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.

    Welcome, friends, to another Mizzou Chat. Ben Frederickson and I just recorded this week's podcast. Now it's time to take your questions for the next couple hours. Let's get started.
    Any bigs on the mbb transfer market that might be on Mizzou’s radar?
    You're  not going to find many skilled 6-10 big men still available. Those are hard to find. Martin said yesterday Mizzou wants to add someone who can provide "inside activity" and "inside presence" and is looking at forwards who range from 6-6 to 6-10. We know one of those targets has been Daniel Oladapo, a 6-7 junior from Oakland. He's intriguing. Efficient inside scorer. Productive rebounder. Gets to the foul line a lot - though not much of a free throw shooter. 
    Creighton's Christian Bishop is still available, but there's fierce competition for the 6-7 junior. 
    There has been reported contact with 2021 recruit Langston Wilson, a four-star 6-9 forward who backed out of his commitment to Alabama. Lots of competition for Wilson.
    Dave when athlete enters the transfer portal does he have to leave the school right away
    They generally leave at the end of the current semester. They have to be in good academic standing to complete the transfer process, so they have to finish out their semester of coursework.
    What happened to Nick Bolton’s draft stock? Seems like he has dropped out of the first round.
    He was always considered a fringe first-round prospect, which means late first or early second. I still think that's true. He didn't put up the best teams in the short-area quickness drills at his pro day, and that might have influenced some of the current projections. I'd be surprised if he lasts too far into the second round. No reason to think he won't be an NFL starter sooner than later.
    Mizzou Bball still has 2 openings for next year, are they trying to fill them? It appears that they are short of big men and hopefully they are going to add at least 1 big...
    Yes, Cuonzo Martin said yesterday they're recruiting to fill both spots. He'd be OK leaving one spot open if they don't find someone who matches what they want. That's not uncommon. Mizzou had only 12 scholarship players this past season. It frees up a spot for the 2022 class when, as of right now, they'll be replacing only none player: Javon Pickett. Obviously a lot can change between now and the start of next year's offseason, but this recruiting cycle has proven you can find immediate help in the portal. 
    The team's priority right now is finding another scorer in any shape or form. They also want another player who can supply some inside presence. 
    You might have updated this in the past, but was curious about how Tyler Macon looked in the spring game or any additional intel you have. Will he beat out Brady Cook as the backup?
    I was covering the NCAA Tournament during the spring game, so I didn't get to see Macon up close. I would suspect he'll open preseason camp as the No. 3 quarterback behind Bazelak and Cook. He showed some flashes in the spring also at times looked like a freshman who hadn't played in a competitive game in more than a year. He's got some upside for sure. He doesn't have Bazelak's arm, and I'm not sure if he's as an elite athlete outside the pocket, but he can definitely make some plays with his feet. It should be an interesting competition with Cook, who I thought looked solid in the No. 2 role both last year and in the spring glimpses I had.
    Are you getting any sense that Torrence Watson is generating much interest in the Transfer Portal?
  • He committed to Elon last night. Elon plays in the Colonial Athletic Association with the likes of Drexel, Hofstra, James Madison. I wouldn't consider the CAA a mid-major conference, more of a Division I low-major. A one-bid league. I'm not sure how much portal interest Watson generated. He's surely familiar with Elon coach Mike Schrage, who was an assistant at Ohio State when Watson first committed to the Buckeyes.
  • 2 thoughts/questions on Cuonzo ... one positive & one concerning. First on a positive note, if Jontay Porter doesn’t get injured, it feels like he had All SEC potential in 2018-19 season with upside of leading Mizzou to NCAA berth. If Cuonzo had led Mizzou to NCAA in 3 of first 4 years, it feels like fan heat would be much reduced. Thoughts?

    Second, the concern. Cuonzo is characterized as a tough minded, defensive HC. In fact, that seems like a talking point on all Mizzou BB broadcasts. The reality is his teams don’t play that way. They’re actually poor defenders in all metrics except for past year with Dru Smith’s ability to steal. If I was to look around, Kelvin Sampson & his teams’ play seems more like the real life example of the type of HC & defensive team play we’re supposed to be getting from Cuonzo & his teams. Cuonzo’s rep & reality aren’t meshing. Am I missing something?
