Aug. 6 Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Aug. 6 Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers basketball, football and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Greetings, chatters. I'm here for the next few hours to talk all things Mizzou and college sports and anything else that comes up for discussion. Let's do this now.
    Do you see any previous men’s b-ball players stepping up who had off seasons. Ie. Watson. smith(s)
    Which Smith? I thought Dru Smith was one of the 10-12 best guards in the SEC. He's arguably one of the three or four best guards coming back this coming season. Mitchell Smith isn't an All-SEC player by any means, but he's coming off his best college season by far. Mark Smith had the back injury that sidelined him for a few weeks. Before that his 3-point accuracy had fallen off some, but I don't think he was having a bad season before the injury.
    Watson is definitely a player who could use a bounce-back season. If Martin sticks with his current plan of playing with a shorter bench, I'm not sure how Watson factors into the rotation. We know that Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Pinson, Buggs and Kobe Brown are going to get plenty of minutes. Martin said last week he sees Mitchell Smith and Pickett as "X-factors." I interpret that meaning they're not big point producers but will bring other qualities to the floor. That's seven players. Throw in Tilmon as the starting center. Then you have room for one, maybe two more as part of the regular rotation. Is that Watson? Parker Braun? Newcomer Ed Chang? Freshman center Jordan Wilmore? Don't be surprised if the staff considers redshirting some players. Martin has brought up that possibility several times this offseason. 
    What is a respectable football record this year if we have a season at mizzou
    Who's on the schedule? That matters in any prediction. We know Mizzou is playing all six East teams. We know they're playing Arkansas. We're fairly certain Mississippi State will stay on the schedule. From there they'll add two more. Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M will all start the season nationally ranked. Ole Miss will not. 
    Based on the eight opponents we know Mizzou will play, I'd go with wins over Vandy, Arkansas, Mississippi State and maybe South Carolina.
    I'd go with losses to Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and maybe Kentucky. 
    So, for now, I'm between 3-5 and 4-4. 
    I'd probably predict a loss to each SEC West team other than Ole Miss. 
    Do you know how our transfers are faring in men’s b-ball? Have they started workouts? Also what about our line freshman center ? How do you see them fitting in our rotation with so many elder statesmen
    They have not started team workouts. A few players have been in town for individual workouts (Watson, Tilmon, Chang, Mitchell Smith), but most have been back home the last few months. The team is scheduled to be on campus Aug. 13 with workouts starting Aug. 24 after mandatory quarantine time for players moving back to Columbia. 
    I'm not sure Wilmore will play a lot of mintues as a rookie. He's an obvious backup candidate for Tilmon, but you'll also see Mitchell Smith and possibly Braun get minutes at the five. If Wilmore shows he can contribute at this level he could earn more minutes - but I don't get the impression from talking to Martin that they're counting on him getting heavy minutes. 
  • Did the Kentucky kicker transfer get a scholarship ?
  • Yes, I believe he's on scholarship as a one-year graduate transfer.
  • Just wanted to say how great and fortunate we are to have you as a writer. I truly hated your furlough weeks!!
  • Thanks, Boston. Much appreciated. Let's hope furloughs are stuck in the past.
    What's your over/under on the number of football games played
    this fall?
    I'm not getting into the prediction business when it comes to COVID and sports. I'll report the news when I can.
    Hi Dave. Are you hearing any updates on the SEC announcement of the revised conference only schedule? As a season ticket holder I am thrilled not having to watch the previous non-conference schedule. Thanks
    I would think tomorrow at the earliest. Nothing expected today. I'm surprised the SEC Network isn't turning it into a prime-time TV special. It would make sense and get people to watch an hour-long schedule reveal show.
    Interesting article recently about mizzou men’s b-ball recruiting rankings. Seems like Quin recruited at a high level and things have tapered off. Any thoughts on this ?
    I didn't write anything about basketball recruiting rankings, so not sure what you're referring to. Quin had some early success on the recruiting trail with that early top-10 class. Then had less success. But we don't need to look at rankings to know that's what happened.
    Dave, thanks for the chats, especially for a Tiger living in Florida. Can you tell me why all sports writers and sportscasters immediately jump on the players side against the NCAA regarding pay, eligibility, etc. I know the NCAA isn't perfect, but in all issues, the media immediately jump to say "pay them", they should sit out if they don't get what they are demanding, etc. I would like to see more balanced reporting. Just today a former MU alumni who use to work at the Post, now at a national sports website, wrote another column bashing the NCAA and pushing the players side. As a graduate of the MU School of Journalism, like you,I would just like to see the other side once in awhile.
