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.

    I saw a random headline linking Barry Odom to the open Virginia Tech job. The author claimed that Odom was the type of coach for Virginia Tech. Not sure what the author meant by that so I thought I'd ask your opinion about Odom fitting in at Virginia Tech. And if not Virginia Tech are there any power 5 school openings you think Odom might have a chance for?
    On the surface,I think he'd fit somewhat fit the profile. High-profile SEC coordinator, former SEC head coach.
    But there's one catch: Odom was a Justin Fuente guy. He worked under Fuente at Memphis, learned under him, is considered part of his coaching tree. Rarely do you see a program fire a coach and then hire someone from his tree. 
    I'm not sure Odom gets a shot at any of the six Power 5 openings. A .500 record as a head coach isn't the easiest sell to your fans, especially at Virginia Tech, where they just fired the guy who was 12 games over .500. 
    I think he's better suited for a Group of Five job where he can improve his record and prove he can build a program and win at a high level. But he's got a good enough job that he can afford to be picky. He doesn't have to jump to Akron or FIU or UMass. 
    How about this: If Billy Napier finally leaves Louisiana-Lafayette (maybe for LSU), I could see Louisiana AD Bryan Maggard - a longtime Mizzou administrator - taking a close look at Odom. And that's a darn good Group of 5 job. 
    Is coach Martin considered a defense first coach only because the offensive side of the ball is so bad?? This offense is pretty easy to guard. High pick and rolls with 4 non shooters spread on three point line. No imagination, creativity or identity. While we are at it, Why do coaches use the phrase “get down hill” in reference to players attacking the rim? It doesn’t fit in basketball.
  • I don't know the origin of the term, but it makes sense to me. You have momentum and gravity on your side when you're running downhill. You have momentum when you power your way to the rim in basketball. 
    Martin has always stressed defense, rebounding and playing hard as his core tenets. It's not that unique in college basketball. I'd venture to say the vast majority of head coaches describe themselves as defense-first ... because great defense usually creates offense, not the other way around.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Matter. Every year it seems Coach Martin touts his recruits as being good shooters. Yet, every year we see little evidence of that ability. Makes one wonder about Martin's ability to evaluate and attract talent, though he does deserve kudos for landing a four-star recruit. If the Tigers fail to make the NCAA Tournament this year, does that put him on the hot seat? Thanks for your time, and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.
    I touched on the shooting earlier. Shooting 40% from 3 is considered excellent. He's had several 3-point shooters hit that mark. Small sample size so for this year, but Coleman is shooting 50%. DeGray is at 42.9%. Brown and Gordon have only taken two 3s each but both shooting 50%. Davis is the only experienced perimeter player who hasn't shot well yet, at 25%. Brookshire is 0 for 6. He's also a freshman getting spot minutes. I want to see more results before making broad evaluations. 
    But, I wrote and said all along during this roster construction that finding and developing reliable 3-point shooters is paramount for today's game. I'm not convinced this team has that.
    Do you see the game vs UMKC as an outlier and one bad game or is this the start of a rough year for the team? All I've heard is how hard this team plays and the ability to defend, but they got out played in every phase the other night. Will they come out tonight a little different?
    Let's find out. Like I said, I picked this team ninth in the SEC poll. That might be generous. I didn't see this as an NCAA Tournament team before the season tipped off. It's a transition year. Whether a fifth-year coach should have a transition roster is another debate to have, but the good news for this team is that it has 30 more chances to 28 more chances to prove that Monday was a fluke.
    Dave, I've said this for years: The current bowl system, which could easily jettison 75 percent of the bowl games, champions mediocrity. Period. Whether it's my Tigers or anyone else, the media makes a big deal out of achieving six wins to be "bowl eligible." For many teams, of those six wins, three or four may come against inferior competition (see Mizzou). And, you get to go to a city and stadium that these days will be three-quarters empty. Yes, I know the argument that a bowl bid earns the team more valuable practices and publicity for recruiting, but mediocrity is mediocrity. Give me the old days of the Big Five bowls (Rose, Sugar, Cotten, Orange, and Gator) when it really meant something.
    I disagree. I like college football. I like watching college football games. I'll gladly watch Tennessee-North Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl on a Tuesday afternoon in December. What's wrong with that? Nobody is glorifying mediocrity. Some folks just like to watch more football.
