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.

    Happy Thursday, folks. Let's just get to it, because I'm sure there's plenty to discuss.
    Dave,
    If Mizzou beats Florida and hopefully they play LSU on the 6th and beat them do you think they can climb up the seed line?
    Yes, sure. Beating those two teams would be extremely helpful to Mizzou's cause. Splitting with LSU and Florida wouldn't be worst thing either because it'll mean another Quad 1 win.
    Can you give us a "player synopsis" on some of the Mizzou beat writers? For example...

    After transferring from the Columbia Tribune to the STL Post-Dispatch, Matter continues to provide a veteran presence on the beat.

    Gabe DeArmond took some hits on social media this past year but always impresses with his silent leadership.

    Mitchell Forde has the pedigree and the famous father, but is this the year he takes his writing to the next level?

    After losing Peter Baugh, can The Athletic find a solid replacement?
    I try to avoid any public commentary on my friends on the beat. I will point out that even though I was on the Mizzou beat a couple years before Gabe started at PowerMizzou I am indeed two years younger. Mitch is a strong reporter/writer in his own right but has some great sportswriter DNA - as does Gabe. Peter will do great things in Denver covering the NHL. I can't speak for what The Athletic has planned for covering Mizzou. Not my place to comment on a competitor.
    Good morning Dave,
    Man-O-Man, what a challenging couple of weeks for the Tigers. To me, the issue that is such a concern and so puzzling is how a veteran Team and Coach can perform at a consistently inconsistent pattern. It appeared the other night we were unprepared to play that game. There was no excuse for not being ready for Ol Miss and the defense they threw at us. A big game with big post season ramifications. I put that Coach. What does your crystal ball tell you? Should I just accept the fact that we are just a .500 SEC team? Talk to me.
    Missouri can win every game left on the schedule and lose every game left on the schedule. If you're good enough to beat Alabama and Illinois, then you're good enough to go into Gainesville and beat Florida and good enough to beat LSU at home. But the way Mizzou is playing right now - outside of Saturday's showing against a pretty bad South Carolina team - the Tigers are going to have to dig deep and figure out what's holding them back in these winnable games.
    The Gators are a good team, far from great. They've lost to bad teams (South Carolina, Mississippi State) and beaten some really good teams (West Virginia, LSU). 
    As for the Ole Miss game, the struggles against the zone were surprising because most teams don't play zone against Mizzou - because Mizzou usually scores pretty well against a zone. Ole Miss got out of its zone quickly in the first meeting in Oxford after MU hit some early shots. But the Rebels stuck with it on Tuesday and sometimes morphed back and forth between zone and man and it led to a lot of indecision and standing around from Mizzou's point guard. MU is getting good play right now from Tilmon, Brown and Mark Smith. Pinson has been pretty atrocious lately. Dru Smith has struggled in the clutch. If both of those guys struggle, this team has no chance. 
    Several questions, Mr. Matter:

    1. If there is a "Mr. Matter", there must be a "Mr. Anti-matter", correct?
    2. What is the possibility the Basketball Tigers make the 2021 NCAA tournament and win a game?
    3. What will it take for Mizzou to get back to Norm Stewart Era results, i.e., yearly participation in the NCAA tournament, an occasional Sweet Sixteen, an occasional Elite Eight, (heaven forfend!), the Holy Grail of a Final Four, and, ultimately, an NCAA Championship?
    4. Cuonzo has gotten Tennessee to the Sweet Sixteen. Can he get the Tigers there and beyond and how long will that take? (This question may not be separate from #4.)

