"I think I fit in Quin Snyder's system," Kleiza said. "I liked him and I like the team. I think they can compete for a national championship next season." He may be right. In their final game of the year, standouts Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson gave Tigers fans a glimpse of what lies ahead as they played on the best games of the college season against Marquette.
Kleiza's right, the Tigers sure are going to be talented next season.
In picking Missouri, Kleiza brings an end to speculation that he might visit North Carolina this week. "My schedule is tight right now. I'm going back to Lithuania next week. I kind of grew into this decision."
The North Carolina staff made a late play for Kleiza as soon as Roy Williams took the job in Chapel Hill. However, Missouri was just too strong in the end and did a great job fighting off not only the Tar Heels but the hard-charging Florida State Seminoles.
"Missouri just did a very good job recruiting me," Kleiza said.
" So, what can we expect from him as a freshman? Easy. Expect him to battle everyone on the roster that plays his position. He's the kind of guy who relishes challenges and he'll compete hard in practice for minutes and in order to keep pace, all the big guys on that team will have to raise their level of play.
Kleiza finished the season as our No. 13 ranked senior.