Criswell Talks About His Choice Of Mizzou

The Missouri Tigers men's basketball team's most recent commitment for 2012 is excited about his recent choice to play basketball for Mizzou and tells what the main factors were behind his decision.

Coach Frank Haith and his staff have picked up a verbal commitment from another big man for 2012, in PF Tony Criswell 6'9" 235 Independence (KS) Community College.

Criswell transferred to ICC this summer, after spending two seasons at UAB, where he played one season, after red-shirting his first year there. Criswell is expected to sign with Missouri in November, and matriculate next June with two years to play college ball.

"I'm excited about coming to Missouri," said Criswell. "Most definitely!"

Criswell chose Missouri over offers from Auburn, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, among others.

"I feel I'm going to step into a great situation (at Missouri)," said Criswell. "That's why I picked (Missouri)."

"From the fan support, to my relationship with the players, my relationship with the coaches, the training staff, playing time," continued Criswell, talking about factors in his decision to choose Missouri. "The guards! I mean, I feel like when I come (to Missouri), everybody that I'll be playing with, I feel like we can make a big tournament run, if everybody just work, and stay committed. I mean, Phil Pressey, Mike Dixon, Earnest Ross, Keon Bell;  we'll have a pretty good squad."

"I think (Missouri's) a pretty good fit (for Tony)," said Criswell's coach at ICC, Patrick Nee. "Tony's biggest thing was looking for a need, and obviously, Missouri has a need. Tony's a highly-skilled four man, who can do a lot of things on the court. And, I think that Missouri's really looking for someone who can do a lot of things at that position, and Tony's a perfect fit for that type of need."

Earlier, Coach Nee had described Criswell as a power forward with some small forward offensive skills. He expects him to dominate this year in junior college, and believes that Criswell has tremendous potential to play professionally.

I had asked Coach Nee to compare Criswell to Missouri's Ricardo Ratliffe, with whom Coach Nee said he was very familiar.

"Probably not quite as athletic as Ricardo," said Coach Nee. "But, he shoots the ball much better from the perimeter. (He's) much more of a perimeter type player, more skilled, but probably not the athlete that Ricardo is."

Coach Nee said that Criswell is a solid student, and a hard worker on the court.

"Tony's a good kid," said Coach Nee. "He's a hard worker on the court. (He's) a good teammate. As a player, he's an extremely unselfish player."

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