One of the issues new Missouri head coach Kim Anderson had to address when he was brought in to lead his alma mater was their lack of front court depth. With there being three returnees, it was clear that Anderson and his staff would need to reel in some players for the 2014-15 season. And in short order the staff did just that, putting the program in a better position than it was in upon their arrival.
They did enough to ensure that Jakeenan Gant, who committed to the program when Frank Haith was in charge, would remain committed and added both D’Angelo Allen and Montaque Gill-Caesar. That triumvirate joins returnees Keanau Post, Ryan Rosburg and Johnathan Williams III for the upcoming season, and on Thursday evening Missouri landed a verbal commitment from a power forward in the Class of 2015.
6-foot-7 power forward Kevin Puryear, who hails from Blue Springs, Missouri, verbally committed to the SEC program according to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. Puryear posted the following message via his Twitter account:
This journey has been amazing and today it came to an end. I have verbally committed to the University of Missouri!! #MIZBABY
As a junior Puryear posted averages of 19.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, helping lead Blue Springs South to a 21-5 record. Puryear filled multiple roles for his high school team, serving as a point forward on the offensive end of the floor. Blue Springs South head coach Jimmy Cain discussed some of his star player’s strengths in a story written by Bill Althaus of The Examiner back in April:
“He really played a point-forward type role for us this year,” Cain said. “He was able to be effective anywhere on the floor. He can obviously score, but he also does a great job reading defenses and finding teammates when he is doubled. He would be the first to also mention the luxury of having some great teammates who he trusted.”
Puryear played his grassroots basketball for the KC Run GMC program, and his versatility is something that can help Missouri upon his arrival on campus next summer. Post is Missouri’s lone senior in the front court, so the depth questions Anderson had to deal with when he was hired shouldn’t be an issue at that time.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”
Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.
The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.
Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.
The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.
South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.