With Missouri basketball forward Jordan Butler off to South Carolina, who is MU’s next big? (2024)

Missouri basketball went one in, one out over the weekend.

Coming to Columbia: The No. 9 ranked player available in the portal, Duke forward Mark Mitchell.

On the other side of the revolving door: 7-footer Jordan Butler, who committed to SEC rival South Carolina on Sunday, a couple of days after entering the transfer portal. Butler started 14 games in his freshman season for MU, all consecutively to close the regular season.

The two players aren’t like-for-like switches. The 6-9 Mitchell will likely take the court in a hybrid forward role at the three or the four. While he averaged more than five rebounds per game for the Blue Devils, he’s not the post presence the Tigers sorely need.

More:What will Missouri football’s stadium upgrade look like? Renderings of proposed $250M project

So, where is Missouri going to turn to find its big for next season? Seven-foot-5 center Connor Vanover is out of eligibility. Butler will play his second season of college basketball at the SEC’s other Columbia.

Here are Missouri’s options:

With Missouri basketball forward Jordan Butler off to South Carolina, who is MU’s next big? (2)

Will Missouri basketball turn to the transfer portal again?

Missouri coach Dennis Gates, in an April 12 assessment of what he would like the Tigers to find in the portal, mentioned a point guard, a combo guard, a hybrid forward and …

… A veteran post presence.

He also qualified that by saying, “Now, you never get every single piece that you want. You never get that,” Gates said. “But if we can get 85% of the stuff that I just explained to you, I really do think we'll have a great team next year.

So far, the Tigers are approximately at that mark, landing four transfers in this window. Iowa transfer Tony Perkins fits the bill running point; UT Martin wing Jacob Crews and Northern Kentucky guard Marques Warrick provide the versatile guard presence the coach was looking for; Mitchell immediately slots into the lineup at forward.

See what’s missing?

Current Missouri forwards Aidan Shaw and Trent Pierce, as it stands, are Missouri’s sole returners who can play in the post. So far, Mitchel, standing at 6-9,l is Missouri’s tallest acquisition out of the portal.

More:Here’s where the Missouri athletic director search, previous AD’s buyout stands

Pepperdine transfer Jevon Porter, a 6-11 forward whose brothers Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter both played for Cuonzo Martin’s Missouri team, committed to Loyola Marymount on Monday. Jevon Porter averaged 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds over two seasons with Pepperdine and had been a reported target for the Tigers.

The Tigers reportedly have reached out to USF transfer Kasean Pryor, a 6-8 small forward who spent a year at Link Year Prep in Branson, Missouri, and averaged 13.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Bulls last season.

With Missouri basketball forward Jordan Butler off to South Carolina, who is MU’s next big? (3)

Beyond that, Alabama forward Nick Pringle, Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi and Florida State power forward Baba Miller remain available as post options, among many others, but no reports confirm whether Missouri has made contact.

There’s also a chance that Missouri’s next big hasn’t entered the portal yet. The current window will remain open for undergraduates to enter until May 1, with movement still possible after that date.

Two 7-foot freshmen joining the Tigers

If the right name doesn’t become available or if none of the current options commit, Mizzou might have to lean on its incoming in-house talents.

True freshmen Trent Burns, listed at 7-2, and Peyton Marshall, listed at 7-0, are options to start at the five, albeit inexperienced ones.

Burns is the No. 96-ranked player in his class, per 247Sports composite ratings. His size bodes well for immediate viability in the post, as new assistant coach Rob Summers is set to emphasize a more aggressive, back-to-the-basket style as he takes control of developing Missouri’s bigs. Burns’ tape shows the ability to stretch the floor, which will suit Gates’ style.

Marshall, on paper, is perhaps the more SEC-ready of the two. The Atlanta product is listed at 300 pounds, is a physical presence in the paint and recently played in the Capital Classic, a national all-star game. He is the 95th-ranked player in the nation on 247Sports’ composite board.

The Tigers also remain in the hunt for Jayden Quaintance, who was released from his national letter of intent to Kentucky after John Calipari left the Wildcats to become the head coach at Arkansas. The 6-9 big is rated as the No. 8 player in his class by 247Sports.

Missouri was one of Quaintance’s finalists in his original recruitment, and the Tigers are at least in the conversation for the second go around, too. Louisville and Arkansas, however, appear to be the frontrunners.

With Missouri basketball forward Jordan Butler off to South Carolina, who is MU’s next big? (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated:

Views: 6030

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.