Until they officially commit elsewhere, Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff plan to book their summer travel plans around the trio of Caleb Love, Cam’Ron Fletcher and Josh Christopher.
But Martin couldn’t be in Indianapolis this past weekend for the second Nike EYBL session because of the new NCAA rules recommended by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s commission on college basketball.
That didn’t stop the trio from putting on a show.
Christopher was a scoring machine for Vegas Elite while Love and Fletcher, both St. Louis natives, were the backbone for Bradley Beal Elite this weekend.
Martin recently had in-home visits with Fletcher and Love, and the duo remain interested in Missouri despite national powers such as Virginia, Michigan State and Kentucky all showing interest in one or both players.
Like Martin, Spartans coach Tom Izzo recently visited Fletcher, a teammate of MU signee Mario McKinney.
Fletcher, a 6-foot-6 athletic wing, recently took an official visit to Michigan State, but Izzo and his staff already want him back on campus.
“They want me to come back down at the end of June,” Fletcher said. “(They like) my size, playing hard, rebounding, blocking shots, my shooting ability. They told me I can be better with my handles.”
Fletcher recently started hearing from Kansas and has no clear timetable on when he wants to narrow his list of schools or make a decision. Known more for his ability to play around the rim and rebound, Fletcher showed an improved outside shot over the weekend, which is the next step in his game.
Missouri has been selling Fletcher on following McKinney’s footsteps as the hometown kid playing for the hometown school and the four-star recruit said he talks to them every day.
Love has received a similar sales pitch and said the Tigers are coming at him the hardest, along with Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee and Louisville.
A combo guard who can score at will, Love struggled as a pass-first point guard over the weekend but still showed the ability to get Bradley Beal Elite a basket when it mattered.
The 6-foot-3 four-star recruit just locked in an official visit to Virginia and plans to set up more visits in the coming days. Love has been to Missouri multiple times and said he’d like to see Texas and Tennessee in the near future.
After a tough 15-17 season in his second year at MU, Martin is selling Love on being the face of the program and the key recruit who helps define the Tigers’ turnaround.
“They want me to come in, not just be the lead point guard but take control of the team,” Love said. “Obviously they had a rough season last season, they just want me to turn the team around. They say, why not do it at home?”
Christopher, the cousin of MU strength coach Nicodemus Christopher, remains the hardest member of the trio for MU to land. A native of Lakewood, California, a Los Angeles suburb, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard is hearing from Kansas, Oregon, Florida State and UCLA among others.
A five-star recruit and consensus top-15 player nationally, Christopher is an elite scorer, but a high-IQ player who can create for his team and run some point.
Despite his resume, Christopher has been slow to dive into the recruiting process, taking just two official visits as of Saturday, to Missouri and Arizona State. The Sun Devils recently signed Christopher’s brother Caleb, which gives the Sun Devils a leg up in his recruitment.
Christopher, who vacations with Shaquille O’Neal’s family, didn’t meet with reporters this past weekend and instead watched another friend, LeBron James Jr., play against 15-year-old phenom Emoni Bates. The son of the Lakers star had a standing room only crowd on Saturday, with his dad watching, while his Strive for Greatness team beat Bates’ squad.
On Sunday, Nicodemus Christopher made the five-hour drive from Columbia to watch his cousin play. While he didn’t meet with reporters, the vibe around the gym was that Arizona State remains the team to beat.
In April, Christopher told 247Sports that while his brother’s presence is a factor, his recruitment is still open, with no clear favorites.
“At the end of the day, it’s about his future and my future,” Christopher said.