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November 16, 2009

Where will Mizzou's class end up?

Within minutes of the news breaking that Tony Mitchell had committed to Missouri, one question immediately popped to the minds of Tiger fans: What does this do for the ranking of Missouri's recruiting class?

The answer, clearly, is that it shoots way, way up the charts. Currently, the Tigers are not ranked in Rivals.com's top 25 classes. The new rankings will come out on Friday and Missouri's group will almost certainly be among that top 25.

For reference, Georgetown currently has the nation's 25th best class. The Hoyas have commitments from the nation's #48 and #74 players. Missouri has #15 (Mitchell) and #54 (Phil Pressey) on board in addition to three-star prospects Ricky Kreklow and Kadeem Green.

The question then, is how high up in that top 25 will the Tigers rise? The ceiling would appear to be No. 10. Illinois currently has the nation's No. 9 class. That group includes players ranked numbers 36, 39 and 81. Even with the commitment of Mitchell, Missouri probably doesn't overcome three of the country's top 81 players.

North Carolina State checks in right now at No. 10 with commitments from a five-star (#24) and a four-star (#37 last year and a kid who reclassified). That is a similar haul to the Tigers' class if it consisted just of Mitchell and Pressey. The addition of the two three-star players could lift Missouri up this high.

The lowest the Tigers would be seems to logically be 16th. Florida currently sits in that spot with commitments from numbers 27 and 64 in the nation. The Tigers' haul, on paper, looks to be more highly rated than that.

So, the conclusion is that Missouri ought to have a class ranked between No. 10 and No. 16 in the nation come Friday morning when the early signing period is over and the rankings are reshuffled.

That does not, of course, mean that is where Missouri will end up. The Tigers, barring a defection of a current player, will not have a scholarship available in the spring. In 2009, each of the top 15 classes in the country featured at least three players ranked in the top 150 individually. Right now, Missouri has just two. The top nine classes, and 12 of the top 15, in 2010 all have at least three such players.

Remaining on the board for the 2010 class are three of the nation's top seven players and ten players ranked in the country's top 50. Landing any of those individuals in the spring period will give a significant boost to the classes of a number of teams. There are 16 top 100 players and 25 top 150 prospects still on the board, so there is much to be decided on that front.

In addition, re-ranking of individual prospects will occur. Does Pressey go up and enter the top 50? Does Mitchell, who enjoyed a meteoric rise over the summer, stay in the top 15? Do either Green or Kreklow enter the list of the nation's top players with strong senior seasons? These are all questions that will affect the ranking of the Tigers' class without anything actually changing on the commitment list.

Either way, this should be Missouri's most highly-rated class in years. The Tigers' 2004 class of Marshall Brown, Jason Horton, Glen Dandridge and Kalen Grimes was ranked No. 13 in America.

Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer on the class: "Missouri is knocking on the door of a top 10 recruiting class.

The Missouri 2010 recruiting class is shaping up nicely. Two dynamic players in Mitchell and Pressey headline the class. Mitchell is as athletic as any prospect in the class and is a perfect fit for Coach Anderson's fast style of play. Pressey has a flair for the dramatic and is a true point guard who can also score. Kreklow will likely provide Missouri with a strong shooting threat off the bench. And Green is the type of long hybrid forward who has thrived under Anderson."


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