Missouri Tigers basketball adds ‘final piece of puzzle’ to elite recruiting class

Missouri Tigers men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates has put a bow on his program’s sterling class of incoming recruits for the 2024-25 season.

Mizzou on Monday announced the addition via the NCAA transfer portal of a center who formerly played for Southeastern Conference rival South Carolina: 7-foot, 265-pound Josh Gray.

Gray is the fifth player brought in by Mizzou during the spring transfer window. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he spent the last three seasons with the Gamecocks after starting his college career at LSU.

He piled up 375 rebounds during that time, including a team-leading 6.3 per game during the 2022-23 season (7.9 against SEC competition).

“Josh is the final piece of the puzzle of our recruiting class and we’re excited to have him join the Mizzou family,” Gates said in a news release. “With our last opening, we sought out a player with a physical presence who can provide rim protection.

“Not only is Josh capable of filling that role, but with his four years of SEC experience, he has proven to be a top rebounder in this league. He has great size and is a prototypical SEC big that will complement our roster perfectly in 2024-25.”

Gray has totaled 319 points, 387 rebounds and 63 blocks while shooting 52.2% from the field in 98 career games. He also ranked third nationally last season with an offensive rebound rate of 18.0%. His defensive percentage of 26.3 ranked No. 25.

At Mizzou, Gray joins Jacob Crews (UT Martin), Mark Mitchell (Duke), Tony Perkins (Iowa) and Marques Warrick (Northern Kentucky) as spring transfer additions. The Tigers have also scored the No. 5-ranked freshman class in the country.

That makes the Tigers one of just three programs nationally to feature top-15 classes in both transfer players and incoming freshmen.