to be a year to year deal. That’s four.

With NIL these days any one of the remaining 14 could be technically a walk on and have school paid for via some extra NIL funds. So the math is just more confusing than it used to be.

mizzou basketball roster count 06092023

So that’s a big fun long list!

We’re pretty sure Mizzou is done for this cycle. Time to keep an eye on 2024s. Including a certain big man committing at 11:00 am today.