Chat Mizzou sports with Dave Matter at 11 a.m. Friday

Chat Mizzou sports with Dave Matter at 11 a.m. Friday

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

    Happy Black Friday, Mizzou chatters. I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving. This year, I'm grateful for many things, including our loyal readers who subscribe to our print and online editions and those who join me in the chat each week. Thanks for being flexible with the day change this week. I'm back in the saddle today after a day Mrs. Matter's spectacular cooking. Plenty to discuss, I'm sure, from football to hoops to anything else on the brain.
    Before we get started with you questions, I want to make sure everyone has gotten a chance to read Bennett Durando's excellent story on Missouri defensive lineman Cannon York.

    Mizzou's newest scholarship player, Cannon York, has been 'a giver' behind the scenes for 3 years

    “Every workout, he shows up early, stays late, watches tape, demonstrates toughness and commitment to our team,” coach Eli Drinkwitz said.
    I have read your coverage of Mizzou sports since you took over the beat ad I want to thank you for your fair and balanced approach that you have taken over the years.
    One request that I have would be to have the PD include the box scores in your stories on the BB team.
    I appreciate the note. Embedding box scores into the online game stories isn't simple. If you click on SCOREBOARD at the top of our Mizzou home page, you can find all the boxes for that day, including the Mizzou game.

