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.

    Greetings, Missouri fans from downtown Nashville, where in seven hours Missouri and Georgia will tip off at Bridgestone Arena. I'll be here for the next couple hours to take your questions.
    Good morning Dave,
    After the season is complete, not only would a season in review analysis be helpful to us Tiger fans, but perhaps an article or series of articles articulating Coach Martin's tenure thus far. Getting your insight touching on the program Coach inherited, his recruiting and player development, and where the program is headed would be very much appreciated. Is this in your post season plan? Talk to me.
    I'll review this season for sure. I don't know about rehashing the last few years. I covered those seasons in great detail every day, week, month since he took the job. I think it's best to look forward when you're covering a program and not dwell on the past. It's far more interesting, in my opinion.
    In your opinion, how far do the Tigers make it in the SEC Tourney and the Big Dance?
    I like Missouri's chances tonight and then again tomorrow against Arkansas. Assuming the Tigers can hold off Georgia, the MU-Arkansas Part 3 has the makings of a great game. Arkansas didn't have Justin Smith in the first meeting; Mizzou didn't have Jeremiah Tilmon in the first meeting. Mizzou ha never won multiple games in the SEC tournament. Getting to Saturday's round would be a first. Could Mizzou beat LSU in the semifinals? It's the one NCAA Tournament team that MU has played this year but hasn't beaten - but was tied with two minutes left. Getting to Saturday would be progress for this program. I'm not sure I'm bold enough to predict three straight wins.
    As for the NCAA Tournament, Missouri will be seeded to win at least one game. If you're a 6, you likely get the 3 in the second round. If you're the 7, then you're playing the 2. Obviously those scenarios would be far more favorable than being an 8 seed and having to play Gonzaga, Baylor or Michigan in round 2. So, predicting two wins is predicting an upset. I'll go with one for now, which Mizzou hasn't done in 11 years. 
    Which Mizzou BB team shows up tonight - the top 10 team that beat Oregon, Illinois, Alabama and Tennesee or the team that dropped out of the top 25 as a result of bad losses at MSST and GA and losses both home and away to Ole Miss? I’m hoping they can get themselves headed in the right direction but GA will be confident against Mizzou since they already beat them.
    The good news for Missouri is it doesn't have to be a top 10 team to beat Georgia. To win tonight the Tigers have to use their size advantage ... have to avoid live-ball turnovers ... have to get back on defense ... can't let Georgia's shooters get comfortable on the perimeter. 
    Georgia is the smallest team in the six major conferences. There's no reason Tilmon and Brown can't have a lot of success tonight. 
    Do you feel like if they beat Georgia tonight that they will avoid the 8/9 game?
  • Yes. Mizzou could lose tonight and still avoid the 8-9 game.
    One thing that's been impressive on the surface about Drinkwitz is his ability to build a strong staff. Whether it's bringing in veteran guys with impressive resumes like Wilks, or up and comers like Fletcher. Conversely on the basketball side, Martin seems to be very loyal to his staff even when they haven't necessarily produced on the recruiting trail. He had a chance to bring in some fresh perspective but instead promoted Marco Harris to be a full-time assistant. Ultimately the success or failure of the program will fall on Martin, but his assistants' track record is underwhelming thus far. Is this something you think could be addressed this offseason? Does it have something to do with the assistant salary pool that Martin has been given?
    He could very well make some changes, but I would be surprised if that happens. In basketball the head coach is the closer when it comes to recruiting and relies less on assistant coaches to reel in players than head football coaches.
    Mizzou's administration is committed to giving Martin the resources he needs to run a strong program, whether that's coaching salary pool or facilities. But ultimately he has to decide if he wants to make changes on staff - and I've never sensed he thinks any struggles they may have are staff related. Sometimes you have to make changes because assistants land jobs elsewhere. That could always happen, too. Cornell Mann has been in line for other jobs in the past. Could happen again.
    I know Tilmon, Pinson and Mitchell Smith were interested in testing the NBA waters after last season. Since Dru Smith is the best player on the team as a result of the first team all SEC honors he recently got, is he interested in playing in the NBA and would the NBA be interested in him? An announcer on a recent telecast said he wants to go into Wealth Management after college. What better way tipo start managing his own wealth from the NBA.
    He'd like to play professionally, whether that's in the NBA or G League or overseas. I'm not sure he's athletic enough to get drafted in the NBA, but he could make a summer league roster and see what happens from there. But, yes, he wants to get into financial planning eventually. He's also getting married this summer.
    For anyone who is concerned Mizzou has no chance in the SEC tournament given their recent play, it is cliche but just remember this is March. Just this year, Appalachian State lost 6 of their last 7 regular season games, including 2 of those losses to the last place team. They then proceeded to go on a 4 day run, win 4 games, and clinch a spot in the Big Dance. I know the Sun Belt and the SEC are in different worlds, but this time of year you’ve got to remember anything can happen. Even though Mizzou has been anything but hot as of late, there’s no reason they can’t flip the switch and gain momentum going into the tourney.