  • I don't agree that all sports media people are completely on the players' sides when it comes to this issue. I will share my stance, because it's not fair for me to speak for others:
    I believe players should be able to profit off their name, image and likeness and there should not be strict oversight from the NCAA. Players should be able to make money off hosting a camp - just like their coaches. They should be able to be paid to appear in commercials for companies and products - just like their coaches. They should be able to charge for autographs. They should be able to profit off their likeness used on a jersey or T-shirt or poster. Don't fall for the NCAA scare tactics that these changes will harm non-revenue and women's sports. Nonsense. Sophie Cunningham would have made more money off her likeness than any other MU athlete, male or female, during her four-year career. J'den Cox and Ben Askren would have been able to capitalize off their name and likeness. Don't fall for the nonsense that endorsement money will dry up booster money and bankrupt the athletics departments. And if they do impact the schools' revenue feed, is it a bad thing if the head coach has to make $3 million instead of $4 million? 
    Now, if we're talking about flat-out playing the athletes a salary straight from the university coffers, that's not something I can fully back. There's some merits in having the athletes get a bigger piece of the pie financially, but you have to take into consideration the education they're receiving, the room/board, etc. Name/image/likeness I fully support; I'll need more convincing on a pay-for-play model. 
    Any potential All-SEC team players in football who are under the radar ?
    You mean Mizzou players who could earn All-SEC honors by season's end who aren't being talked that way now? If so, yes, I'd start with Tyree Gillespie. I think he can be one of the best safeties in the SEC. 
    One of the wide receivers could have a big year. Maybe Hazelton. Otherwise, hard to predict a big season out of anyone who's not getting some preseason attention now. Rountree, Whiteside, Bolton aren't under the radar but all could live up to high expectations and earn some honors. 
    Do you think games in KC or STL for b-ball or football are important? Seems to take away from home games and revenue. Or are they important for recruiting and fan base
  • I think they can be valuable on two fronts: Depending on the contract, they can be good for revenue - more so than a traditional home game in some cases. And, two, they're good for the statewide fan base. The Braggin' Rights Game is a staple on the sports calendar in St. Louis. The Kansas basketball game could be the same, at least when it'll be played in Kansas City. It's a lot easier to play a hoops game in St. Louis and Kansas City every year, but I don't think it's good business to ship a football game out of Columbia every season. Mizzou needs to build its home base as Memorial Stadium - and if you're moving your best noncon game or an important SEC game out of town every other year, you're taking away from the local economy. I think you have to be strategic in scheduling those games so you're not costing yourself in any capacity. 
  • When I see MPJ balling in the nba, it always makes me wonder.. what if he stayed healthy.
  • Do the sports writers ever tailgate for games ? Or is it all business before and after games
  • No, it's a work day. Some of might meet up after the game, especially on the road. But there's no pre-game partying. 
    I might stop by a tailgate or two to visit with friends of family hours before kickoff, but there's no organized pregame sportswriter event. 
  • I really wish they would move the students behind the bench in men’s b-ball so that we looked better on tv. I miss the days when we packed the house and looked like must see tv if we didn’t attend the game in person
  • It would make for much better optics on TV. But ... those seats are valuable commodities - and you can charge the wealthy donor more for those seats than you can charge the students. It's the same rationale for moving the media off the floor, unfortunately. There are a few environments in the SEC where the students sit along the sideline instead of tucked behind a basket on the baseline: Florida and Auburn, and West Virginia in the Big 12. But most places have adopted a seating plan similar to Mizzou, where those sideline seats to go season-ticket holders and students are stuffed into a corner.
  • was my question out of line? Asking about why sports writers immediately jump the side of player against the NCAA. I just think there should be more balanced reporting? why wasn't question used? seems like all the questions are coming from Boston Mizzou
    I've got dozens of questions to answer here and can't answer them immediately. Your question was answered below.
    Does CM recruit players from outside the US? I know previous mizzou coaches tapped into some other countries to get players.
    I don't think he's philosophically opposed to recruiting international players, but he just hasn't signed any in his time at Mizzou. He's had a Canadian transfer and a French transfer, but they were both attending American schools.
