Getting to know the story behind Kassius Robertson, Mizzou’s hottest hand

Missouri’s leading scorer has had a unique path to suiting up for the Tigers.

Graduate transfer Kassius Robertson watches his shot go in during the Showdown for Relief against Kansas on Oct. 22

Canisius College is a small private school in the Hamlin Park neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.

Located 865 miles from Columbia, the school specializes in the biological and health science fields and has a student population of 3,734.

Many Missouri fans have probably never heard of Canisius. But for senior guard Kassius Robertson, it’s an important part of his life and basketball journey.

Robertson starred in his three seasons with the Golden Griffons, averaging 16.1 points per game in his junior season.

It may seem a bit obscure that Robertson, who was born in Toronto, found his way to Columbia, but Robertson has embraced the unique path that basketball has taken him on.

“Whether it’s the SEC or the [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference], basketball is basketball,” Robertson said. “I just love it.”

Robertson chose Mizzou over Georgia Tech, a decision he attributed to the recruiting of first-year coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff.

“I really appreciated the vibe I got from the Mizzou coaching staff,” Robertson said in a statement in May.. “Coach Martin’s level of realness was unmatched, really.”

He was thrown right into the fire when he was named the team’s starting point guard for its opener against Iowa State. He defended coach Martin’s decision to start him in a postgame interview with the Kansas City Star following the team’s opening-night win.

“You could say that he’s leaning on a guy that came from a small conference, a small school, who knows nothing about the SEC,” Robertson said. “But I see myself as a leader, and at the end of the day, a leader is a leader.”

In a relatively short amount of time, Robertson’s journey at Mizzou has already been eventful. He’s seen teammate and consensus elite recruit Michael Porter Jr. suffer a season-ending injury. His team has battled through tough competition and suffered gritty losses.

Even so, Robertson feels that the team has already gelled as a unit.

“It’s a discredit to our guys to say that we play with fear after losing Michael [Porter Jr.],” Robertson said. “The season’s full of ups and downs, and we have embraced the way that the season has gone.”

Robertson has been a catalyst in the team’s 7-2 start. He currently leads the team in scoring and has positively impacted the team with his 3-point shooting.

In the team’s 62-59 win at Central Florida last Thursday, Robertson carried Missouri to victory with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-7 on 3-pointers.

Robertson has always had a consistent 3-point shot. He’s improved his 3-point field goal percentage every season of his college career, building on 38 percent from his freshman year, to the blazing hot 44 percent he’s currently shooting at Mizzou.

Robertson said he’s not complacent with the early success and that he’s on board as the team continues to grow and learn to compete against tougher competition.

“Overall, we have to stick to principles, stick to our form,” Robertson said. “We’re still learning how to win close games. It’s on us as the upperclassmen to get that done.”

After an unlikely path getting to Missouri, Robertson has developed into a key cog that plays a huge part in Missouri’s success. Missouri fans have embraced Robertson, and he reciprocates the warm welcome.

“The whole experience so far has been fun; the fans are really cool,” Robertson said. “I like playing with these guys.”

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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