Happy Thursday, folks. Let's just get to it, because I'm sure there's plenty to discuss.
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.
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.
Jordan Wilmore? If so, then yes. He and Ed Chang are on the team.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
That's going to be bubble territory. Hard to say without knowing what else happens to everyone else on the bubble.
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.
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.
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.