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Going to MSG!
Just talking to a few other Mizzou fans at my nieces birthday party last night and that was the rumor that they had heard... I was just wondering if anyone else had heard anything about this...
Just in case you haven't seen this yet (sorry for not embedding. this site still doesn't make it easy, if at all possible):
Frank Haith has yet to win a NCAA Tournament game at the University of Missouri. Despite winning 30 games last season, he remains somewhat unproven. As a recruiter, though, he is undeniably brilliant. With the help of associate head coach Tim Fuller, Haith is stacking up ridiculous talent at Mizzou, giving the program great skill and depth for years to come. Not since the early days of Quin Snyder has MU been this attractive to high-end recruits. Haith loaded this season’s squad with quality transfers: Earnest Ross from Auburn, Alex Oriakhi of Connecticut, Jabari Brown of Oregon and Keion Bell of Pepperdine. He lined up a powerful JUCO transfer in Tony Criswell and a strong group of freshmen in his 2012 recruiting class.
The combined effect: Arguably the deepest University of Missouri basketball team of all time.
His 2013 class includes widely coveted big man Johnathan Williams III, a 6-foot-9 inside force from Memphis. Michigan State, Georgetown and Tennessee were among his other suitors.
Haith’s other early signings were 6-foot-8 forward Torren Jones and ballhandling point guard Wes Clark, giving Mizzou a Top 25 group overall.
Rivals.com expert Eric Bossi offtered this assessment: “Coming off of a strong first season in Columbia, Frank Haith and his staff have put together a strong class. They plucked Williams III out of Memphis and he's a lengthy and versatile power forward. Clark is a quick point guard who knows how to score and distribute and Jones brings his lunch pail to work on the interior.”
Noted ESPN.com: “A 6-foot-8 lefty from Memphis, Tenn., Williams is the highest-ranked recruit to pick the Tigers since Phil Pressey and junior college power forward Ricardo Ratliffe in 2010.”
Added CBSSports.com expert Jeff Borzello: “Clark is a rising point guard who will push for time right off the bat.”
Of course, Haith will also have former Tulsa guard Jordan Clarkson (who averaged 16.5 points per game as a sophomore) joining that mix after sitting out this season as a transfer. And he still will have at least one scholarship to give.
Here are some early thoughts on the new talent on hand, both the short-term help and the long-range prospects:
Oriakhi: The big fella boosted his professional prospects by moving to Boone County. The Tigers are establishing him as the primary inside option and developing his offensive game. He is also learning how to play in tempo with former AAU running mate Phil Pressey looking to feed him in transition. Oriakhi’s hands and his low post moves need lots of work, but his relentless offensive rebounding will make him a weapon. And he is a force at the defensive end, blocking shots and cleaning the glass.
Bell: The explosive combo guard flashed his potential late in an otherwise frustrating game against Alcorn State. He knocked down a three-point jumper from the corner and aroused the Mizzou Arena crowd with a steal and thunderous dunk. The Tigers are counting on him to provide strong perimeter defense and convert takeaways into baskets. Bell is a streaky perimeter shooter, but he can attack the basket with authority.
Ross: He, too, is a streaky perimeter shooter. But his strong build and sturdy overall game should make him a constant force when he plays under control. Ross can play either forward slot, slash to the basket, rebound on both ends and heat up from three-point range. He already has a NBA body. If he can develop NBA polish, he could explore his draft potential after this season. In the meantime he could be a driving force on Mizzou’s Final Four quest.
Criswell: This mature power forward can rebound, block shots and score coming off the bench. He pulled 14 boards in his first 32 minutes of real-game action for the Tigers. If Mizzou had this type of weapon last season, there is no telling how far it could have gone.
Brown: He is sitting out the first semester as a mid-season transfer, thus delaying the development of the team’s offensive chemistry. But this skilled wingman will add much-needed perimeter shooting once he settles into the rotation. The 2013-14 season could become his big NBA showcase campaign.
Negus Webster-Chan: The freshman combo guard played 65 minutes in the first two games, thanks to the absence of Brown and suspended senior guard Michael Dixon. Webster-Chan’s smooth all-around game has made him an instant impact recruit, despite the team’s backcourt crowding. His minutes should diminish at the Tigers get back to full strength, but his development will continue. By next season he could become a star.
Stefan Jankovic: It’s hard to imagine that Haith seriously considered shelving this freshman as a redshirt. He can play either forward slot, shoot from three-point range and mix it up inside. His ability to shoot and pass over defenders as a 6-foot-11 “small forward” could earn him a notable role this season. Like Webster-Chan, he already has a veteran’s feel for the game.
Ryan Rosburg: Haith also considered putting this freshman power forward on the redshirt shelf. But a tourney-bound team can never have enough depth inside. By grabbing seven rebounds (including six on the offensive end) in just nine minutes against Alcorn State, the 250-pound Rosburg validated his position on the active roster. He could have a Steve Moore-like career arc, rising gradually toward an impact role.
Dominique Bull: This freshman shooting guard was a classic redshirt candidate, given Mizzou’s uncommon backcourt depth. But Haith put him into play against Alcorn State, so he will join walk-ons Danny Feldmann and Corey Haith as overqualified members of the mop-up brigade.
Haith may not have all this talent fully sorted until well into the conference season, but this squad should make all this recruiting pay dividends in March.
Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jeff-gordon/gordon-recruits-show-faith-in-haith/article_c099fc11-c825-5a49-8fa3-e21ecc3d04a5.html.
Missouri made the move to the SEC this year from the Big 12 in order to start competing with the top teams in college football. Many believe the SEC is the best conference in college football and by entering the conference, Missouri can also become one of the elite teams. They will have to spend more money to compete with teams like Georgia, Alabama, Florida and others in the Southeastern Conference.
Money may have been the motivation behind the move, but the ability to give the students of Missouri a chance to root for a college football powerhouse was another part of the motivation. The move will change the way the Tigers play football and their record. The change could lead to more bowl games and even a BCS bowl bid.
Competing with the best teams in college football will require more and better recruiting. Of course, moving to the SEC will help Missouri attract many new recruits that had no interest in a team from the Big 12. Many top high school players only want to go to an SEC school because of the publicity and the chance to play for a National Championship. This year, alone, two of the top five teams in the BCS rankings are from the SEC.
Fans will need to get used to new rivalries, as well. In the future, Missouri Tigers football tickets will include tickets to games against the top teams. Alabama is ranked first, Florida in the top five and other top SEC teams, such as Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina. All of these teams are currently ranked and many of the other SEC teams are just having a bad year.
Since the conference also includes Auburn, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss, this cannot be an easy transition for Missouri. They are not having a very good 2012 season and it may take a few seasons to adjust to the competition, but the move has potential. The Big 12 didn't offer the right competition or the recruiting ability to help Missouri become one of the elite teams.
How Move Helps Recruiting
It's no secret that southern states, such as Texas and Florida are recruiting hot beds. This is part of the reason Notre Dame (a college football independent), has made deals to play in and near these states in the past and in the future. Since Missouri will regularly play teams from these states including the Florida Gators and Texas A&M, they will be able to showcase their school for potential recruits.
The move will also give Missouri more television time because top ranked teams often get prime time spots or at least national exposure. Playing these highly televised games will help with recruiting quite a bit. With better recruits, Missouri can move forward in talent and in record. After three to five years, college football fans might even get the chance to watch an SEC championship game between Missouri and another top SEC school.