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.

    What is it about road games in Mississippi in the last 2 months that MUFB & BB defenses do not show up? MUFB gave up 51 points to an under .500 MSST team. The BB Tigers in the second half of games vs Ole Miss and MSST games gave up 89 combined points while scoring only 46 themselves. Thankfully neither team goes to MS the rest of this season. Maybe it is just coincidental, but shortly after the FB loss to MSST, the FB team got so many COVID cases they had to call off the Iowa bowl game. The baseball team and other sports that may travel to Mississippi in the next couple of months should be aware of the bad things that have to Tiger teams in Mississippi.
    Hey, the Mizzou women's team won at Ole Miss two weeks ago, so maybe it's just a guy thing!
    Well consistently as soon as MUBB climbs higher in the rankings they follow it with an awful loss and drop. They've 'proved' me wrong each week that I call them bums, so hopefully this has the same effect. Hoping that they don't get a big fat L this weekend.
    How concerned should we be about the sporadic performances this team gives us? What do you expect March to be like? It seems like we're being set up for an early exit from the tournament, which is all too familiar.
    I'd say the losses are what's sporadic, not really the effort. At this point, the team has had a six-game winning streak and two three-game winning streaks - and has yet to lose two straight games. So, I don't think sporadic is the right word. They've played maybe one complete game, at Tennessee. But, again, it's not an overly talented team or a deep team. Everyone has to be committed to doing his job every night for this team to beat anyone with above average talent. That didn't happen last night.
    Good to see Picket back out there for significant playing time.
    Watson and Braun have gotten into the last couple games. Maybe they've worked their way back into Conzo's good graces?
    Based on how he talked about them on his radio show Monday, I think Martin sees Braun as having a much higher ceiling. Watson, he said, is in the best shape of his life and he's handling the ball more in practice. But I'm not sure he has as much upside. He's a shooter who hasn't shot well in the games he's played the last two years. He's not much above average athletically, and while everyone loves his spirit and effort, if they really thought he'd be able to help this team with a bigger role, he'd be playing more minutes. 
    Here's what Martins said about Braun on Monday: "Here’s a guy that has all the parts. So, it's real simple with him: When Parker does what Parker can do he’ll be a totally different player. It’s that simple because he has the parts. I think the biggest thing for him is taking a tremendous amount of pride in that weight room and just demanding (results). 'I want to bench press 300 pounds' for example, something like that. I think once he gets that then the other parts will follow because he has everything. … It just has to come out of him all the time."
    I couldn't believe that unranked, barely above .500, Ole Miss was favored over #10 Mizzou last night. Apparently whoever comes up with that was right and Ole Miss should have been favored by 10+. No one is going to give Mizzou the respect that they should have earned if they are consistently inconsistent. Are Mizzou and Cuonzo able to figure it out or will going into every game will we be facing a potential loss?
    Ole Miss had won four of six including back to back wins over Auburn and Tennessee. When Vegas sets lines they look at trends, not just the teams' records. It turns out, Vegas vastly underestimated the Rebels. 
    Nothing this team has done this year in the way that it's recovered from a loss suggests a free fall. Every time the bandwagon gets lonely after a midweek loss, Mizzou wins its Saturday game and folks seem to hop back on.
    Lose to Tennessee ... beat Arkansas soundly on the road.
    Lose at Mississippi State ... beat Texas A&M soundly on the road.
    Lose at Auburn ... win three straight, starting with a gutsy comeback over TCU. 
    So the trend line suggests this team will get its head right, correct some mistakes and bounce back Saturday. If not, then it's fair to ask why not this time.
    I haven’t been following the women’s basketball team this year, but did notice they play at South Carolina tonight on the SEC network.
    I guess they are televising this one since recent games have been contentious between the 2 teams. Will this game be competitive? I did see Connecticut beat SC by 4 points recently. Am I right in concluding this will not be a very close contest?
  • Say this much about the MU women's team: They've been knocking on the door of an SEC upset. They took Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas A&M - all ranked teams - down to the wire. They lost all four games to those two teams (Arkansas twice) by an average of four points. They're good enough to hang with the best teams on their schedule but haven't figured out how to win a close game. Big challenge tonight.