    NCAAB Scores | St. Louis Post-Dispatch & STLtoday.com

    stltoday.com: Get the latest scores information plus full coverage of the NCAAB from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch & STLtoday.com.
    Hi Dave. I am a subscriber in CA and I am thankful for you, your writing and the Post. It is my main source of Mizzou news. Did the first BB game change your perception of the outlook for the season?
    Thanks for the note, Ed. 
    I can't say Wednesday's game changed anything I thought about this team. There were plenty of promising signs: the 3-point shooting, Tilmon's poise and and power on the boards, Dru Smith's activity. Oral Roberts isn't a great program, doesn't have much size inside or firepower on the offensive end. This team still has plenty of things to prove this year, and you're not going to learn a whole lot against a mediocre mid-major team. Those 3-point shots are going to be harder to make against when more athletic and stronger defenders are closing out on the arc. Tilmon's going to have more physical matchups against better competition. I'll be interested to see if Martin truly plans to play an 11- 12-man rotation this year. I have my doubts. He said earlier this offseason he preferred a tighter rotations. But if they're going to commit to playing at a faster tempo, it'll be important to have more depth. We'll see how that develops.
    This is interesting.
    What we used to call the Football Bowl Alliance is now known as Bowl Season. Bowl Season calls itself "the advocating body for all 44 bowl games that serve as the postseason for all FBS college football teams." The organization is governed by an executive committee of nine current executive bowl directors.  
    Remember, there are no minimum win requirements to play in bowls this year. Bowl Season is now posting bowl projections. These aren't just wild guesses. They take into consideration the College Football Playoff rankings, conference tie-ins with bowls and discussions between bowl and conference leaders.
    We're burying the lede here, but as of Friday, Bowl Season projects Mizzou playing Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, Tampa.) That's one of the SEC group of six bowls that are ultimately decided by the bowls and the SEC office, along with the Gator, Liberty, Music City, Texas, Las Vegas or Duke's Mayo (formerly the Belk). There have been reports already that the Las Vegas Bowl won't take place this year. Normally, the Vegas and Mayo bowls would alternate years taking an SEC team.
    How would Mizzou fans feel about a Jan. 1 bowl in Florida against a Big Ten power?
    Is Cale Garrett active on any NFL team. I saw something a couple of months ago that he was picked up by the Vikings for their taxi squard, but cannot find anything about him playing in a NFL game. Just wondering if has actually played a game?
    Garrett has been on  the practice squads for both the Titans and the Vikings but is not on any roster as of now, to my knowledge. He was never promoted to a 53-man roster, so he's yet to play in an NFL game.
    I caught the second half of yesterday’s Gonzaga-Kansas BB game. Dejuan Harris, a freshman point guard for Kansas is from Rockbridge HS in COMO. Did MU recruit him or did HCCM feel he didn’t have room for another point guard? Drew Buggs is also a point guard with one season remaining. If Harris is good enough for KU it seems to me CM could find a spot for him on MU’s roster for 3 more years beyond Buggs. Aaron Cook from Westminster Academy is on Gonzaga’s roster. If these guys are good enough for annual national contenders like KU and Gonzaga, why isn’t Missouri all over these guys and sealing the borders and making MU teams better than the .500 seasons for the last 2 years?
    Harris initially signed with Missouri State and wasn't necessarily considered a high-major prospect. Then he decided to reclassify from the 2019 to the 2020 recruiting class and enroll at a prep school. From what I recall, he followed that up with an impressive run on the AAU circuit and Kansas got involved with his recruitment. Mizzou never pursued him too heavily. At the time, MU had just signed Mario McKinney, a higher rated in-state player. Pinson was coming off a promising freshman year and MU had Dru Smith in the program for two more years. Harris just wasn't a guard the staff considered a priority compared to other guards either already on the team or on the recruiting radar. 
    As for Aaron Cook, he played three-plus years at Southern Illinois. He's a grad transfer and wasn't a high school recruit at Gonzaga.  
    What are the odds of sustaining an SEC basketball season in an exploding pandemic? And who can replace a Reed Nikko as a Tilmon backup, especially if he gets in foul trouble?. Wilmore seems like a future maybe next year possibility and no where close to playing SEC ball this year?
    Mitchell Smith and Parker Braun can play the center position when Tilmon isn't on the floor. Wilmore could get minutes there, too, but I suspect against high-major/SEC teams, Martin will defer to his veterans more often.
    I have more confidence in conference games being played than some of these nonconference games. Within the SEC, teams are already operating under the same protocols when it comes to testing. If you polled coaches anonymously I think most would tell you they'd rather push back the start of the season to January or maybe even March and only play conference games. Either way, expect a lot of interruptions, a lot of canceled or postponed games. 
    Hi Dave. What teams could we possibly play next week besides BC? Also IL is looking really good. What are your thoughts on Mizzous chances in that game? Similar guards and both have a good Big man! Will be fun
    Illinois should be a legitimate Final Four team. They might have the three best players on the floor in the Braggin' Rights Game: Dosunmu, Frazier and Cockburn. Adam Miller, the freshman guard, has gone for 15 and 28 points in the first two games. The Illini are loaded. I have them way too low on my AP ballot at 14 and will give them a boost next week. That said, Missouri's won the game the last two years when the cores were similar. I expect a competitive game. Martin gets his team up for that game. Mizzou's players from Illinois will be up for that game. Guys like Mark Smith and Tilmon won't hear boos every time they touch the ball, so maybe they play better in an empty gym. 
    As for Mizzou's other opponent in Connecticut next week, I haven't heard any names yet. Martin said he's been approached with at least six different teams. 
    Another question from CA: how is it determined if a college BB game is cancelled because of Covid? Are their any availability number guidelines?
    Games will be postponed and/or canceled. Here's what the NCAA decided about schedules this season:  
    Men's team can play ​24 regular-season games and up to three games in one multi-team event (MTE).
    • 25 regular-season games and up to two games in one MTE.
    • 25 regular-season games without playing in a MTE. 
    • As part of a new blanket waiver approved for MTEs, men's teams can compete in up to two MTEs as long as they do not exceed 27 regular-season games.
    • Both men's and women's teams must play a minimum of 13 games against DI opponents to be considered for NCAA championship selection.
    I'm trying to fathom how basketball is going to navigate this season as Covid is racing through the country at unprecedented levels. You can see how football, an outdoor sport with fewer games and less extended close contact, is being impacted, and while they are plowing forward, more and more teams are struggling to field full rosters, games are being postponed/cancelled, etc. How do you envision this all playing out in basketball?
  • Expect games to be shuffled around or canceled completely. Teams will have to shut down activity once a player or coach tests positive because everyone else on the team will likely be contact traced as a high-risk close contact. Positive tests could lead to a week or two of all practices/games being shut down. It's going to be a mess. But teams and conferences will plow through and do all they can to get to an NCAA bracket. The financial structure of college sports might not be able to afford two straight years without the industry's most valuable piece of inventory. The path to the bracket won't be pretty. The process is going to be complicated and probably unfair to some teams. But the college sports needs the Tournament to happen in 2021, perhaps at any cost.
  • The cannon story Stu wrote was fantastic
    That's Bennett Durando, Stu's son. Bennett is our Mizzou campus correspondent this year and has done a fantastic job helping on the Mizzou beat. Stu is still our excellent SLU beat writer.
    But, yes, your larger point is correct. The Cannon York story was outstanding. 
    Our tackling seems to be better. Have we changed our technique compared to rugby tackling that BO pushed?

