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.

    Dave, thanks for the chats. It seems like Ole Miss ALWAYS has our number. I had this thought before the game and later saw you cite our record as 3-15 all time against them. This is a head scratcher given they are, at best, a middle of the pack conference team. I know we have been too since joining the conference, but do you have any thoughts on why they continually smoke us? Also, what's our all time record against Kentucky for comparison? I'm guessing it's better than 3-15.
    Nope. Mizzou is 2-13 all-time against Kentucky. The only MU coach to beat UK? Cuonzo Martin.
    I think Mizzou fans would be surprised how much better Ole Miss has been during MU's time in the SEC. Ole Miss is 81-78 in SEC play since the Tigers joined the SEC. That's not great ... but, consider: Over that same time, Mizzou is 57-101 in SEC play. That's a 24 more wins over the same timespan. So if you take out the head-to-head meetings, Ole Miss is still 66-75 compared to Mizzou at 54-86. That's still a nine-win difference. 
    Dave, do you think if Mizzou loses out before selection Sunday they will miss the tournament or has their bid been locked regardless?
  • It's not just about Mizzou. It's about the other bubble teams. So, just winning one game or two games won't single-handedly determine Mizzou's status. At this rate, I'd think a 1-1 finish in league play and one win in Nashville would put the Tigers in the tournament at 16-9 with at least seven Quad 1 wins. But still a lot of basketball to play.
    After we signed the OL who had signed w/ Tennessee earlier, how many scholarships at this stage are still open? I know Drink and other coaches like to leave some open for players like the recent signee and players from the portal. Are there still specific positions you believe Drink & Co are looking to fill w the remaining scholarships? Thanks for these chats and your fine coverage of Mizz athletics.
    I think the number is right around three. J'Marion Gooch essentially takes Jack Buford's scholarship. Drinkwitz has said he wanted an offensive tackle. Gooch fills that need. He'd like a defensive back, likely a safety. They can probably afford another running back if the right one is out there.
    Dave - What do you see as the biggest on-field challenge for our new defensive coordinator? Thank You
    In no particular order ... 
    1. Depth in the secondary. This team has one proven SEC safety in Martez Manuel. Who fills the other roles? And does the 4-2-5 scheme employ a third cornerback or third safety?
    2. How do you balance out the depth along the D-line? All those senior linemen returned for another season. The depth could become a real asset once roles emerge.
    3. Who rushes the passer off the edge? Can Jeffcoat build on his 2020?
    4. Who replaces Bolton at inside linebacker? 
    5. How can this defense create more turnovers? It was supposed to be a strength last year. It was not.
    On paper, the OT that Mizzou picked up yesterday from Tennesee seems like a good recruit. The transfer portal free agency seems like it is about to hit a frenzy after post spring practice depth charts are realized across the country. Do you think that HCED, is being coy with his depth chart to help prevent some additional kids from hitting the portal?
    He said this week the depth chart is just for the sake of functionality right  now, meaning it's for the purpose of fielding a group of 11 players to play together at the same time and doesn't necessarily mean much for the 2021 season. It's not about being coy. Spring is about player development and installing schemes. He told me last week he expects current players to enter the portal after the spring once they realize they might not be great fits for the staff and scheme, etc. If they find better players in the portal this offseason they'll bring them in and let them compete for jobs in August camp.
    If a shovel was put in the ground tomorrow, how long do you think it would be for the new indoor facility to be functional? As far as facilities, what would be next on the checklist for MU Athletics to keep up with their SEC brethren?
    The target date to open the indoor practice facility is August 2022.
    MU is committed to renovating parts of Mizzou Arena for the players (locker room, weight room, etc.)
    The baseball team is still raising money to cover the full outfield with artificial turf. Considering how long it's taken to get that small project funded I would not anticipate the baseball program having any major long-term projects planned. 
  • Dave,

