Nick Honor quickly claimed the 13th Mizzou scholarship after Yaya Keita entered the transfer portal.
This isn’t done. But let’s at least talk about where we are.
Yesterday, Yaya Keita entered the transfer portal and then Nick Honor committed to the Tigers. The net scholarship change was expected, if not a bit of a surprise. As we’ve mentioned previously the process to enter the transfer portal can take a few days, and rumors had circulated that Keita might be the next out the door.
This is a bit of the ugly part of College Athletics. Keita was the sort of player everyone rooted for. He is a bright and fascinating young man and the exact type of person you want representing your university. He’s a good student, and 6’9 athletic forwards are hard to come by. So if your 12th or 13th scholarship is taken up by a player from a few hours down the road… it seems there are worse things. But Keita’s health was, and is, an issue. Keita was a thrilling athletic specimen as a junior in high school, but we barely saw what his body was capable of last season while he was building himself back up after an ACL tear his senior year. Then a second knee injury led to another surgery… All rehab time interfering with the progress for a player still relatively new to the game.
It’s sad. It sucks. Keita deserves better. Hopefully he finds a soft landing spot and excels there. Either way, it’s hard not to see he’ll excel beyond the court.
Enter Nick Honor. Great name.
Mizzou is back at zero scholarships available for next season.
DeAndre Gholston, Mohamed Diarra, Tre Gomillion, Noah Carter, Aidan Shaw, Sean East, D’Moi Hodge, and now Nick Honor are the incoming players. The holdovers are Kobe Brown, Kaleb Brown, Ronnie DeGray III, Jarron Coleman, and Amari Davis. They’re all that’s left from the previous regime.
All this and we’re not done.
61% of the roster has been flipped going into next season… so far. We feel pretty sure Kobe Brown will be back, and if Kobe is back it’s pretty likely Kaleb Brown will be back, too. And no offense intended towards DeGray, Coleman, or Davis, but it seems like Mizzou wants one more spot. If you look at how the roster breaks down it’s easy to see where the need might be. They need another big man.
Covid messed a lot of things up. On the less serious side of what it messed up is NCAA eligibility. So we’ll try to quickly explain how it works, how it was affected by COVID, and how I’m using it in the scholarship chart.
Basically, in most years players have five seasons to play four years. Incoming freshmen this season are included in that, like Aidan Shaw, for example. Because of Covid, the NCAA essentially erased the 2020-21 season, so it did not count for anyone who participated in it. But players have to elect to take the extra year. So until they do, I’m keeping them in their listed class. The exception are the Junior College graduates. So here’s how many years each player technically has left, with the seasons completed and what didn’t count crossed out:
- Deandre Gholston — 1 year (Kent State – 2019, JUCO – 2020, Milwaukee
- Tre Gomillion — 1 year (JUCO – 2019, Cleveland St – 2020,
- D’Moi Hodge — 1 year (JUCO – 2019, 2020, Cleveland St –
- Nick Honor — 2 years (Fordham – 2019, Clemson – RS 2020,
- Kobe Brown — 2 years (Mizzou – 2020,
- Jarron Coleman — 2 years (Ball St – 2020,
2021, Mizzou – 2022)
- Amari Davis — 2 years (Green Bay – 2020,
2021, Mizzou – 2022)
- Sean East — 2 years (Umass – 2020, Bradley –
2021, JUCO – 2022)
- Noah Carter — 3 years (Northern Iowa – RS 2020,
- Ronnie DeGray — 3 years (UMass –
2021, Mizzou 2022)
- Mohamed Diarra — 3 years (JUCO –
- Kaleb Brown — 3 years (Mizzou – 2022)
- Aidan Shaw — 4 years
Since players need to elect to take their extra year, I’m opting to put them in their regular class until that election… unless they’re coming from Junior College.
While Kobe, Jarron, and Amari all have additional years to play, it makes sense to keep them where they are until they say they’re going to play at Missouri for that extra year also. Think of it like the Mark Smith rule. It’s also not worth getting too tied into classes as the transfer portal is again out of control this season. Rosters seem to be pretty year to year at this point.
So what of next year?
There are a lot of big forwards, a couple point guards, and just an interesting collection of players. There’s not a ton of rim protection, but there’s a little. And with the roster not being 100% fixed we’re mostly trying to figure out what’s going to happen now with the last spot or two.
It sounds like Dylan Penn and Mizzou have both moved on from each other. Jason Roche is still a possibility but seems like a long shot. And Mizzou fans and the media seem to keep talking about a specific player who isn’t in the transfer portal yet. Missouri is looking for more size and rim protection, and now Connor Turnbull and Efe Abogidi are both off the board. There’s still time, but the options seem to be thinning out just a bit.
But if you want to feel heartened, look around the rest of the SEC. Mizzou is currently just one of two schools (the other is Arkansas) who is full up on scholarships. Texas A&M has one open, Auburn has two. Alabama and Vanderbilt have three open each. Ole Miss and Florida have four open, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee all have five spots. Kentucky and LSU have six spots each and Georgia has NINE open scholarships. So we at least have a pretty clear idea what the team will look like next season.