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

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

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

    Thanks for your great info. hate to be a cry baby but i did not care much for ref's in auburn game.Mizz was not allowed to gaurd cooper, you say
    As I wrote yesterday, Cooper is incredibly good at initiating contact but playing it off like he's the one absorbing the contact. That's a skill that only the best college ball-handlers can master - and he's done it in six games. Officials don't go into games deciding they're going to give the freshman point guard the benefit of the doubt, but when you have a guy that quick, that skilled and that smart with the ball in his hands against a team that has the reputation of being physical and grabby ... that's what happens. 
    I thought there were plenty of rough calls in that game. The Mitchell Smith dive for a loose ball. The fourth Pinson foul on the block charge. A couple Mizzou players got mugged on their way to the rim. 
    I'm not a "blame the refs" guy because I understand what a difficult job they have, trying to decide in real time at full speed when to call a foul between 10 crashing bodies of elite athletes who are bigger and stronger and faster than ever before. It's a thankless job. I just don't enjoy games when the whistles are absolutely endless. 
    Which incoming freshman on the football team are you most excited to watch?
    Im probably being over optimistic as a Missouri fan, but the A&M game could be huge game in COMO considering Mizzou could be undefeated going into that game....which home game are you most excited about?
  • This sounds corny, but even after doing this for 20 years I look forward to all the games because when I sit down at my computer with a pen and pad at hand I know absolutely anything could unfold on the field in front of me and in that place and time I get to be one of few writers gets to document the moment in my words. Yes, the stakes are bigger in some games more than others, but I like covering all of them. The Tennessee game should be a lot of fun with Heupel bringing his offense back to CoMo. The A&M game is a huge challenge for MU. New coaches at Vandy and South Carolina. I'll be curious to see what they bring. I've never been to Boston, so I can't wait for that game. But, assuming these vaccines get rolled out sooner than later, I'm just looking forward to a game where the fans can return to Memorial Stadium and get to witness this new era in person. 
    As for the freshmen, I want to see what some of these young pass rushers can bring to the defense. Travion Ford. Can he supply a much-needed push off the corner? 
    What about Dominic Lovett and Mookie Cooper at receiver? This team needs someone who can stretch the field vertically?
    Drink and company are doing an unbelievable job of recruiting wouldn't ya say?
  • They've done a great job, yes. They're addressing needs with players in high demand.
  • How exactly do programs anticipate handling scholarships without anyone’s current eligibility being impacted. I reckon that there will be more than usual scholarship players on rosters, especially football, so how do programs plan to iron out the kinks of more scholarship players than allotted scholarships?
    If you're talking about the seniors who can choose to return for another year, they won't count against the scholarship 85-player cap for 2021-22. Teams will still have to be careful and conscious with their roster management, but having some seniors come back for another year doesn't mean teams will have to cut ties with any incoming freshmen. Then, for the 2022 season, things should be back to normal, where you're bound to your normal 85 scholarships.
    I watched the Wilks press conference and this guy was really impressive. However, his recent record at AZ and CLE was not. I think he'll be fine as a recruiter because of his great personality but I'm a bit concerned his teams haven't had much success on the field recently. What is your take? Have you reviewed his coaching history and come to an opinion?
    I don't put much stock in his season in Arizona when it comes to evaluating his fitness to be a college coordinator. It's two very different jobs. My kids can rake leaves, but I wouldn't trust them to mow the lawn. Same yard, different jobs. Wilks' quarterback was rookie Josh Rosen, who has played for more franchises (four) than he's had years out of college (three). You can't have success as an NFL head coach with a bad rookie QB. Arizona pulled the plug when it had a chance at the Kingsburgy/Murray combo. Wilks' Cleveland defense did some good things, but again, offensive failures led to the coaching change there. One year is not enough to fairly evaluate most coaches - especially if they didn't have any say on the roster.
    I'd say it's fair to measure his success as a coordinator in Carolina - and that's where he's had his most success in terms of on-field results and player development. 
    I've made this point a few times, but it's worth revisiting. If you're an African-American coach in today's NFL hiring climate - and you're not a famous former player with instant name recognition - and you rise to the level of being a head coach, you've made a strong impression on a lot of people along the way. So, Eli Drinkwitz is just the latest coach/GM along a long line to take notice. 
    Thanks for the chats Dave. Two questions; I'm a biased homer, but it seemed the refs called a terrible game at Auburn. Cooper was sticking his elbow out all night and wasn't called and there were 3-4 clear Auburn offensive charges that were called blocking fouls on Mizzou. What's your take on the calls throughout the game and the pros/cons of coaches complaining about bad officiating after the game, i.e., does the coach want to stay in the good graces of refs for future games and avoid criticizing?
    I touched on the calls earlier. Scroll down to get my thoughts. 
    As for coaches handling these situations ... Martin works the refs throughout the game. He just does it without the theatrics that we see from guys like Bruce Pearl, Frank Martin and John Calipari. Maybe doing all that animated ranting and raving gets you a payback call in the short term, but I don't think it works long-term for a coach ... because if it did, they'd get more calls and wouldn't have to rant and rave every night. I think your odds are better to get the benefit of the doubt if you speak your mind with the officials without demeaning their existence every trip down the floor. Cuonzo also realizes that his players are watching his every move - and he doesn't want them losing their cool every time a call goes against them. 