    Thanks and have a good day.
  • Our first crystal ball question of the day. Let's turn it on and see how it's working.
    1. ?
    2. I think the Tigers make the Big Dance, but they're playing themselves out of a favorable seed. Impossible to predict if they'll win a game without knowing the opponent. So, I'll say they have a 50.7584 percent chance of winning a first-round game.
    3/4. Better players, consistently good recruiting, better support from the fans to make Mizzou Arena a tough place to play. Can all of that happen under the current coaching staff? I don't know. Martin has proven he can take teams to the NCAA Tournament. Can he do it consistently over time and reload rosters with enough talent to be a perennial winner? He's never stayed in one place long enough to have sustained success, so it's hard to know. That's always  been the unknown about Martin. Can he plant roots and stack classes after classes after classes that can build a consistent winner?
  • Is whitmore and chang still at mizzou
    Jordan Wilmore? If so, then yes. He and Ed Chang are on the team.
    Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to go directly into the SEC tournament. At least their standing and tourney positions couldn't be damaged any further.
    Mizzou will play at Florida next Wednesday and will host either Vandy, LSU or Texas A&M next Saturday. Right now it sounds like it's LSU. The SEC wants to have break up any ties among the top teams in the league and reschedule the most relevant games that impact the top of the standings.
    That Ole Miss zone we struggled against big time. Have other teams played zone against us in the past and had that much success? Do you think the coaching staff was expecting that defense going into the match up?
    You always expect some zone from Ole Miss because it's Kermit Davis' signature defense. But, like I wrote earlier in the chat, Ole Miss didn't play a whole lot of zone against MU in the first meeting because it wasn't all that effective. Assistant coach Marco Harris-Stevens said on Monday the staff only attributed one turnover in the first meeting to Ole Miss' zone. Late in the game, Mizzou made an adjustment, putting Dru Smith in the middle of the floor instead of Kobe Brown to take advantage of Smith's passing. It seemed to work on a few possessions. At one point, Ole Miss backed out of the zone late in teh game after MU would make an entry pass or cross halfcourt and went back to man defense. Pinson never really attacked or made an aggressive play in those situations.
    Hey Dave,
    Thanks for the weekly chat!
    With this latest Ole Miss loss I'm worried that we miss the NCAA tourney. Tell me why I'm over reacting.
    Heading into the Ole Miss game Mizzou was solidly in the tournament, projected anywhere between a 4 and 6 seed. That's safely on the bracket. Now, here's the challenge going forward: MU is likely playing two opponents who are ahead of them in the standings in Florida and LSU. That's good for the strength of schedule, but could lead to a couple losses. Forget about conference record. That's irrelevant. Overall record, strength of schedule, quality of wins and losses is what's important. MU still has those six Quad 1 wins. Getting a seventh would be huge for its NCAA credentials. A lot at stake in the next two weeks.
  • If your Mizzou do you want LSU coming to town on the 6th ? I think that would be the best scenario to get another quality win. Also I think Mizzou wins at Florida
    Yes, losing to LSU is not terrible for the NET ranking. Not good, but not the end of the world. If you're choosing between three scenarios, here they are ranked in terms of what's good and bad for MU's NCAA seeding, ranked from best to worst:
    Beat LSU
    Beat Vandy/A&M
    Lose to LSU
    Lose to Vandy/Texas A&M
    Do you think Mizzou adds a non-conference opponent for Saturday?
    Dave,

    Do you think they should think about running the offense through Kobe Brown when Pinson has been struggling like he has been? I know Buggs +/- was good last game, but he isn't a threat to score. Just curious on your thoughts.