    Yes, Jontay would have been an All-SEC caliber player as a sophomore, maybe a player of the year candidate. That team would have been much better with a nucleus of Jontay, Tilmon, Geist, Pinson, Mark Smith, etc. Good enough to make the NCAA Tournament? Maybe.
    I wrote at the end of this past season that Mizzou's defensive numbers dropped off in the second half of the season. They got away from playing Martin's style of rugged halfcourt defense and rebounding. A couple factors: When you commit to playing at a faster pace on offense  - which is something Martin has done in the last year and will continue doing next season - you're going to give your opponent more possessions to score. That's the sacrifice for playing an up-tempo style. Otherwise, I thought Pinson's perimeter defense became a major weakness. Pickett's ankle injury robbed him of his quickness and ability to defend on the perimeter. Mitchell Smith is a versatile defender in short bursts, but he probably played more minutes than what's ideal. Some of that was related to Tilmon's two-game absence. So, yes, I agree. This team didn't defend like Martin's teams usually defend. They gave up a higher percentage of 3s than any of his three previous teams and fouled too much. 
    That's why the staff wanted to upgrade the team's overall athleticsm, especially on the perimeter. Martin believes the newcomers, both transfers and freshmen, will help in that area.
    Do you sense the CM came across as relieved in his news conference and was actually excited about essentially starting all over with a new roster?
    Yes, very much so. Even more so privately. He genuinely cares about the players who are leaving the program and wants to see them do well. But he's energized by the restart.
    Could this potentially be the end of the road for Beiser barring a major turnaround in SEC play?
    I don't know if Mizzou has the appetite right now for a baseball coaching change. If you are willing to pay a buyout and find a new coach who will all but likely command a higher salary then you're really just starting from scratch again and asking a new coach to build a completely new roster - with zero guarantee that it'll make a bit of difference or - and here's the real issue - that anyone will notice the difference. This is a program that can't even raise enough money for an outfield turf. In a couple months, Mizzou has raised nearly all of the $32 million to cover the new football practice facility - because that's something donors care about. MU has struggled for years to tap into its donor base to pay for infield/outfield turf. In that financial climate, I'm not sure it makes sense to invest more money - money that doesn't actually exist - in fixing a problem that might not have a realistic solution. 
    This current team has struggled pitching. Veteran arms have struggled. They love the young arms. They're just not physically ready to take over. Tough situation. 
    After looking at Spring Practice, where do you see some of the best/most important position battles to watch moving forward?
  • The inside linebacker position next to Devin Nicholson ... mostly because Blaze Alldredge hasn't played a snap yet with his new team. He'll have to unseat Chad Bailey for that job this summer.
    Starting jobs across the D-line don't really matter because a ton of players will see time there. 
    Who are your starting free/strong safeties? Martez Manuel has one job locked down - and might make my preseason All-SEC team. JC Carlies seemed to be the top choice at the other spot after making the move from cornerback. Can Jalani Williams push for a role coming off surgery? Who are the top corners and nickelback/third safety? Chris Shearin got a lot of work at the nickel/rover/hybrid safety position after opting out last year. Can Jarvis Ware recover from injury to regain a starting corner job? Ennis Rakestraw is established as one starter. Ish Burdine is the other top option.
    Offensively, you'll see a steady rotation at receiver and tight end. Tyler Badie is the No. 1 running back, though others will get carries. No question at QB. Offensive line still has some jobs up for grabs on the left side. 
  • Good morning Dave,
    From what I've read looks like we're closer to the one time transfer without sitting out a year being official. We've already seen BB. Will it start for FB with the upcoming season or immediately? Do you think we'll see the wholesale transferring like BB? Seems like we already see more of the skilled positions, especially QBs, move more often.