    Anything can happen. There's no unbeatable teams in the SEC this year, especially on MU's side of the bracket. Missouri has played 10 teams this year that will likely make the NCAA Tournament - Oral Roberts, Liberty, Illinois, Oregon, Wichita State, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and LSU. Mizzou beat nine of them. So, there's no reason the Tigers can't get into a groove and make a run here this week.
    I don't have to remind anyone that the same Mizzou team has lost enough games to non-NCAA Tournament teams to prove it's capable of losing to anyone on the bracket. 
    Not sure how much baseball you're covering, but what's with the issues for the team? Coming into the year you thought they'd continue the success from the previous year.
  • The pitching staff isn't healthy yet. They still have some important arms who haven't seen the field yet. Otherwise, they've really struggled to prevent runs. Staff ERA is 7.88, worst in the SEC and nearly twice as high as the second-to-worst SEC staff ERA. And Mizzou is hitting an SEC-worst .237 with the worst slugging percentage in the league at .346 and worst on-base percentage at .362. It's been a really rough start - and they've yet to play a nationally ranked team.
  • I asked Ben Fredericksen this question Tuesday but I don't feel like he really answered it so here it is: if there was one player since Cuonzo started that you would really like on this team, don't you think Jontay Porter is that guy? I think the Tigers would be a Sweet Sixteen team with almost no doubt with him and probably farther than that. Thanks, Dave.
    He was so big and talented and just coming into his own as a post player, shot blocker, inside presence. He did all the perimeter stuff as a freshman, the passing, the shooting, but that offseason before he tore his ACL, he was really coming around as a potentially dominant big man. He'd be a force playing alongside a senior Tilmon. 
    You could also make a case for Kassius Robertson, but when MU is at its best, they already have pretty good lead guards in Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson. Robertson's 3-point shooting and leadership would  be fantastic for this team. 
    Dave, please tell Coach Drink that it’s fine if Scott Linehan wants to watch some practices, but please don’t let him have any say in anything. We all saw his work with the Rams, and most recently with LSU. Yikes.
    He won't be calling plays or designing the offense. But if Drinkwitz believes he can add some insight for scouting and player development, then he could a nice asset to have around for a season. He was LSU's passing game coordinator last season and despite losing their best receiver and going through multiple QBs, LSU threw for 3,100 yards, 24 TDs and just nine interceptions last year.
    Dave, what do you know about Drew Lock’s cousin that recently committed to Mizzou. PWO I believe.

    Also, do you know if Coach Martin and staff has been linked seriously to any transfers? Going to be losing a lot of talent after this year.
    Martin and Mizzou will be busy in the transfer market. The staff feels good about their chances to land some quality players this offseason. Antonio Daye, a 6-1 guard from Florida International, has heard from MU along with a lot of other programs. He's averaged 17 points, 5 assists this season. Martin has had mixed success with the transfer market, but it will be a priority this offseason. 
    As for Tommy Lock, I've only seen his passing stats from his senior year at Lee's Summit. Nothing too outstanding. I think he threw for 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He's considered an FBS scholarship prospect.
    Hi, Dave. Thank you for your time. What are you hearing about where (which round) Larry Rountree should wind up being drafted?
    I would think mid-round at best, maybe the fourth or fifth. He didn't get much work in the actual Senior Bowl game (four carries for 7 yards) and he's never mentioned as of the four or five best backs available. Very good college running back and probably has enough tools to make an NFL roster.
    Dave, I don’t know how much you cover Mizzou baseball but they don’t look good this year so far. The pitching so far has been less than stellar and the hitting has been far from good. Given the success of the past couple years, even though they barely missed the NCAA tournament, they had a decent amount of hype going into this season and they’ve flopped so far. Perhaps things could change, but do you have any idea what’s causing the struggles? Are they younger than previous years?
  • I don't write much about Mizzou baseball, mostly because there's not much of an audience for college baseball among our readership. When I've written stories in the past, they haven't generated much traffic, which is a shame because you'd think in a baseball market there'd  be an appetite for college baseball, but that just isn't the case.
    As for this year's struggles, they're not getting on base, not getting extra-base hits and seem to be striking out a whole lot. The pitching has really struggled. Seems like they're still trying to identify roles on the staff.
    Not to make any excuses for this team - because it has REALLY struggled - but remember they didn't get in a single outdoor practice before their first game. A sluggish start was probably to be expected. But not quite like this. 
  • Dave, what’s your favorite Mizzou spring sport. It could be your favorite to cover, or to just watch. I always enjoy watching a Tiger baseball or softball game.
