Mizzou hoops recruiting tigers interested in donovan williams and c.j. walker – rock m nation

Scouts have always noted that Williams possesses the length, aggressiveness and intuition to create offense for himself. It’s also how the wing casts his own game. “I would say my slashing ability and ability to a track the basket is really unmatched by many players in my class,” he said. Still, he took the floor in North Augusta, S.C., scouring for some consistency.

Over 16 regular season games in the EYBL, Williams only posted a 97.8 offensive rating, per Open Look Analytics. While he only averaged 19 minutes per game, his usage (20.8%) was among the leaders on Houston Hoops’ roster. What was the thumb pressing down on his productivity? Well, it doesn’t help when you connect on just 17 percent of your 3-point attempts and shoot 56 percent from the charity stripe.


Those numbers acted as a drag on a prospect who connected at a 58-percent clip inside the arc and posted a solid offensive rebound percentage to fill in the margins around Maxey, Harmon and Harris. His length also lends him offensive flexibility. “Being able to play (positions) 1 to 4 has also been a plus for me,” Williams said. “I can go inside and out, which makes me a threat to the defense at all times.”

And as the game moves toward a style where defensive switching is a way of life, Williams’ frame and lateral quickness allow him to guard four positions. It’s easy to see why Mizzou and other programs are intrigued. Assuming Williams can steady his perimeter shooting and reap the benefits of a college strength program, he has the all the attributes teams are seeking in modern wings.

SMU coach Tim Jankovich and assistant coach K.T. Turner have put in a lot of legwork with Williams. Meanwhile, Texas assistant coach Jai Lucas has a connection to Williams through his father and former NBA coach John Lucas, who has worked with Williams in Houston. That being said, Williams said he was still keeping the door open as programs like Mizzou, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Illinois enter the picture.

Mizzou’s approach wing position also holds intrigue. East St. Louis wing Terrence Hargrove Jr. went off the board on on July 1 when he committed to Saint Louis, opting to play close to his family. Hargrove’s athleticism had never been in question, but a source with knowledge of his recruitment told Rock M Nation several weeks ago that the next step is cleaning up skill work.

Meanwhile, Rock Bridge wing Isiaih Mosley reportedly reached back to MU’s staff to reset a recruitment that, as of late April, appeared dormant. Over the EYBL campaign, Mosley, who added a Mississippi State offer late Thursday night, had been a primary perimeter threat for MoKan Elite roster that features fellow Mizzou target Malik Hall and and N’Faly Dante along its front line. During Peach Jam, his scoring dipped slightly to 8.6 points per game, but the Columbia native still shot nearly 59 percent from the floor. Coach Cuonzo Martin also trekked to Lawrence, Kan., for the Harwood Classic, where MoKan is part of the field this weekend.

On tape, it’s evident Walker thrives in transition, whether it’s pushing the ball down the flank or sprinting ahead on a rim run. He’s also adept at working in the short corner, finding space and showing and making a big target for passers. He can also attack closeouts or slice into a gap if a rotation is late. The question is his jumper, which is mechanically sound and consistent. What’s helped Walker this summer is embracing the role of playing as a combo forward.

When July arrived, Tennessee, Florida, Louisville, Arkansas and LSU all seemed safely entrenched as favorites. However, Mizzou doesn’t just throw out offers left and right. Before offering Walker and Williams, the staff had only extended 25 of them in the class of 2019 and only one — to Jackson after his unofficial visit during the first week of June — in the past three months.

Meantime, Martin reached out this week to chat with Walker’s father and his mentor, Marcus Robinson. The Tigers also dispatched an assistant to watch Walker this week at the Super 6 Showcase in Atlanta. “I want to develop a relationship with Coach Martin first,” Walker said when asked about Mizzou’s early efforts. Noted Top-50 prospect and Detroit native Rocket Watts chopped down his list of suitors to eight this past weekend. Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Combo guard Rocket Watts released his list of eight finalists on Sunday night: UConn, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Oregon and Xavier. The Tigers’ presence wasn’t all that surprising. We’d heard from multiple sources with knowledge of Watts recruitment that Mizzou was likely to survive the cut. Whether it can snag the top-50 prospect and Detroit native, though, is another matter. A source said last week that Watts is wide open and comfortable with leaving the Mitten, which explains the presence of the Huskies and Seminoles. However, Michigan, which was long considered a prohibitive favorite, might make a renewed push after point guard D.J. Carton — a top target on the Wolverines’ board — pledged to Ohio State.

• Antavion Collum, a top-100 prospect and wing from Tennessee, told assembled scribes it’s likely Mizzou scores an official visit. The Tigers had already appeared in Collum’s top seven, which he released in mid-June. In all honesty, I don’t have a good feel for the situation. I’ve reached out to Collum multiple times to chat about his recruitment and been met by silence. So we’ll have to take him at his word.

• Combo forward Tray Jackson also told media on hand that MU is also on track to receive an official visit. Altogether, the news isn’t surprising. As we documented last month, Mizzou’s been in touch for a while, and Cornell Mann knows Jackson well from scouting him as an assistant at Oakland. When I chatted with Jackson last week, he said Mizzou was still squarely in the mix, but he wanted to get through July before doling out visits. C’est la vie. At the moment, four programs seem well positioned to land Jackson: Xavier, Missouri, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

• We’ve long assumed the pursuit of E.J. Liddell would leave knuckles white. A lingering question was whether bluebloods would start sniffing around. Last week, they arrived. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski’s and North Carolina’s Roy Williams took in Liddell’s play at Peach Jam, and the Belleville (Ill.) West product told reporters that Duke has touched base with him on several occasions. Now, I’ll agree with the observation made Alex Schiffer of The Kansas City Star: freaking out might be premature. The Blue Devils haven’t extended an offer yet. Liddell is a top-50 prospect. It makes sense that elite programs would inquire. The bigger threat might actually be in Columbus. Ohio State hosted Liddell on an unofficial visit in June, and he announced last week that the Buckeyes would receive his first official visit.

• Combo guard Mario McKinney created tremors when told assembled media that he and Liddell, who are childhood friends, could be a package deal. On top of that, he also said it’s unlikely he takes an official visit to Mizzou. (McKinney’s made multiple trips for unofficial visits.) On the court, though, McKinney put together his best session of the season for Brad Beal Elite, joining Williams on the All-Breakout Team at Peach Jam. Carving out a niche has been tough at times on a loaded roster. Yuri Collins commands the point position, and a glut of guards in Hargrove, rising junior Moses Moody and rising sophomore Zion Harmon vying for minutes. Moody, though, was nicked up with a foot injury, creating an opening for McKinney to get extended minutes.