    How the heck did Alabama and Auburn leapfrog Mizzou in the years since they joined the SEC in 2012? Mizzou was coming off a 30 win season and Auburn and Alabama were cellar dwellers. I know 'Kim Anderson' happened but it shouldn't have happened. Now they are ranked and Mizzou is still Mizzou.
    Alabama basketball hasn't exactly done anything special in a long time - just one NCAA Tournament appearance since Mizzou joined the SEC. The new staff there under Nate Oats has recruited well and landed a few transfers, but I wouldn't say that program has elevated far beyond Mizzou's program. 
    No secret with Auburn. The program took a gamble on a coach with a lot of NCAA baggage - but a guy who can recruit and coach at a really high level. Not all schools have the stomach to hire someone with Bruce Pearl's background, but knowing that it's a football school first and foremost, Auburn realized it had less to lose when it came to handing the hoops program over to someone with a sketchy past. It's paid off - for now. The NCAA is going to come knocking eventually on the heels of the FBI probe that targeted Auburn. 
    thanks for answering my earlier question. I actually agree with you on likeness, etc, but not straight out pay. I do have another question, if the football season is not played due to the virus, do you believe any power-five school will have to eliminate the bigger sports programs such as baseball, softball, let alone, minor programs such as swimming, etc. What about Mizzou?
  • Yes, yes, yes. If there's no football and even if there is football but no fans in the stands, you will see teams get cut - or at least shuttered temporarily. We will see baseball and wrestling and track and swimming teams get cut. It's already happening. Look at Stanford. I don't believe Mizzou will be able to carry all of its programs without a football season. Unless the SEC can secure the kind of loans the Pac-12 schools are trying to land - according to Jon Wilner's reporting - I just don't see how Mizzou doesn't have to make massive cuts. We could see schools turn their non-revenue teams into rec sports and only be able to fund a bare-bones athletics department with just a few teams. I'm not predicting that will absolutely happen, but schools and their fans should be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
  • Dave

    Who is the greatest football coach in Mizzou history and why?
    Great question. It's really hard to distinguish between the three candidates: Faurot, Devine and Pinkel. They coached in vastly different eras. The country was a far different place in the 1940s compared to the 2010s in terms of who was playing college football, who was allowed to attend college and how these sports were funded. Yes, in Pinkel's era, there was a wider separation between the haves (Power 5) and the have nots (Group of 5, FCS) and his teams were able to capitalize on that uneven distribution of wealth by piling up wins against the have nots. On the other hand, he guided Mizzou out of one Power 5 league and into the best Power 5 league and had near-instant success. 
    Faurot coached more seasons, so by longevity alone he won more games - and lost more games. He also was a pioneer for the sport in terms of the offense he created. He put Mizzou on the map as a college football school. He guided the program out of crippling debt. He developed star players. 
    Devine simply won. He beat the best programs in the country. He fielded some of the nation's best teams. He would have gone to more bowls had the players elected to accept more bowl invites, but they turned them down a few years. 
    Having done a lot of research on the program for my last book, I go with Devine as No. 1 and Faurot and Pinkel as 2A and 2B. 
  • Just for some preseason fodder, here's the USA Today Amway/Coaches poll: 
    1 Clemson
    2 Ohio State
    3 Alabama
    4 Georgia
    5 LSU
    6 Oklahoma
    7 Penn State
    8 Florida
    9 Oregon
    10 Notre Dame
    11 Auburn
    12 Wisconsin
    13 Texas A&M
    14 Texas
    15 Michigan
    16 Oklahoma State
    17 USC
    18 Minnesota
    19 North Carolina 
    20 Utah
    21 UCF
    22 Cincinnati  
    23 Iowa
    24 Virginia Tech
    25 Iowa State
    Receiving votes from the SEC: Tennessee (first team outside the SEC), Kentucky and Mississippi State. 
    Mizzou plays two ranked teams: Georgia and Florida and all three SEC receiving votes, plus AT LEAST two more ranked teams from the SEC West: Bama, LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M. Mizzou could play two of those four - if the other West opponent isn't Ole Miss. 
    At first glance, I'd say some overrated teams are LSU, Auburn, Texas, Minnesota. 
    Underrated: Florida, Iowa, Memphis (unranked), Boise State (unranked).
  • And.....regarding players getting paid.......if my boss and the company make a ton of profit this year I wouldn't expect to be able to go into the office and demand a raise. I get paid already (players get a full scholarship ride). That should be the end of it.
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