Heading in to the start of the 2014 fall semester, the Mizzou basketball program had one available scholarship left for the 2014 class. There was some talk that maybe the Tigers would have to hold on to the scholarship for the class of 2015, which features in-state stars Jimmy Whitt and Juwan Morgan, since the school year is so close.
Instead, Kim Anderson and his staff landed Huntington Prep (W.V.) small forward Montaque Gill-Caesar. A top-50 player in the country, Gill-Caesar has signed a financial aid agreement with the Tigers after reclassifying from the class of 2015.
"Teki is an outstanding addition to our family and fills a position of need for us on the wing," Head Coach Kim Anderson said in a Mizzou release. "Teki has all the tools to be a big time talent over the course of his college career and fits extremely well with the young perimeter players we have in the program because they are so versatile. He can shoot the ball on the perimeter, he can attack the rim off the bounce, he can use his size and leaping ability to rebound over bigger players and he has great presence on the defensive end of the floor. He will have an opportunity to come in an contribute right away and gives us another important influx of talent as he joins Keith (Shamburger) in arriving next month."
A big part of the appeal of Mizzou for Gill-Caesar was the opportunity to continue playing basketball for new Tiger assistant Rob Fulford, who coached him at Huntington Prep last season.
"Having the opportunity to continue coaching Teki is tremendous, not just for me, but my entire family, because we developed such a strong relationship during our two seasons together at Huntington Prep," Fulford said. "Teki is certainly a talent, but he really is a better person. Our fans will see that once they get to know him. He is such a genuine young man and has an engaging personality. He fits the type of student-athlete Coach Anderson will recruit to Mizzou."
"I'm so excited to be joining the University of Missouri family and cannot wait to get on campus and get to work," Gill-Caesar said. "Everything about my visit to Mizzou was perfect, but I wanted to be thorough make the decision that was best for me and my family. I already had great relationships with Coach Rob (Fulford) and Coach Fuller, but having a chance to meet Coach Anderson and get to know him on a personal level just put everything over the top. I want to thank my family and everyone at Huntington Prep for their support and I'm ready to be a Missouri Tiger."
Gill-Caeser averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season for the Irish. According to Rivals National Basketball Recruiting Analyst, Eric Bossi, Gill-Caeser will add rebounding and toughness to the Mizzou roster.
"I've seen some Earnest Ross comparisons and I think those are pretty good," said Bossi. "He is a small forward who is strong and tough. He will board and he will play defense."
"Mizzou fans will like Teki," he concluded.
PowerMizzou will continue to have more on this developing story.