    Thanks!
    You can run more plays for Brown, and they have been doing that lately. You still need a functional point guard. If the point guard isn't a scoring threat - and Buggs is not - then you need a guy who will get the ball in the paint either through dribble penetration or passing so he can open things up for teammates. Buggs does that. Pinson does not, at least not very often lately. 
    I think this team should be at the point that Buggs needs to play more. It puts more stress on everyone else to score, but the numbers don't lie. This team is better when he's on the floor lately. 
    Do you think the committee will try to put ku and Mizzou in the same region?
    They should. They've matched up teams in the past that have a natural history/rivalry, so it makes all the sense in the world to put them in position to play.
    I don't know which is more painful to watch; Pinson standing around instead of being aggressive or the Blues ineffective power play.
    I don't understand how HC Martin or his assistants didn't see that it was putting Buggs in and pulling Pinson out in the second half that they came back from the 9 point half time deficit. As soon as the game was close he put Pinson back in and left him there. At what point do you have to go with what was successful instead of who it is?
  • I understand the frustration and it's a tough call on Martin's part. Pinson is the team's leading scorer. He's shown the ability to score a lot of points and be the offensive player on the floor. At last check, no player in the SEC has scored more points in a game than his 36 against TCU. When you've got a minute left and absolutely need to score, it makes sense to keep him in the game over Buggs. In hindsight maybe they go a different direction. It's not like Buggs was all that productive on Tuesday: no points, three turnovers, one assist. But in stretches the team seems to play better with him on the floor. We can't ignore the defensive component here either. Pinson can be a bad on-ball defender.
    Seems to me Ole Miss, by sweeping the BB season series is pushing MU out of the tournament and also sneaking into what was MU’s place just 2 weeks ago. When MU was ranked no. 10, i did not think that they should be that highly rated. They dropped to number 20 and presumbly out of the top 25 when next weeks poll comes out. The Florida game will become a must game. You have to hope that LSU will be the rescheduled game, because beating Vanderbilt will do them no good. They have impressive wins against Illinois, Oregan and Alabama. Their only hope may come down to winning the SEC tornament. Based on recent lackluster performances I don’t see that happening.
    Ole Miss is playing its way into the NCAA field but have only beaten one another tournament team: Tennessee. The wins over Mizzou could prove to be the Rebels' tickets into the Dance.
    Regardless of the recent results, doesn't it feel early to be talking extension with Cuonzo since he still has three years left?
    Not if he has interest from other schools and MU wants to make a stronger commitment to him. 
    I stand behind everything I wrote on Tuesday about his situation. The job he's done at Mizzou will be seen more favorably outside of the state of Missouri and the other factors will make him an attractive option for some schools. Mizzou doesn't have to break the bank to extend his deal. 
    I thought this was pretty interesting from my story in today's paper: When you add in total salary, benefits and bonuses, Barry Odom made almost 48 percent more in his fourth season ($4.3 million) than Martin made in his third season ($2.9 million). That's not to say Martin is grossly underpaid, but if he guides Mizzou to a second NCAA tourney in four years after taking over the controls of the Titanic when it was nearly all the way submerged, then you can make a case Mizzou should rework his deal.
    Does Mizzou get in tourney if they lose last 3 games
    That's going to be bubble territory. Hard to say without knowing what else happens to everyone else on the bubble.
    With ticket sales for basketball and football being mininmal amounts, is Mizzou receiving the full revenues from the SEC network or are those amounts prorated down depending on how many games have to be cancelled.? If the MUAD had $110 million in revenues last year and still is running a $10 million deficit maybe they ought to put the new indoor football facility on pause until revenue streams are back to normal.
    Everything I know about the current financial situation you can read in today's story. I'm not sure if the SEC distribution will be any less because some football games weren't played this year. I wouldn't think there'd be a major dropoff if any. 
    Mizzou won't get the SEC's bowl/playoff payout next year based on this year's bowl payouts, but that's not a terrible situation considering the SEC only played in eight bowls, meaning the pie slice from those bowl payouts will probably be smaller than usual.
    As for the indoor facility, the donations Mizzou secured for the facility were tagged exclusively for the indoor facility. Donors are more willing to pay for a tangible project than donate money to make up for a deficit. 
  • Good Morning Dave Do you know when spring practice will begin and how likely it will be delayed because the COVID vaccine is running slow? Thank You
    Spring practice starts tomorrow. There is no COVID delay. More than half the practices will be open to the media. The Post-Dispatch will have coverage of every open practice/media availability, starting tomorrow. The spring game is March 20. This year, though, the team will have a couple practices AFTER the spring game.
    Just a thought way back when Phil Pressy was distributing the ball the announcers would comment on how the passes were most of the time perfect for the shooter to receive. I really see that now I think the passes on the current basketball team hinder the shooters sometimes.
    Well, Phil was arguably the best passer in the history of the program. That's a tough standard to match. But, yes, I agree that the passing can be better.
    Dave - We have not had a true, fast deep threat receiver who can catch the ball consistently downfield for the past few seasons. Hall and Moore had potential but had problems holding onto the ball. Do we have that incoming recruit that can help. Thank You
    Mookie Cooper and Dominic Lovett are the only new receivers. We'll see if they can stretch the field vertically. That's a big question going into the spring. A few players from last year's freshman class will have a chance to carve out bigger roles, too. JJ Hester and Jay Maclin come to mind. Last year's team had some solid possession receivers. This team needs more dangerous deep threats. Jalen Knox can be that guy, too.
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