Last season, Mike Anderson guided his Missouri Tigers to a Big XII Tourney crown and a trip to the NCAA's Elite Eight. After the on the floor success, the question was whether or not Anderson and his staff would be able to parlay their 2009 run into a big effort on the recruiting trail?
As the dust clears from the early signing period, it's pretty safe to say that Anderson and the Tigers answered the question with a resounding yes. By inking two potential stars in Texans Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey and then surrounding them with a fine shooting local in Ricky Kreklow and a good role player in Kadeem Green, the Tigers have put together a fine haul of recruits from the high school class of 2010.
Now that all four players are signed, sealed and delivered, Inside Mizzou takes a look at each player and what they'll bring to the table when they arrive in Columbia next year.
Breaking Down The Tigers Class
Kadeem Green- It might not be a bad idea to look at Green as the X-Factor in this class. A Canadian who is prepping in North Carolina, he's a long and lean 6-foot-8 forward who can run the floor. He looks capable of making some jumpers out to 15 feet, gets on the glass and is a good utility athlete. It's also important to note that after getting a bit of exposure prior to his sophomore year, Green kind of flew under the radar so there aren't many people who have gotten a recent evaluation of him.
Ricky Kreklow- People are going to look at Kreklow and think Matt Lawrence, it's just going to happen. While the 6-foot-6 wing from Columbia Rock Bridge is certainly going to be a guy capable of stripping the nets from deep like Lawrence, it's not fair to say they are similar other than their size. Even though he's not a highlight reel dunker or high flyer, Kreklow is very swift in transition. In addition to his ability to let it fly from deep, he's a well above average passer from the wing and does a terrific job of moving without the ball to get open. Though it's not likely that he'll handle the ball a ton, he will be a valuable playmaker because of his passing. He recently had surgery to take care of a back that's been bothering him and will need to focus on his lateral quickness and getting stronger prior to donning a Mizzou uniform.
Tony Mitchell- Originally committed to Kansas State, the 6-foot-7 Mitchell became a major Tiger target as soon as he opened things up during the summer. Everywhere he went, there was a Tiger coach looking on and for good reason. A potential difference maker sooner than later, Mitchell is a ridiculously athletic and long forward who is tailor made for Mizzou's high octane style. On the interior he rises above the crowd for emphatic slams and he runs the floor like a guard. He's strong, capable of playing much bigger than his size thanks to huge hands and a 7-foot-2 wingspan and scores with either hand around the rim. A dynamite rebounder to boot, Mitchell is rapidly improving his perimeter game. He's a fine shooter to the three point line even if he tends to shoot with a bit of a low release and his passing and ability to attack the rim with decisive two and three dribble drives is underrated. Now, it's just a matter of learning to play with consistent effort and make the type of impact he's capable of making on the game each time he hits the floor.
Phil Pressey- Because of his long standing relationship with Phil's father Paul and the rest of the Pressey family, it almost seems as if Mike Anderson was recruiting Pressey from birth. Regardless of the exact date he was targeted, the 5-foot-9 point guard was an early target for the Tigers and they made good on their long running efforts to land him. Given his smallish stature, it's not a surprise to find that he's quick with the ball in his hands and a blur in transition. A confident, smart and unselfish player, Pressey is a "pure" point guard in a world where few true set-up guys remain. Very athletic, he will attack the hole and try to dunk on bigger defenders and has worked hard to become a dangerous scoring threat through the use of floaters, pull-ups and a much improved shot from deep. A natural leader, he'll push for playing time early and often.