    He touched on this topic a few years ago and I've always respected his approach:
    “I’m not a guy who’s going to swear, curse or cuss out an official. I’m not doing that to another man, because he’s a man first, and he’s doing a job. If I can’t talk to you the way I need to talk to you then we’ll live to fight another day. Because if you’re officiating the game the way you’re supposed to officiate then I shouldn’t have to say certain things for you to change what you’re doing, because that’s your job to do. And you’re hired by this league to do your job.
    “I’m not going to demean another man just to get a call, because I am teaching young men what it looks like to be a man, how you act and how you’re perceived.
    “Now, is it tough? Yeah, it’s very tough. Imagine how tough it is to restrain sometimes. But I have to do that. It’s not an easy thing to do, and there’s a lot of prayer just to keep my focus and composure, especially when I feel like (the officials are) doing that to my guys. That’s painful for me. There’s not a lot I can do about it. You get a tech and then what? You change a call? Then you’re not doing a very good job in the beginning. That’s how I look at it.”
  • Tired of being let down time and time again. Why can Mizzou be consistent?
    You mean the basketball team that's ranked No. 12 and has the second-most Quad 1 wins in the country? There are hundreds of fan bases that would love to be let down like that.
    It seems like once the tigers reach a slump or a stall Cuonzo is unable to change the rhythm of the team. Why isn’t he more effective at changing the game plan or inspiring the players to have more motivation?
    What's an example? They were down 14 at Auburn the other night then completely shifted the momentum of the game and took the lead for a while. They've had rough first halves this season - and last year, too - and came out in the second half and looked much better and won the game.
    What is up with all the terrible passes, constant turnovers (or lucky passes that bounce back to us) and easy misses (lay-ups, dunks)?
    Turnovers have been a problem for this team for several years. It's not for a lack of drills in practice. They work on fundamental parts of the game every day. Is it style of play? Martin has adjusted this team's style dramatically the last couple years, from a plodding halfcourt pace to a team that looks to run in transition much more often. They still turn the ball over. That tells me it's about the players more than the system.
    Hi Dave,
    Hope all is well with you today.
    A couple of basketball-related questions for you:
    1.Was it my imagination, or was Bruce Pearl being an absolute jerk and shouting from the sideline directly at Tilmon when he was shooting free throws(and subsequently missed) late in the Auburn game Tuesday night?
    2. Is it time for Cuonzo to bench Mark Smith and see if the kid can maybe get it going coming off the bench and not as a starter in games?
    1. I couldn't tell what Bruce was yelling or whom he was yelling at, but I can't imagine he was yelling at Tilmon. Cuonzo wouldn't have let him get away with that. There's no love loss between those two.
    2. They still value Mark's defense and shooting ability. Now, he's not consistently making those shots, but even at 35 percent he's still a better 3-point shooter than the other options. It's not like they can sign a free agent to play that position. Maybe you give Pickett more minutes, but he already plays a lot. 
    Who's in line to be the next starting QB at Texas A&M? Is it the kid who originally committed to Mizzou before decomitting and going to A&M?
    James Foster transferred to Charlotte, so he's not an option for the Aggies. 
    Haynes King, a four-star freshman, was A&M's backup this past season and probably has the inside edge for the job in 2021. Zach Calzada saw the field as a freshman in 2019. They have a four-star incoming QB, too. Eli Stowers. Whoever wins the job has a bunch of impressive playmakers around them. 
  • See quite a bit of optimism for 2021 football team. Hope that is true, but believe there has to be a lot of improvement on both lines for that to happen and don’t see that talent on the roster yet. Your thoughts?
    Yes, I think the upside is there, but they have to get better on the line of scrimmage to be more competitive against the best teams on the schedule. The good news is there shouldn't be any drop-off along the D-line because everyone returns. They'll have the depth to substitute liberally. Jeffcoat came into his own. They could use another edge rusher or two really step up. 
    On the O-line, who starts at tackle? There's less of a concern at the interior positions. 
    Assuming the NCAA tourney (MBB) is all held in Indianapolis this year, have you secured your hotel room there yet?
    Hi Dave. Is there anyway to hold officials accountable? Does the SEC/NCAA review game calls? Do the media have access to officials for interviews? I couldn't believe some of the calls the other night? The Tilmon block and the block call on Mitchell Smith a few seconds late were highly questionable.
    You can submit questions to the conference office for a clarification on an individual ruling, but common fouls are judgement calls and there's  no sense in seeking any feedback from a media perspective. But the coaches can seek private feedback from the league office. They submit certain plays and calls for further clarity and/or explanations. 
    This is a reminder that there's really no such thing as SEC officials. Yes, there are officials who work SEC games, but the same officials work games for the Big 12, the Sun Belt, the ACC, etc. They don't work exclusively for one conference and, thus, don't work under one conference's set of rules that are different from other conferences. Also, every fan base in America thinks their conference's officials are the worst in the country. One thing that's never been said in the history of college basketball: I like how our games are being called this year. 
    Dave, Thanks for your story on Blaze Alldredge. It was outstanding. Any Mizzou fan should take a few minutes and read about this kid. I would like to see more like these.
    Thank you for the kind words. For anyone who missed today's story ... 

