With the 2020-21 season in the rearview mirror, Coach Will Wade has his eyes set on next year already, dipping into the transfer portal to secure as much talent as possible.
Needing a combo guard to add beef to the roster, Wade did just that in landing the commitment from Missouri transfer, Xavier Pinson.
The Chicago native averaged 13.6 points per game, shooting 38.6% from the field and 33.6% from three-point range for Missouri last season and started all 26 games for the Tigers. As part of his season with Missouri, Pinson scored 14 points in a loss to LSU towards the end of the 2020-21 season.
With Javonte Smart declaring for the NBA draft, Pinson will play a key role in the rotation, giving the Tigers a much-needed lift in the scoring column.
“Mizzou, words couldn’t thank you enough,” Pinson wrote in an Instagram post announcing his departure. “Happy I can say I spent 3 years at this AWESOME university and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Pinson is staying in the SEC and will face his Missouri Tigers in Death Valley come next season. Pinson signed with Missouri in 2018 ranked the No. 42 point guard in the country and the No. 5 ranked player in Illinois out of Simeon High in Chicago.
Putting his name in the NBA Draft last season, Pinson withdrew and played at Missouri for another season. The Tigers are gaining an immediate scorer for the 2021-22 season in Pinson. Wade said on Monday that one of the players the program was looking for was a combo guard that can score, which fits the description of Pinson.
"We're being very careful and very organized with who we're looking at in the portal. We're not trying to cast a huge net, we've got a formula, a grade sheet on who's gonna fit and really trying to hone in on those guys that come from winning programs," Wade said on the Jordy Culotta Show. "We've got some really good guys in the program, they just basically played behind four All-SEC guys so they couldn't do as much this season. But we've got very talented players and we need to supplement it with experience."