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Mizzou lands five-star wing Annor Boateng

Dennis Gates and Co. snatched the biggest gem from the Mineral State, providing extra wind for Mizzou’s sails in the Battle Line Rivalry.

Since late August, Annor Boateng’s recruitment steadily evolved into a two-team duel: Missouri and Indiana.

In late August, the Tigers hosted the 6-foot-5, 209-pound wing, ranked 29th in 247Sports’ composite index. Then came the wait and the looming sense that the Hoosiers, who were last on Boateng’s itinerary, might get to make a closing argument.

That possibility evaporated late Thursday night when word filtered out that Boateng had nixed his remaining official visits. Even if you’re conservative in your outlook, it wasn’t hard to read the tea leaves.

Sure enough, Boateng, who averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds at Little Rock Central, pulled the trigger and announced his commitment to the Tigers on Friday, becoming the fourth member of the Tigers’ 2024 class. With his choice, Boateng becomes the program’s highest-rated pickup since 2017, and while it’s still early, it likely positions MU to finish with a top-10 class this cycle.

Let’s Meet Annor Boateng

  • From: Little Rock, Ark.
  • High School: Central
  • Position: Wing
  • Ht/Wt: 6-5, 209
  • Rivals Ranking: No. 21
  • 247Composite Ranking: No. 29 (0.9900)
  • Offers to note: Arkansas, Indiana, Georgia Tech, LSU, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Auburn

Physically, Boateng would have little trouble setting foot on campus right now and quickly settling in. Yet he’s not a guard that bullies his way downhill. Instead, his game is built around a quick and compact shooting stroke.

When Boateng’s humming, he consistently knocks catch-and-shoots to force hard closeouts. From there, he can rip through and work to a one-dribble pull-up. And with a wide enough gap and the defense in rotation, he’s potent as a straight-line driver. And if you look at tape from a brief stint on the EYBL in July, Boateng can be a load when he gets in the open floor.

Mechanically, Boateng’s jumper doesn’t need tweaks. But it can be more consistent. When it’s not dropping, his game gets a little bit boggy. Instead of quick pull-ups or rim attacks, he may try to stake free for a step back-jumper, which isn’t quite as productive for him.

And in August, he showed he could still improve when playing out various screening actions and in pick-and-rolls.

That said, on a trip abroad to the Adidas Eurocamp, where he went up against some of the continent’s top talent in front of NBA scouts, Boateng flashed promise as a ghost screener and in modern pick-and-pops featuring two guards.

Again, his jumper was the catalyst for his game. He connected a 46.2 percent clip from behind the arc, which offset some struggles with rim finishing the half court, and averaged 0.989 points per possession on 20.2 percent usage.

At the defensive end, Boateng’s rugged enough to guard every spot on the floor and check almost any type of ball-handler he encounters. Off the ball, he’s typically sound in the first or second rotation, but every so often, his attention will slip and give up a back cut.

Envisioning a path to an early impact doesn’t require much imagination. Assuming Boateng’s jumper stabilizes, he can supply coach Dennis Gates with a reliable floor spacer. Tightening up an occasionally loose handle opens up the possibility of Boateng expanding his scoring package, which could also benefit from him smoothing up a floater he uses against drop coverage in middle ball screens.

Adding Boateng to the likes of Marcus Allen and T.O. Barrett also gives the Tigers three potentially elite defensive pieces moving forward.

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