If it’s not clear already, this iteration of the 2022 Tigers plays with an extra pep in their step. Aside from D’Moi Hodge, few Tigers embody the approach better than Sean East. By every metric, he’s among the best transition passers in the country, and the Tiger’s play perks up with East on the floor. East was the 6th player to commit to Missouri and new head coach Dennis Gates. Missouri is averaging 90.4 ppg and winning by 14 points during the start of the season with East leading the point.
Photo Cred: Go Big Blue Country
The point guard is from the basketball-rich city of Louisville, Ky. He stands at 6-3 and 185 pounds. What stands out is how easily East shifts gears and manipulates pace. Against closeouts, he’s decisive off the catch and remains under control to make an excellent choice after one dribble. He attacks the front of the rim, exploits a retreating defender with a floater, or pumps the brakes for a pull-up.
Photo Cred: Bradley Athletics
East spent a prep season at Combine Academy in Lincolnton, N.C. During the year, he averaged 20.2 points per game with 8.2 assists per contest. The point guard was an Indiana All-Star selection at New Albany High School, where he led the Bulldogs to a 100-10 record during his four-year career. Senior year, he averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior in 2017-18. He Scored 1,000 points at New Albany and finished fifth in school history in assists.
East stated, “I can do a little bit of everything, shoot, pass, score, lead the team, you know, defend people.”
Photo Cred: Bradley Athletics
East is well-traveled and has played previous D1 basketball and Juco. In 2019-20 as a freshman at UMass and appeared in all 31 games. He led UMass with 4.9 assists per game and 34 total steals. His 4.9 assists per game ranked 57th nationally and fourth among freshmen. East totaled at least five assists in 21 of 31 games during the season. His sophomore season at Bradley. He played in 24 games with 20 starts while leading Bradley with 3.7 assists per game, ranked third in the Missouri Valley. He arrived at Missouri as a coveted addition as the No. 2 JUCO product after putting up 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game last season and winning the 2022 NJCAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
Photo Cred: U Mass Athletics
The decision was easy to attend for East. “Overall, Coach Gates showed nothing but his plan, vision, and hunger to get this program to the top,” East said. “I like that as a player because you want your coach to be just as hungry as you are. Mizzou felt like home when I arrived, and after going on other visits, I had a gut feeling. I loved the campus and fell in love with the arena. Basketball is a big priority here, and I want to be a part of Mizzou getting back to where it belongs.”
Photo Cred: Rock M Nation
As for his shooting mechanics, they appear pretty sound. East does his work early – establishing his base, hands up, knees bent. Assuming a pass hits his shot pocket, the load-up isn’t starting low. He remains compact, and his motion is fluid. Missouri is well served to bring East to campus. Missouri started the 2022 season 9-1 in their first ten games. The Tigers needed a lead guard, and East has not disappointed.