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.

    OK, chatters. Plenty to discuss today. Let's get to it.
    What is the ceiling for CM in terms of rings and recruiting?
    Let's start off with a ceiling question. I'm not sure how anyone knows the answer to the ceiling questions. Martin has averaged 20 wins a season in his 13 years. He's taken each of his last three programs to the NCAA Tournament but has yet to grab one of the coveted low seeds. It's fair to expect him to have a team every year that competes for an NCAA at-large and with the right roster make a March push in the postseason. Is that a high ceiling? Not necessarily. But ceilings are meant to broken.
    Here's a head coach's first seven seasons at a Power 5 program:
    14-15
    19-14, NIT 2nd round
    12-19
    20-10, NIT 2nd round
    22-13, NIT quarterfinals
    19-15, NIT 1st round
    25-10, NCAA 1st round
    Nothing spectacular there, right? But then his recruiting perked up. 
    Here are his last five years:
    26-9, NCAA 2nd round
    23-12, NCAA Elite 8
    29-8, NCAA Sweet 16
    26-5, NCAA canceled
    16-6, NCAA Sweet 16 (current)
    That's Florida State's Leonard Hamilton. His track record is hardly unique. The country is full of coaches who produced modest results early and then picked up steam and build consistent winners. But if you would have asked about Hamilton's ceiling at FSU after his first four years - and also based the answer on his results at Oklahoma State and Miami - the expectations wouldn't be great. 
    So, my point is, there's not a lot of sense in projecting a ceiling, especially in today's game with so many moving parts from year to year. Roster building is a one-year-at-a-time challenge in 2021. Turnover is rampant everywhere. This transfer cycle is going to have a major impact on MU's 2021-22 season - and the same will be true a year from now. 
    Good morning Dave,
    Thumbs-up to the in-game decisions made by Coach to sit his team's leading scorer in the Oklahoma game. He earned my respect by sending a strong message not only to the guard he benched but to the rest of the team. Keep up the good work Coach Martin and let's go get some grad tranfers and JUCO's to fill the gaps! Talk to me.
    I asked a staff member shortly after the game if Pinson was hurt. Replay was pretty snappy: "Not hurt, doesn't guard." It's natural to fixate on the offensive stats, but Pinson was letting OU's guards blow by him regularly in that game. Dru Smith had a hard job trying to stay in front of Austin Reaves, but OU's other guards off the ball, whether that was Harkless or Gibson, didn't have any resistance when they were matched against Pinson. He tried two lob passes to Tilmon on consecutive possessions that went nowhere. The first one nearly connected. The second one was terrible. Then he tried throwing a pass behind his head from the top of the key that went nowhere. Once again, zero free throw attempts and he settled for 3s and went 0 of 3. Martin was clearly fed up and believed Buggs gave them a better chance to win late in the game.
    Tough call for the coach there. Remember the home loss to Ole Miss: Pinson was on the bench for the entire 15-2 second-half run that got Mizzou back in the game. Buggs was the point guard during the whole stretch. But when the Tigers fell behind by a couple possessions late in the game, Martin went with Pinson over Buggs - and fans on Twitter roasted him for that decision. So, this time, when Pinson is having a bad game, he goes with Buggs - and gets roasted again. In the OU game, Mizzou needed a ball-handler on the floor to get Dru Smith the ball to score. He was the hot hand. 
    Why do you think some of our high ranking recruits don’t get with CM? Is it his way or the highway ?
    First of all, Pinson was not a high-ranking recruit. He was a player who outperformed his ranking: Three-star point guard ranked No. 248 nationally by 247. 
    Not every coach is for every player. It's no different with Eli Drinkwitz either. Just to recap ... 
    Blake Harris was a nightmare. His parents were all over Martin after some games early his first season because he wasn't playing enough. He's since transferred a couple times and this year averaged 8 points and 3 turnovers per game at North Carolina A&T.
    Mario McKinney was a recruiting mistake. Bad fit for the locker room. He committed to New Mexico State yesterday after a junior college detour but didn't last the whole season at his juco program. There was hope that Mizzou could land EJ Liddell if it took McKinney because McKinney played up the "package deal." That backfired.
    Tray Jackson had tremendous upside. I thought that situation could have been salvaged last year. But he wasn't as invested as the staff wanted him. He barely got off the bench at Seton Hall this year. 
    Ultimately if you're recruiting guys who don't fit your culture then that falls on the coaching staff, but it's hardly uncommon. At last check there are more than 800 players in the transfer portal. Not everyone works out. 
    Which incoming freshman/transfer in football has impressed you the most so far in the spring
    Realus George Jr. looks like someone who's going to get some action at D-tackle. Mizzou has a lot of bodies there. Depth should be a strength.
