May 4, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball Head Coach Mike Anderson bolstered his front court in the 2009 spring signing period, as he announced the signing of 6-foot-9 shot-blocker Jon Underwood (Phoenix, Ariz. / Princeton Day Academy) and 6-foot-7 power forward Tyler Stone (Memphis, Tenn. / Central) to National Letters of Intent on Monday.
Both performers fit Anderson's formula of having winning high school and prep school backgrounds. Underwood led Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Md., to a 33-3 overall record and a #7 national ranking in the final National Private School Athletic Association (NPSAA) polls, while Stone was an All-City pick in talent-rich Memphis after helping Central High School to a 25-4 overall record.
"I'm excited to welcome both Jon and Tyler to the Missouri Basketball family," Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "We addressed some of our basketball needs with these two young men and we also added two quality individuals to our locker room. They fit what we are looking for with regards to size and athleticism and they join both Mike Dixon and Keith Dewitt to give us another good recruiting class."
A First Team All-American by the NPSAA, Underwood led his team to a pair of national title game appearances by averaging 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots per contest for Head Coach Van Whitfield's club. The athletic 190-pound forward was named to the All-Tournament teams at the National Athletic Christian Association Championships in Dayton, Tenn., and the National Christian School Athletic Association Championships in Erie, Pa. He also earned All-Tournament honors at the Nike iS8 Tournament in New York and at the Crossin Memorial Classic in Plymouth, Pa.
"With Jon, he gives us the ability to block and alter shots," Anderson said. "He's an athletic young man that can rebound and fits what we want to do. Like I say every year, these young guys are just freshmen, but in time we feel they can really develop and help our program."
Prior to his time at Princeton Day, Underwood was one of Arizona High School basketball's elite shot-blockers. As a junior he blocked better than 200 shots at Alhambra High School in Phoenix, Ariz., and produced three triple-doubles (points-blocks-rebounds), two block-rebound double-doubles, three point-block double-doubles and four other point-rebound double-doubles for the Lions.
"Jon came to us with a reputation of being defensive standout and an outstanding shot blocker, but in our first regular-season game he scored 29 points and we realized that his offensive skill set was as strong as his defensive presence," Princeton Day Head Coach Van Whitfield said. "We were one of the top scoring teams in the country and in one game where we scored 125 points, Jon scored 36 points and pulled in 22 rebounds, so I have no doubt that he'll be successful in Missouri's up-tempo style of play. Jon runs the floor with passion and authority and he is a creative, above the rim finisher who will bring Tiger fans out of their seats."
Stone continues Missouri's growing pipeline to the city of Memphis following athletic forward Laurence Bowers (Memphis, Tenn. / St. George's) who electrified Tiger fans with his play as a freshman.
"Tyler comes from a basketball family," Anderson said. "He has good size, strength and aggressiveness. He comes from an area where a lot of players have made an impact around college basketball. We like his instincts and are excited to have him become a Missouri Tiger."
A 6-foot-7, 225-pounder, Stone brings a versatile game after starting two seasons for Head Coach Andre Applewhite at Central High School, where he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds as a senior. An All-City and All-Region selection by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Stone was named the District 16 AAA MVP and is considered a rising standout in the Memphis area after recently turning just 17-years-old.
"He'll fit in perfectly," Applewhite said. "Athletically, he can finish at the rim. He's skilled and can score anywhere from 10-15 feet. He's a blue-collar guy that has a little flash on offense, but he's going to fit Coach Anderson's mold. He'll play the way Coach Anderson wants to play and he'll be able to help their program. Tiger fans can look forward to a lot of highlights with Tyler."
Stone and Underwood join Mike Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo. / West) and Keith Dewitt (High Point, N.C. / Charis Prep) as signees for the Tigers starting with the 2009-10 season. Dixon was recently named Mr. Basketball in the state of Missouri after averaging 24.2 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 steals for the Titans.
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