    Spring football? 
    I'm not a huge college baseball fan, but it can fun to cover a competitive team that generates some excitement. That hasn't happened at Mizzou in a while.
    Mizzou will win IF:
    Tilmon can actually make a dunk
    Tilmon can actually make a point-blank putback or layup
    Tilmon can actually hit his free throws
    Tilmon can actually hustle back down the floor and defend (this may be harsh as that one play at the end of the game a couple games ago stings as he didn't hustle)...and we lost.
    Tilmon stays out of foul trouble

    I know he is a 'large man presence' but it seems he has been more of a liability when it counts than a benefit.
    Disagree. He's not perfect. He's not Shaq. He's the best pure center in the SEC. He does a lot more good for his team than bad. He's the opponent's center of attention every time he touches the ball. He impacts every possession on both ends of the floor because of his presence. 
    Don't take my word for it. Here's Georgia's Tom Crean from earlier this week: "He's as difficult a matchup as there is in the entire league, bar none, because of his size, his mobility, his strength, and I'm sure as I'm standing here that (Missouri) is going to try and establish him right away in this game with his post presence. We've got to be up for that challenge, and we prepared for him hard last time and he wasn't there. We're going to have to do a great job. We cannot let him control the post with easy catches and with easy moves to the rim. Now, we don't have anyone who can match up size wise or leverage wise when it comes to what he is with that strength and size, but that doesn't mean we can't do a great job with ball pressure and with making things challenging. We're going to have to."
    Dave, what’s been your favorite non-conference/non-SEC town to visit when Mizzou has played there?
    I went to Clemson for football a long time ago. Great game-day atmosphere. 
    For basketball I'd probably say Arizona. Great venue, great crowd. 
    If we're talking my favorite places to visit for a game no matter the conference, I'd go Georgia, Nebraska and Colorado.  
    Dave - With the firing of Les Miles and Jeff Long, how far back does this set KU's football program? As we all know, they have struggled unlike any other Division 1 football team over the past several years since Mark Mangino was the coach (and fired). I don't even think it compares to what Tennessee going through with their football program. I think the Vols will come back sooner. Thank You.
    Kansas can't really get much worse than where the program has been and where it was trending with Les Miles in charge. I would go with one of the military school coaches and just try to be something different in the Big 12. KU can't go with some retread who's just looking for one last payday before retirement. I'd go against the grain/outside the box, whatever your cliche of choice may be. Give him a five-year contract and start from the bottom up.
    I could be a smart aleck and pull up all the tweets from Mizzou fans who in 2015 wanted Mack Rhoades to hire Miles to replace Gary Pinkel, but I wouldn't do that. Rhoades takes plenty of heat from MU fans for his time in Columbia, but he had ZERO interest in hiring Miles and Mizzou fans should be forever grateful for that. 
  • As an addendum to my comment/question, I meant players who would have eligibility left, not someone like Kassius Robertson (?).
    It's not much of a list if we're talking guys who left with remaining eligibility.
    Michael Porter Jr. 
    Blake Harris
    Jontay Porter
    Tray Jackson
    Mario McKinney
    Terrence Phillips
    Ronnie Suggs
    KJ Santos
    Obviously, Porter Jr is a great talent who could add scoring to any team, but I'd still go with Jontay for this particular Mizzou team. And there's really no one else on the list I'd want to add. 
    As a Tiger fan from Joisey, I think Mr. Pinson could take a cue from Rutgers guard Jacob Young. End to end (and I mean north to south), Young (a U of Texas transfer) is possibly the fastest guard in America, fearless and creative to the hoop, but able to knock down lefty jumpers or dish it off when necessary. If X consistently had that kind of penetration, MU might have a few more W's in that column. What say you, Dave?
    He's at his best when he's on the attack. Everyone knows that. Pinson seems to know that. But he has a bad habit of becoming passive and reluctant to drive if his first couple forays into the paint don't produce points or fouls. He's been better of late. I thought he played in three of MU's last four games. Even the LSU game was a decent game for Pinson, who also missed time after slamming his head on the LSU chair along the baseline.
    Hi Dave. I know you watch the pro game so where do you think Tilmon fits in the NBA? I have enjoyed watching him over the years and he seems like a fun-loving guy. With better coaching and some money to alleviate the stress he’s under, what do you think is his ideal position is on an NBA team? Thanks
    I think he can make a roster as a rebounder, pick and roll scorer and rim defender. But he's not a sure thing. He's not an elite player in any of those areas. He hasn't developed an outside shot, and even 7-footers in the NBA can shoot from outside. Cuonzo is convinced Tilmon can play in the NBA for a decade if he continues to build on his game. But he'll have to overcome his limited offensive repertoire and work on those areas to earn a steady paycheck in the league.
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