Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Happy Chat Day, chatters. I'll be here for the next few hours. Let's talk.
    Not sure how many games basketball wins but I really like this team. They play hard. Share the ball and can really rebound. Dave am I to optimistic.
    There was some promise on Tuesday. There's a hunger with this group. I think the transfers genuinely appreciate this opportunity to play on a big stage. I was really impressed with Coleman, Davis and DeGray, especially. DeGray is an undersized but athletic big who can do a little of everything and never stops hustling. 
    We're going to have to see how they match up with teams with legitimate bigs. We're going to have to see how they handle the ball. We're going to have to see how they shoot from 3. Still a lot to learn about this team.
    Is year 3 to quick to expect football to possibly win 8 games. Seems like year 4 is more likely in Drinks tenure.
    It's hard to project next year without knowing what the QB situation is going to look like and without knowing what the defense will look like. Is a healthy Bazelak the starter? Can Horn push him for the job? Cook? Macon? Who replaces Badie's production. 
    Let's take a glance at the 2022 schedule and where I'd set the line in terms of Mizzou will be favored by 10-plus ... Mizzou will be an underdog by 10-plus ... or single-digit spreads one way or the other (essentially toss-up games):
    Favored by 10-plus: at Middle Tennessee, vs. Abilene Christian, vs. Vandy, vs. New Mexico State
    Underdog by 10-plus: vs. Georgia, at Auburn, at Florida, at Tennessee
    Toss-up: vs. Kentucky, vs. Arkansas, at South Carolina, at Kansas State
    Looks like a 6-6 type of season, right? Got four very winnable games ... four where MU will be a decided underdog ... and four toss-up games. 
    Either way, it's a bit premature to be making any kind of specific predictions. The transfer portal has really changed how we make projections because teams can improve a position group dramatically like never before. 
    The freshman class is highly rated but very few from the class get any playing time. Are they a year away from helping or were they hyped to much in football.
    They're clearly a year away, at best. Wingo is a regular along the D-line. Lovett has played every week but clearly isn't ready to be a consistently productive receiver. DJ Jackson has gotten lots of snaps at corner. The staff is really high on Arden Walker. D-line coach Al Davis said last night on Tiger Talk that Wingo and Walker will be two leaders of the program one day.
    Otherwise, the freshmen are getting their reps in practice or recovering from injuries. Travion Ford has been recovering from injury and working scout team. He needs to get bigger and stronger before he's an impact defensive end. Ky Montgomery,  Jon Jones and Snoop Reeves missed the entire year with injuries. 
    Good morning Dave,
    Of all of the newcomers I saw play Tuesday night, to me, Ronny DeGray III was the most impressive. Should Coach consider him a starter at the 4 position with Kobe at 5? I know it's only one game, but he seems to play with a lot of confidence and 'floor sense'. Can you share more info about Ronny? Talk to me.
  • I think you'll see a lot of rotations with Brown and DeGray at the four and the five. Martin likes to open the game with a traditional big, even if he doesn't play starter minutes. He did that with Reed Nikko when Tilmon was unavailable a few years ago. I wouldn't get too consumed with the starting lineup. The final 35 minutes are more important than the first five.
    Hello Dave.

    I want to say that the student turnout was great on Tuesday and sounded loud buuuuut....every other section on TV looked empty. VERY empty. This has been a trend going back to the Mike Anderson days. I remember him imploring fans to show up. I watch other non-conference games in other arenas and they are much more full than Mizzou Arena. This has historically continued into conference games (albeit more full). Why don't they put the students on the side where the camera can actually see them at all times.

