Rocket Watts already had one of the best nicknames on the EYBL circuit. Now, he’s proven his game is just as good.
Watts, whose real name is Mark, had a breakout weekend in Dallas, averaging 24.7 points per game, which ranked third among all players on the circuit.
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard can play both guard spots and showed signs of flashiness, regularly going behind-the-back for a crossover or pass and keeping some of the nation’s top players on their heels.
Missouri assistant coach Cornell Mann was a regular at Watts’ games, and head coach Cuonzo Martin stopped by to watch a few.
Mann, who has deep recruiting ties to Michigan, has made Watts a priority in Missouri’s 2019 class, as the program attempts to take a four-star recruit out of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s backyard.
“He’s from Detroit, so every time he comes back to the city, he pays me a visit,” Watts said. “He’s a great coach. He’s going to take care of me.”
Mann was able to get Watts to make an unofficial visit to Missouri for its season-opener against Iowa State last year, and Watts left impressed.
He said Saturday that he’s a big fan of Mann and that Missouri is right up there with both Michigan and Michigan State.
Watts wants to wait until the end of the AAU season before cutting his list and take some official visits in the fall before deciding on a school before the start of his senior season.
MU host to Hinson
Missouri played host to Wichita's Blake Hinson for an official visit on Monday into Tuesday. Hinson recently reclassified into the 2018 class and can play on the wing, a position Martin has said the Tigers are still looking for.
Hinson, who can also play power forward, is considering the likes of Seton Hall, Mississippi and Washington State besides the Tigers.
Seton Hall loses four key seniors to graduation, while playing time will be plentiful at Washington State and Mississippi while both teams continue to retool.
Hinson plays at Sunrise Christian Academy alongside fellow MU target Malik Hall, who is in the class of 2019.
The Tigers are expected to play host to Evansville transfer Dru Smith for a visit this weekend, but that date could change because of AAU tournaments this weekend in Indianapolis.
An eye on Hall
Speaking of Hall, Missouri assistant Chris Hollender watched a few of his games with MoKan Elite this past weekend in Dallas.
Hall, who already had a ton of offers, continues to pick up more as Florida State and Notre Dame joined the likes of Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State, Oregon and Purdue. On Tuesday, national champion Villanova made an offer.
The 6-foot-7 small forward said he’s taking his time with the recruiting process and said he’s looking to visit Oregon, Wisconsin and Ohio State once his school year ends on May 18. That could change with his recent offers.
He recently had in-home visits with Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Oregon.
Hall plans to wait until after the summer AAU season to cut his list of schools and begin taking visits in the fall before making a decision.
He said the biggest factor when picking a school is relationships.
“I’m really big on connecting,” he said. “If I don’t feel right at a place then I don’t think I should be forced to go there because someone wants me to.”
Hall’s teammate on MoKan is Columbia native Isiaih Mosley, who currently has a Mizzou offer but appears to be a backup plan for the Tigers right now.
Mosley, who had a successful junior season with Rock Bridge High School is on Hall’s list of players to have a breakout summer.
“He’s definitely underrated,” he said. “He’s always in people, he likes to lock up. He should blow up this summer.”