Missouri’s search for another forward to bolster its 2016-17 roster ended Tuesday when Jakoby Kemp accepted a scholarship offer.
“Humbled to further my education and love for the game of basketball at the University of Missouri,” Kemp wrote on Twitter in announcing his verbal commitment.
Kemp — a 6-foot-9, Rivals three-star recruit from Layton (Utah) whose full name is Kedric Jakoby Kemp — also had an offer from Southern Miss and was drawing interest from LSU, TCU and Memphis among others.
He was a Utah 5A honorable mention all-state pick by the Deseret News and averaged 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21 games as a senior, according to the Lancers’ homepage on MaxPreps.com.
Kemp is an athletic forward with the ability to score as a post-up player or face-up shooter. He displayed three-point range in high school along with the ability to score in transition or off the dribble in isolation plays.
At Layton High, Kemp played alongside Julian Blackmon, a speedy wide receiver/cornerback who committed to Utah for football.
Mizzou entered the week with two open scholarships and was prepared to play the season with only 11 scholarship players, coach Kim Anderson said Monday during the SEC Men’s Basketball Summer Teleconference.
“At some point, the pool of players will dry up and there won’t be anybody left,” Anderson said. “I do think there are still some guys out there that we have actively been pursuing.”
Apparently, Kemp fit the bill. He is the fourth forward in the 2016 signing class, joining Reed Nikko from Minnesota, Willie Jackson from Cleveland and Mitchell Smith from Arkansas.
The Tigers also signed guards Frankie Hughes, who was Jackson’s teammate at Garfield Heights High, and Jordan Geist, a junior college transfer from Indiana by way of Ranger (Texas) College.
Anderson said earlier in the month that he’d like to add another big and perhaps a guard with the open scholarships, but he also didn’t rule out leaving one scholarship vacant.
The Tigers must vacate a scholarship this season or next under terms of self-imposed sanctions the program announced in January, stemming from a series of NCAA rules violations.