Oak Hill Academy is one of the most prestigious and successful high school basketball factories in the country.
Missouri added the program’s career leader in assists Wednesday when Warriors point guard Terrence Phillips signed a national letter of intent on the first day of the NCAA’s spring signing period.
“We are excited to have Terrence in our Mizzou program,” Tigers coach Kim Anderson said in a release. “He’s an outstanding young man with the sort of character and drive that will fit in well with our program. He’s a true point guard who has proven to be a winner during his career so far. He and his teams have won and done so at an extremely high level.”
Anderson’s affinity for point guards is well-known, especially after Wes Clark suffered a season-ending elbow injury Feb. 10 at South Carolina. Phillips will replace senior Keith Shamburger, a graduate-student transfer from Hawaii.
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Phillips, who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 168 pounds on Oak Hill Academy’s official roster, is the younger brother of Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings. Phillips averaged 8.7 assists last season.
He visited Missouri on Jan. 2 and committed that weekend, remaining firm despite the Tigers’ struggles during conference play.
“I’m excited to get Mizzou get back to its winning ways,” Phillips said in MU’s release. “I’m more ready than ever to help Coach Anderson turn it around and restore the roar in Mizzou Arena.”
Phillips, rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, ESPN, 247 Sports and Scout, also had an offer from Auburn and several mid-major programs.
The Warriors finished 47-1 overall, setting a national record for victories, and were 88-4 the last two seasons with Phillips serving as the primary ball handler.
Oak Hill’s only defeat came in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School national championship game, a 70-61 loss against three-time champion Montverde (Fla.) Academy and national player of the year Ben Simmons, who signed with LSU.
“He’s started more games (105) than anyone in school history,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith told USA Today last month about Phillips. “When we take him off the floor, there’s a big difference, offensively and defensively. He doesn’t get credit for it, but he’s a good shooter. He’s so unselfish. He’s always looking for his teammates first.”
Missouri can use the backcourt help.
Shamburger was one of three players who appeared in all 32 games for the Tigers. He led the team with 34.1 minutes and 3.9 assists per game.
Clark, who will be a junior, is expected to resume practice in June after suffering a dislocated right elbow 10 weeks ago. He averaged 10.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and a team-best 1.7 steals before the injury.
Phillips joins Blue Springs South forward Kevin Puryear, who won the DiRenna Award as the top high school boys basketball player in Kansas City last week, and Pacific (Mo.) shooting guard Cullen VanLeer in the Tigers’ 2015 recruiting class.
Assuming Phillips signs his national letter of intent, which MU had yet to confirm Wednesday afternoon, Anderson still would have three available scholarships.
John A. Logan College teammates Russell Woods, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago, and Martavian Payne, a 6-2 guard from St. Louis, will visit Missouri on Friday.
Missouri has the additional scholarships to fill after announcing that sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III and junior guard Deuce Bello would transfer.