Campus Corner

Haith's MU recruiting class ranked in top 20

Updated: 2012-11-15T00:40:10Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

— By the time 2 p.m. rolled around Wednesday, it was official — Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith had a three-man recruiting class ranked in the top 20 in the nation according to several scouting services.

“Some say this class is in the top 20, but that will be determined over the next couple years and how these guys play at Mizzou,” Haith said. “But they definitely answer some needs for us.”

Indeed. Missouri secured the national letters of intents of three players ranked in the top 150 players in the nation according to Rivals.com, which ranked Haith’s class No. 17 overall.

Not surprisingly, Haith had several good things to say about four-star forward Johnathan Williams III (Memphis, Tenn.), four-star guard Wesley Clark (Romulus, Mich.) and three-star forward Torren Jones (La Porte, Ind.).

“J3 is very versatile,” Haith said of Williams, the No. 50 player in the nation. “You look at Laurence (Bowers) and what his game has evolved to, I think J3 is very similar to that. He’s a really good passer, he’s long, lanky and a good shooter. He scores around the hoop, plays extremely hard and is athletic.”

Haith said Clark, ranked 71st in the nation, is a pure point guard who could fill in for starter Phil Pressey, should he elect to go pro after his junior campaign.

“His toughness and competitive spirit, I love,” Haith said. “He’s always in attack mode and has been around winning a lot. He’s a true point guard with a point guard mentality.” Haith said Jones, ranked No. 117 in the country, reminds him of Ricardo Ratliffe, a senior who was a scoring threat in the post last season.

“He’s very bouncy, very athletic and he has a great body already with nice touch around the hoop,” Haith said.

The Tigers aren’t done yet, either. With at least one scholarship still remaining, Haith said the Tigers are in position to take the best player available to fill out the class going forward.

“We’re bouncing around all over the place a little bit,” he said.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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