COLUMBIA, Mo. – It didn’t take Xavier Pinson long after his February visit to Missouri to announce where he would be playing college basketball. Pinson visited Mizzou Arena for the Tigers' sold-out Feb. 3 game against Kentucky. Two days later, he announced his verbal commitment.
He never wavered in that decision.
On Wednesday morning, the first day of the spring signing period, Missouri announced that the 6-foot-2 point guard officially signed his National Letter of Intent.
“We are thrilled to welcome Xavier Pinson into the Mizzou basketball family,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement. “Xavier has tremendous passion for the game and has all of the tools to become a standout guard in the SEC. He has a great work ethic and has tremendous athletic ability. Xavier is an elite passer who is always looking to get his teammates involved. He is an ideal fit for our program, and we look forward to getting him on campus this summer and watching him grow.”
Pinson, who averaged 11.8 points and 3.8 assists and shot 58.5 percent from the field for Chicago powerhouse Simeon Career Academy, is the fourth player in Missouri’s 2018 recruiting class. The class includes four-star and 2018 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year Torrence Watson along with three-star wings K.J. Santos and Javon Pickett.
Missouri signed two point guards in last year’s class, Blake Harris and C.J. Roberts. But Roberts transferred early in the season and Harris transferred in January. With the departure of its two point guards, Martin and his staff took to the trail for another point guard and offered Pinson.
Pinson, a three-star recruit on Rivals, announced his offer Jan. 18 on Twitter. Ten days later, news hit that Terrence Phillips was the subject of a Title IX investigation. He has since be dismissed from the team, leaving Pinson and Jordan Geist as the only point guards on the 2018 roster, as of Wednesday.
The statement said Pinson chose Missouri after building a strong relationship with Martin and the coaching staff. Adding that Pinson “fell in love” with Missouri’s fans and the atmosphere at Mizzou Arena.
Pinson’s signing leaves Missouri with two open scholarships. But if Jontay Porter decides to forgo his eligibility and stay in the NBA draft, Missouri will have three.
Still, Missouri is not close to finished with its recruiting class.
Webster Groves senior and top-50 point guard Courtney Ramey remains a high-priority target to pair with Pinson in the backcourt. Missouri also has offers out to Illinois transfer Mark Smith and 6-7 Sunrise Christian Academy forward Blake Hinson, among others.