New Names Emerge on MU Hoops Board

There's been plenty of speculation about a group of basketball prospects commonly linked with Mizzou, but has uncovered another two new names on MU's recruiting list for the Class of 2008.

Savannah, Georgia rising senior Toby Veal recently received a scholarship offer from Missouri, IM learned recently. Veal, a 6-foot-7 combination forward who has been one of the fastest risers on the spring and summer travel circuit, could take a visit to MU this summer, he said Sunday.

His AAU teammate James "Boom" Fields is getting a look from the Mizzou staff as well, but has not been offered.

"I'm interested," said Veal, who averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds per game last season for Johnson (Ga.) High. [And] they seem to be very interested in me."

Veal, whose outstanding performances at the Kingwood Classic and Real Deal on the Hill Tournaments while playing for Team Georgia Elite, has seen his stock spike. He's being recruited by MU, Florida State, Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Colorado, Alabama and Auburn. Most have offered.

"I've seen a lot of kids ranked in the top ten, top twenty-five. I think he's a top-50 player at least. At least," said Team Georgia Elite coach Curtis Wheeler. "He's a run-and-jump athlete. He's a strong kid, plays hard all of the time, finishes with dunks and is a great rebounder. He can also step out and shoot. And he's the best kid to coach."

He also is a solid student and will qualify academically.

At Kingwood, Wheeler said, Veal posted 25 points and 16 points against five-star power forward Drew Gordon, a UCLA commit. He's spending this summer transitioning from the post to the perimeter.

"I play the post right now but I'm going to college for the ‘three,'" Veal said. "I'm working on my ballhandling."

Veal admits that he slightly favors Florida State, but it's one of the few schools he's visited, and he wants to take several more trips. He's in France this week playing alongside Fields in an international tournament.

Fields is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound combo guard who beat out Veal for area player of the year honors last season, when he averaged roughly 17 points, five assists and four steals per game. He is hearing from MU, LSU, UNC-Wilmington (offer), Auburn and High Point (offer).

"My style of play is ninety-four feet of pressure and man-to-man defense," Fields said. "I know about the style they [the Tigers] play, I play that style."

Fields is hoping to make a decision by the start of the school year, but will wait first to see who offers. Missouri's staff has known about him since his freshman year, when the coaches were at UAB, Wheeler said.

"They [MU's staff] really like the kid. That's how they saw Toby – they came to see Boom," Wheeler said. "He defends really well on and off the ball."

As always, will keep you posted …

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