Former McDonald's All-American James White had a "great" visit to Columbia this last weekend according to two sources close to the program. White seemed to mesh well with the current players on the team and, ironically, appeared to really hit it off with Ricky Paulding. We say ironically, because White plays the same position as Paulding and it is less than clear at this point whether Paulding intends to stay at Missouri after this season or declare himself eligible for the NBA draft.
White left Columbia without giving a commitment, but said that he was very impressed with the Tigers' program and that he would decide between Cincinnati and Missouri this week.
The former Florida Gator small forward would bring a tremendous amount of athletic ability to the Tigers or the Bearcats, and would only be rivaled by the aforementioned Paulding in a dunk contest.
Ousmane Konate, the athletic post player who committed to Missouri several months ago, remains committed to the Tigers. Konate's primary mission at this point is to achieve eligibility necessary to matriculate at the University of Missouri.
Where that will happen is the question. He is still technically enrolled at Bridgeport Academy. He may very well end up transferring to another school if Ousmane believes that a change in academic scenery will improve his chances to improve his core classes and his score on the SAT.
Konate, a native French speaker, is an intelligent young man but is struggling with becoming proficient in English.
While some might ask if this recruit is worth the risk for Missouri? From all sources who have actually seen Konate play in person, they rave about his athletic ability and his phenominal upside potential. You just don't see 6-10 guys do the things that Konate can do on a basketball court very often.
Yes...the risk and the wait are worth it for Missouri.
Insiders' Perspectives on First Two Games
A source close to the program told Supermizzou that the key difference between the American and Austin Peay games was the presence of Jimmy McKinney in uniform. McKinney, in just his first year, has developed an incredible rapport and confidence with his teammates. It has been said that McKinney's contributions to the team are rarely shown in the boxscores. According to his teammates, having Jimmy in the game for Austin Peay was a major factor in Missouri's blowout victory.
McKinney will wear his protective mask for 6-8 weeks and then will be cleared to play without it.
It is rare that a true freshman is so highly regarded by his coaches and teammates, but Jimmy McKinney is a special ball player.
Rickey Clemons has also been an obvious change for Missouri. Clemons, who is still learning about his teammates, has shown that he can be the primary scoring threat, or can be the distributer. The program is extemely high on Clemons and what he has already brought to the team.
Look for Josh Kroenke to shoot more spot-up threes in the upcoming weeks. Coach Quin Snyder has told Josh to have confidence in his shot and let it loose more often. Kroenke is arguably Missouri's best outside shooter, so the Tigers will only benefit from his play when he relaxes and take more open shots.
Best suprise of the season to date...? It would have to be freshman post man Kevin Young. Young who has dropped 55 lbs. since arriving in Columbia has been Missouri's most aggressive big man so far this season. In limited play, Young has averaged about one rebound for every two minutes he's been in games.
It was assumed that Young would be something of a project when he was signed last year, but Kevin has shown that he is going to be a factor for the Tigers right now. Young will continue to provide strong backup depth for both Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant in the upcoming weeks.