Griffey to Visit Missouri

There will be thousands upon thousands of guests in town next weekend to celebrate Missouri's homecoming, but one out-of-towner of note to Mizzou basketball fans will be prized Lafayette (Mo.) junior forward Tyler Griffey.

"It's homecoming and me and my buddy really wanted to go, so I gave coach Anderson a call and he said it would be great to have me [at practice Saturday morning]," said Griffey, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward who is among MU's top targets for next year's recruiting class.

"I'm really excited about it. it should be cool," he said.

Griffey is a four-star prospect rated the No. 51 player in the national Class of 2009. He's been hearing from quite a few schools, though the ones who seem to be showing the most interest recently are Mizzou, Saint Louis, Kansas, Miami and North Carolina. Griffey has been playing in open gyms frequently this fall, and at a recent one both Anderson and coaches from UNC were in attendance.

Still, at this early stage, he said it's difficult to pay too much attention to the recruiting process.

"I think probably I will next summer, but it's really hard to say when I'll come up with a list or anything like that," he said. "I'm listening to every school."

Griffey has followed Mizzou closely for some time, though, and it seems the Tigers are as good a shape early on as anyone else. Wisconsin seems to be another program of interest, as he'll make a trip to check out a Badgers practice later this month.

"I grew up watching them and I think coach Anderson has done a great job. I think they'll surprise some people" this year, he said.

Asked what Mizzou's sales pitch to him has been, he said: "They're really talking about the home-state thing, the chance to play for the home-state school," he said.

In preparation for the upcoming season, Griffey, who has been named a team captain, has been working on his conditioning and using dribbling glasses that block his view of the ball, which he says makes him feel a bit silly.

"But they work," he said, laughing.

Last year, Griffey averaged 16.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. He's seen as an excellent perimeter player for someone of his size, and views himself as more of a small forward than a power forward. He would seem to be a very nice fit for Anderson's offense, but it will be quite some time before we know whether or not that will come to fruition.

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