    I remember when Mizzou switched to the SEC thinking that our success with football would be minimal and that we would be very competitive in basketball. What was surprising was the almost immediate success of our football program and the disappearance of our basketball program. If you look at our success in SEC play we have losing records against almost every program (and a lot of them are extremely lopsided). Do you see Mizzou ever achieving status as one of the consistently top programs in the SEC or will the lackluster play and losses in conference play continue to haunt us?
    Yes, I think you're seeing the program ascend right now, last night notwithstanding. MU is still very much in the running for a top-four seed in Nashville. That would be something this team has never achieved in the SEC. Now, is that sustainable year after year in the SEC? It'll depend on recruiting and player development. The last two months have signaled that Mizzou is perfectly capable of being a factor in this league.
    With hoops losing all 3 smiths, tilmon, potentially pinson. With the recruiting class coming in, how do you project the program?
    If Pinson leaves it's definitely more of a transition year that could get bumpy. But it's impossible to project what will go into and come out of the transfer portal. I know some folks are more interested in the future than the present but it's mostly just a guessing game from year to year in basketball because rosters turn over so much.
    Hi Dave. In the 4th year of Coach Martin’s tenure with a senior laden team how do you explain the second half meltdowns? I don’t think Tiger fans expect dominance but when things start going bad, where are the adjustments? Timeouts? Substitutions? This is not his first rodeo. Thanks
    He called a timeout less than two minutes into the second half last night. What's the magical adjustment to fix a team that's not playing as hard, not closing out on 3s and taking bad shots? All that's left is the bench, and in the second half he sat Tilmon. He sat Brown. He sat Pinson. 
    Martin has adjusted his entire offensive philosophy this year and tweaked it from game to game, which I wrote about extensively yesterday. But when that adjustment is based on Pinson being aggressive and he's not following the script what more can you do but take the ball out of his hands? They did that last night, but Dru Smith and Pickett couldn't do it alone. 
    Last off-season Mizzou had 4 basketball players test the NBA waters to see if they should enter the draft. Now it appears that nobody on the team will be drafted. With so few players making NBA teams, why do we see so many players across the country, test draft waters every off season? Realistically how many actual jobs (outside of the NBA) are their out there for college players who dream of playing professionally. Seems players are filled with false hopes of playing professionally, which is why a college degree should be a players main objective heading into college.
    Nah, I'd say that's a misread of how the system works. Martin encourages his underclassmen to "test the waters," which basically means they get to have workouts for NBA scouts and coaches so they can get feedback on the areas of their game they need to improve. There really is zero downside. I wrote about this two years ago with Tilmon. These workouts are paid for by the NBA teams. Otherwise, a college student from Tilmon's background can't afford to fly around the country and have professionals evaluate his game and give an honest assessment on his strengths and weaknesses. If I was a junior in college and Sports Illustrated or the ESPN or a major newspaper offered to pay for my travel and expenses to visit them so their editors could evaluate my skills with the possibility they would hire me why would I ever turn that down? There's absolutely no harm in going through that process. Martin stresses getting a degree as much if not more than any coach I've ever covered. He can both encourage his players to get that feedback and emphasize the importance of the degree. It's not a mutually exclusive choice.
    Dave: Where are Coach Steckel and Coach Ford coaching now? How long were they paid for after they we let go? I believe Coach Ford's wife is an attorney in Columbia. Any and all information on them would be appreciated. They are both good coaches and feel they could definitely help some programs. Thanks for all your great Mizzou coverage.
    The Fords moved to Florida this past year. I have heard Cornell might return to Toledo and do some work with the staff there, but I don't know if that ever became official.
    Steckel wasn't owed anything by MU because he left for a head-coaching job at Missouri State. This past year he did some radio analysis work for Coastal Carolina. He's enjoying retirement. 
    What do we know about the new defensive line coach who replaced Brick Haley, who by the way was awful?
  • Awful how? He developed a fist-team All-SEC player each of the last two years in Jordan Elliott and Trajan Jeffcoat. 
    Jethro Franklin frankly has a career background almost identical to Haley's. A mix of college and pro stops. Bounced around a lot.  