    Also,. the new AD needs to send out a mandate saying 'If you don't show up to games you forfeit your seats'. Frankly it's a BAD look and embarrassing. Even in decent games the last 10 years the alumni don't show up unless it's a top 20 conference game.
    The problem with the show-up-or-we'll-take-your-seats theory is you lose any incentive for charging fans for those high-dollar seats. You can't let fans pay for the cheaper seats knowing they can move down to empty seats in the more expensive section after the first 10 minutes. Then no one would ever pay for the good seats. Mizzou offers avenues for season-ticket holders to give away their tickets for individual games if they know they aren't using them.
    Dave - Who do you think will be the starting quarterback on Saturday against South Carolina? And, who is the primary back behind Tyler Badie? Thank You
    Don't know yet. Mizzou will put out the injury report around 4 today. My guess is Bazelak will be listed as questionable again. Drinkwitz sounded unsure on his radio show last night - or at least wasn't giving away any signals. 
    From what we saw on Saturday, I'd say Cook gives them a better chance to run the full offense in terms of throwing the ball downfield. Macon's passing touch on shorter throws is a concern, especially in this offense that relies on short, quick passes - and considering South Carolina has some great pass rushers that will make it hard to attempt a bunch of deep balls. Also, Cook is just as fast if not faster than Macon as a runner. Cook got his rushing yards on scrambles while Macon got his on designed runs. Cook is capable of running those same designed option plays.
    But if Bazelak can't go, I'd still expect some kind of rotation. I don't think one backup is dramatically better than the other that you should only play one.
    As for the No. 2 running back, I asked Drinkwitz if they're still searching for that guy this week. Here's his full answer: "We're looking for consistency. And it's not just the consistency in performance. It's a consistency in your day to day activities and how you go about your business in the weight room, your preparation, your practice habits, taking care of your body. If you can consistently do those things then you can be the number two tailback. But you can't show up one week and then not show up the next week or have different things play out like that. ... The biggest thing is the consistency with their preparation. Who can who can pick up blitzes,? Who can catch the ball out of the backfield? And then who can manage the easy stuff, which is showing up on time, being where you're supposed to be at the time you're supposed to be there?
    That tells me there's some frustration with how the other candidates are approaching their opportunity. Dawson Downing probably doesn't have the upside of the others in terms of pure talent - plus he won't be back next year - but he got the second-most snaps at Georgia because he's the guy who's earned the staff's trust. 
    You recently made a comment about the lack of access for reporters to the football team. I was wondering if anyone from the university has reached out to you about this or if you believe anything will change. Seems like a team with a losing record would be doing anything possible to keep the fans engaged.
    Yes, there have been several conversations between myself and others. On Tuesday, Drinkwitz addressed the situation from the Georgia postgame - no offensive players were made available to reporters - and he earnestly apologized for the mixup. It wasn't intentional on his part. He understands the media's role. We've had some productive exchanges on the topic. I think the situation will improve.
    And for the record, this week's player media availablility was as good as it's been all year. 
    Dave, have you seen or, based on information you have gathered, do you feel that the defense will show appreciable improvement over the remainder of the schedule? If so, the Tigers could salvage the season. Perhaps the better question: can they improve enough?
    The offense isn’t exactly a juggernaut, but if the defense could hold opponents to 30 or under, the last 1/4 of the season could lead to a bowl where the extra practices would be important in building toward continuity.
  • Great question. We'll have a better clue Saturday against a really physical South Carolina offense. 
    There was definitely some progress at Georgia. MU was much more physical along the line of scrimmage. The line got off blocks better than it had all season. The two linebackers played downhill. Blaze Alldredge was a much more credible SEC linebacker in that game. He had some really revealing comments yesterday on the topic. He basically said he wasn't prepared for the physicality when the season began. He was much better in the Georgia game - against a stout O-line and running game.
    So, will that play carry over? We've hit the fourth quarter of the regular season. Was Saturday a one-time thing or did the Tigers flip the switch? The answer will come Saturday. 
    Granted, nobody's saying the defense at Georgia was outstanding by any means. Alldredge had a great line yesterday: "We're finally finding the confidence that it takes to play as a halfway decent defense in the SEC." I applaud him for stopping short of calling this a decent defense. He understands they've struggled all year. 
    Dave, how can a 7-3 guy who plays 13 minutes not have a rebound? Also he had multiple chances under the basket and missed. He's as tall as the basket, why not just dunk it and get fouled?
    I'm sure there were some nerves at play. Wilmore hasn't played extensive minutes in front of a crowd like that. Of course at 7-3 he should be able to finish those gimmes at the rim. As for the rebounding, I can't really recall any plays where he was in position to grab a board. He was guarding a guy who mostly played on the perimeter. This team isn't expecting Wilmore to play like Shaq. He's done a great job getting in better shape and he will bring some value to this team in moments. But he's not a 20-minute a game big man. Still a role player. 
    Just a statement. Love seeing the boys diving for loose balls and hustling up and down the court. Love that gritty brand of basketball.
    I thought we saw more of that in the game Tuesday than any game last year. That kind of play is contagious. There's going to be some offensive lulls with this team. There will be nights the shots don't fall and they struggle against more skilled teams. But they'll play hard and I think fans will enjoy watching this group.
    Great idea on Matter's Morning Takeaways after MBB games! Hopefully when football subsides you’ll have time to do a few WBB games too.