    From Rice to Mizzou, Alldredge has plenty to prove in 2021

    STLtoday.com: Graduate transfer should compete for starting linebacker job left open by departed Nick Bolton.
  • So Mizzou adds a JUCO DB and a transfer LB that appear to be able to step in and either start or contribute right away. Do you feel that there is a need is to add another transfer player to the third level being the D-Line that has the potential to start?
    I don't see a great need for a D-lineman for this year. Everyone who played last year, minus Tre Williams, comes back for next year, plus the seven newcomers MU signed in December. That's a lot of bodies. 
    I get what you’re saying about there not being any conference officials, but should there be? The SEC has the resources to improve this area seemingly. I remember seeing a stat last year that more fouls were called in the SEC last year than any other league. Do you think there is anything that could be done by the league since it does seem to constantly impact the quality of the games?
    But that's just how college basketball works. There are only three days a week in which games are played in the SEC. The officials want to work more than three days a week - so they work games for multiple leagues. Most of them average a game every other day.
    Take for example Anthony Jordan, who officiated the Auburn-Mizzou game the other night. That was his fifth game in seven days: 
    Missouri at Auburn
    Arkansas at Vanderbilt
    Florida Gulf Coast at Lipscomb
    Wichita State at Memphis
    Kentucky at Georgia
    I don't know what the league can do about officiating when the officials work under the umbrella of the NCAA's rule book. I'm sure there's ongoing dialogue between the league's basketball commissioner and the director of officiating and the officials contracted through the SEC. 
    What was the name of the offensive lineman Mizzou had a few years ago that had long blonde hair (like Blaze) and was quite the philosper?. What is he up to now a days?. I remember you saying he was a good interview.
    Max Copeland. He's an engineer out in his home state of Montana with his wife and young family. He got an advanced degree after his playing career and worked in Silicon Valley for a while. Great guy. One of the best I've ever covered. Probably the most intelligent player I've covered.
    OK, my friends. That's all for today. We'll chat again next Thursday. Thanks for hanging out with me today.
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