Team preview: Southwest Missouri State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 19, 2004, 6:25 PM ET
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Barry Hinson had so much fun watching last year's recruiting class that he couldn't wait for this season's group to arrive.

Actually, the Southwest Missouri State coach had been patiently waiting two-and-a-half years for 6-9 forward Drew Richards to step foot on the Springfield campus. After leading the Rogersville Wildcats to a 26-2 record last season while averaging 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, Mr. Show-Me Basketball has finally arrived in the Valley. "He's the first Mr. Basketball [from Missouri] at SMS," said Hinson, who had to outwork schools like Arkansas and Texas Tech to land Richards. "He's drawn national attention to our program."