Cuonzo Martin: Jeremiah Tilmon near deal with agent, not returning to MU


ST. LOUIS–In his first gathering with reporters since the Missouri basketball season ended in a first round NCAA tournament loss to Oklahoma, Head Coach Cuonzo Martin spoke via Zoom Wednesday morning.

He confirmed that seniors Jeremiah Tilmon (East St. Louis), Dru Smith and Mitchell Smith have or soon will sign with agents to start potential professional careers.

Mitchell Smith tweeted the news Tuesday.

The news likely officially closes the book on Missouri’s outgoing senior class, which had the option of returning for an extra year of eligibility or entering the transfer portal.

Edwardsville grad Mark Smith has already transferred to Kansas State, while Dru Buggs is still in the transfer portal. Xavier Pinson announced his transfer to LSU, Parker Braun has been introduced by Santa Clara. Torrence Watson (Whitfield) and Ed Chang remain in the portal.

While many coaches bemoan the fact that they have to keep recruiting their own players on top of outside talent in this transfer-rich environemnt, Martin says he hopes it doesn’t come to that, but doesn’t see transfers as a bad thing necessarily.

His staff is still recruiting for two open scholarships, with the possibility that only one would be filled, with a focus on scoring and and an interior presence. Coaches are prohibited from talking about prospective players, but the Tigers are rumored to be involved with Tamar Bates, a Kansas City area wing who committed to Texas before Shaka Smart left for Marquette and his since reopened his recruitment, and Creighton transfer forward Christian Bishop, a Lee’s Summit grad who is reportedly also seeing interest from blueblood programs like Kansas and North Carolina.

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