    RE: DaJuan Gordon sitting out Tuesday night –– Do you have any details on what a "non-sanctioned summer league game” is? And what benefit the NCAA believes DaJuan received that warranted the penalty?
    Max Baker, our campus correspondent, will be handling Mizzou women's basketball coverage for us this season. We won't cover every game like we do the men's team but we'll cover some, plus some feature stories during the year. 
    There are summer basketball leagues played all over the country. They have to be certified by the NCAA if a college athlete wants to participate. Plus the player has to submit paperwork to his school's compliance department to be able to play in any certified league tournament. Gordon must have not gone through the right channels. I was told Mizzou appealed the NCAA ruling, but he still had to sit out one game. 
    If you haven't bought your tickets yet ... STL Sports on Tap is next Wednesday at Ballpark Village. I'll be there along with some of my P-D colleagues to talk all about the teams we cover. Get your tickets here and check out all the details.  

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sports on Tap | Tix to Party

    Join the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writers and columnists for an evening of food, drinks and St. Louis sports talk at Bally Sports Live! at Ballpark Village. Ask your burning questions, listen to stories about sports legends and hear season recaps and projections for your favorite teams - including the Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and more!

    Ben Frederickson will host a panel including Derrick Goold, Jeff Gordon, Benjamin Hochman, Rick Hummel, Dave Matter, Jim Thomas.

     The doors open at 5:30pm and the program starts at 6:30pm.

    Must be 21+ to attend.

    Masks are required, unless eating or drinking. Due to COVID protocols at venues the panelists visit to cover the teams, they will not be available for questions or comments before or after the event. We appreciate your understanding.

