Leo Criswell, a multi-talented forward from Virginia Beach (Va.), Coastal Christian Academy, signed with Missouri on Wednesday, ending a saga that has seen him commit to Kentucky, and then decide on playing for the Tigers.
"I had committed to Kentucky, and I really wanted to play for Coach Tubby Smith," Criswell told Rivals.com. "But my mom refused to sign the papers. She wanted me to go to Missouri because it is much closer to our home in Kansas City. Even though I had dreamed of playing for Kentucky, I could not go against my mom's wishes," said Criswell. "So I have sent my signed letter to the University of Missouri, and I intend to enroll there next fall."
Criswell averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds last year as a junior at Piper High School in Kansas City, Kan. For academic reasons he transferred to Coastal Christian Academy for his senior year.
This athletic power forward, who is 6-foot-9, and has bulked up to 235 pounds, was rated second only to L.S.U. signee, Tasmin Mitchell, among the power forwards at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J., last July. Criswell averaged 15.5 ppg. at that camp, and was outstanding in the Senior All-Star game.
Criswell is the top recruit for Coach Quin Snyder's Missouri Tigers during this fall recruiting period.
He will be playing for Coach Walter Webb's Coastal Christian Academy team in the CSG National Prep School Showcase in Voorhees, N. J., this weekend.