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 New Year, chatters, and even though it's Jan. 6, I can still say Happy New Year, as Ben Frederickson taught me this week, because the Matter Christmas family tree is still up. 
    There's a lot of ground to cover on the first chat of 2022.
    Some news just broke: Connor Bazelak will transfer to Indiana. Good landing spot for the former Mizzou QB. The Hoosiers are coming off a rough year but started making some headway in the Big Ten in 2019 - and QB Michael Penix Jr. is off to Washington.
    My big concern is QB we had zero deep passing game last season. Luther Burden can stretch the field but can we get him the ball. Drink will be under a lot of pressure to have a good offense with the collection of wide recievers.
    It's the biggest question mark this entire program faces in 2022. Brady Cook showed some promise in the bowl game. Can he do it in a 12-game schedule? Can Tyler Macon push him for the job this offseason? Will Sam Horn be ready as a true freshman? Can Mizzou add a transfer? It's not hyperbole to say that the QB situation is going to define the trajectory of Drinkwitz's time at Mizzou. He has to get this one right.
    What I just don't understand there were over 65 guys in the basketball portal last year that were 6'10 or taller. We got no one . Just hard for me to believe Martin thought Wilmore was the answer. So now Brown has to guard the other teams big and he gets in foul trouble. A very experienced coach like Martin had to know Wilmore wasn't going to help.
    I wouldn't say they were against the idea of adding a big for this season. They just didn't land one. The Wilmore project looks like a bust. He can't stay on the floor. The Tigers can't have Brown guarding the other team's best inside threat for 40 minutes. That's where DeGray and Keita have to factor into the game plan more.
    Folks, no need to submit the same question twice. We've got more than 30 questions in the hopper waiting for me when the chat started. I'll get to as many as possible over the next few hours.
    Good morning Dave,
    Is there any indication that Coach Martin ups the minutes of the freshmen? I am not talking about 6-8 minutes a game. I talking about 20-24 per player. Seems to me investing time in their development over the portal transfers make a lot of sense since this team will be challenged to win 4 conference games.
    He's already started that. Here's Brazile's minutes played the last four games: 20, 17, 24, 26
    Here's Brookshire's last five: 24, 19, 9, 12, 11
    Durugordon played a season-high 11 minutes at Kentucky.
    I think you'll start seeing more minutes for those guys, as long as they earn them.
    Just saw mekhi Wingo entered the portal that really hurts. Is that a case he can get more money at a different school with NIL. I really think Macon will enter the portal soon.
    There's no indication that Macon will enter the portal yet. He's one of only two scholarship QBs on the roster. It'll be interesting to see what happens after spring practices. College football will see another bubble of transfers in the spring once players have a feel for their roles in the fall.
    As for Wingo, I can't speak for how much NIL played in this decision. My hunch is not that much. There's money to  be made everywhere for college athletes, though Drinkwitz has made some impassioned comments to MU supporters to get engaged with NIL deals if they want to sign and keep good players.
    Wingo and I traded messages this morning but he hasn't wanted to discuss his decision yet. Keep in mind, he's very close to his high school coach, Robert Steeples, who was just hired as an assistant at LSU. I'm not saying Brian Kelly hired Steeples solely to land a starting SEC D-tackle, but it shouldn't surprise anyone if he ends up in Baton Rouge. And that's not just my opinion on what's going on here. Internally, there's speculation his road could be headed to LSU.
    Enjoyed your chat re QB transfers. Re Sam Horn - Seems to me that there should be info from MLB scouts on his Baseball future and draft projections. What is the current thinking on his baseball draft projections. And will a strong spring HS baseball season influence that. Seems like Drink is likely on top of this in considering portal QBs.
    There's not much published intel on Horn's MLB prospects at this point. MLB hasn't even decided when it will hold its draft because of the labor stoppage in the sport. Here's the only thing that matters at this point: He's open to signing a pro baseball contract depending on how the draft goes. If he's smart - and by all accounts, he is - he'll leverage his MLB draft stock against his NIL value at Mizzou and leverage his college scholarship against his draft stock. My hunch is he'll be playing football for Mizzou in the fall because I haven't seen him considered a top 100 prospect in the baseball draft.