    Mookie Cooper is as fast as advertised. Drinkwitz will find ways to get the ball in his hands.
    Dominic Lovett is a natural wideout. Good hands. Finds ways to get open. 
  • Any former Mizzou players a possibility for Kimmie English asst coaches?
    Off the top of my head I can't think of any other former Mizzou players who are in coaching right now who would make the jump to a Division I staff.
    Is it tome for CM to change coaching style and be more excited? I see other coaches like musselman, Oates, etc really pumped up. CM seems to level. I wanna see some norm in him
    You don't watch Mizzou basketball if you haven't seen Martin get excited on the sideline. Seriously. There's not a coach in America who burns more calories on the sideline. He's loud. He's animated. He celebrates. 
    Yes, Musselman jumps on the scorer's table and celebrates like a child after wins, but I'm pretty sure that has zero impact on winning games.
    Any good transfers that we may have a shot out in bball?
    There are more than 800 in the portal. Mizzou is reaching out to many. Just a couple here that could fit what they need:
    Kansas City combo guard Brandon McKissic: 6-5 senior from St. Louis. (SLUH). Aside from being from the best high school in the world, he averaged 17 points per game, 3.3 assists and shot 43 % from 3-point range and is considered an elite defender. 
    Green Bay combo guard Amari Davis: 6-3 sophomore from Ohio orginally. Averaged 17 points this year. Not much of a 3-point shooter (28%) but has improved greatly after not making any 3s as a freshman. 
    Pittsburgh has a couple guards in the portal. So does Indiana. 
    I'd make a call to Marvin Johnson, a 6-6 sophomore point guard from Eastern Illinois who led Jay Spoonhour's team in scoring, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks. 
    Was the XP and CM testy through the year ?
  • I was surprised he came back for his junior year based on conversations I had over the summer. When players were allowed to return home during quarantine let's just say the communication wasn't great from Pinson's end. Once the season tipped off, Martin was candid after games when he thought Pinson wasn't playing to his strengths and going off script when it came to game plans/scouting reports.
  • Are the incoming freshman going to be able to reciprocate our men’s bball record ? Or will next year be another .500 or less year
    Reciprocate the record? You mean match this year's record? Mizzou can't expect five freshmen - one of whom is coming off ACL surgery - to replace all the production from an NCAA Tournament team that loses at least six players from its rotation. The transfer market has to produce some key contributors. Some of the freshmen will have to part of the rotation, but there aren't just plug-and-play guys who will be instant productive starters in the SEC.
    What’s the scoop on why Mizzou wouldn’t be a fit for C Fletcher
    1. He wasn't playing much for a bad Kentucky team before Dec. 19.
    2. Had a very public meltdown on Dec. 19 over his lack of playing time. Had to be sent home for a week.
    3. Allowed to rejoin the team but still couldn't get minutes for a historically bad Kentucky team.
    There's some risk there, obviously. And there should be some questions about how he fits into your rotation as an undersized forward who doesn't shoot from the perimeter. Does the upside outweigh the risk? 
    Also, and this is a real dilemma Martin and Drinkwitz face when taking on a player from St. Louis: If this backfires what's the collateral damage? When a Mizzou player from any other part of the country doesn't work out in Columbia, there's no lasting effect. But when a St. Louis player doesn't work out at Mizzou, instantly the questions surface: Does Coach Martin/Drinkwitz/Odom/Pinkel/Anderson/Stewart have a St. Louis problem? There's a strange groupthink dynamic in STL and a quirky power the region holds over Mizzou, but it's real. I once asked a Mizzou head coach - I won't say when or which sport - about his early impressions on the St. Louis area when it comes to recruiting: "It's a strange-ass place."
    Does MP Sr still live in Columbia. Or is he coaching somewhere
    He's been an assistant coach for the Hickman High School girls team. I figure he'll be involved in Michael Jr's new AAU program he's building in Columbia.
    Who leads us on receiving yards and rushing yards in 2021?
    Rushing: Tyler Badie
    Receiving: Keke Chism ... Tough call really. I don't think there's one obvious No. 1 receiver. 
    I know you don’t have time, and the clicks don’t warrant following the WBB team closely, but have you by chance had any side conversations since the WNIT with any informed insiders about the team’s showing? Losing is one thing, but losing how they did was alarming. Makes me wonder if Pingeton has lost the room, or maybe she needs to shuffle her staff to get someone in who can teach defense??