    Dave: A couple of questions: MBB: seems to me that Keita has way more upside at the 5 than Wilmore. Wilmore should be acknowledged for his weight loss but it doesn’t seem that he has the skill sets (hand//eye coordination, mobility) to be a factor, especially against the bigs in the SEC, whereas Keita appears to have the tools. Why not invest more floor time on Keita who seems to have more upside? FB: If CB can’t go against SC based on what you saw against GA to whom would you give more reps Macon or Cook?
  • Keita and Wilmore played the same amount of minutes. I think the more experience Keita gets - remember he missed all of last year with a knee injury - he might become a more prominent part of the rotation. Again, who starts means a lot less than who finishes. 
    As for the QB situation, I thought both backups did some promising things at Georgia. I'd lean toward Cook because I think he's much closer to Macon as a runner than Macon is to Cook as a passer. But I see value in playing both some.
    While a 43-6 final score was not the worst of the season. Georgia fans probably gave 39 points and took Georgia after watching Tennessee and TexasA&M win big in COMO. Longtime Tiger fans have endured in my lifetime scores of 77-0, 73-0, 62-0 and 55-0. So it wasn’t a surprise to lose big at Georgia. So where do we go from here? To me Saturday’s home game versus South Carolina is the biggest game of the year, not just to keep SC from becoming bowl eligible or to move MU one game closer to bowl eligibilty themselves, but to defend their home field against an opponent who has very similar results against opponents they have in common. In 1972 Nebraska beat MU 62-0 and played at Notre Dame the next week and to the surprise of everyone, beat ND 30-26. I hope the Tigers haven’t given up and are going throw in the towel and just play out the season. Avhome game like Saturday’s game are the games they have to win if Eli is ever going to get fans to be as enthusiastic about the Tigers as he is!
    Agreed. It's hard to signal progress on the field with a loss Saturday, especially if South Carolina wins easily.
    It's all about perspective, too. After the Georgia game I was talking with some friends who cover UGA and they were really impressed with Mizzou. They've been watching Georgia annihilate teams for two months and they thought MU gave UGA a much more physical test than just about everyone the Bulldogs have played. They thought the game was much closer than the actual score. 
    That said, I liked Drinkwitz's primary takeaway from the game. I think a lot of coaches would have praised their team's effort up and down after a game like that. He didn't. He wasn't close to being satisfied. He was disappointed. He thought his team missed a lot of chances to execute winning plays that would have put more pressure on Georgia. No orange slices and participation ribbons in the Mizzou locker room. That's a good thing.
    DRF pulled the trigger to lock up Anderson. Is her focus likely to be on Women's Basketball and Pingeton? Is this a do or die year for her? What level should we expect that program to be able to achieve consistently and can Pingeton get it there?
    I don't think it's a do-or-die year, but there should be some pressure to produce some better results. She continues to recruit pretty well. They regularly bring in top 100 players - more than the mens' team. The SEC in women's hoops is brutal. Mizzou was competitive against the best teams last year - just couldn't finish games. I'm slightly optimistic this team can win more of those games this year and be in contention for an at-large NCAA bid. I think Pingeton runs a very good program internally. She recruits and produces good citizens. They play hard. They're visible in the community. They just need to win more games to be more relevant in this conference.
    Hi Dave, I was wondering when we may hear more about Jr College and other players possibly transferring in for next year. Will that be closer to the early signing period? With all of the holes in the roster I am hopeful he can fill some while the younger upcoming talent develops. Thanks Dave
    After the season that will warm up. First of all, Mizzou needs to know how many seniors will elect to come back for their extra year of eligibility. They have to see how many players enter the transfer portal. Once those gray areas are decided, the staff can have a clearer idea on what they need to add.
    How many 5 star recruits does UGA have on its roster and how many does MU have on theirs?
    Missouri doesn't have any. Luther Burden was Mizzou's first five-star recruit commitment since Terry Beckner Jr.
    Since 2017, Georgia has signed 20 five stars. Fourteen of those five stars are still on the roster, though at least three are injured this year.
    two in 2017 (zero still on roster)
    eight in 2018 (four still on roster)
    three in 2019 (all three still on roster)
    five in 2020 (all five still on roster)
    two in 2021 (both still on roster).
  • Hi Dave. What do you say is a percentage chance of us winning two of the remaining three games? Thanks
    No cop out here but I'd put South Carolina as 50-50. I still haven't decided on a winner for my Friday picks.
    I'd give Mizzou a 45-percent chance against Florida. The Gators are reeling. They've got talent but not nearly as much as last year on offense. Their defense has been a disaster. At least MU's defense appears to play hard. That hasn't been the case lately for the Gators. 
    Arkansas will be a difficult game for Mizzou. I'd say 35-percent chance. The Hogs aren't that much talented, but their defense is much better. Their O-line and running game should outmatch MU's biggest weakness. And you've got the revenge factor. The Hogs will be up for that game, no doubt. 
    Dave - It feels like a whole new season with three games left on the schedule with the uncertainty at quarterback, a bowl game on the line, and the sense of urgency for this team to make some positive strides going into next year. How do you see this team now - with the end of the season fast approaching - compared to the where things stood after the Tennessee game? Thank You
    The defense certainly looked more competent at Georgia. Yes, they gave up some explosive plays in the air, but some of that came down to extraordinary plays by UGA's receivers and tight ends. They beat single coverage and it took dynamic plays to make that happen. 
    The QB situation is a weakness until proven otherwise. 
    MU hasn't played nearly as poorly in any game as it did against Tennessee. The O-line really struggled to protect Badie and Bazelak against the Vols. Obviously the defense was a disaster in that game. So, I'd say overall Mizzou is playing better - but it'd be hard to play much worse.
    Not sure if others have (or will, later) bring this up but I have to say I was impressed with the Tigers' effort vs. Georgia. We obviously have a huge talent gap but I felt the team is still playing hard and showing a little life. If Macon makes those two throws - the one where the receiver was wide open down the middle of the field and later on their last offensive play of the game) this game looks very good. Sure, Georgia might have kept its foot more firmly on the gas and scored 60 but my point is, the team showed a lot more life than they did vs. Tennessee and A&M.
    Any thoughts on Cooper's still limited role, even though he is (supposedly) healthy?
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