    The Division I Council approved the one-time transfer rule yesterday and later this month the NCAA Board of Directors is expected to give it final approval effective immediately, which means an undergraduate transfer like Mookie Cooper will be ruled immediately eligible to play for Missouri. 
    I don't think we'll see as much player movement in football. Basketball players generally expect to play immediately and contribute as freshmen. There are certain positions on a football field where players begin college expecting to need a few years to contribute, mostly along the line of scrimmage. Also, there are far more Division I options for a college basketball player looking to transfer in terms of the number of teams. And there's a cultural difference within the two sports, too: You generally see a lot more player movement in high school and grassroots basketball than we see with football players prior to college. Hopping from school to school and AAU team to AAU team is common at the prep basketball level, to the point where that same approach and mentality bleeds over into the college ranks - and probably will moving forward at a higher rate than football. At least that's my unscientific theory.
    Why would Watson leave a good SEC school to go to a Div 1 team? Was he basically told to leave?
    He was not told to leave per se from what I understand, but he wasn't going to get more minutes over the incoming freshmen and transfers at the guard positions. His role decreased each season at Mizzou. There was no reason to expect that trend would reverse next season. His talents/athleticism seem better suited for a mid-major level team. I'm surprised he didn't end up at a better program considering he was a four-star recruit - but it's telling that he ended up at a middling program in a low-major conference.
    It's early, but have been real impressed with Drinkwitz's recruiting. According to 247 Sports Composite rankings, he's not only getting quantity but seeing much higher average scores per recruit. I recognize it's early, but do you get the indication that this current staff is just more energetic and aggressive in identifying and pursuing talent. While I recognize that his social media skills are much better than Odom, do you also think he just has more of a passion for recruiting, while Odom is more concerned with the coaching/development aspect?
    I don't know if it's just about passion for recruiting as much as it's just being a better recruiter and surrounding himself with coaches who are better recruiters. It's all about selling a sales pitch. That requires either great charisma or a proven track record. I'd say in Eli's first months on the job, it was more about charisma. Now he has a body of work, albeit one season, to use as part of his sales pitch. But the charisma part can't be overlooked. He's got an engaging personality, and you combine that with his vision for the program ... facility upgrades ... coaches who match that charisma ... and suddenly you've got made headway on the recruiting trail and eventually your recruits start selling that vision on their own. 
    He's got a good thing going right now. There's no need to trash the former coach and his regime and their efforts. Mizzou fans should be excited about their program and its future. 
    What's the status of other SEC basketball teams going into next season. Any teams returning a lot of their starters or are most like Mizzou in transition with many coming and going?
  • Most if not all are in major transition mode. Here is the latest count courtesy VerbalCommits.com.
    Players leaving via portal, including graduates/super seniors 
    7: South Carolina
    6: Missouri
    5: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M
    4: Auburn, Florida, Tennessee
    3: Arkansas, LSU
    2: Kentucky
    Total: 58
    Players arriving via portal
    4: Georgia, Florida
    3: Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas
    2: LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, 
    1: Alabama, Vanderbilt, Tennessee
    Total: 26
    Players testing NBA draft 
    3: LSU, Kentucky, Florida
    2: Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee
    1: Alabama, Arkansas, Vanderbilt
    Total: 18
  • Was Frank Haith just ahead of his time by relying on transfers more than HS recruits? I remember we were pretty harsh on him for not recruiting HS players better.
    He wasn't the only one getting transfers, but he did a good job compiling some really talented transfers: Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Alex Oriakhi were excellent. Earnest Ross and Keion Bell were quality transfers, both productive starters. 
    The problem was Haith didn't supplement the transfers with enough quality high school players. 
    What is the strongest position MIZ fb? Not counting the plethora of QBs...
    I wouldn't put QBs on top of the list. Bazelak is a legit SEC starter. Cook made a couple cameos last year. The freshman hasn't played an organized football game in more than a year. Let's pump the brakes on declaring Mizzou's majestic QB depth.