    Thanks for these amazing chats. You are very talented.
    I don't think technique has changed to my knowledge. The tackling was pretty awful at Florida three weeks ago but was much better against South Carolina. For the most part, Mizzou has tackled well this year in four of six games.
    It sure seems like Drink is playing more of the higher recruited freshman than GP and BO. Is this true or am I imagining this
    I'm not sure that's accurate. Depending on the year, Pinkel and Odom would play as many as 10 freshmen as either starters or backups. Keep in mind, this year is unique because eligibility doesn't count for any players. A freshman can play every snap in all 10 games and will still be a true freshman eligibility-wise in 2021.
    Here are all Mizzou's true freshman listed in order of their 247 ranking and how many snaps they've played on offense or defense, per Pro Football Focus (not counting special teams):
    WR JJ Hester: 0 snaps
    WR Kris Abrams-Draine: 6 snaps
    RB Elijah Young: 6 snaps
    WR Jay Maclin: 3 snaps
    QB Brady Cook: 0 snaps
    OL Drake Heismeyer: 0 snaps
    OL Mitchell Walters: 0 snaps (injured)
    CB Ennis Rakestraw: 317 snaps (six starts)
    CB JC Carlies: 91 snaps (one start)
    LB Will Norris: 0 snaps
    DB Tyler Jones: 0 snaps
    LB Johnny Walker: 0 snaps
    WR Chance Luper: 6 snaps
    OL Dylan Spencer: (transferred): 143 snaps (one start)
    So, only three freshmen have played significant snaps, and one of those freshmen have already entered the NCAA portal. If you missed yesterday, Spencer has committed to Jackson State, the FCS program now coached by Deion Sanders. 
    Thanks for the weekly chats. They are always informative and entertaining. Will a victory over VAnderbilt tomorrow just about clinch a bowl bid or do they need to get to 5 wins to assure themselves of a bid? They have several more chances to get to 5. Glad to see HCED have this unexpected success and hope that continues in future years
  • There are no win requirements to play in a bowl game this year. Back in October, the NCAA waived bowl eligibility requirements and waived the minimum number of contests required for FBS teams because so many games are getting canceled. Mizzou will almost assuredly play in a bowl whether it finishes 3-7 or 7-3.
  • So is Mizzou hoops still 100% Certain on playing Boston College? Only reason I was a little worried is cause I didn’t see the game on Mizzou’s espn schedule.
    Missouri never put the game on its schedule because both matchups were never fully finalized. MU wanted to wait until both games were official, and before that happened, Oregon pulled out of the event. Mizzou is committed to playing at the Mohegan Sun but isn't certain of opponents, at least as of Wednesday. Boston College still lists MU as an opponent for 12:30 p.m. next Wednesday. Stay tuned.
    Who were your favorite Mizzou football and men’s bball players when you were a kid
  • Growing up in St. Louis in the 1980s-90s, Mizzou football was completely off my radar. I read the stories in the Post-Dispatch, but the Tigers were rarely on TV and just didn't grab my attention. I was a college football fan and watched the big games of the week, but that was never Missouri.
    As for hoops, obviously Mizzou had some great years when I was a kid, during those  years when you grow an attachment to teams. I loved the Doug Smith-Anthony Peeler teams. Peeler was probably my favorite. Such an exciting player, played his best on the biggest stages. 
  • Is the NCAA still pursuing the allegations of recruiting violations of college coaches like Bill Self and others or is the COVID issues putting those scandals on the back burner until things return to normal?
    I don't think the NCAA has stopped working on those cases by any means. The NCAA has been handling and announcing infractions cases throughout the pandemic. Alabama basketball was sanctioned not too long ago. Texas A&M football was sanctioned earlier this fall.
    Expect some scheduling news from the SEC later today, specifically game changes for next week. As of now, Mizzou is scheduled to play at Mississippi State on Dec. 5. I would not expect that to be the case. Either Arkansas or Georgia is coming to Columbia next Saturday. Stay tuned for official word.
    Dave...hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving!

