COLUMBIA — The Missouri men's basketball team landed two birds with one stone, taking advantage of a lot of anticipated roster turnover after the 2020-21 season and in-state high school talent at a position of need at the same time.
After Tuesday's pledge from Trevon Brazile, a high-upside wing from the Springfield area, the Tigers secured the commitment of 3-star center Yaya Keita (De Smet) Wednesday evening. With the expectation Missouri will have five scholarships coming off its books after this season, Keita becomes the fifth member of the '21 class, joining Anton Brookshire (Kickapoo), Kaleb Brown (Huntsville, Ala.), Sean Durugordon (Queens, N.Y.) and Brazile (Parkview/Kickapoo).
Keita, who is originally from Mali, is listed at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds, and is a good shot blocker and rebounder with an offensive game still developing.
Rated by Rivals as one of the best players in the state in the '21 class, Keita has been a target for coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff for a while now. Keita also held offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri State and St. Louis Univiersity, all schools the Tigers have lost recruiting battles to in-state players to in recent years, as well as Tulsa and West Virginia.
In 28 games for the Spartans last season, Keita averaged eight points and 9.4 rebounds, according to STLhighschoolsports.com, shooting 51.2 percent overall, 54.5 percent on two-point shots and 54-of-104 at the foul line.
According to Rivals rankings, Missouri now has the No. 24 ranked 2021 recruiting class in the country (and is tied for the most commits with five), and fourth in the Southeastern Conference, currently behind Tennessee, Mississippi and LSU.