No matter how successful a player or team is throughout the college basketball season, the transition to the pro game is another thing entirely. So even though the Missouri Tigers are perhaps the greatest story of the 2011-12 basketball season with their ascension near the top of the rankings under new head coach Frank Haith, Missouri’s stars are still going to have to fight for respect at the next level.
NBA Draft Express has come out with their Top 100 prospects for the 2012 NBA Draft and every Missouri player on the list is potentially a second rounder at best and undrafted at worst. Ricardo Ratliffe comes in highest on the list at No. 57 overall. Marcus Denmon is next at No. 66 and then Kim English is the latest Tiger on the list at No. 84.
It is, of course, still very early in the year and each player can continue to impress scouts as the season goes on and Missouri advances in the postseason. However, it’s clear that Missouri is still fighting for some respect in some ways when it comes to the perception of talent on the team. It’s also a beautiful symbol, however, of a team coming together to play as one without a defined star.