Pressey Makes Decision
Phil Pressey, who was one of New England’s brightest prospects before transferring to the Episcopal School of Dallas prior to his junior year, committed to the University of Missouri this weekend while on an official visit.
Pressey picked Mizzou over schools like Arizona, Baylor, UCLA, and Baylor according to ESPN.
Prior to leaving New England, Pressey starred for Cushing Academy and the Boston Amateur Athletic Club. He ran the show for the BABC team that went down as one of the best AAU teams to ever come out of New England, capturing titles at the ’06 AAU National Championships & AAU Super Showcase, ’07 Boo Williams Tournament, ’08 King James Classic, going to the finals of the ’08 Nike Peach Jam Tournament, and making a final four appearance at the ’08 AAU Nationals.
The Tigers were long rumored to be the school to beat in Pressey’s recruitment because of the close relationship between Pressey’s family and Mizzou head coach Mike Anderson.
Phil’s father Paul Pressey, who played in the NBA for 11 seasons and is currently an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets, played with Anderson at the University of Tulsa under Nolan Richardson (who later won two national championships as the head coach at Arkansas).
Anderson first met Phil when he was six months old and has reportedly been like an uncle to him over the years. When Pressey first visited the University of Missouri’s campus for the Tiger Elite Camp in 2007, InsideMizzou.com did an interesting story about the close relationship between Anderson and Pressey.
But beyond the person relationship, the fit between Pressey and Missouri seems to be a natural one on a number of other fronts as well. Pressey is a perfect fit in Anderson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” system which emphasizes 40 minutes of full court defensive pressure and a correlating transition offense in which the playmaking guard can flourish. That system was the basis behind Missouri’s return to prominence last year as the Tigers finished with a 31-7 record and advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.
The opportunity to earn immediate minutes also appears available to Pressey. Mizzou will graduate their entire starting backcourt after this season, creating an opening for the starting point guard job when Pressey arrives on campus in the fall of 2010.
Pressey is ranked among the top 40 players in the country by both ESPN and Scout.com.