    Wanted to get your thoughts....with an extra year of eligibility, would Rountree entertain the idea of coming back in 2021? He's prospects for being drafted this year is not great and could set all new Mizzou records by coming back for another season.

    Now...not sure if he would be able to be a 5 year Senior, since he was not redshirted, but with the extension of NCAA eligibility wondering if it's possible.

    Thanks!!
    Rountree could return for 2021 if he wanted to, but he's already committed to playing in the Senior Bowl, and that's only possible if you plan on entering the 2021 NFL draft. So, unless he changes his mind between now and then, this will be his last year in college. For a running back with a lot of tread on his tires, it makes all the sense in the world to start getting paid for the pounding. Rountree has the third-most career carries among all FBS running backs and the most by Power Five backs. Players at his position have a short shelf life. It would be in his best interest to cash in sooner than later. He's probably not enhancing his draft stock with another year in college.
    Nothing can be done as far as this season goes, but moving forward the basketball team sure could use a dose of athleticism. With the exception of Pinson, there isn't much explosiveness. Hopefully, this hard working,, experienced group can do enough to get in the tournament?
    Tilmon is an athletic 6-10 big man. He's not Giannis by any means, but for a player of his size, he's an agile, athletic college center. Mark Smith has some sneaky athleticism when he's healthy. Otherwise, I'd agree with your take. This team isn't a team overloaded with elite athleticism. But you can win at this level with a bunch of very good college players who may not be NBA prospects. Win championships? That's harder to do without NBA players. But if my team doesn't have NBA talent the next-best quality to have is loads of experience, especially on the perimeter.
    Man was it nice to see some Mizzou basketball on Wednesday and even better to watch them get a W. The starters all looked good, especially when on the floor together but Cuonzo's going to have to figure out a better bench rotation against better teams. Also, it seemed like everyone got in the game except one of the new guys, Chang. Any reason why?
  • As I wrote in my game story, Chang has been recovering from a non-COVID illness. That was according to the team spokesman pregame. After the game, Martin said he was "a little banged up." Either way, he's expected back soon.
    Martin also said Mitchell Smith was overcoming an illness - not COVID - and was almost a pregame scratch. When healthy, he'll be a bigger part of the rotation and play more than his 11 minutes Wednesday. It's fair to say the first three players off the bench most nights will be Pickett, Mitchell Smith and Buggs. Those three guys can be valuable role players. Then you've got Torrence Watson and Chang on the wings, Parker Braun at the four and five positions. Wilmore is another option at the five. 
  • How do you rank Bolton with the best linebackers you’ve covered at Mizzou? I really liked Weatherspoon and Brothers, and thought Andrew Wilson was pretty underrated, but Bolton may be the best I’ve seen.
    Bolton is a close second to Weatherspoon, but he's not there yet. 
    Spoon was a three-time first-team All-Big 12 linebacker - Mizzou's first and only three-time first-team all-conference defensive player in the program's history. That's incredible. 
    Weatherspoon's junior year (2008) is arguably the best defensive season a for a Missouri player in MU history. In 14 games, he had 155 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles. He should have been an All-American. 
    His senior year was just a step below in terms of production: 111 tackles, 15 for losses, an interception, a forced fumble. 
    Bolton is great. He'll be on my All-American ballot and as of right now he's on my short list for SEC defensive player of the year. But Spoon's 2007 season puts him in a class of his own. 
    BYU is having a great year so far, and Mizzou was supposed to play BYU this year. Some may even argue Mizzou got a break not playing them in Provo this year. With that being said, is there any word on when/if that game could be rescheduled? Mizzous non-conference schedule is pretty packed in coming years, and I cannot find any Information on when the game could be played next.
    I haven't talked to MU's folks about that game for a few weeks, so I can't say where things stand. As of now, there's not an open week for Missouri to play a nonconference road game. So MU would either have to reschedule a game already on the books or schedule the BYU trip for more than a decade from now. 
    You're right, though. MU lucked out by not playing that game this year. If that game were played today BYU would be a touchdown favorite, at minimum. Mizzou's defense could hold its own against the Cougars, but the Tigers don't have the offense to keep pace with that kind of firepower right now. 
