Sean East details Mizzou commitment
After being formally introduced to Missouri fans on March 22, one of Dennis Gates’ first acts as the Tigers’ head coach was to try and address the void at the point guard position. His first call went to John A. Logan Community College point guard Sean East.
Gates and East quickly hit it off, with East coming to campus for a recruiting visit just a few days later, on the weekend of March 26. Friday, East committed to the Tigers. He said the fact that Gates called him so quickly after getting the job showed how badly he was wanted at Missouri, and that resonated with him.
“He actually called me right after his press conference,” East told PowerMizzou. “Like as soon as he got off the stage he called me. He said, ‘I just walked off the stage, but I want to let you know that I want you to be my point guard.’ So from the jump, I knew that he was serious and he wanted me pretty bad, and it was just like an instant relationship as soon as I got to meet him.”
East, who was named the Junior College Player of the Year after averaging 20.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists last season, ultimately chose Missouri over BYU, Clemson, Oregon and South Florida. He said his official visit showed him that Missouri can develop him both as a player and as a man. But perhaps more importantly, he saw an immediate path to playing time. Missouri struggled to find a consistent primary ball-handler in 2021-22, which played a significant role in the team’s 12-21 record.
“They’ve been needing a point guard, and just trying to go there and put the work in and grind and try to get some minutes, and just try to provide what Mizzou has been missing,” East said.
East started his college career at Massachusetts, where he averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. He then transferred to Bradley and saw his numbers dip to 9.0 points and 3.9 assists per contest.
But last season, his stats exploded. East attributed the improvement to both physical and mental growth, as well as getting better at letting the game come to him rather than forcing the issue.
“Just becoming a better and more efficient overall player and just growing in my game,” East said. “Just in the gym everyday, working to become a better leader and just physical in general. And taking what the defense gives me. Whatever is there is there. Just trying to be the ultimate point guard.”
Now, East describes himself as a well-rounded point guard who can do everything. At Logan, he logged an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.8:1 and shot 41.0 percent from three-point range.
“A passer, scorer, facilitator, a leader,” East responded when asked to describe his skillset. “And just directing guys and trying to be a coach on the floor and whatever the coach needs me to do in that situation or time playing the game.”
East, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, plans to arrive on campus in May. His coach at Logan, Kyle Smithpeters, has been rumored as a strong candidate to fill the final assistant coaching vacancy on Gates’ staff, although his hire has not yet been announced.