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 basketball, football and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Greetings, Mizzou chatters. Happy March Madness. I'll be headed to Indy on Friday, but first we chat all things Mizzou. I'll be here for the next few hours.
    Good morning Dave,
    Is Coach Martin staying or going? Seems to me if he were a lock for AD Jim to sign him up for a three or four year extension, the deal would be done. Maybe Coach is entertaining offers with more options to come after March Madness ends? Thoughts? Talk to me.
    I don't anticipate Martin going anywhere. I would expect some kind of extension before next season tips off. Mizzou doesn't have to break the bank - there is no bank at Mizzou these days unless you want to build a football practice facility - but I expect the administration to rework his deal somewhat. But I'd envision something similar to Barry Odom's last extension, which was very MU-friendly and didn't impact his buyout. I still think Martin could be an appealing candidate in the job market, but not so much for the current vacancies: Indiana, Minnesota, Utah. 
    I can’t help but compare the careers of Odom and Conzo while at Mizzou. Both took over programs that were going through very difficult times and helped right the ship. In four years, both have had about the same winning percentage. Neither had much success with recruiting or in the post season (thus far). Odom gets fired after his fourth season, while there is talks about extending Conzo after this season. To me, they started out in about the same situation and have had about the same success. I guess my question is, are there different expectations between football and basketball?
    I don't see the same similarities you do. Mizzou football was not a broken program when Odom took over. He inherited a franchise QB who would become an NFL starter. There were some off-field issues that erupted in 2015 that Odom had to navigate through, but those weren't really football related. The program was one year removed from an 11-win season and the SEC championship game. Martin took over an absolute dumpster fire that had gone 8-46 against the SEC over three years, lost games to North Carolina Central, Lipscomb and Eastern Illinois. The situation Martin inherited compared to what Odom took over isn't in the same galaxy. 
    Circumstances matter. Context matters. Mizzou's basketball program had been a wasteland when Martin took over, still reeling from NCAA issues under Haith and his over-reliance on transfers, then the Kim Anderson disaster. Odom replaced the program's career wins leader whose last season was one win short of playing in a bowl game - in a season with three losses by single-digit margins. Again, the football program was far from broken. 
    That being said, Martin is taking his second team to the NCAA Tournament. Had the team's best player not been hurt two years ago he could be taking his third team to the Tournament. He's beaten nine NCAA Tournament teams and six conference champions this year. He beat three top 10 teams over 56 days. Odom never sniffed that kind of on-field success in his four years at Mizzou.
    Recruiting hasn't been great. But he's brought in and developed both high school recruits and transfers. He's missed on some recruiting gambles. But overall the body of work is far better than Odom's. And I don't think it's a close competition.
    I like Mizzou’s chances against Gonzaga. Assuming that we get past OU. It seems to me that this year we have really risen to the occasion when playing more talented teams. Minus the 1st Tennessee game. Tell me that I have not bumped my head.
    Thanks for the weekly chat!!
    I don't see anyone coming within 10 points of Gonzaga until the Final Four. They're absolutely loaded. Now, it's March. Anything can happen. If UMBC can upset Virginia, then a 9 seed can topple a 1 seed. But I don't think there's any way to reasonably expect Missouri or Oklahoma to upset this Gonzaga team. Gonzaga has already beaten the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 seeds in its own region and won those games by a combined 36 points. (That would be Iowa, Kansas and Virginia). But that's why they play the games and why we watch them all.
    Hi Dave. Is the NCAA testing basketball players for Covid, or are individual universities responsible for testing their athletes? Thanks.
  • The NCAA and the local county officials are conducting the tests. Everyone who's being tested wears sensors to help them with contact tracing, so if someone tests positive the NCAA can determine all their close contacts. 
    More here from the NCAA:
    All Tier 1 travel party participants will be required to undergo and document seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests prior to arrival into Indianapolis. The NCAA will work with IU Health to provide health related support including the administration of daily PCR tests for Tier 1 individuals upon arrival and throughout the tournament. Tier 1 participants include student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.