    The more games Mizzou plays, the more apparent it becomes that the LSU game was an outlier when it comes to MU's offense.
    MU scored six touchdowns against LSU - and just nine touchdowns against its other five opponents. 
    If Mizzou does get to play Arkansas this year, do you think the winner of that game wins SEC Coach of the Year? Pittman was getting a lot of attention early, but has slowed considerably the last few weeks and I do not think the job HCED is doing should be understated.
    I don't know about that. I think Missouri would have to beat Georgia and finish 7-3 for Drinkwitz to get many coach of the year votes. A 6-4 record would be incredible for this Missouri season, but I think the average voter is going to look back at 2019 and see that MU was 6-6 and not consider this year a major breakthrough. 
    Don't overlook Jimbo Fisher. If Texas A&M finishes 9-1, Fisher will get some votes for finally fulfilling the potential in College Station.
    If Florida finishes 9-1, Dan Mullen will get votes, too. He's taken the Gators to another level this season. 
    Also, don't forget about Lane Kiffin. If the Rebels sweep Mississippi State and LSU, going 6-4 against an SEC West schedule would be really impressive. 
    Arkansas isn't going to finish .500 - only because the Hogs still have to play Alabama. At best, Pittman will go 4-6. That's clear progress, but I don't see that being enough to win coach of the year. 
    Dave, you mentioned that Mizzou is unsure of who they’ll play at Mohegan Sun next week. Do you know who the potential teams are, or do you have speculation who they may play based on teams that will be in the “bubbleville” and don’t have games scheduled and could be available to play.
    Technically, the way I understand it, these games aren't part of the major Bubbleville field. Boston College appears to be one of the opponents. Oregon was initially set to face Virginia Tech at the event, but Virginia Tech is playing in Uncasville this week instead of next week. It just seems like there have been so many changes to the field it's unclear to see who would be available.
    I’ve seen articles/reports that Cjay Boone has transferred from the football team. It appears it happened a while ago. However, in just looking at his social media he still is in Columbia and appears to still rep and have a relationship with the team. Is it official he’s transferred, or is he in the transfer portal and hasn’t decided where he’s going yet?
    Boone entered the transfer portal last month. I don't believe he's chosen another school yet.
    Most players who enter the portal finish out the semester and remain in Columbia for classes - though classes are going virtual after Thanksgiving. Their scholarships are still good through the remainder of the semester, so it's no surprise when players stay in Columbia and continue their classes. 
    Dave, love your content. What’s a quick breakdown of your typical gameday (football or basketball) schedule. Are there any things that people don’t know about or don’t realize reporters do?
  • The routine is a little different this year with the COVID protocols. 
    I try to get to the press box about 90 minutes before kickoff. There's no on-field access this year, but other years I'd like to get down on the field during pregame warmups just to get a sense of who's playing, who might be in street clothes, etc. I'll usually post some pregame notes at STLtoday.com and start a live blog that I'll update periodically during the game. I'll post an updated preliminary game story once the game is over. Then it's time for the postgame press conference. Any other year, that means heading down to the team facility to interview the coach and players, but all of that is on Zoom this year. Once the interviews are done, I'll go back and update my stories for the website and the print edition. I write two print stories for every game, plus the online version, so lots of writing, re-writing and editing for the next few hours. For an 11 a.m. game, the press conference is usually around 3:30. I'll probably write until about 6 or 7 ... then either head home or back to my hotel.
    It's not all that glamorous, but I've got a pretty tight routine down after 20 years.
  • Dave, in all your time of being a beat writer for Mizzou who’s a player that was a pleasure or surprising when having an interaction with?
    So many.
    Off the top of my head, favorite athletes to interview have been Lorenzo Williams, Sean Weatherspoon, Mitch Morse, Max Copeland, Chase Daniel, Craig Heimburger, Rob Riti, Martin Rucker, James Franklin, Markus Golden. 
    OK, folks. I've got some writing to do. Enjoy the rest of your Friday and happy belated Thanksgiving to all.
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