COLUMBIA — Missouri men's basketball players Miguel Paul and Tyler Stone are leaving the Tigers and transferring.
Both Paul, a guard, and Stone, a forward, struggled for playing time last season and said they are transferring in the hopes of playing more. Neither of the players have yet to commit to a school, but they each have five college visits to help make their decisions. Both were on scholarships, and their transfers mean Missouri will have two more scholarships to sign two more recruits.
Paul, a sophomore last season, struggled for playing time the majority of his two years at Missouri. Paul arrived at Missouri in 2008 from Lakeland, Fla., as a part of a six-person recruiting class, and averaged 11.4 minutes a game last season.
However, unlike the other sophomores, Paul didn’t see a large increase in playing time last season. He was often the third option off the bench at the guard position behind Marcus Denmon and Michael Dixon Jr. Paul finished the season averaging 3.5 points and 1.7 assists a game, and didn’t receive playing time in three games this season. Although Paul said he will miss Missouri, he felt transferring was his best option.
“I just feel this decision is in the best interest of me and my family,” Paul said in a release.
Stone, a freshman last season, made brief appearances in 11 games, but was used only when Missouri had a large lead. He received just two minutes of playing time in two Big 12 Conference games and averaged 1.8 points a game.
Missouri might have already found their replacements. According to Scouts, Inc., on ESPN.com, junior college players Ricardo Ratliffe and Matt Pressey have orally committed to Missouri.
Ratliffe, a 6-foot-8 forward from Central Florida Community College, was voted a first team junior college All-American by the NJCAA. He averaged 27 points a game this season, and will join a Missouri frontcourt that includes Justin Safford, who will be a senior next season, and Laurence Bowers and Steve Moore, who will be juniors.
Ratliffe will be accompanied by Pressey, who is the brother of Missouri recruit Phil Pressey. Matt Pressey who is a 6-foot 2 guard from Navarro College in Texas, was also a first team junior college All-American, and will help replace the loss of seniors J.T. Tiller and Zaire Taylor.
However, their commitments aren't official until they sign their letters of intent, which could potentially happen as early as Wednesday. The two potential recruits will join four other players in a recruiting class ranked 11th in the country according to ESPN.com.