College basketball may be five months away, but that hasn’t kept Missouri from assigning jersey numbers for the 2013-2014 season.
Interestingly enough, several members of Frank Haith’s incoming five-man recruiting class – all of whom arrived on campus this week, a team spokesman confirmed Thursday – have chosen to wear the numbers of their recent predecessors at their prospective positions.
For instance, four-star point guard Wes Clark of Romulus, Mich., will follow in the footsteps of Phil Pressey – MU’s all-time assist leader – and wear No. 1, while another point guard, Shane Rector of South Kent, Conn., will don the No. 11 last worn by Pressey’s former backcourt mate and Lee’s Summit West grad, Michael Dixon Jr.
That’s not all, either. Freshman Torren Jones, a three-star power forward from LaPorte, Ind., will don the No. 24 last worn by star guard Kim English, who famously moved to the position as a senior and thrived during MU’s 30-5 campaign in 2011-2012.
Meanwhile, four-star forward Johnathan Williams III – who is often called “J3” – can thank senior Tony Criswell for allowing him to wear his preferred No. 3 jersey. Criswell, who wore the number last season when he served as a valuable role player off the bench, willing gave up his number for the Memphis product and will instead wear No. 2, which Ricky Kreklow last wore in 2011.
Other uniform notes
• Junior center Keanau Post, a four-star transfer from Southwestern Illinois Community College, will wear No. 45, a number that has been out of circulation for a while (at least when it comes to scholarship players). The number was last worn by center Simeon Haley in 1994-1995.
• Junior guard Jordan Clarkson, a transfer from Tulsa who sat out last season while adhering to the NCAA’s transfer rules, has switched from No. 23 to No. 5. Keion Bell wore the number for the Tigers last season.