    I'd say the defensive line is probably the strongest based on depth alone. Lots of SEC-tested players: Whiteside, Byers, Robinson, Utsey, Key, Turner, Jeffcoat, McGuire, Hansford. Then two juco transfers in George and Robledo who will see the field in some capacity.
    Otherwise, I think the interior O-line positions are promising: Cook, Griffin and Delgado at guard and Maietti at center. 
    Wide receiver, if everyone is healthy, has a good mix of outside possession receivers and dangerous slot receivers. 
    Does Cuonzo have another tourney team? Wasnt Baylor a bunch of transfer gets?
    Yes, I think Martin will take another Mizzou team to the NCAA Tournament. 2022? 2023? Let's see how these rosters across the SEC shake out. Still a lot of moving parts. 
    Yes on Baylor. The Bears played an eight-man rotation, four of whom were transfers: Mitchell (Auburn), Teague (UNC-Asheville), Flagier (Presbyterian) and Tchatchoua (UNLV). 
    FPI has MIZ fb @ 34. I would say more like 18. UTx @ 12??? With a new HC new system and an unamed qb1 who has never started a game.
    I think No. 34 is a little low for Missouri but not unjust by any means. This team still has some major unanswered questions about the defense. It was a pretty lousy defense by season's end and has to replace two of its three best players (Bolton, Gillespie) - and the third (Jeffcoat) didn't play a snap this spring.
    Texas has some intriguing returning pieces on offense. I had Texas No. 12 in my way too early preseason top 25 way back in January.

    Can anyone unseat Alabama in 2021? Maybe another SEC foe

    STLtoday.com: Dave Matter puts together a ridiculously early preseason top 25 for the 2021 college football season.
    Is Drink & Co sealing the borders and metro areas better than Pinkel?
  • Pinkel did an outstanding job his first year getting most if not all of Mizzou's in-state targets. He had several other years where he landed the bulk of the Power 5 targets in the state. More often than not he got the most important players in the state or just beyond the state border: Gabbert, Richardson, DGB, Beckner, Lock, etc.
    Without question Drinkwitz has done a good job with the in-state recruits, but he's not getting all of them - and not getting the top-rated guys in the state yet. Using the Rivals rankings, Mizzou missed on No. 1, 2, 3 and 5 in the state for 2021. Those players went to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa and Louisville. The No. 1 player in the 2022 class, St. Mary's receiver Kevin Coleman, hasn't included Mizzou among his top choices. No. 2 on the list, John Burroughs D-end Tyson Ford, committed to Notre Dame. Seven of the other top 20 recruits in the state have committed somewhere: four to Mizzou, three elsewhere (Stanford, Oklahoma State, Baylor). Wideout Luther Burden, the No. 1 recruit in Illinois now that he's transferred to East St. Louis, is committed to Oklahoma but is still being recruited by Missouri.
    So, long story short, still work to be done in the state for this staff.
  • If you were in charge of the last two scholarships what type of players would you be targeting? Post player, ball handler, 3 pt specialist?
    A 3-point shooter who can handle the ball and a big man who can rebound and get an inside bucket when you need one.
    Dave, thanks again for your coverage! I'm a long way from Mizzou and it's always great to hear about my school. Question on the media that covers college sports. The new transfer portal has been wild, but I've noticed the sports media is all in on pushing for the right to transfer without sitting out a year. I know the fall back position is "the coaches leave, why can't the players", but with over 1,200 in the portal, it's opened pandora's box for b-ball. Why do you think is a uniformed position by the media? No one is say for the sake of continuity players should have to at least sit out a year. i'm sure the next position will be the players should get paid...
    I'm not in the pay-the-players camp, but I do think they should  be allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness with outside income. That change is coming soon. If a local car dealership wants to stick Connor Bazelak or Kobe Brown in a local commercial and pay them for their appearance, there's nothing wrong with that. If I can get paid to write about these players - and get paid to talk about them on radio and TV - then they should be able to get paid for doing commercial work. 
