Dennis Gates and the Missouri Tigers basketball program collected another win, with the commitment of Danny Stephens of Augusta, Ill. This is the fourth member scheduled to join the Tigers next season in Columbia, MO.
Stephens is a 6-7 small forward, who currently attends Southeastern High School in Augusta. Stephens brings raw athleticism, sound shooting, and deceptively quick movement with the ball. His ability to beat defenders off the dribble is sneakily good. There is zero hesitation with the basketball.
As a junior, Stephens paced the Southeastern Suns, taking them to the Elite 8 in the Illinois State Championship. He finished the season averaging 28.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.
Stephens’ defensive skill set will improve as he matures, yet he still offered 1.4 blocks to go along with 2.3 steals per contest. He can defend multiple positions. His reputation as a gamer and diligent worker will bode well for the Missouri Tigers, as Head Coach Dennis Gates looks to continue his rebranding of a tough, competitive, never-quit team. The culture Gates is looking to implement is the reason he was brought to Mizzou. Stephens is the ideal fit for this Tigers team.
A big area of improvement for Missouri Tigers Basketball is shot making
The Tigers shot 42% from the field in the 2021-22 season. To date, they are converting 52% of their attempts from the field. Significant improvement year-over-year. Stephens connects on his field goal tries at a robust 60% and is a 92% shooter from the free throw line. His ability to shoot from range will earn him playing time as he adapts to Gates’ system.
"“Danny is a textbook example of a player that exhibits our eight core values at Mizzou. He is a winner on the court, in the classroom and in the community. He is a very skilled player for his size that can score in many ways and guard multiple positions. Our program is better by adding Danny. He has Mizzou in his heart and we love players that want to be here and be part of something special.”"
Fundamentals that shine are Danny Stephens’ shot selection and ball placement
Danny Stephens pursues the basket and gets to the paint if the opening is there but is fully capable and willing to take outside shots if the defender is giving him the space.
Stephens rarely brings the ball below his chest, getting rid of it quickly in traffic – ensuring ball security. His release is one of the quicker you will see from a high school perimeter shooter.
This is the fourth recruit that has signed with the University of Missouri for the 2023. Dennis Gates has a game plan, and he is executing it beautifully, as he looks to bring the Missouri Tigers basketball program back to relevance. Gates has set the recruiting pipeline as a priority. The Tigers continue to build for 2023 and beyond.
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