University of Missouri

Mizzou could see more competition for this recruit after he switched AAU teams

Mizzou basketball target Terrence Hargrove talks about his AAU season

Terrence Hargrove Jr., a Class of 2019 small forward from East St. Louis, Illinois who has an offer from the Missouri Tigers, talks about his adjustment to playing for a high-level AAU team and what it can do for his recruitment.
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Terrence Hargrove Jr., a Class of 2019 small forward from East St. Louis, Illinois who has an offer from the Missouri Tigers, talks about his adjustment to playing for a high-level AAU team and what it can do for his recruitment.

Terrence Hargrove Jr. is a bit of a rarity in today’s AAU basketball world, where the FBI is watching and reform could be coming.

Most players join a Nike-sponsored team as soon as they receive an offer, but Hargrove, a 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2019, put off multiple offers from Bradley Beal Elite to play for the Illinois Warriors, out of loyalty to the program that first gave him a chance.

But Hargrove, who holds a scholarship offer from Missouri, is finally playing with Bradley Beal Elite as a rising senior, and is playing catch-up on both the AAU circuit and the recruiting process.

“It’s stronger and faster,” he said of the adjustment. ‘It’s a big adjustment because I’m just now getting used to it. I’m coming along but I still have a lot to work at and a lot to learn.”

Hargrove, from East St. Louis, Ill., is playing alongside the likes of fellow Mizzou priorities Mario McKinney, E.J. Liddell and Francis Okoro.

Through eight games, Hargrove’s averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds, but has shown athleticism above the rim and defense, which allows him to guard multiple positions.

Liddell said Hargrove has already given the team leadership despite being new to the program and is a quick learner. Liddell thinks Hargrove is only scratching the surface of what he can do.

Hargrove is very close with Missouri freshman center Jeremiah Tilmon, to the point where the 6-foot-11 big man calls his high school teammate’s parents “Mama and Papa.”

“We’ve known each other since the sixth grade,” Hargrove said of Tilmon. “That’s like my brother.”

With Missouri having East St. Louis ties on its roster and its coaching staff, Hargrove knows a lot about the Tigers' program.

He visited for a few games last year, even just to cheer on Tilmon. Hargrove said he’s impressed with what strength coach Nicodemus Christopher has done with Tilmon’s frame since he got on campus.

“He got stronger, faster, he can jump higher now,” Hargrove said of Tilmon. “He’s just playing at a high level now.”

Hargrove also has a lot of respect for MU coach Cuonzo Martin, who has become an inspiration in his hometown for his successful coaching career and beating cancer.

“It’s tough coming out of East St. Louis as a basketball player,” Hargrove said. “It’s kind of hard to make it.”

When he was playing for the Illinois Warriors, college coaches had a hard time evaluating Hargrove because he wasn’t always going against Division I-level competition. Now that’s he’s on the Nike EYBL circuit, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do against the country’s best prospects.

Before the start of the AAU season, Hargrove had offers from Missouri, Saint Louis, Illinois State, New Mexico State and Cleveland State. Illinois State recently had an in-home visit with Hargrove but his recruitment has already seen an uptick since he joined Bradley Beal Elite.

Colorado and Missouri State offered him the week after the opening session of the Nike EYBL season and more could be on the way. He's said before that his dream school is Kansas, as he grew up rooting for the Jayhawks.

Hargrove said he has no timetable on his recruitment. He said he decided to play for a higher-level team to see what it does and wants to see who will come into the picture.

It appears he’s off to a good start.

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