Maybe next semester for Missouri's top recruit

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Eligibility issues made Tony Mitchell a longshot to play at Missouri this season. Now it appears he has no shot.

The Tigers’ top 2010 recruit missed Monday’s deadline to enroll in fall classes – both Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer and FOXSports’s Jeff Goodman reported that nugget – and Mitchell couldn’t get NCAA clearance to do so.

This wasn’t a surprise, though. Missouri reporters knew the 6-8 small forward probably wouldn’t be on the roster. Even Missouri coach Mike Anderson sounded doubtful in this interview last week. Mitchell’s probably headed for junior college and may attempt to enroll next semester.

As for Missouri, it’ll be OK. Anderson’s optimistic his young team will rise to the occasion. From the Columba Tribune:

I think the foundation has kind of been laid, so we’ve got guys in our program that understand the commitment, what it takes to be successful, the hard work you’ve got to put in, and hopefully guys such as a Justin (Safford), Kimmie (English), (Laurence) Bowers, Marcus Denmon, Steve Moore, those guys become more your core guys. So having gone through the experience of being in different roles, now they become those core guys. Can they provide that leadership, can they provide that ownership with the young guys following? I think for a coach, that’s the dynamic — the meshing of a team. How do all those components come together? It’s a challenge, but at the same time, I think it’s going to be a nice challenge.

Will the Tiger be up for that challenge? Tough call. The Big 12 will be one of the best – if not the best – conferences this season, which makes for a steep learning curve on a young team.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.