    Can you outline the NIL picture for how it works for an individual player. Seems like the high profile players would get all the benefits while the linemen would be left out. Where do you track what is going on with a player re NIL. Thanks
    There is no published data that is readily available to digest. If an athlete or the company he or she works with want to disclose that information, that's their choice.
    Athletes are encouraged to disclose any deals with the university's compliance department. The more high-profile athletes are likely to attract the better deals, but that doesn't mean less heralded players can't profit also. 
    How many basketball scholarships do we have open for next season?
    Mizzou is using 12 of its 13 scholarship this season. Javon Pickett is the only senior on the current team. Barring any other departures, that means MU has two open scholarships for next season for the two players it signed, Christian Jones and Aidan Shaw. The staff hasn't stopped recruiting for the 2022 class, but it would require at least one defection to make room for another player for this class.
    Dave, I know I’m a minority in this argument, but I say we give Coach Martin another season to see how he can develop his young recruits he has this year and those expected next season. Let’s not forget he was able coach up last season’s team. The $6 million buyout plus the fact his team did have a better than expected season last year are reasons enough for the university to give him a vote of confidence.
    I see value in that stance also. But a lot of factors beyond this year's win-loss record figure to be part of the calculus on whether the program makes a change.
  • I was at the Mizzou/South Carolina game. What an atmosphere. I was one of those who was upset that Coach Staley left the court without acknowledging Coach Pingeton, but after watching the game recording at home, I could see she waited at the scorer’s desk for a few moments before heading to the locker room while the Missouri team celebrated. I was wrong and she did appear to wait.
    I've seen a lot of coaches in college and the NBA wave instead of shake hands after games the last few weeks because of COVID protocols.
    I thought Coach Drink was well liked by his players, however, I see in the last few days some of his better players entering the transfer porter including SEC All Sec Freshman Mekhi Wingo. Any ideas why?
    I'm not going to speculate without talking the player who left. I give every player who transfers a chance to explain their decision and it's incredibly rare for them to go on the record to talk about transferring. This isn't uncommon when you look at all the transfers happening around the country. Drinkwitz just landed two players from Power 5 programs who have played a lot of snaps at their former schools. This is the new normal. I would advise fans to guard against getting too attached to any individual players.
    Sam Horn will sign a baseball contract and Half way thru the army game, I thought Bazelak was going to transfer. I always thought Macon was the future. Who starts at QB next season.
    Cook has to be the leader in the clubhouse right now, but there are 240 days until the Sept. 3 season opener at Middle Tennessee. Plenty of time for Cook and Macon to compete ... or add a transfer. It's a lot to expect a true freshman to start for an SEC team without taking part in spring practices, but the staff will get a look at Horn this summer and get a chance to see if he's ready for the job.
    What is the word on DeShaun Woods out of Omaha Central? Is he still committed since he didn't sign in December, or did he not make grades?
    As I understand it MU is still monitoring the situation. He hasn't decommitted or committed to another school, but all I was told on the last signing date was he wasn't in position to sign with Mizzou yet. I don't like to speculate about a high school player's academic situation, but ...
    Is there anything to make of all these transfers or is it just the way of the sport these days? Wingo is surprising to me. Has anyone on the staff commented yet? Do you think he was unhappy or does LSU speculation just make the most sense?
  • I would not expect anyone on the staff to comment publicly. Drinkwitz declined to comment on the record when Bazelak transferred. (That doesn't mean they're not commenting off the record.) I've gathered the staff was surprised by Wingo's decision - and none too pleased.
    Until the roster completely consists of players that Drinkwitz has recruited, there are going to be players who are at risk of transferring - or even encouraged to transfer. Up until today, all the players who entered the portal since the end of the regular season have been players recruited by Odom's staff. Wingo is now the exception. Should it raise a red flag? Perhaps. If he ends up at LSU, not so much. Again, he's very close with Robert Steeples. 
  • Any update on the Mizzou-Bama game Saturday?
  • As of Monday, Martin said he expected to get enough players out of COVID protocols to be able to play the game.
