Mizzou men’s basketball interseting offseason

Mizzou men’s basketball interseting offseason

Kim Anderson

By Steven Qualls II, 23 Sports

Sunday, October 5 –

Missouri men’s basketball has seen some drastic changes occur since it’s sensational outing in the 2011-2012 season. Since their entrance into the Southeastern Conference, they have endured numerous struggles both on and off the court.

After a rocky 2013-14 season, coach Frank Haith left for Tulsa, making way for new head coach Kim Anderson. Anderson, who was hired in April, is taking over a team that has lost its identity as a program.

Missouri basketball first troubles came when Zach Price, a Louisville transfer, was kicked off the team following two arrests and a restraining order from teammate Earnest Ross. Haith executed this move slightly before his departure.

In another case, it was announced last week that Notre Dame transfer Cameron Biedscheid would no longer be a part of the men’s basketball program because of personal issues. Biedscheid was expected to add a scoring punch from the wing for the Tigers this season, albeit not being eligible until the second semester.

Dating back to May of this year, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, two crucial components to the Tiger roster, pursued professional careers and are currently with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kevin Punter Jr., a talented junior college recruit, committed and de-committed from the Tigers within a month.

Anderson made good strides in keeping the interest of freshman recruits, who originally committed with the expectation of playing under Haith. Both four star recruit Jakeenan Gant and three star recruit Namon Wright are still set to play this season despite originally committing for the Haith regime.

Anderson also recruited forward D’Angelo Allen, a 6-7 forward from Dallas who is expected to earn some decent minutes this season, and point guard, Keith Shamburger, a senior transfer from the University of Hawaii.

Unfortunately, trouble followed Gant and Allen, as in mid-August both were suspended following arrests. As of October 1, both players have been reinstated and participating in team activities.

Missouri’s basketball program has been reminiscent of a zoo in recent months. The least of the team’s problems should be worries about player’s eligibility and availability. The focus should be on how this very young roster, which includes six freshman and two seniors, will fair in the daunting SEC.

The season is approaching rapidly, and to fair well this season, coach Anderson will need to ensure that the pieces of his team are functioning properly and are focused on the task at hand: entertaining Tiger fans and getting to the big dance.