The Missouri basketball team’s 2018 recruiting class has finally taken shape. It took just one more guard to fill it out.
Former Evansville guard Dru Smith visited Missouri this week and didn’t wait long to make his commitment to the Tigers.
According to Corey Evans of Rivals.com, the 6-foot-3 guard made his decision official Friday. Smith will have to sit one year because of the NCAA transfer rules but will have two years of eligibility. His will join the Tigers for the 2019-20 season.
While Missouri picked up the signing of Smith, which will give the Tigers depth at point guard, it missed out signing Courtney Ramey, a top-50 point guard.
Ramey announced Friday – after a long recruitment that saw him decommit from Louisville and pick up interest from a number of high-major schools this year – that he would be attending Texas. He reportedly considered Missouri, Louisville and Oklahoma State, as well. His signing will give the Longhorns the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals.com's Eric Bossi.
Missing on Ramey means the Tigers will have just two point guards next season – Jordan Geist and freshman Xavier Pinson – unless coach Cuonzo Martin moves things around.
What is Missouri missing out on in Ramey?
Webster Groves coach Jay Blossom said in a phone interview Wednesday that Ramey is capable of being a go-to guard on Day 1. Ramey averaged 21.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists in his senior year.
“I think, wherever he goes, he is ready to come in and be the go-to point guard for any program in the United States,” Blossom said. “His basketball IQ and his court vision are at a really, really high level. I don’t think he is going to come in and back anybody that, that’s for sure.”
Smith will join Illinois transfer Mark Smith, who also will have to sit out a season. The addition of each locks in Missouri’s backcourt for the future.
After entering the offseason in dire need of guard help, Martin and his staff have filled that hole.
In his sophomore year at Evansville, Smith shot 48 percent from 3-point range and 57 percent from the floor. He was also part of a perimeter group that rebounded the ball well, averaging 3.5 rebounds.
Smith averaged 13.7 points to pair with his rebounding numbers, but where he stood out on a national level was in his playmaking ability and on defense.
He played 22 games last season but finished with 101 assists, Evansville’s leader by a wide margin. His assist rate, according to KenPom.com, was 37.5, which ranked 12th in the country. He also had a steal rate of four, which ranked 18th in the nation.
Smith’s signing shuts the door on Missouri's remaining scholarships. One would open up if Jontay Porter decides to stay in the NBA draft. Missouri can go many directions with that scholarship, but it has already offered 6-7 forward Blake Hinson. Hinson, from Sunrise Christian Academy, was on a visit this week.
Martin wanted to fill out his recruiting class with guards and wings, and while he might have missed on Ramey, he’s filled the need with the signing of Smith.