Deep down, Tyler Stone always knew that he'd get the opportunity to take his game to the high major level for college. Over the weekend, the 6-foot-7 combo forward from Memphis made a visit to Missouri and walked away a Tiger.
After taking a few days to reflect, Stone spent time breaking down his visit, decision to commit and what Tiger fans can look forward to.
"I got into town on Thursday night and they took me to the hotel," said Stone. "Friday they showed me around campus and the gym and then we played ball, went to eat and I just kicked it with the players for most of the weekend."
According to Stone, his host for the weekend and the rest of the team made it really easy for him to feel comfortable.
"Zaire Taylor was my host. He was real cool," said Stone. "I liked him, he liked me and everybody got along. They are like one big family over there. That's what made me so comfortable. They made me feel like one of their family members right away."
Of course, Stone also spent plenty of time visiting with the Missouri coaches. He noticed that the players seemed to take their key from head coach Mike Anderson in setting up that family vibe.
"It comes from Coach Anderson," said Stone of the atmosphere. "He treats them all like they are his own kids. It comes from coach and everybdoy picks it up and gets along real well."
As much as Stone liked the campus life, facilities and overall atmosphere of Missouri, it was when he was spending time with his future teammates that he realized Columbia was where he wanted to be for college.
"It was probably when we were kicking it with the players," told Inside Mizzou of when he knew that he wanted to be a Tiger. "Everybody was so cool and I was so comfortable that I was like this is where I want to play. It's a good thing to play with guys that you feel so comfortable with."
As an added bonus, Stone was able to spend time with the rest of Missouri's 2009 recruiting class. Mike Dixon was there on an unofficial visit and Keith DeWitt and Jon Underwood (who pledged at the same time as Stone) were both in town on officials. From the sounds of it, they bonded quickly.
"They were cool too," said Stone of his classmates. "I didn't know them that long but I got to know them well. They all seemed like they like it there and felt comfortable too."
Relatively unknown on the national level, Stone has been hailed by regional scouts and coaches as a true sleeper. Perhaps under recruited through much of the process, Stone is ready to show what he can do on the college level. "What I've been hearing a lot is that I'm a mismatch nightmare," Stone said when describing his game. "If I get a big guy on me I'm putting it on the floor and taking him to the rack. If I get a small guy on me I can post and take him to the rim. I can shoot the ball pretty well and I can get out in transition."
Carrying around somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 pounds on his 6-foot-7 frame, Stone has the type of frame and game to fit right in at Mizzou. He's become very comfortable shooting from mid range, is extending his game beyond and feels like Missouri's running system will be perfect for utilizing his versatility.
"I'm very excited about it," said Stone. "Coach doesn't try to restrict us, he just lets us play and I like that. I know it's going to take some getting used to and I need to get into shape. But, I think I can do it and I think I can do it well."
With only a few weeks remaining in his senior year, Stone is looking forward to making the move to Columbia. Now that he's realized his dream of signing to play high level college basketball, he's looking forward to showing everybody what he's all about.
"I have a good personality and I get along with people extremely well," said Stone. "I'm just excited to get out there and meet everybody."