    All Tier 1 participants will wear KINEXON contact tracing devices throughout the tournament, including practices and games. These devices, coupled with video analysis, provide data that allows total time measurement of those who are within 6 feet of a newly infected individual with COVID-19. The data will be utilized to assist with contact tracing and the need to quarantine participants. If close contact time with another individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 is less than 15 minutes over 24 hours, then quarantine may not be required.

    COVID-19 testing and contact tracing will not be required for asymptomatic Tier 1 individuals who are at least two weeks post-infection and within 90 days of the first known date of infection, or participants who are at least two weeks post their second COVID-19 vaccine (or singular COVID-19 vaccine for FDA approved vaccines that require one dose only). These groups will still be required to wear masks and physically distance.

  • I don’t know how much you follow other basketball programs, or have friends in the press box that you can compare notes with, but what’s your take on the negativity surrounding the men’s basketball team? I’m not saying everybody should be all rosy, and that the team isn’t exasperating as heck at times (they are!), but sheesh, every college basketball team outside of two or three goes through pretty much the same up and down play. I noticed after the SEC tournament win over Georgia there were 12 comments following your game article. All 12 were negative. Maybe some positive ones came in later but is this just the way it is in 2021, or are Missouri fans more negative than average?
    I follow college hoops closely, and while social media and comments sections essentially serve as a megaphone for negativity, I do think the Mizzou fan base is particularly and uniquely negative when it comes to the basketball program. And I think it hurts the program.
    I think about this 2014 tweet from CBS bracketologist Jerry Palm: "For months, my twitter feed is full of fans making the case for their team. Missouri fans are different. They absolutely BURY their team."
    I think there's a lot of truth to that. There's a uniquely high degree of cynicism and fatalism when it comes to Mizzou hoops. And I don't know where that comes from. I'm not saying fans should be throwing the coach a parade when he wins a game, but a lot of Mizzou fans really do embrace the Charlie Brown role. They expect Lucy to pull the ball away every time and expect to the rain cloud to never go away. When Lon Kruger announced yesterday that Oklahoma's second-leading scorer is unavailable this week, the vast majority of replies I saw on Twitter played the Mizzou fatalist card instead of being grateful for an unexpected break. 
    I'll say I think some folks in the media are accountable for the constant doom and gloom. Every time a receiver drops a touchdown or the opponent hits a buzzer beater, there's an impulse among some of us on press row to instantly draw comparisons to the Fifth Down, the Flea Kicker or Tyus Edney - even though those were historic, epic moments in college sports history that transcended Mizzou. Those moments live in their own realm of agony. A missed field goal against Eastern Michigan in a September game isn't time to revisit the Fifth Down. Sometimes we go back to that Fifth Down crutch for narrative purposes and we smash it over the head of our readers because it's convenient - but not always fitting or accurate. And so the doom and gloom becomes a self-perpetuating depression. That's why I learned to avoid references to those moments in Mizzou history. Give up the crutch and find new ways to document what happens. 
    Whos in your Final 4? Who is your Cinderella team?
    You'll have to check out my bracket at the P-D. Sign up and play along here:

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch $1,000,000 Bracketball 2021

