Dana Ford has Missouri State going in the right direction. After finishing with a 16-17 record in his second season in Springfield, the Bears have been on an upwards trajectory, finishing in the top four of the Valley during the last two seasons.
But, there are some changes to the scenery. Not only did Loyola (IL) leave the MVC for the A10 but MO State lost the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year in Isiaih Mosley to the transfer portal.
Over the last couple of months, Ford has reloaded in the portal and has Missouri State as strong as ever. Will this be the season they make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the 21st century?
Missouri State Transfer Additions:
Kendle Moore, Colorado State
6.5 Points/2.6 Rebounds/44.4% FG%
Matthew Lee, Saint Peter’s
6.8 Points/2.9 Assists/32.3% FG%
Alston Mason, Oklahoma
1.4 Points/6.2 Minutes Per Game/27.3% FG%
Bryan Trimble Jr., Akron
10.4 Points/2.1 Rebounds/36.1% FG%/3 Stars
Dalen Ridgnal, Georgia
2.7 Points/2.9 Rebounds/10.3 Minutes Per Game/35.7% FG%
Chance Moore, Arkansas
1.0 Points/50% FG%/1.6 Minutes Per Game/4 Stars
James Graham III, Maryland
2.0 Points/1.0 Rebounds/5 Minutes Per Game/3 Stars
Jonathan Mogbo, NE Oklahoma A&M
14.3 Points/10.3 Rebounds/3.3 Assists/49.7% FG%
The saying “out with the old and in with the new” is the perfect way to describe this Missouri State team. After losing an average of 65.3 points per game, Dana Ford brings in an average of 45.1 points per game from a year ago.
It starts in the backcourt with four impressive transfers. Kendle Moore comes over from Colorado State where he started 119 games and helped the Rams make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large this past season. In 2020-21 he averaged 10.5 points per game for a team who just missed out on the tournament, shooting 43.5% from three-point range the year before. Alongside him, the Bears picked up another NCAA Tournament veteran in Saint Peter’s transfer Matthew Lee. After a strong MAAC Tournament where he averaged just over 10 points per game, he followed it up with 22 points in the Peacocks’ run to the Elite Eight. Another big scoring guard that the Bears picked up is Akron transfer, Bryan Trimble Jr. He scored 33 points in 33 minutes against Bowling Green in late January but missed out on the Zips run to the NCAA Tournament. Lastly, Ford picked up an Oklahoma transfer in Alston Mason. He averaged only 1.4 points per game in limited play but was recruited by multiple Big 12 schools the first time around.
In the front court, Missouri State added three Power 5 transfers, two from the SEC. Chance Moore played very little in his freshman season at Arkansas but chose the Razorbacks over nearly all the SEC in his first recruitment. People even said that he was “league ready” out of high school. To pair with him, Dalen Ridgnal comes over from Georgia. He also played limited minutes but reeled in rebounds when on the court. In a game against Western Carolina, Ridgnal scored 10 points and reeled in 9 rebounds in only 12 minutes.
To pair with all of them, James Graham III comes over from Maryland. Graham has a nasty jumper but played limited minutes after enrolling early at College Park during the 2021-22 season.
The only non-D1 transfer that Missouri State landed was Northeastern Oklahoma A&M transfer Jonathan Mogbo. Coming over from one of the best JUCO programs in the nation, Mogbo averaged a double-double with 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.