As Missouri men’s basketball’s 2022-23 season rolls on, the Tigers continue to search for future talent. On Thursday, MU extended an offer to East Mississippi Community College guard Blake Butler.
Butler is in his sophomore campaign with the Lions. He averaged 14.5 points per game as a freshman and was named to the NJCAA All-Region team for Region 23.
Butler has continued to impress this season. He’s started in all five games for the Lions so far, averaging 23.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. In EMCC’s game against Northwest Mississippi Community College on Monday, Butler dropped 45 points on 60% shooting from the field and 43.8% from 3.
MU coach Dennis Gates has already shown a willingness to pursue high-level JUCO prospects. Missouri earned commitments from the top two JUCO players in the nation ahead of this season, Mohamed Diarra and Sean East II.
East has appeared in all of Missouri’s games so far. He’s averaging 8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game, sharing duties at point guard with Clemson transfer Nick Honor.
Diarra has yet to have a major impact this season. It was projected that the 6-foot-10 center would add some much-needed height to a smaller Missouri frontcourt, but the Frenchman has logged just 13 minutes so far this season, with two points and two rebounds.
Outside of the JUCO sphere, the Tigers have signed three four-star recruits from the Class of 2023. Guard Anthony Robinson II, forward Trent Pierce and center Jordan Butler make up a recruiting class that currently ranks 22nd in the nation according to 247Sports. The Tigers also signed 6-7 forward Danny Stephens as a prefered walk-on.