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2022-23 Mizzou hoops player preview: Aidan Shaw

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking an individual look at the strengths, weaknesses and expectations of each of Missouri’s scholarship players.

Aidan Shaw will be the Tigers’ lone newcomer on scholarship from the high school ranks. The rookie from Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, Kan., joins Mizzou after averaging 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 2.4 assists per game in his senior year.

Shaw was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, ranking as the No. 56 prospect in the nation and No. 14 small forward. He chose Missouri after receiving offers from schools in each of the Power 5 conferences and reaffirmed his decision after Dennis Gates was named head coach.

The 6-foot-8 forward should see plenty of minutes in his freshman season, both because of his talent and because of the lack of length across Mizzou’s roster. Shaw matches the type of physical profile that Gates has had a high success rate working with: long-limbed and versatile athletes, such as Jonathan Isaac and Mfiondu Kabengele at Florida State.

Shaw’s raw athleticism makes him an asset — he tweeted a video of himself in June leaping for a max vertical jump of 49 inches. But what really makes Shaw stand out is the way he weaponizes it, giving all-out effort to crash the boards (on both ends) and create havoc on defense. He’ll get pushed around in the paint against bigger opponents but make up for it by using his length to swat away shots at the rim.

While Shaw is capable of knocking down open jump shots and is a good ball-handler for his size, he’ll likely mainly be used as a vertical threat early on, catching lobs and flushing putback dunks.

Shaw will need to learn the nuances of college defenses to see an uptick in minutes, such as timing his blocks correctly to avoid committing fouls. Shaw also told PowerMizzou in July he’s still adjusting to playing with grown men as opposed to 16 and 17-year-olds — notably, he was listed at 195 pounds on the Tigers’ roster, five pounds heavier than what he was listed as on Rivals and 247Sports.

The incoming freshman has lofty goals of winning both an SEC and NCAA championship. For Missouri to do either, it’ll need Shaw to fulfill his potential.