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April 24, 2014
Mizzou class in Rivals150
The final 2014 Rivals150 Basketball Rankings were released today and both of Mizzou's signees made the top half of the rankings. Georgia native JaKeenan Gant is ranked number 52 while California native Namon Wright is ranked 73. You can see the full list here.
Gant fell slightly in the latest rankings from 47 to 52. As a senior at Effingham County in Springfield, Ga., he averaged 21 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2.8 assists per game on 51% FG, 35% 3FG and 74% FT shooting. Conversely, Wright saw a bump in the rankings from 87 to 73. As a senior at Pacific Hills in Los Angeles, he averaged 24.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
With the Earnest Ross and Tony Criswell graduating and the early departures of Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Zach Price, Mizzou will have at least five new faces on the 2014-15 team. Two spots are reserved for Gant and Wright if they choose to stick with their NLI's when the Tigers' new coach is announced. The third scholarship is, for now, taken by junior college commitment Kevin Punter, who told PowerMizzou.com again recently that he is remaining a Mizzou commit until a new coach is announced an he can meet with him. However, there are now reports out that Punter is visiting Tennessee this weekend. That leaves two available scholarships that could be used for 2014. There are seven uncommitted prospects remaining from the Rivals150, but at this point Mizzou is not seriously in the picture with any of them.
Where does that leave Mizzou. To answer that it is probably best to look at the roster break down as things stand right now. Of course this could all change when the new coach is announced, but since we do not know who that will be or when it will happen all we can do is work of the information we have. The Tigers will have one senior next year, forward Keanau Post, three juniors in Ryan Rosburg, Duece Bello and Kevin Punter, five sophomores in Johnathan Williams III, Torren Jones, Wes Clark, Shane Rector and Cameron Biedscheid, and two freshman in JaKeenan Gant and Namon Wright.
Ideally, Mizzou would like to keep the classes as balanced as possible. Adding a one year transfer, like Alex Oriakhi, and another freshman would do that the best because it would give them two definite scholarships for 2015. Unfortunately, situations like Oriakhi's do not come up a lot and when they do there is a lot of competition for the player. The other most likely option would be to take another junior college player and another freshman. One other option, although it seems unlikely, would be to only use one scholarship, holding back the other for the class of 2015. It is hard to say for certain with so much up in the air with the program at the moment, though.
Nobody covers the Tigers like PowerMizzou.com.