Watson’s minutes plunged in his junior year, leading to a quiet season followed by a transfer from the program.
Of all the transfers that Mizzou Hoops has seen this offseason, this one personally hit me the hardest.
Xavier Pinson probably was never coming back. Mark Smith had served his time. Parker Braun couldn’t crack the rotation. Ed Chang was a complete non-factor.
But Torrence? It felt like he actually offered something.
After a promising freshman season, Torrence Watson’s notorious sophomore slump paved way for a junior season we all hoped wasn’t coming. Watson saw stretches of regular playing time and contributed well in his time. But his inability to score against SEC defenders — and his continued search for a jump shot that went AWOL — kept him relegated to end-of-the-bench minutes.
Still 2021-2022 seemed to offer some hope for those of us still hanging on to our TW stock. There would certainly be playing time available, and Watson had shown some flashes of improvement. But it wasn’t meant to be, as Watson entered the transfer portal shortly after the season, ending a once promising Tiger career.
Watson is the fourth, and hopefully last, transfer we’ll be covering as part of our postseason player reviews. To catch up on the rest, you can click the links below. After that, we’ll move onto the seniors who don’t appear to be taking graduate years, and then make our way down the roster… or what remains of it!
What went well?
As many suspected, Torrence Watson saw his minutes share plunge following a major sophomore slump. But despite his inconsistent play and minimal impact, Watson did make small improvements around the margins of his game. His shooting didn’t leap back to his freshman levels, but it did regress slightly to the mean. Both his turnover and offensive rebounding rates improved enough to garner a 100.8 offensive rating, and his defense continued to be reliable off the bench. You wouldn’t mistake Watson for a major factor, but he did have a positive impact in his sparse playing time.
What didn’t go well?
Unfortunately for Watson, marginal improvements weren’t enough to get him back in the rotation. And despite some regression to the mean, Watson still struggled to convert on the offensive end of floor. His three point percentage rose, but only to 32.3 percent; He only took six shots inside the arc, making only two of them; and he only got to the free throw line a handful of times, converting at 67 percent. Watson was a hair above average on offense, but not necessarily for his contributions on the stat sheet.
As much as probably anyone, I wanted Torrence Watson to work out at Missouri, maybe shy of Torrence himself. It was a great story from the jump, local St. Louis star commits to the in state school and helps to be a part of the rebuild. But Watson’s inconsistent shotmaking wasn’t enough to overcome his improved defense as a sophomore and junior. So watching Torrence decide to enter the transfer portal was the moment of realization that often times things don’t work out how you expect or hope. There’s no real blame here, both sides wanted it to work out and kept looking for solutions to make it work out, but no matter what they tried it just wasn’t happening. At that point it became clear it was time to move on.
Where Watson goes from here depends on what he wants in the last few years of the college basketball life. Does he want to have a more clear defined role on offense and be the guy or does he just want to be somewhere close and find the right role?
For Missouri, they’ve already brought in three guards who are hopefully slotting into to provide what Watson never could. Consistency.
— Sam Snelling