Missouri Mining Florida Juco for Two Players

There's no secret that the Missouri mens' basketball staff has been recruiting Okaloosa-Walton Community College (Fla.) forward Keith Ramsey, but Inside Mizzou has learned that the Tigers also have verbally offered a scholarship to his teammate, guard Tay Waller. Here's the breakdown on both players:


Ramsey, a versatile 6-foot-8 small forward, has been a target for MU for several months. While going to watch him in open gyms this spring, MU's staff got a closer look at Waller, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound shooting guard from Manchester, Ga. The staff verball offered Waller and is hoping to get him to campus this fall for a visit, as are a variety of Big 12 and SEC programs.

"We've seen [head coach Mike] Anderson, [assistant Matt] Zimmer and [assistant T.J.] Cleveland," Okaloosa-Walton coach Bruce Stewart said. "They were on Ramsey first and toward the summer they started getting on Waller."

Waller is a shooter, plain and simple. As a freshman last year he connected on 117 3-pointers and averaged a team-high 18.4 points per game on 45 percent shooting. He also made 55 of 61 free throws, a school-record 92-percent clip. His ballhandling skills are still developing, but his strength is obvious: he can stroke it.

"He's a Big 12 or SEC player. He's one of the better two-guards in the country. His strength is more like a Reggie Miller or a Richard Hamilton, coming off screens and knocking down jumpers. He gets his shot of in a split second. He has a very, very quick release," Stewart said.

Waller is a late bloomer who opted for junior college in order to shore his academics and get high Division I looks after playing in one of Georgia's smaller size classifications. Stewart said Waller has a freshman year, offensively speaking, that was better than any player he's had – including twins Ronnell and Donnell Taylor, who went on to star at Alabama-Birmingham under Anderson.

"He's developed a lot since high school. He's a typical South Georgia kid who doesn't get a lot of attention and didn't really play on the [AAU circuit]," Stewart said.

Ramsey, meanwhile, has been a known commodity since high school, is one of the more versatile junior college players in the nation. The native of Mrufreesboro, Tenn., averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, three assists, three steals and 1.7 blocks per game last year. He also teamed with Waller to win the Under-19 AAU national championship in Orlando. Minnesota, UNLV, Tennessee and Arkansas are a few of the top schools joining Mizzou in his recruitment.

"He's a long, 6-8 three-man. Be brings a lot of shot-blocking and rebounding to the small forward position, but he also has very good ball skills for his size. He can get a rebound, take it up the court and make a point guard play," Stewart said.

Ramsey and Waller were first-team All-Panhandle Conference as freshmen, helping Okaloosa-Walton to a 23-5 record. The freshman-dominated team should be one of the nation's best juco squads this winter. It'll be a team for MU fans to keep tabs on.

Neither player is likely to make a commitment soon, and their lists won't be solidified until the shchedule visits this fall.

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