2022-23 Player Profile: Sean East II
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.
Head coach Dennis Gates signed both the No. 1 and No. 2 junior college prospects to his 2022 class, as rated by JucoRecruiting.com. Sean East II was second on the board after leading John A. Logan College to a 4 seed in the NJCAA tournament and being named Junior College Player of the Year with 20.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game last season.
East was a high priority for Gates early on — East told PowerMizzou that Gates called him immediately after his introductory press conference. Gates later added Kyle Smithpeters, East’s coach at John A. Logan, to his staff as an assistant.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard had two NCAA Division I stops at UMass and Bradley prior to going the JUCO route, averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds during the two years combined, and East will have to prove he’s ready the jump to a high-major program. But one of the ways East felt like he developed during his year down a level was doing a better job of taking what the defense gives him.
That stands out in the few clips of practice on display in Mizzou senior guard Ben Sternberg’s “Day in the Life” video posted last week (which start around the 7:15 mark). In the first clip of East, he takes a handoff from junior center Mabor Majak on the right wing, drives into the paint, senses freshman forward Aidan Shaw on his heels and slams on the brakes to draw a foul before laying the ball in. During the next clip, East fakes a behind-the-back pass to freeze a pair of defenders before winding the ball back around to Majak for a dunk.
The Louisville, Ky. native told PowerMizzou he “can do a little bit everything, shoot, pass, score, lead the team, you know, defend people.” The Tigers, in need of a lead guard, will hope East can rise to the occasion. And don't be surprised to see him playing off the ball while Nick Honor runs the show at times too.