    So, speaking of B-ball teams getting off lightly.....what is going on with the NCAA case against Kansas? There were obvious and proven major infractions and the FBI was involved. This was years ago......what is the hold up? Are they hoping everyone forgets about it?
  • I don't keep up with the Kansas investigation on a daily basis. According to the latest report from the Kansas City Star last month, the case is still ongoing through the NCAA's Independent Accountability Review Process and might not be wrapped up until early 2022.
  • Parker Braun is averaging 30 mins a game and put up 19 points on Nevada. Looking at this team thus far I think losing him was bigger than first thought. Pinson, Smith, and Braun down low would put this team in a different light. My question is why the exodus when you figure you’ve got playing time especially Braun. If he has another year of losing starters to transfer portal how can this program get better.
    Braun needed to leave for his sake. It wasn't a healthy situation for him. His family was openly critical of the coaches on social media and elsewhere about Braun's role. I hope he does well at Santa Clara. By all accounts he's a good guy. I enjoyed interviewing him. The staff genuinely liked him, too. But I think it was best that he move on. 
    Pinson didn't want to be at Mizzou. I was shocked he came back for his junior year. There was lot of tension there. Mizzou got three solid years out of him. 
    Watson wasn't a high-major player - or never consistently played like one. 
    Mizzou fans complained about Mark Smith for three years. He wanted to keep playing and wants to play point guard. MU was ready to move on. 
    MU recruited Drew Buggs to be a one-year player. Ed Chang was a recruiting miss, obviously. 
    Any word on Boogie's injury and if he will play tonight?
    Last Monday, the MBB game was advertised to be shown on SEC+ and ESPN+. I have SEC+ and it was blocked for my. Do you know if it was totally blocked on SEC+?
    It was streamed on SEC Network-Plus as far as I know. Maybe it was an issue with your provider.
    I know this is off topic, but being a fan of the last dance, what are your thoughts on Scotty Pippen and his comments on MJ?
    For being one of the greatest players of all time he sure does whine a lot. He was one of my favorite players growing up. I'm not sure he ever did.
    Who are the three best non-professional basketball teams in Missouri/Illinois?
    1. Illinois men
    2. Loyola-Chicago men
    3. Missouri State women
    Honestly, I haven't watched much college hoops yet outside of Missouri's game and some national highlights from other games. Football-hoops overlap season in November is mostly a blur when you cover both sports at the same time.
    Dave,
    Watching Bazelak reminds me of that kid movie “The Rookie” where the guy says he eats fastballs for breakfast but can’t hit a soft lob.
    Bazelak can’t seem to throw a soft lateral pass to a fairly open guy, but trying to put some zip on it downfield seems like it is more his game. It’s like he doesn’t step into his soft/close throws. I still believe in the guy, he is obviously injured and not playing to his potential for whatever reason.
    With additional receivers coming in, I hope coach Drink moves the offense towards more downfield passes, it will open up the field. The offense is so 1 dimensional right, I think we should go back to throwing it to receivers instead of only short “I’m obviously throwing to Basie passes”.

    Do you have a breakdown of how interceptions and where they were relative to the line of scrimmage?
    Here's a look at his passing chart for the season from Pro Football Focus. As you can see, he's very accurate on throws under 10 yards, though the bulk of his INTs come on throws between the line of scrimmage and 20 yards down the middle of the field, which is common because that's where there's more congestion. 
    He's been very efficient throwing deep down the middle of the field and nearly perfect on both screens and short passes behind the line or short out routes/hooks/digs under 10 yards. 
    Dave,
    Is Mizzou a second best quarterback currently playing on the defensive side of the ball? If Shawn R. Had stayed as backup QB and he wasn’t injured, does he play when Bazelak is out?
    I don't think so. When healthy - and he hasn't been for a while - he provides more value on defense.
    Hi Dave, thank you for the chats. It seems like Coach Drink For being an offensive coach is not very good at being an offensive coach? Do you think it’s his playcalling or just a simple matter of the players he has? I just don’t see what all the ballyhoo is about him. They can’t seem to win any big games and the ones they’re close and they lose. Looking forward to your opinion.
