New Missouri head basketball coach Frank Haith and staff have done a tremendous job of identify and recruiting the local talent since arriving in Columbia a few months back. Multiple players have taken unofficial visits to Missouri and received offers since then. The latest in of the in-state talent to follow that path is four-star St. Louis (MO) DeSmet 2013 PF Nolan Berry 6'8" 195, ranked the 14th best overall power forwad in his class by Scout.com.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke to Berry following his trip and learned he has received a Missouri offer. We also wanted to find out his thoughts on his unofficial visit.
"It was awesome!" said Berry. " I went up there and everything was really good. I got to see a lot of everything up there and meet the whole staff. I talked a lot with Coach Chew and got to sit down and talk with Coach Haith and talk basketball. It was great experience. I also have a Missouri offer now."
I asked Nolan if he knew he was close or about to receive an offer from the Tigers.
"I had no idea. It's exciting to have an offer from Missouri. I'm excited! Missouri has been one of my favorite schools growing up and to have the chance to be able to play for them is great,"said Berry.
The talented 2013 big man told me that the Tigers like his as a PF and like his versatility and ability to pass the ball and play in the high or low post.
"Coach Haith really broke down what the Tigers will be doing on offense and how that really fits my game. They plan on spreading the floor and playing a high low game and want a 4 man that can step out and shoot the ball hitting shots and pass the ball as well as get down and score on the blocks, which is what I do well," Berry said.
Berry, who also has offers from Purdue, Butler and Loyola-Chicago is also hearing from Florida, Louisville and Tennessee. He said that he has an idea of when he would like to make a decision and explained where Missouri would fit in his decision making process.
"I am going to try and make my decision before the end of next summer. Mizzou is a top school that will be among those I will decide from."
Currently at 195lbs, Nolan said that he is working out with a trainer, more on flexibility then strength training, but said that he expects to put on another 20lbs or so by the time he is playing in college.
During the summer, Berry plays his AAU basketball with the St. Louis Eagles, and has worked hard to become the skilled player that he is. However, he has also had the luxury of having basketball talent in his genes. Nolan is the grandson of legendary basketball Hall of Famer "Easy" Ed Macauley, who played basketball at SLU in college (being named AP player of the year in 1949) and then with the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks in the NBA. His uniform number 22 has been retired by the Celtics.
Nolan talked about having such a talented fellow basketball player in the family.
"It's been really good. He is has been a huge factor in helping me develop as a player. He has been really good at giving me advice after watching me play and giving me ideas to help with my game. People who have seen us both play say that I play just like him and we look a lot alike on the court," said Berry.
Nolan Berry is a versatile big man that is a team first player who passes the ball very well and gets his teammates involved as well as being able to score both in the post and stepping out and hitting from 18 feet, as well as being a strong rebounder. It took him a little while to learn how to not be too unselfish with his play.
"From 6th to 8th grade my AAU coach would always scream at me to shoot the ball because I was always more concerned about sharing the ball and getting my teammates involved. I have learned how to do both."
And that is exactly what has colleges such as Missouri wanting his services two years from now.