It had been eight months since a player left the Missouri men’s basketball program, but the longest run of roster peace in coach Kim Anderson’s three seasons came to an end Thursday with the announcement of freshman forward Willie Jackson’s transfer.
It’s the latest roster blow for Anderson — the embattled Tigers coach, who is 24-53 since taking the reins at his alma mater in April 2014.
Jackson averaged only 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 16.9 minutes this season, but he was an athletic presence and solid building block for the future.
His departure — according to a release from the school, Jackson’s family needs him closer to home because of a medical situation — marks the 14th time a player has de-committed, been dismissed or transferred since Anderson was hired.
Here’s the timeline of roster upheaval since Anderson’s arrival:
Dec. 29, 2016: Willie Jackson announced he would transfer to be closer to his family because of an ongoing medical situation.
April 21, 2016: Jakeenan Gant was the final remaining recruit from the 2014 class and the last link to former coach Frank Haith’s time in Columbia. He had shoulder surgery in March. Gant came in as Rivals’ No. 52 overall prospect coming out of high school in Georgia, but he only averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 53 career games. When he left, Gant expected to transfer somewhere closer to his ailing mother, La’Kenia. He ended up at Louisiana-Lafayette, which is 742 miles from his hometown of Springfield, Ga. — only slightly closer than Columbia, which is 915 miles away. He must sit out the 2016-17 season.
March 15, 2016: Tramaine Isabell and Namon Wright played significant roles down the stretch for Mizzou last season, but both still opted to transfer. Wright, a Los Angeles native who averaged 8.2 points in 61 career games, landed at Colorado, while Isabell, a Seattle native who averaged 5.2 points in 55 career games, wound up at Drexel University. Both are sitting out the 2016-17 season.
Feb. 29, 2016: D’Angelo Allen, who was Kim Anderson’s first commit, called it a Mizzou career with two games remaining in the season. He averaged 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 53 career games, but saw his minutes cut in half from his freshman to sophomore season. Allen, a Dallas native, doesn’t seem to have transferred to a new school.
Feb. 16, 2016: Wes Clark was dismissed for not going to class or he quit. Either way, the Detroit native, who one NBA scout told me had enough scoring potential to perhaps earn a shot in the D-League, won’t suit up again for the Tigers. It’s unclear what his future holds, but he isn’t playing anywhere this season. Clark was the last of the Tigers who actually suited up for Haith. He averaged 7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 81 career games.
Nov. 13, 2015: Martavian Payne never played for Missouri. He signed along with forward Russell Woods last spring from John A. Logan College in Illinois, but academics and other issues kept him from seeing the court. Payne originally signed with Southeast Missouri out of high school and later committed to Graceland after leaving Mizzou, but apparently instead signed with Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) in suburban St. Louis. As of Dec. 29, he ranks 17th in the NAIA in scoring at 20.0 points per game this season.
July 15, 2015: After reclassifying to the 2014 recruiting class late, Montaque Gill-Caesar lasted only one season at Missouri. He averaged 9.1 points and 3.0 rebounds as a freshman before transferring to San Diego State, where he sat out last season and averages 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds this season.
April 7, 2015: Deuce Bello leaves for East Tennessee State (after graduating in August 2015). He only averaged 10.9 minutes in 23 games as a junior at Mizzou, but went on to average 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds for a 24-win team as a graduate transfer.
March 31, 2015: Johnathan Williams III transferred to Gonzaga. This is the one that hurt most before Jackson’s abrupt departure. He had been the leading scorer (11.9 ppg) and rebounder (7.1 rpg) on Anderson’s first team, but he didn’t buy into the offense and didn’t feel comfortable with his teammates. Williams sat out last season and averages 9.3 points and 4.5 rebounds for the undefeated Zags entering Thursday’s game with Pepperdine.
Sept. 30, 2014: Cam Biedscheid leaves Missouri to attend to “personal matters.” It was a mutual parting of ways. Biedscheid transferred from Notre Dame at semester a year earlier under Haith. He took part in the internship program that led to self-imposed sanctions after an NCAA investigation into the program, Biedscheid, a St. Louis native, never played in a game for the Tigers.
Aug. 8, 2014: Torren Jones was dismissed for a violation of team rules. He was a holdover, recruited by Haith and it’s hard to find fault in Anderson for sending him packing. Jones shows promise athletically, but he was raw. After a year at Midland (Texas) College, Jones averaged 10.5 points and 7.9 rebounds last season at Fresno State before he was dismissed in April and landed at William Penn College. As of Dec. 29, Jones leads the NAIA in rebounding at 12.3 per game and ranks ninth in scoring at 20.8 points per game.
May 16, 2014: Seldom-used shooting guard Shane Rector opts to transfer after averaging 0.5 points in 23 games as a freshman on Haith’s final team. He took a star turn at Miami-Dade Community College in Florida — where he averaged 17.4 points, 5.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals — before moving onto Utah State last season. Rector made 12 starts, dished a team-high 101 assists and averaged 9.3 points as a junior. He averages 12.2 points, a team-high 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds for the Aggies this season.
May 6, 2014: Kevin Punter, a guard from State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo., de-commits from Missouri after a visit to Tennessee. He had committed to the Tigers on April 4 and went through a mock signing ceremony April 16 around the time Frank Haith was deciding to leave MU for Tulsa. Punter led the Volunteers and was second in the SEC in scoring at 22.2 points per game last season.