We have an impending blizzard about to hit the state of Missouri and I’m crossing every finger in my body that my 3 p.m. flight to South Carolina doesn’t get canceled or delayed for tomorrow’s basketball game.
While I try not to think about worst-case scenarios, how about we talk about recruiting?
Missouri offers Myron Gardner
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My weekly bowling game was interrupted on Thursday with news that Missouri had offered 2019 Spire Academy wing Myron Gardner. Gardner is a 6-foot-6, borderline top-150 recruit that played on The Family alongside Rocket Watts on the EYBL circuit.
I first saw him over the summer and thought he was a solid role player but it appears he’s blown up a bit since he transferred to Spire Academy in Ohio. He’s also hearing from Georgetown, Xavier, Cincinnati and Minnesota among others.
Spire Academy has become an outpost for Michigan players, with Watts, 2020 star Isaiah Jackson and Gardner. It would be a nice place for Missouri to start pulling players from. LaMelo Ball of the famous Ball family is also there.
I’m a bit surprised Missouri hasn’t offered a post player, but that could all change by the spring, when the coaching carousel leads to a few players opening their recruitment back up.
Tigers watch Jalen Johnson, Caleb Love and Cam’Ron Fletcher
Cuonzo Martin and assistant coach Chris Hollender have made the drive to Vashon High School and Christian Brothers College so many times this year, I’d bet they could do it in their sleep. Last weekend Missouri watched both 2020 St. Louis stars Cam’Ron Fletcher and Caleb Love, which they’ve done a lot of this season.
For now, there really isn’t much to report on with both of them. They’re quiet kids and seem to be taking their time with the process. I think Missouri is in good shape for both, but neither appears to have a timetable or a leader.
Five-star forward Jalen Johnson and his high school team played in St. Louis last weekend at the same showcase Love and Fletcher were in. Johnson is from Wisconsin and is a top-five player in the 2020 class. Most, if not all recruiting services have him ranked higher than Love, Fletcher and Josh Christopher.
I’ve played phone tag with Johnson’s high school coach this week but plan to get him for next week’s column. It’s tough to gauge Missouri’s chances for Johnson given that everybody in the country wants this kid. Name the school and they’ve offered him.
Cuonzo Martin has pulled out-of-state five-star recruits his way before (look up Brown, Jaylen) so saying MU has no chance would be unwise.
Josh Christopher update
Speaking of Christopher, I checked in with some people out west this week to see if there’s anything new with his recruitment. Doesn’t appear so. He’s hearing from the same schools and is taking his time with the process. With his high school basketball season going on, he hasn’t taken any new visits.
Before Steve Alford got fired, UCLA was on Christopher heavily so it will be interesting to see who the Bruins hire to replace him. One thought I had this week that helps Missouri’s pursuit of Christopher is the current state of the Pac-12. It’s awful. The conference is maybe a two-bid league at best come March. Right now, the Southeastern Conference is the superior basketball league and it might stay that way for the rest of Christopher’s high school career.
Some scouts have told me they wonder if Christopher would ever leave California for college given the options around him. The current state of those schools doesn’t hurt Missouri at all.
Aminu Mohammed update
I’ve had a few questions over the weeks about Aminu Mohammed, the five-star 2021 recruit in Springfield that moved from Washington D.C. recently and is averaging over 30 points a game at Greenwood Laboratory School. It’s too early for Missouri to be able to contact him, but I’m told the Tigers are well aware he’s down there and plan to make him a priority for the 2021 class.