    Before this coming year, college athletes have been able to play immediately after transferring in the sports of softball, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field, cross country, swimming, soccer, golf, tennis, field hockey, water polo, bowling, fencing, rifle, rowing and lacrosse. So, why then should athletes in basketball, baseball, football and men's ice hockey be forced to sit out a year after transferring? It never made any sense. 
    Looks like Coach Martin really likes bigger guards that can get their fair share of rebounds. All three transfers look to have good size and decent rebounding numbers. How does the (smaller) freshman guard from Kickapoo fit into the equation? What does he bring to the table?
    Anton Brookshire can play point guard and could be one of their best perimeter shooters next year. Amari Davis is more of a shooting guard who can score at all three levels. DaJuan Gordon played the two (shooting guard) almost exclusively for K-State this year but believes he's more of a three on the wing. He'll be able to match up defensively all over the place. And, like you said, he's a productive rebounder, as is Boogie Coleman. They've both got good size for perimeter players.
    Just curious. The new transfer rule will effect other sports, yet we don't hear much of it in WBB. Do you see an upcoming groundswell for them? What about baseball?
    Baseball has a lot of player movement from the junior college ranks. I'm not sure how much Division I to Division I transfer movement we'll see in that sport, but it's natural to expect more without the sit-out requirement. I'd expect to see a lot more transfers in women's basketball.
  • I'll be the first to tell you that I know nothing about the intricacies of college sports; but isn't allowing players to profit off of their likeness just going to lead to boosters at blue blood programs paying stupid high amounts of money for a cameo spot at XYZ Automotive to attract top recruits? How would you get around that or does it even matter?
    You don't think there are rich boosters at places like Mizzou, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Boise State and Iowa State that can also pay athletes for their name, image and likeness? Of course there are. How did Mizzou just raise close to $30 million in a couple months for the practice facility. It wasn't all in one lump sum. There's money everywhere in college sports. There are wealthy donors that own businesses in college towns across the country. Alabama can only sign 25 players a year. There are plenty of other great prospects who can get in on the action. If anything, allowing businesses to pay players for their name, imagine and likeness could be the great equalizer in terms of schools landing top talent. A lot of the money on the table for college athletes is going to come from social media sites and profiting off their name and likeness through Instagram, Tik Tok, etc,. The schools are already aligning themselves with branding companies to help manage the process. And it's not just the blue bloods. Bennett Durando wrote about this very topic a few months ago:

    Inside Opendorse: New Mizzou partnership foreshadows NCAA's potential name, image and likeness rule change

    Company promises to give Mizzou edge as athletes profit off their likenesses.
    There is a Mookie and Boogie playing on Mizzou sports teams. No question, I just wanted to point out how great this is.
    Speaking of WBB, do you have any insight into whether there will be more transfers in (or out)? RP seems to be very focused on a particular type of player and seems to miss on many of the more athletic players and certainly the big...we get eaten alive every year down low.
    I'm not aware of any players leaving the program other than Shug Dickson, who was a senior this past season but wants to play somewhere else as a graduate.
    I think a substantial part of the portal participants will not be there in the future as this year reflects three/four years of players becoming transferees. Next year not as many will be eligible and most will find the portal to be no panacea.
    I also can’t argue with transferees – don’t most opt into the portal because they want to play? When 2/3/4 years of practice results in little playing time isn’t it time to move on? Who can blame players for wanting to play. That was always the reason a lot of QB’s transferred – essentially only 1 QB/team played.
    Rather than perpetually chasing the dream of playing for the Cardinals, I ultimately “transferred” to slo-pitch softball where I got to play.-
    Correct. Mathematically there should be fewer transfers next year because a large chunk of college athletes will have already transferred once - and the new rule only applies to athletes who have yet to transfer. Martin said yesterday he expects to see a big number every three or four years but not a super-sized portal every offseason. Remember, too, that next year seniors won't have the option for a free year of eligibility under the one-time COVID exception.
    OK, friends. That's all the time we have today. We'll do this again next week. Before logging off, be sure to listen to this week's new podcast, just recorded this morning. 
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