Missouri Basketball: Tigers Now a Destination for BABC Players

Jimmy KelleyCorrespondent IApril 18, 2012

Though a Dallas native, Phil Pressey spent two years in Massachusetts at Cushing Academy and played AAU for BABC.
Though a Dallas native, Phil Pressey spent two years in Massachusetts at Cushing Academy and played AAU for BABC.Eric Francis/Getty Images

Missouri has been one of the fastest growing programs in the country and much of this is due to the improved recruiting classes that Frank Haith and Mike Anderson have been able to bring in. In 2012, the Tigers were led by point guard Phil Pressey who's incredible speed allowed their four-guard offense to flourish.

Pressey, who calls Dallas home, played two seasons at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts where he was introduced to the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC). Pressey was teammates on BABC with several Division I players including the newest Tiger: Alex Oriakhi.

Oriakhi announced that he would be transferring to Missouri last Friday. He will be eligible to play in 2013 where he will team up with Pressey and incoming freshman (and former BABC teammate) Dominique Bull.

With the BABC trio all landing in Columbia, the question must be asked: is Missouri now a destination for BABC's players?

Rising senior Goodluck Okonoboh is considering Missouri and 2014 guard Wayne Selden has said that where his teammates land could influence his decision when the time comes. BABC is one of the tightest-knit basketball families in the country and if Missouri can establish a pipeline with the program it will go a long way towards growing the program moving forward.

Even just looking at a small sampling of BABC's history, you can see how a strong connection would help. Here are some recent alumni of the AAU program:

  • Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (incoming freshman)
  • Jake Layman, Maryland (incoming freshman)
  • Georges Niang, Iowa State (incoming freshman)
  • Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
  • Gerard Coleman, Providence
  • Shabazz Napier, UConn
  • Jeff Adrian
  • Jeremiah Rivers

The rising senior class for BABC is another talented group with some of the most talented players in the northeast. While Okonoboh is the only one currently considering the Tigers, they still have time to get in on a very talented class.

With Pressey, Oriakhi and Bull leading the tour group Frank Haith could be in for a few top-10 classes in the next few years.