Missouri Basketball: Sean East, JUCO No. 2 prospect, picks Tigers

You can all breathe now. Nearly a month after his appointment and five commitments, coach Dennis Gates has his point guard.

Missouri received a commitment from Sean East, who received the JUCO Player of the Year Honors at John A. Logan College. The promise also gives the Tigers the two best prospects for JUCORecruiting.com’s rankings for the 2022 class. On paper, East, who also visited BYU and South Florida, also claimed the Tigers’ last scholarship spot – for now.

East further reinforces the idea that Gates’ deep ties to the junior college market are a potential blessing. In March, it reached Mohamed Diarra, who sits at the top of the JUCO rankings and gives MU a vantage point with a modern postal player’s physical profile and toolbox.

(It also goes beyond the roster. For several weeks now, it has been a poorly kept secret that Logan coach Kyle Smithpeters is a strong opportunity to round out Gates’ coaching staff.)

But unlike Diarra, which is a long-term game, East is expected to make a quick impression at the fifth stop in just as many seasons. At Logan, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard put up 20.9 points per game. match, darkened 30 points five times and handed out 5.7 assists to the volunteers. That output was also not dependent on high volume, Louisville natives finished with a 59.1 effective field-goal percentage and only 28.1 percent of his shots came behind the arc. Throw in a 2.8 assist-to-revenue ratio and you can see why his services were in demand.

How does that translate to SEC level?

Well, East is not unfamiliar with the Division-I ranks. He started his career at UMass before jumping to Bradley and starting 40 games along the way. Prior to the transfer to Logan, East averaged 9.0 points on 42.4 percent shooting for the Braves.

East hardly rode forty those seasons. He watched 28.1 minutes and spent 21.1 percent – the numbers you see from a starter. He also played 25 games against teams that occupied places in the KenPom top-100, including a four-point outing in a 54-53 loss that the Tigers handed over to Bradley two seasons ago.

Sean East | Performance vs. KenPom Top-100

Game PPG RPG APG FG% 3FG% FT% GDP SPG
Game PPG RPG APG FG% 3FG% FT% GDP SPG
25 8.6 2.8 4.1 36.6 27 73.6 0 0.8

Ken Pom

East’s scoring volume (8.6 ppg) did not drop dramatically in those matches, but his shooting dropped to 36.6 percent, including 27 percent behind the arc. What’s potentially encouraging is that East’s jumpers steadily improved each season, rising to 38 percent from 26.5 as a second-year vintage, according to Synergy Sports tracking data. So at Logan, he got 40.1 percent of 3-balls.

The context of these images is also important. During his first two seasons, about 44 percent of East’s jumpers came after pulling up in a pick-and-roll attempt that yielded 0.99 points per game. possession, according to Synergy. His passes in these ball screens yielded 0.913 PPP, an efficiency that is in the middle of the flock for Division I.

East turns 23 in November and is potentially approaching a plateau in its development curve. When he shows up for summer, the environment will not be foreign to him. And Mizzou, which only has East St. Louis’ Christian joins the board, will expect a quick habituation. What will also be interesting is whether Gates and his staff adjust an offensive that steadily relied less on ball screens in Cleveland State to increase its pick-and-roll volume.

Ultimately, any assessment of the East depends on the prism used to see his stopover at Logan. An optimist will point to constant improvement such as shooting games and efficient distribution. Meanwhile, Smithpeters’ program has also produced quality prospects in recent seasons.

Still, a pessimist would notice most of his peers are 18 or 19, and an even smaller group has moved down from D1. And this is not meant to be a small bit for Logan, but its regional peers are not on the same level as you would see in places like Texas or Florida.

On top of that, East’s two mid-sized seasons are not a microscopic test. Two programs gave him ample opportunity to single out a major role, and East responded with pedestrian numbers. So east put all the pieces together? Or did the competition caliber of the East fatten up its state line?

Maybe reality is sitting somewhere in the middle.

If anything, Gates’ watch plans have embodied a collective approach by going up to 10 deep and spreading the burden evenly. Amari Davis is still a threat to the middle class. Moving Jarron Coleman off the field as a floor-spacer may spur improvement. Three Gomillion proved to be a winner for Gates at CSU. And Noah Carter is a high-IQ connector who turns the floor and exploits discrepancies. And upcoming freshman Aidan Shaw has shown he can be a threat as a cutter and run the floor in transition. Of course, this also presupposes that there is no more outbound traffic from the list.

If the East can provide cunning scores from the jump, make readings and keep the offensive on schedule, it will still represent a critical step forward from where MU was last season.

  • From: Louisville, Ky.
  • Former schools:
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Ht / Wt: 6-3 / 185

What stands out is how easily East shifts gears and manipulates pace. Against closeouts, he acts decisively from the catch, but remains under control enough to make a good choice after a dribble – attacking the front of the rim, exploiting a returning defender with a float, or pumping the brakes for a pull-up.

That feeling is necessary because East is not climbing up the ladder and putting a thump on a guy’s head. Instead, he is more likely to change the release point and angle of a float that he can use with both hands away from the glass. And just as importantly, East showed he could punish defenders who dipped under a ball screen by using a dribble to step into a jumper.

East went after 43 points this month against Harcum College and it is a highlight in East’s final package, especially with the left hand.

As for his shooting mechanics, they seem pretty healthy. East does his job early – establishing his base, hands up, knees bent. Assuming a pass hits his shot pocket, the load does not start low. He remains compact and his movement is fluid. Depending on the angle, it looks like he will push the ball at times, but that’s a minor quarrel.

Measuring the East’s decision-making and defense is a more challenging task. It would be nice to see how East works through the decision tree as a pass, whether it’s in an early pull pick-and-roll, mid-pick-and-roll against a set of defense or turning the corner out of a pass at elbow. And although we could look at different defensive measurements, they are not quite as telling as seeing tapes.

East owns at least some diversity as a pick-and-roll operator, seems to have improved catch shooting and can take off just as quickly.

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