Hannah a Tiger

In a sudden twist of recruiting fortune, highly-coveted point guard Stefhon Hannah has signed an LOI to play for the University of Missouri next season.

Kansas State's new head coach, Bob Huggins, thought he had him. The reports indicated that Stefhon Hannah had decided to join Huggins in Manhattan, KS as part of the K-State basketball program.

However, the signed letter of intent from junior college transfer never came through the fax machine.

Ooops!??

Missouri, on the other hand, never gave up on the recruitment. Head coach Mike Anderson knew that he needed another point guard for the 2006 season, especially given the apparent departure of James Douglass from Columbia.

While Hannah appeared to be conflicted between Missouri and K-State, his mother apparently was not. She was sold on the Tigers and Coach Anderson as being the best option for her son.

Lesson learned once again. If you want a signed LOI, make sure the mother is on board.

So, it's time to put the rumor mill to rest and meet the newest Missouri Tiger.

Hannah was a second team Junior College All-American (Chicago, Ill. / Hyde Park High School / Chipola Community College) in 2005.

The 6-foot, 175-pound guard originally attended Chicago's Hyde Park High School, and then moved on to play for the very successful Chipola CC basketball program.

Hannah started each of the past two campaigns at Chipola where he led the Indians to a two-year record of 60-7, including a No. 4 finish at the 2005 National Junior College Athletics Association National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., and a No. 1 ranking for a majority of the 2005-06 season.

Ranked among the Top 10 junior college guards by several recruiting services, and the No. 25 JUCO player overall, the well-rounded Hannah averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals to pace Chipola's highly-touted squad and boasted an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.1-to-1.

"I am very excited that Stefhon Hannah is joining our program at Missouri, and he is very excited to be coming here," said Anderson. "The signing of Stefhon is an outstanding way to close out the recruiting period and it gives us added quality and depth in the backcourt. He is a tremendous leader and winner and he does the things that make his teammates around him better. Stefhon is a tenacious player and a very gifted offensive performer. He scored at a high level at both the high school and junior college ranks, and he gives us an experienced player for our roster," he said.

Hannah joins Jonathan "J.T." Tiller (Marietta, Ga.), and transfers DeMarre Carroll (Birmingham, Ala./Vanderbilt) and Darryl Butterfield (Miami, Fla./Mineral Area College) as Mizzou signees during the past week. They will combine with Keon Lawrence (Newark, N.J.) and Vaidatos Volkus (Klaipeda, Lithuania) – who both signed in November during the early period – as Anderson's first class at Mizzou.

An ideal option for Anderson's run-and-execute style of play, Hannah ranked No. 17 nationally at the junior college level with his 6.5 assists per game and No. 11 with his 3.1 steals. He turned in a career-high 13 assists and added 21 points in a win over Gulf Coast Community College and had multiple steals in 20-of-25 games played as a sophomore, including four or more thefts 12 times.

While Hannah's unselfishness and defensive-minded play have made him among the nation's most coveted point guard targets, the 2006 Panhandle Conference Player of the Year flashed his abilities to score on a number of occasions as a sophomore.

Hannah scored a career-high 34 points on 18-of-24 free throw shooting in a 110-91 win over Florida Prep and tallied 26 and 25 points, respectively, in wins over Seminole Community College and Northwest Mississippi. Hannah was efficient from the floor in both Chipola wins, hitting 9-of-16 shots, dishing out eight assists and recording four steals vs. Seminole, while hitting 4-of-4 three-pointers and 9-of-13 shots overall en route to that 25-point night vs. Northwest Mississippi. He also recorded his second double-double of the season in a 21-point, 10-assist effort in a 95-66 win over Pensacola Junior College.

As a freshman, Hannah earned First Team All-Panhandle Conference accolades after leading the Indians to a school record 33-4 mark in 2004-05. Aided by current Oklahoma State senior Mario Boggan, Chipola advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson and finished fourth overall. As a rookie, Hannah averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 assists, 3.9 boards and 2.8 steals.


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