    Could bringing in a DT from OSU be part of the reason Wingo decided to transfer?
    Possibly. But teams rotate their D-tackles a lot. It's not like Wingo was going to play every snap next year, especially with Whiteside and Byers gone.
    Good morning Dave and a very Happy & Healthy New Year to you. Dave, this will be a rather lengthy comment leading into a question:
    I'm really starting to despise the transfer portal more & more. Yes I know you and so many other people in sports media roles champion it because if head coaches are allowed to bounce around from year to year, leaving schools to get megabucks contracts elsewhere, without having to sit out a season, why should the players have to do so?
    That's all well & good, but one thing I feel that is not taken into account is the large number of players who don't believe in the idea anymore of "sticking it out" with a coach who apparently was tougher than they anticipated and leads to so many kids entering the transfer portal in a heartbeat if a coach so much as looks at them the wrong way. (Don't get me wrong ; I'm no fan of coaches either who cross the line between being "Coach tough" and being abusive. I absolutely believe there is a difference, unlike the type of knuckleheaded fans that call kids "soft" for not being able to take physical assaults  from a coach and/or verbal attacks that go way overboard).
    Tell me, why do you think that the previous rule wasn't good enough that allowed for players at any particular school to transfer to another school right away and not have to sit out a year if the head coach that recruited them was fired or bailed on them for another coaching job?
    Regardless, the joys of seeing a senior -laden great team like the 93-94 basketball Tigers, or say a player along the lines of Michael Sam in football get progressively better from freshman to senior season, are going to become extremely rare. Forgive me if I find that more than a little saddening.
    I feel your frustration, but keep in mind, a lot of the players in the portal were nudged into the portal. Coaches recruit their replacements and players see the writing on the wall - if it's not explicitly spelled out for them. The way the portal is set up just allows for that process to work easier for the players. Does it cause some chaos? Sure. But, like I say all the time, the portal door swings both ways. I didn't hear any complaints about the system when Mizzou landed Mookie Cooper or the new safety from Clemson or the D-tackle from Oklahoma State. 
    I don't see why players should have to sit out a year the first time they transfer. Why punish them for changing their mind? I didn't have to sit out a year from covering games and writing stories when I left my last company for the Post-Dispatch. My youngest switched pre schools a few years ago. He still got to play with the toys on his first day at the new school. Why were college athletes held to a different standard? It never made sense for athletes to sit out a year - and the fact that the NCAA enforced the sit-out rule in only a few select sports made even less sense. A golfer or gymnast can compete immediately at a new school but not a football player or baseball player?
    Any word on Cuonzo stepping down?
    No. Were you expecting him to quit in the middle of the season?
    The NCAA had better re-think this disastrous transfer rule because this willy-nilly habit of transferring whenever these players feel like is going to get worse.....not better!!!!!!!! The top teams will get stronger and the teams struggling to build winning programs are going to suffer! Start with denying eligibility for 1 year again and add to that a loss of 1 year of scholarship money.....the only way these players should be allowed to transfer without any penalty is if the head coach quits or is fired.....and before you bring up the transfer of the OK State defensive linemen to Mizzou I will tell you I was not a fan of that either!
  • We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Brian Kelly left his team when it was on the cusp of making the playoff. But his players would have to sit out a year and be denied their scholarship money if they want to switch schools?
    Hi, Dave: Thanks for doing this. I'm not sure what to think about Transfers. I love it when somebody else's players become "available" and think we might have a chance. I give no thought to what that transfer means about where they are transferring from. However, when a Mehki Wingo transfers from Mizzou I wonder "What's wrong at Mizzou? Is Drinkwitz losing it? Is the team in collapse?" What should we make this? Should we be worried?
    I can't tell you how to feel about this. It's not good for the defense. It might take some luster off the program's shine in the St. Louis area. Or it's just one individual player who thinks the grass might be greener somewhere else.
    Would the upside to someone like Badie if he had played in the Bowl Game be that it would've given him a chance to shine on national TV--particularly with the Armed Forces Bowl being the only Bowl Game to watch that night--to make NFL scouts that much more aware of how good of a potential player he is for the league?
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