    I think he's a fine offensive coach. He runs a balanced system that can lean in either direction, run or pass. See what he did last week in back to back games against LSU (pass heavy) and Kentucky (run heavy). He's had obvious QB issues this year with the injury to Bazelak. His lines don't give up many sacks. His playmakers don't fumble. They've been very good on third down and in the red zone for the most part. I think at times he can afford to be more aggressive, but I think those choices usually reflect his trust in the quarterback. There's always nits to pick, but I think over a 20-game sample size he's been a good offensive coach.
    Can you inform us a bit on why coordinators choose certain defensive schemes - in particular, why they choose zone over man coverage? It seems zone is a lower risk (not as often beaten deep) and allows for the DBs to better monitor the QB's eyes to jump on the throw but they're so often too many steps from the receiver to do anything but attempt a tackle well after the catch is made.
    A good zone team won't give up as many big pass plays and can defend the run better because all 11 defenders have their eyes looking forward instead of their backs turned chasing a receiver. Georgia predominantly plays zone coverages - and is great at stopping the run and shutting down big plays. But if you don't get a great pass rush from your D-line that means you probably have to blitz - and when you blitz a linebacker or safety you're most likely playing man coverage against the pass. There are advantages and disadvantages to both styles. And most teams play a mixture of both.
  • Regarding what you said about Pinson didn't want to be at Mizzou...then my question is why was he at Mizzou if he hated being here so much? Was he at least liking it here his freshman year and something happened between his sophomore and junior years to make him start being unhappy here?
    And lastly, if Pinson thrives at LSU--and especially if he has a great game against MU when the two teams play each other this year--how bad of a look will that be for Cuonzo?
    From everything I was told during the spring/summer of 2020, in terms of offseason participation and communication with the team/staff, I was surprised that Pinson returned that fall. There was some thought he wouldn't be eligible to transfer. He dropped hints on social media throughout his career that he was going to leave. The team was well aware of those hints and never knew what to expect from him. 
    Martin has zero regrets that Pinson left. Zero. Even if he's first-team All-SEC and scores 40 on Mizzou. 
    Have a great Thanksgiving, Dave.
    Dave. Do you remember back in the 70's when Mizzou was so bad, they would punt a lot on 3rd down? Yet, even back then Mizzou would have over 60,000 fans at the game. I have been to several games when they were only average teams and still drew 60,000 plus fans years ago. What has happened since then to the fan base and getting their keesters in the stands/ Is it the economy, not caring so much anymore? Can you shed any light on that?
    I was born in 1978, so I can't personally recall that era.
    As for fan attendance, lots of differences between the 1970s and today. Not every game was on TV back then, much less on your phone. Mizzou's fan base lost support during the wilderness years when the program vanished from relevancy in the late 80s and early 90s. Going to the game just wasn't as important or part of the fan culture for a long time. That changed in the peak Pinkel years, but after a few down seasons, it's back to that point where there just aren't enough people on board to invest in tickets and having the game day experience. Reed-Francois wants to figure out why and change that. She knows a major part of the solution is the product on the field, but she wants the administration to improve the parts of the game-day experience that can be improved. 
    OK Dave. Last Thursday you had us 50% against SC, 40% vs FL and 35% vs AR. What say you about our two remaining games this week? BTW I travel AR on business and they don’t consider us their rival but they do hate us intensely. Thanks
    I haven't made my pick yet for Saturday's game but I'm leaning toward a narrow Mizzou victory. These teams just seem to be trending in opposite directions. MU never stopped playing hard; Florida seemed checked out a few weeks ago. I'd bump up Mizzou's chances of winning Saturday to about 48% ... and sticking with 35% in Fayetteville.
    Correct me if this statement is wrong: Bazelak is the better QB talent but Cook and his mobility give the Tigers the best chance this Saturday vs Florida. Bazelak doesn't seem to affect a defensive gameplan as much as a defense would have to worry about Cook running
  • I think there's some truth to that. When healthy, Bazelak's arm and experience give him an edge. But when he's a statue back there, that leads to problems. He's no threat to keep the ball on read-option plays. He's no threat to scramble when receivers are covered. You might have to keep a running back in the backfield to block more often because the can't escape pressure. That takes Badie out of the passing game. Add it up and I could see real value in playing Cook over a compromised Bazelak.
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