College coaches can’t contact basketball recruits in the 2021 class for another month, but there were a number of future Missouri targets on display at last weekend’s Nike EYBL session in Indianapolis.
Fresh off a state championship in his first year at Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield, Missouri, 6-foot-4 guard Aminu Mohammed was the go-to scorer for Virginia-based Boo Williams. Mohammed averaged video game-like numbers as a sophomore at Greenwood, en route to earning state player of the year honors.
Considered a five-star recruit in the 2021 class, Mohammed said his recruiting has been mum for a while and he doesn’t expect it to pick up until next month. The one school he has paid attention to is Missouri State, where his older brother Kabir is a rising senior.
First-year Bears coach Dana Ford has an impressive recruiting class coming in this summer, headlined by Columbia Rock Bridge’s Isiaih Mosley, and Mohammed thinks the Bears will be in the mix for the Missouri Valley Conference title next season.
“I think he’s going to take them next year to a championship, I think they have a chance to win it because they’ve got a good (class) coming in,” he said. “This past year, they did good, I think they’re going to be good next year.”
Missouri plans to get involved with Mohammed in the near future and the top-15 player has also heard from Louisville and Indiana.
Since MU coach Cuonzo Martin hired Cornell Mann, Missouri has recruited the state of Michigan hard and landed incoming freshman Tray Jackson as a result of it. The Tigers will likely target sophomore guard Pierre Brooks, a 6-foot-5 guard out of Detroit, whose father briefly played at Louisville.
A physical guard who likes to slash, Brooks said Mann has already been in to watch him and is also hearing from Toledo, Duquesne, Cleveland State, Detroit-Mercy, Houston Baptist and Oakland. Mann was a guest speaker in one of Brooks’ classes because he knew the teacher, and he’s a big fan of Michael Porter Jr.
“I like Missouri,” he said. “They’re like, a little bit fast-paced. I actually like Michael Porter’s game a lot. I liked how he played. I actually like their style of play.”
Brooks’ teammate Kobe Bufkin has also been watched by Mann and has an early offer from TCU with interest from Michigan, Michigan State in addition to Mizzou.
A left-handed slasher, Bufkin is trying to work on his defense, which he knows will be his ticket to immediate playing time at some schools, with Missouri being one of them.
Closer to home, MoKan Elite has a loaded under-16 team headlined by Harmon’s Lonell Lane and Chicago product Bryce Hopkins.
At 6-foot-6, Hopkins has the skills of a guard, but is also able to play forward in certain lineups, which makes him a fit in Missouri’s system. He’s already has offers from Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Miami (Ohio) and is hearing from MU. Hopkins played against MU point guard Xavier Pinson at Fenwick in Chicago and wasn’t surprised by his standout freshman season at MU.
“We ended up losing to him,” he said. “He’s a good point guard, I like him. He’s quick off the dribble.”