    stltoday.comCome play this College Hoops Contest with me!
    I didn't go into my bracket thinking I'd have a couple SEC teams in the Final Four, but I like the draw for two teams in the league. 
    Who do you have in your Final Four bracket?
    Who’s going to cut down the nets?
    I believe the masked man from Chicago will be cutting down the nets.
    Fools gold or is Mizzou fb quickly becoming a heavy weight under Drink?
    A heavyweight? Mizzou went 5-5, showed a lot of promise during a challenging season. But the three best teams on the schedule outscored Mizzou by 78 points. The Tigers aren't punching in their weight class just yet. Can the new defense be better than average? That would be a big improvement. Can the passing game scare anyone on the schedule? That would be progress. Are there enough playmakers at receiver? They aren't proven yet. Can the O-line and D-line consistently win the line of scrimmage? Didn't happen last year. I'm bullish on this team's future. I think Drinkwitz has this team positioned to contend in the East ... but there's still a gap between this program and the best teams in the SEC.
    Dave - Good Morning and a Belated Happy St. Patrick's. With the recent turn of events at both KU and Tennessee (even LSU)with their ADs and Head Football Coaches, do you think colleges give to much individual autonomy in these positions without more accountability guidelines? I know that these are only two institutions compared to all the other universities out their that seem to not have any problems. However, when something like happens, it always start with just a few individuals that have so much authority that can take down a program. Thank You
    I don't know if it's any different from the business world or the government. People are put in charge to run the show and sometimes they prove to be wildly inept or corrupt and then have to be replaced. College sports is a business. At some schools, it's more like a monarchy. Eventually, though, if enough things go wrong on the watch of leaders, they'll face some comeuppance.
    CM mentioned fresh legs. I say a 3 to 5 point win against OU. Am I correct Mr Cleo?
    I picked Mizzou to win the game and feel better about it after De'Vion Harmon was ruled out. But Oklahoma has shown it can beat quality teams this year. The Sooners beat Alabama while missing two of their best players. They took down West Virginia a couple times. I think it's an evenly matched game, which is what it should be when you match the Nos. 32 an 33 teams in the field.
    Can MIZ upset the Zags?
    Better worry about the Sooners first. Otherwise, I don't see Gonzaga being seriously challenged until the Elite Eight.
    Dave - It's early, but who do you see standing out and getting a lot of playing at the receivers position? Also, Dove was such a surprise contributor last year. How did he not get more playing time before Drink arrived? Thank You
    What affect do you think Oklahoma's loss of De'Vion Harmon will have on the outcome of Saturday's game? Thanks, Dave.
  • He plays a ton of minutes and is a capable scorer. Of his field goal attempts, 39 percent are from behind the arc, but he's not a great 3-point shooter (33 percent) but more than capable of putting up points. Very efficient shooter inside the arc. Kruger said he'll split up minutes among three other players. So they won't necessarily count on any one of them individually to replace his production.
  • Hi Dave,

    We've heard a lot about Lovett and Cooper, and I think they are going to improve our receiving dramatically. What have you heard/seen about some of the other new offensive pieces such as Javian Hester, Taj Butts, and Ryan Hoerstkamp?

    Butts isn't on campus yet, so hard to get a read on what he'll do this year. Hoerstkamp hasn't gotten his jersey number yet this spring. I watched the tight ends go through some drills the other day. He's got good hands. Not a huge frame, but if he can pack on more muscle he'll look the part. Hester brings the offense some good size on the outside. Big target. I'll be interested to see if he can make an impact and push some of the older guys like Dove, Chism and Knox.
    Knox is an interesting case. He's out this spring while recovering from surgery. He was a better fit last year in the slot, but now you've got Cooper and Lovett as options there. Does Knox go back outside? Lovett can play on the outside, too. It's certainly better to have options. 
    Mizzou in big dance and CM h8erz speaking up a lot. Seems like they're focusing on next season and recruiting classes
    I understand if folks aren't fired up about the incoming recruiting class, but they're probably forming those opinions solely on recruiting rankings not actual observations. I think the two guys from Springfield can help this team next year. And Mizzou is going to hit the transfer market hard. The staff feels good about its chances to add some impact players. We'll see. Should be a busy April and May.
    Fell like Odoms team always had back against the wall. Drinks teams seem to be tge aggressor. Fair?
    I don't know about that. Aggressive how? Play-calling? Scheme? Blitzes? Deep passes? The knock on Odom's first two teams was that the offense was too aggressive under Heupel and would have benefited from easing off the gas. I associate man to man defense with being aggressive and I thought last year's team played too much man defense and got predictable and stubborn with its coverages. 
    Excited about Wilks opportunist D. How many take aways last year and your prediction for this year please
    Mizzou's defense had nine takeaways in 10 games last year, tied for last in the SEC. It was the first time since joining the SEC that Mizzou averaged fewer than one takeaway per game. Compare that to 2013 and 2014, MU's last two really good teams: In those years, Dave Steckel's defense forced 57 takeaways in 28 games. 
    I'd say anything less than 15 would be disappointing for 2021 in a regular 12-game schedule. 
    Do have statistics on the MU BB recruits for their senior years?
  • Not at my fingertips. I would think Google could be your ally here.
    Is Dave planning on hitting up Broad Ripple?
  • Not sure of any plans yet for Indy other than watching some basketball.
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