Missouri men’s basketball opened its national signing day period by signing the first player in its 2020 recruiting class, 7-foot-3 center Jordan Wilmore, who immediately becomes the tallest player in program history.

Wilmore, a Baltimore native, played his junior season at Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tenn. and is now playing at Atlanta’s Skills Factory Prep School. Wilmore verbally committed to the Tigers back in September.

“I chose Mizzou because of how real and genuine Coach Martin and his staff are,” Wilmore said in a university press release. “They did not try to sugarcoat anything, and they were honest with me about my development and where I need to be to become a great basketball player. They’ve welcomed me home, and I feel like I’ve arrived home at Mizzou.”

While only rated a 3-star recruit by Rivals, Wilmore is a raw prospect but fills a big positional need for Missouri. Reed Nikko graduates after this season and Jeremiah Tilmon flirted with the NBA before returning to school. If Tilmon leaves early, transfer Axel Okongo, who has yet to play a minute as a Tiger, will be Missouri’s only 7-foot option at center, along with undersized stretch-big Mitchell Smith.

“Jordan has great length and a good feel for the game,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. “He is disruptive defensively protecting the rim and excellent on the glass, and will be a solid back-to-the-basket big for us. Jordan is a high-character guy, whose passion to be great at this level fits our program well.”

Pingeton adds two recruits to 2020 class

Missouri announced the signing of two recruits to it’s women’s basketball class for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday. Jayla Kelly, a four-star center from Chesterfield, and Sara-Rose Smith, a guard from Victoria, Australia, each signed their national letters of intent after verbally committing to MU in recent months.

Kelly, who attends Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, is ranked as the No. 2 2020 recruit in Missouri by ESPN and the No. 79 prospect overall for next year. According to a Missouri release, she averaged a double-double for Parkway Central last season and has played for Missouri Phenom in the Elite Youth Basketball League.

She will be the third St. Louis area native on next year’s MU roster, joining Aijha Blackwell and Shug Dickson.

The 6-foot-1 Smith attended Australia’s selection camp for this year’s FIBA U-19 World Cup roster. She also won a bronze medal for Australia in three-on-three basketball at the 2018 Youth Olympics. She will be the second Australian on Missouri’s roster, joining Utah State transfer Shannon Dufficy.

With the additions of Kelly and Smith, the Tigers are set to have at least five new faces take the court next year. The two freshmen will be joined by Dickson, Dufficy and LaDazhia Williams, all three of whom are sitting out the current season due to NCAA transfer rules.

  • Spring 2018 sports reporter. I am a sophomore studying business and sports journalism

  • Sports reporter for fall 2019, studying sports journalism. Reach me at owen.krucoff@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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