  • I didn't buck up the $30 to watch a live stream of WNIT games, but not having Hayley Frank available was clearly a factor. Blackwell gets all the attention, but Frank is every bit as valuable. Plus, it's natural for any team playing in a lesser postseason tournament to lack motivation in games like that. Are people questioning the SLU mens' team for the same reasons after they dropped an NIT game to an average (at best) Mississippi State team? Talk about a team and a coach who avoids scrutiny in this market. 
    Disappointing season for Mizzou WBB, but it's hard to come down too harsh on a team that lost so much time for COVID reasons - which is why, apparently, SLU's men's team gets a free pass this year. Pingeton's team played some of its best games against the best teams in the SEC but just couldn't finish. Next season is pivotal for her and the program going forward. I'm not saying she's on the hot seat, but the farther you get from the NCAA Tournament it can get harder to get back. She has recruited pretty well. 
  • If other basketball players are going to transfer, can we except to hear about that fairly soon?
  • While a non sports sports question can you tell me why the Sunday sports section is the only one that comes in two separate parts?
  • Dave, I'm your biggest fan. You do a great job. I have a couple of questions for you maybe more. What's the skinny on the freshman coming into the BBall program? Do you expect any more roster departures? How was the team chemistry this year? Do you think we have a good chance of getting the transfer from UMKC? Thanks
    My biggest fan? That's a bold statement.
    1. Of the five freshmen, Anton Brookshire should get a chance to play right away on the perimeter unless there transfer portal delivers multiple point guards/combo guards who can play immediately. Martin really likes Trevon Brezile's upside as a shot-blocker/rebounder. Yaya Keita is recovering from ACL surgery and has started practicing/working out and still has another six months-plus to recover before the season. Sean Durugordon has been with the team since January, so he should have a headstart on knowing the system and all the time demands that are new to freshmen. I'm not sure how Kaleb Brown fits in. He's been more of a point guard in high school but I would think he plays more on the wing in college. 
    2. I don't know about chemistry issues, but I didn't sense things were always hunky dory, especially when you need a midseason team meeting to clear the air on things that aren't clicking on the court. I suspected all along that had a lot to do with the way Pinson was playing at the time - because he started playing better/more engaged after the team meeting. Players were clearly frustrated with his play midway through the season when you read between the lines during postgame interviews.
    3. I'd give Mizzou a fighting chance to land McKissic. We'll see. 
    I have a ton of questions but I will just focus on mizzou basketball future. I am a huge supporter of Martin one of my hobbies is doing a lot of information gathering on recruiting and transfer portal. With the 4 guys coming back and the 5 3 star recruits we are sitting at 14th in the Sec we have 2 scholarships right now Why does martin keep wilmore and chang on scholarship when we can get much better players and we have offered guard from umkc and green bay do you know who else we have offered I belong to stock risers and rivals there are a ton of good players in portal last thing is it possible martin has been told no pressure to win next 2 years bring in 2 sold recruiting classes and let them develop and year 3 we will be very competitive thanks Dave just dont want to go back to kim anderson years
  • Wilmore and Chang are huge question marks this offseason. Martin said recently that Wilmore has to "love the game" more if he's ever going to develop into a productive player. That's a red flag for me. He also needs to get in better shape. He's not fit to play heavy minutes at this level. He needs a full and productive offseason with Nicodemus Christopher before he's ever going to be a rotation player in this program. He was late to report to the team this summer, so he never got a chance to get in ideal shape. 
    As for Chang, Martin planned to redshirt him this season before the NCAA decided this year wouldn't count against any players' eligibility. I'm not sure exactly why they took a chance on him, but if they see some value in keeping him and he wants to stay, then I assume he'll stick around. Nothing would surprise me at this point. 
  • Are there any players in the transfer portal that are high on Mizzou? I know they have some offers out but any seriously considering joining the Tigers?

    Also, any truth to the rumors Caleb Love may leave UNC?
    Most of transfer candidates don't really show their hand at this stage of the game until they actually commit somewhere. At this point Mizzou is shopping the market like everyone else and putting out offers. 
    I know there are rumblings in Chapel Hill about Love, but I haven't read anything that strongly suggests he may transfer. He had a terrible year shooting from 3 (26.6%), but he'd be a high priority for Mizzou - along with many others - if he enters the portal. 
    Was the departure of Ryan Walters seen as a positive by his players? Are they welcoming a new system or wondering where they may fit in to whatever Drink is pushing?
    They're not going to trash the guy publicly. Players seemed to genuinely like Walters. But the response to Wilks has been very positive. Again, players aren't going to get on an Zoom and say anything negative about anyone. It's one of the downside of virtual press conferences. Everything is said through a filter when everything they say is being heard and recorded - not to mention they have a Mizzou staffer or two standing over their shoulder as they're doing the interviews. So, I don't put much stock in the answers we get in those settings when it comes to those questions.
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