  • Is Robin Pingeton's job in jeopardy? It looks like she has struggled to get her teams to play well the past couple years. I like her, I hope she can get some talented players to help build another winner. But IYO what is going on with this team? Also how is she as a recruiter?
    She's recruited well according to the national rankings with multiple four-star players in the last three classes. No, I don't think her job is in jeopardy two years removed from four straight trips to the NCAA tournament. MU would like to see better results, but she earned a grace period after that run to get the roster rebuilt. Like I posted earlier, this team has been very competitive against the best teams in the SEC. The roster just didn't get much time to play together in the months leading up to SEC play because of multiple COVID outbreaks. I don't see Mizzou giving her another extension in the near future, but MU doesn't fire coaches in the non-revenue sports if they run clean programs that are mostly competitive in the SEC. 
    Following up on the question about any seniors returning, if they don't return, do you see Pinson trying to go pro instead of returning?
    He's hard to predict. He didn't get a full in-person evaluation last summer because of COVID protocols, but he wasn't a serious draft prospect. I'd expect him to request an evaluation, which he should if he wants that honest assessment of his game.
    How to explain so many of 5he “traditional” MBB powers not being ranked at all?
    Some will tell you they didn't recruit as well once the FBI opened its investigation, and there's some anectdotal evidence that more five-star players went to schools that aren't your blue blood programs:
    Cade Cunningham at Oklahoma State
    Evan Mobley to USC
    Scottie  Barnes to Florida State
    Jalen Suggs to Gonzaga (though the Zags are the best team/program in the game today)
    In the 2020 class five-star players also signed with Stanford, Arizona State, Howard, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and Texas - not exactly traditional powers that are annually hanging Final Four banners. So, the elite talent is more dispersed this year and not lumped together at Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Michigan State, etc. 
    But the obvious answer is those teams that rely so heavily on freshmen and newcomers had less time to work together in the offseason and don't know each other as well as older teams that have been together longer. 
    Can you clarify for me if spring sports athletes were able to retain their current class ranking (Sr., Jr., So, fr) after their seasons were cancelled last year.
  • Yes, all spring sport athletes were granted another year of eligibility. It appears Mizzou softball is listing last year's freshmen as sophomores and sophomores as juniors, etc., but I don't believe last year will count toward their eligibility clock.
  • I would think UK (maybe some of those other powers, too) MBB will have a lot of roster openings to fill. I wouldn’t expect whoever is starting this year to be expected to start next year, and, in the words of Garry Templeton, them to be departin’ if they ain’t starting’
  • Yes, there will be massive roster turnover around the country.
  • Do you ever reach out to players currently on a roster without first clearing it with the team/s?
    It's not wise to publicize my tactics. I've been fortunate to have developed a lot of sources over the years by many ways.
    You touched on the seniors moving on, but what do you think about Pinson? He can be very good, but several times this years he's had games like last night. I think one day he could play in the NBA, but IMO another year would add to his maturing level.
    And him coming back would be a big help after potentially losing so many of the seniors.
    He's made a lot of strides, but physically I'm not sure he's strong enough to compete at that level night in and night out against grown men. He's not consistent enough defensively or as a 3-point shooter. A guy with his frame has to be a 3-point shooter at the next level. And in his three-year career he's shooting just 32.5 percent, which is also his percentage this year.
    Who does Mizzou have coming in next year in BB who can shoot, it appears to me that is the major need for next year.
    Here's my signing day story on the five-man class. I would think Durugordon and Brookshire will have a chance to play immediately on the perimeter, along with Brazile.

    De Smet's Keita headlines Mizzou's five-man class

    STLtoday.comWith three in-state players, Mizzou's 2021 class ranks No. 39 nationally.
    Here's my thoughts on the Mizzou softball team, I really like the look this year. We have four pitchers that can take the mound any day without a tremendous drop-off. Each position has quality as well as quality backups. Brooke Wilmes is the trend setter. We go as she goes. Kessinger, Wert and Rollin provide the pop and Hatti Moore is the best catcher teams have never heard of. The greatest challenge for Coach Anderson he keeping everyone involved. This team can compete with any team, but as with any team in the SEC there is little room for error. Can't wait to read the article on them.
  • Great analysis. Bennett Durando will have a story at STLtoday.com on Friday.
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