Kemp Discusses Commitment to Missouri

New Missouri basketball commitment Jakoby Kemp discusses why he chose the Tigers.

The newest Missouri Tigers basketball player, Utah forward Jakoby Kemp, knows the Tigers are in rebuilding mode after two losing seasons and wants to be a part of it. 

“I just felt that it was the right place for me to grow and learn as a player,” Kemp told on Wednesday. “They are currently in a rebuilding process, so I want to be part of that. I felt like the coaches are truly there to help the kids.”

Kemp, a Class of 2017 prospect from Layton High School in Utah, has been described as a 6-foot-9, 205 pounder, but he said he’s a little bigger than that. 

“I’m 6-10, I think, and I’m about 205,” he said.

That would make Kemp, whose first name is Kedric but goes by Jakoby, one of the three tallest players on the Tigers roster when he arrives on campus in a few weeks. 

Fellow incoming freshmen forwards Mitchell Smith and Reed Nikko are both listed at 6-10 according to the newest online roster update. Smith is 210 pounds. Nikko is 250 pounds. 

All three players will be competing for playing time this season.

Kemp, who averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game during his senior season, describes himself as more of a combo forward because of his versatility to play inside as well as knock down shots from the perimeter.

“I think that I attack the rim very good and I think I would be compared to kind of like a Kevin Durant-type of player,” he said.

What did the Missouri coaches say they liked about him during the recruiting process? 

"They said they liked my height,” Kemp said. “Obviously the height because they need height. They like the way I’m able to confuse the defense with what I have to bring.”

Kemp’s game, thanks to what he said was a three-inch growth spurt over the past year, makes him a bit of a matchup mismatch, he explained. The difference in his game after the growth spurt is that he now has more of a traditional post game than previously.

That should give Kemp, who picked the Tigers after also considering TCU, Memphis, LSU, Georgia Tech and Southern Mississippi, a chance to compete for minutes in the front court as a freshman.

Kemp becomes the sixth new addition for Kim Anderson’s squad in the most recent recruiting class and the fifth freshman — joining Smith, Nikko, forward Willie Jackson and guard Frankie Hughes.

The addition of Kemp means Anderson’s squad will have 10 freshmen and sophomores on scholarship for the 2016-17 season.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at

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