    I have two questions. I believe it was in the Mizzou game where a MU forward went into the lane and then lowered a shoulder and hit a defender who was inside the circle. The MU player was charged with an offensive foul. I thought that the offensive player had the right to that space inside the circle. What gives there? The tigers seem to have a problem making lay-ups these days. They literally lost to Ole Miss by the margin of those missed lay-ups. Any idea why this continues to happen? Thanks
    1. Not sure which block/charge you're referring to. If the defender was inside the circle it should have been a defensive foul. I don't have a great view of the court from my seat if the play happens in front of the visitor's bench.
    2. According to the date at HoopMath, Mizzou is shooting 65 percent at the rim this year. That's layups and dunks essentially. That's by far MU's best percentage at the rim in the past decade, according to the data. Against Ole Miss, MU was 9 of 21 on dunks and layups (43 percent), so that was well below the season average. I thought the officials swallowed their whistles most of the night on contact plays around the rim, and that contributed to the bad shooting percentage on those shots. Had they called more fouls on those shots at the rim, they wouldn't have counted as missed attempts and MU would have gotten free throws instead. Ole Miss was just as bad at the rim, shooting only 10 of 22 (45 percent). 
    Hi Dave. I know you’ve said in the past that the conference doesn’t select the refs and that these same refs work in multiple conferences. We do continue to see the same guys working more and more SEC conference games. Last nights Alabama/Arkansas game had Doug Childs who evidently has a tough history with Alabama. I was looking into Olandis Poole since I remember him stealing a Missouri win from us against Florida a few years back. He seems to primarily work SEC games these days from what I can find on Twitter and Google. He also appears to have been fired by the NBA for possible sketchy gambling-related activity. Pat Adams also seems to be a controversial figure and a regular doing SEC games. I get the conference doesn’t want a lot of publicity put on these guys, but it does seem like it’s having a continual impact on the product on the court. Is this just a total non-story?
    Poole works SEC games along with Conference USA, Big 12, American and several other mid-majors. Pat Adams has worked games for about a half dozen leagues this year. Are there specific examples of things these officials have done in certain games that show a pattern of behavior? 
    I haven't studied the trends enough to have the faintest idea if there's any bias in the way individual officials officiate games. The NBA scandal from a few years ago proved that officiating can be compromised, but that was about gambling, not bias for certain teams over other teams. 
    I now believe I oversold myself on this men's BB team's potential. Three factors got me: 1) They are a veteran team. 2) They showed abilities (Mark & Dru Smith's 3-point shooting, primary among it) that gave me hope and 3) They almost all seem like fine young men who represent the University well.

    But the cold reality is, any team that misses nearly two out of every three shots it takes (and, recently, that includes free throws) has zero margin for error on key things like rebounding and turnovers. Ole Miss outrebounded us by 15 at their place and 9 at home - and I've always this team is a poor rebounding team, considering their size and experience. Am I wrong on all of this?
    This team only functions well when it plays as a team and all or most of the parts of playing well together. When you've got one key player disengaged and going away from his role and another player who's struggling to compensate for the first player - which is what I think happens a lot in the Pinson-Dru Smith dynamic - then you can't function against a competent opponent. Right now, Mizzou is getting really good production out of Kobe Brown and Tilmon. Mark Smith has gone from being a liability to a a real asset. They miss not having a healthy Pickett. He's not a dynamic scorer, but he fills in holes when other guys are down by slashing and cutting and hitting timely 3s. But this team just cannot function when Pinson is playing this way. And lately it seems like Dru Smith is trying to shoulder too much of a load that he's  not equipped to handle when Pinson isn't delivering. 
    That's my diagnosis for what's wrong right now. 
    Hello, Dave.

    Your perspective, please, on what is ailing X. Pinson. Have our opponents figured the key to shutting him down defensively, is he mentally drifting, got full of himself after 36 point game or something else. I'm not an NBA fan, but I don't see a skill level that allows him to play in the NBA. Thanks.
    He's clearly not ready for the NBA. He can't defend bigger, stronger NBA guards. You can be undersized in the NBA but you better have other elite skills, like shooting or passing. He's not a consistently great passer and he's a career 32 percent 3-point shooter, which is his exact percentage this year. 
    I can't tell you what's going on with him right now. I thought he played a solid game against South Carolina. He turned down the bad shots he had been taking. He played within himself and took care of the ball. Against Ole Miss, he just wasn't very aggressive especially after his first couple drives came up empty and didn't draw a foul
    Hey, Dave: So, what do you think this season ultimately means for Pinson regarding his future? I'm not asking you to speculate on what he will do--I know you don't like to do that--but rather what you think it means in terms of how he is viewed, and what his realistic options are. From my perspective, his shooting, and entire level of play, really, has been so inconsistent that I don't think he would be drafted if he entered the NBA draft. I don't see a team taking a 2nd round flyer on a smaller, poor-shooting guard, as quick as he is. I'm not sure he would get a look as an undrafted invitee to a camp. Maybe he would draw interest overseas? I would imagine G league would be a possibility, here in the US, but I don't know much about that.
  • I'm not an NBA scout, but I watch a fair share of NBA games and could tell you he's not ready for the league or someone whom the league would invest a draft pick. He's just not a good enough shooter to make up for his lack of size and strength. And he's not a pure point guard. 
    That doesn't mean he can't make it to the league eventually or make a lot of money playing professionally on a different stage. 
    Considering how much he has flirted with leaving MU each of the past two summers - at least that's the impression he leaves on social media - I suspect he'll do the same this offseason. Beyond that, impossible to know at this point.
  • When is coach Drink going to get Luther to flip his commitment from OU to MIZ. I think it’s coming very soon.
    Burden has made it pretty clear he's not wavering from his commitment to Oklahoma, but I imagine Drinkwitz will recruit him until the paperwork is signed in 10 months.
    Mizzou FOOTBALL received a commit last night! What are your thoughts? Projections?
    The staff wanted a young offensive tackle with length. Gooch has a massive frame at 6-6, 330. He was heavily recruited by SEC and other Power 5 programs. Looks like an excellent addition at a position of need for 2022. Offensive linemen are rarely ready to play as true freshmen and there should be enough pieces in place to fill those spots for this fall.
    Was it me or did HCED scale back on the uniform combinations last year? I might be wrong, but I don't remember seeing the cartoonish Tiger on the helmets last year. Any insight on this?. Brand building?
    I don't really dig too deep on the uniforms. They wore the Block M helmets more last season. But I'm mostly watching the football, not the fashion.
    A couple days ago you brought up there could be competition for CM. I agree with the points of your article and can see why someone like Miami would go after him. I like the job he's done at MU and would like to see him at least finish out his contract.

