Sports

Dana Ford has new 2022-23 roster

The 2022-23 Missouri State men’s basketball team looks entirely different than the one that just led the program to its first NIT appearance since 2011.

In the transfer portal world, it’s not much of a surprise that Dana Ford has had to overhaul his entire roster heading into his fifth season. He’s lost some of his best players from him to the portal but it’s his job from him to go out and try and put together a team that can compete for a championship this upcoming season.

Only a few familiar names remain while Ford has been busy since the Bears’ season came to an end. He’s maintained his ability to recruit at a high level and the next step is to see how this roster will come together.

One player will still need to depart the roster before the fall semester as the Bears are currently one over on scholarships for next season. That could last throughout the summer and we could also know sooner which player that may be.

Here’s a look at those who are on the Missouri State men’s basketball roster:

Dawson Carper, fifth-year

Missouri State center Dawson Carper (33) hangs from the rim after dunking against Loyola Chicago during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

One of three players who are right now set to return, the Hawaii transfer enters his third year with the program as the biggest player on the roster.

The 7-footer was limited his first year due to injury before getting a small role in 27 games this past season. He showed some promise during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

Akron's Bryan Trimble Jr. during the first half of their game against Florida A&M at the University of Akron Sunday. Akron won 73-66.

An Akron transfer, Trimble figures to be a 3-point shooter for the Bears this upcoming season. He has attempted nearly eight per game in each of his last two seasons at Akron.

With one year of eligibility, Trimble should be able to fill some of the void left by Jaylen Minnett and Ja’Monta Black as they departed the program.

Colorado State guard Kendle Moore (3) smiles as he leaves the court following a 66-55 victory over Utah State on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Logan, Utah.

The addition of Colorado State guard Kendle Moore went a bit under the radar because the announcement of his transfer came minutes before Isiah Mosley reportedly entered the transfer portal.

Moore is an experienced player who has started 119 of 120 games in the last four seasons at Colorado State. He averaged 8.6 points, 2.5 boards and 2.1 assists per game. I have averaged four attempts from deep per outing.

Moore gives the Bears an immediate, experienced ball-handler which they lacked a year ago. That shouldn’t be a problem with the new roster Ford has built.

Donovan Clay, Sr.

Missouri State guard Donovan Clay (5) puts up a shot during a semifinal game against Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Saturday, March 5, 2022, at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Missouri State’s top returning player appears to be Clay as he’s back for his second season in a Bears uniform.

Clay led the Bears in minutes last season and proved to be a Swiss-army knife. He could score when he needed to, get rebounds and distribute the ball. He was a solid defender and someone who will continue to have a big role for the team after starting all 34 games last season.

Georgia's Dalen Ridgnal (15) shoots a three during an NCAA basketball game between Alabama and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

The Bears needed more willing rebounders on the roster and they feel like they got it in a former juco standout who is transferring from Georgia.

Ridgnal averaged 2.9 rebounds for the Bulldogs last season but the promising juco All-American season he had the year before saw him average 18.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.

Mar 19, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; St. Peter's Peacocks guard Matthew Lee (15) reacts to play in the second half against the Murray State Racers during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The starting point guard for the best story out of the most recent NCAA Tournament, Lee will give the Bears an experienced ball-handler who has played and won on the biggest stage.

The former Saint Peter’s guard averaged 6.8 points and 2.9 assists for the Peacocks last season. He’ll be among those who will run the show for the Bears this upcoming season.

Maryland's James Graham III shoots against Quinnipiac during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in College Park, Md. Maryland won 83-69. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As the highest touted player of the bunch, Graham is a promising transfer from Maryland who should flourish with the role he’s been looking for.

As a four-star out of high school, Graham is a 6-foot-8 wing who likes to get in the paint but has the ability to shoot from the outside. Missouri State coaches used Mosley’s film as a selling point to Graham on what he could do on the team’s offense.

Look for Graham to be an impact player from the jump.

More:Why Maryland transfer James Graham III is joining Missouri State basketball

Raphe Ayres, sophomore

Raphe Ayres gets the rebound during a preview event for Missouri State men's and women's basketball at the Hammon's Student Center on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.

Ayres is the returner that we’ve seen the least after the 6-foot-5 guard redshirted last season after playing just 44 minutes the year before. He’s the program’s longest-tenured player since making the move from Vermont Academy.

Although we haven’t seen much from him, Ayres is someone who can shoot the three and get rebounds when needed.

Dec 7, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard Chance Moore (13) warms up before the game against the Charlotte 49ers at Bud Walton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Moore was another highly-touted player out of high school with four stars and a top 100 ranking to his name. He didn’t see much time on an Elite Eight Arkansas roster before it went and grabbed more transfers to make a championship push for next season. That led to Moore looking for a new opportunity.

That opportunity should come at MSU after Moore stood out in one of the best high school programs in the country (McEachern; Georgia). He was a second-team all-state performer and someone who was pursued by some of the biggest programs in the nation.

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