For the Missouri Tigers basketball program, today there was some good news and some bad news. Things played out very positively on the court as they demolished Mississippi State by 42 points in Starkville. Off the court, however they lost a member of their 2014 class as Anton Beard elected to reopen his recruitment.
A four star recruit according to Rivals, and a high three star according to ESPN, Beard had originally committed to Missouri on June 9th, 2012. Now that he’s exploring his options, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, LSU, Marquette, Memphis and Tennessee are just some of the schools that could grab his attention. Those are the schools that have already reportedly offered him a scholarship just like Mizzou.
Beard obviously has ties to Arkansas since he is from there and attends school at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High, but he also has connections to the Memphis area which is where his AAU squad “Team Thad” is based.
Future 150 wrote the following on Beard:
Anton Beard is, simply put, a scorer. His first option is always to fire away, whether it be from long range, or from mid-range. His form and release on his shot are beautiful, and he is capable of getting hot and making several shots in a row. He is also a strong combo guard who thrives on contact in the lane. Very aggressive on-ball defender.
ESPN’s write-up gives the young man a lot more credit when it comes to his ability to pass and set up his teammates. Their report closes with the following thoughts:
Beard is a very complete point guard the can score in a variety of ways, run the team and set up teammates. He is strong and physical and has the ability to take over the game with his scoring and passing.
The news may be a minor setback to Frank Haith and his staff, the young man was their first 2014 commitment after all, but they have plenty of time to adjust their recruiting priorities. Phil Pressey will have moved on by then but the cupboard is hardly bare at the position. The Tigers 2013 recruiting class already includes Wes Clark, a four-star PG out of Romulus, Michigan. Clark is currently ranked 80th in ESPN’s 2013 Top-100 list and signed his letter of intent back in late August.
With Wes Clark already locked in, it makes sense that Beard would reopen things and take a closer look at his other options. Every player wants to see plenty of court time in their first year so it’s understandable that possibly sitting behind Clark would not be very appealing. In the end Beard and Missouri could still wind up together, but he will certainly have plenty of major schools willing to give him the keys to their offense in his freshman year.