    When you look at his past schools it looks like he usually gets to about 60 wins then moves on. I know there was circumstances for each time he moved to a different school, but he's now in the mid 60's for wins at MU, which is when he usually moves on. Coincidence or looking for new places to make his mark? Some coaches don't like to stay in one place more than 4-5 years.
    Like you said, every situation has been unique. He left Missouri State for Tennessee because it was a much better, higher-paying job in a major conference. He left Tennessee for Cal because thousands of UT fans signed a ridiculous petition for him to leave town and be replaced by Bruce Pearl, whom the school had fired for NCAA violations. If thousands of Mizzou fans signed a petition for me to be replaced at the Post-Dispatch by someone the paper had fired, well, I'd probably find a new place to work, too. And then he left Cal because that program was in financial hell and Mizzou offered a great opportunity closer to home in a better conference. So, those situations had far less to do with getting to 60 wins than the unique circumstances. 
  • I watched the women's senior day last weekend, and I was curious what happened to Nadia Green. She played earlier this year but hasn't been in a game since 1/3/21. Do you know if she opted out or just left the program?
    I don't know. I haven't written about the women's team at all this season, so they've been off the radar. She's still listed on the roster, so it doesn't appear to be an opt-out situation.
    Dave - You had previously indicated that Josh Heupel would not have been a good choice to replace Barry Odom as the Head Coach. However, Tennessee hired him. Yes - granted the AD had hired and worked with him at UCF. But he thought enough of Heupel to make him the Vols head coach which is not an easy position considering what that University has been thru with hit and miss coaches and the downfall of Pruitt. Actually, I thought Mizzou should have hired him when Odom was let go. So why did you not think he would have been a good hire? Thank You
    I wouldn't have considered Heupel a terrible option to replace Odom. I just figured Mizzou could do better. He's developed some explosive offenses. I would have been concerned about his ability to build a complete team and be committed to playing complimentary football between the offense and defense. Also, he hasn't recruited at a very high level at UCF. I'd have some pause about his ability to inject the kind of energy and charisma Mizzou's program needs right now. 
    That said, I think he'd be a better or no worse option than some of the initial candidates Mizzou considered to replace Odom.
    When I was a young sports anchor in North Carolina in the late '80s, I was fortunate enough to develop a good relationship with Mike Krzyzewski (we both grew up in Chicago and were Chicago Catholic League basketball players, albeit at rival schools).

    One day, as practice was winding up and his assistants were running things, K let a few of us reporters in on one of his secrets of success. If you've been around K, you know his reputation for salty language. I'm not sure what precipitated it, but his lesson was, "Every championship team needs a M---F---er (yes, he used the full phrase). "You know, that guy who when someone from the other team brings the ball into the lane, he erases them and any shot that player takes in a way that makes him and everyone in the gym say, 'M---F---er!"

    At the time he really didn't have that player (Danny Ferry was much more of a finesse player) but he soon got Christian Laettner and, later, Sheldon Williams played that role. Seems to me, Mizzou doesn't have anyone like that on this roster.
    I would agree. Martin has made the same point publicly and privately. It was a concern going into the season and I believe it remains a concern. It's why he's said a few times, "It can't always come from the sideline." This team has a lot of good guys. I'm not sure it has a true alpha who commands the room. Tilmon might be the closest thing, but it works better when it's a ball-handler who controls where the ball goes on the floor.
    Across BB, not just MU and the way they've played lately, do you think teams are starting to come around and overcome the challenges of lack of early practice and cohesion? Several of the blue bloods who didn't have success early are starting to make a charge; i.e., Mich St beat Illinois. Conference tournaments could be more interesting than usual with lower seeds making a lot of long runs.
    Yes, it might just be anecdotal but we're seeing some of those teams create some momentum. Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State especially. I don't think you can count any of these teams out from winning their conference tourneys. In the case of Duke, UK and MSU that would be very bad news for bubble teams.
    Very happy martin is getting extension he wont get the program in trouble your thoughts
  • I wouldn't say it's a given, but as I've reported, those talks have already started and Jim Sterk confirmed two days ago that it's time to rework his deal. One thing you know with Martin is there won't  be any NCAA issues. His record is as clean as any coach in the country. He'd rather lose clean than win dirty. Maybe that's not the answer every fan wants to hear, but that's the coach Mizzou hired four years ago.
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