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'm going to presume the staff knew Bazelak was going to transfer and that he was available only if there were multiple injuries in the bowl game. He didn't make a knee-jerk decision to transfer after the bowl. He said he had been thinking about transferring during the final few weeks of the season. 
    I do think it's possible Mizzou goes through some QB growing pains while Bazelak puts together a solid season at Indiana. The Hoosiers took a step back last fall but they're just a year removed from going 6-2 with wins over Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. 
    How do you project the Mizzou defensive and offensive lines in 2022? I believe one of the biggest downfalls of the past campaign was our inability to protect our QB to stretch the field. With the playmakers in the receiver room, I'm not concerned with the quick game, but do we have the guys up front to win in the trenches?
  • On the O-line, you've got starters back at the tackles in Hyrin White (RT) and Javon Foster (LT). Luke Griffin, Xavier Delgado and Connor Wood have all started games at guard. Maybe some underclassmen push them for snaps: EJ Ndoma-Ogar or Drake Heismeyer. Center is a question mark. They landed the transfer from Buffalo, but Connor Tollison has a bright future somehwere along the line. Maybe at center. 
    Until Mekhi Wingo entered the portal, the D-line was in good shape with Trajan Jeffcoat and Isaiah McGuire back at end along with Darius Robinson at tackle.  Now you've got to expect Oklahoma St. transfer Jayden Jurnigan to be a starter at tackle. Young depth at end in Travion Ford, Johnny Walker and Arden Walker. Someone will have to emerge as D-tackle backups. Realus George. Maybe Ky Montgomery if he moves inside once his knee is recovered. 
  • Good morning Dave--hope your day is going well and as always, thank you for doing this. A few weeks ago in one of these chat sessions, you mentioned how some of the Mizzou football players that have entered the transfer portal just didn't care much for Drink's "style" or something to that effect. I was wondering if you can and wouldn't mind elaborating on that a little more. Are you referring specifically to his coaching style?
    Because my one other concern regarding him would be this: I know Drink is a deeply religious man. You probably recall the allegations at Clemson a few years back against Dabo Swinney--also a deeply religious man--in which he was allegedly forcing players to come to Bible Study or else he would threaten to reduce their playing time--or something along those lines. Please tell me that Drink is not known to be doing anything similar to that, which in turn obviously can make certain players who choose not to be a part of that angry enough to leave the team. And again, just to be clear, I have nothing against anyone's religious beliefs, but many people just don't like when someone is determined to impose their religious beliefs on others.
    I've never heard of Drinkwitz pushing his religious beliefs on anyone. 
    I'm not sure I ever said players didn't like his style - because I've never had a player say that and I try not to make things up. I'm sure not everybody digs his personality and the way he runs his program internally, but no coach in America has a 100% poll rating in his own locker room.
    I typically read all of the articles in the PD about Mizzou and the SEC. There's a recent one talking about Buzz Williams and Texas A&M and their rebuild. It sounds and looks a lot like what Mizzou went through in the off season, but with far different results. Texas A&M isn't exactly a Blue Blood who can reload at the drop of a hat, but holy cow how can Buzz recruit and get transfers while Mizzou gets spanked by over 40?

    In the article Buzz talks about playing together, playing hard, diving for balls, etc., etc., Much like what we've been led to believe CM's teams play like. Are you seeing the Mizzou Men's BB team playing like that? I ask because maybe I'm missing something or I'm not picking up on the finer details of today's game.
    Frankly I've seen Sunday afternoon pickup games played with more cohesiveness than this team.
    Last night was bad. I watched every minute and wrote 1,200 words about it. So, you don't have to convince me it stunk.
    I also watched every minute of the Alabama game five days ago and it was the best offensive performance of the year against the defending SEC champions and the second-most efficient offensive game the Tigers have played against an SEC opponent in Martin's five years. Yes, this team struggles to shoot 3s and can struggle with turnovers. But I wouldn't paint with such a broad brush to say they play with less cohesion than a pick-up team. 
    Hi Dave,
    I'm curious to where you think Mizzou would be if it weren't for Gary Pinkel. I would think it's a given that they wouldn't be in the SEC.

    Btw with Pete Thammel leaving Yahoo, are were going to be losing the College Sports Enquirer? They should make the third host a fluctuating beat writer.

    Thanks Dave.
    I believe Wetzel, Forde and Sully, their producer, will carry on without Thamel. Big loss for Yahoo but huge pickup for ESPN.
    It's hard to speculate on where Mizzou would be without Pinkel becuase you never know, they might have hired a great coach that would have led them to greatness. But ...I doubt it. He was the perfect fit for what the program needed. He had a long-term plan and vision. He knew how to build a program and he had a solid, loyal staff that would help him get that done. He was too good to fire but not flashy enough to be on everyones's job board every season. I admit I'm biased because I wrote his book with him and have spent more time with him than anyone I've ever covered. But over the last six years I've come to appreciate more and more how his approach, his structure, his organization was so instrumental in making Mizzou competitive and relevant on a national stage. Mizzou's last two head coaches have learned on the job and there's a distinct difference in how they ran their program compared to Pinkel. 
    Look for a new story later tonight/tomorrow on Gary's legacy from the eyes of several of his assistant coaches.
    Dave, do you have a theory why these players shoot so badly? Even when they are open they just can't make 3 pointers. I know you have pointed to statistics where a lot of these players could shoot the 3 before they got here, so why such a problem here?
    Coleman had one good shooting season before coming to Mizzou. But Davis and Gordon were not good 3-point shooters pre-MU. 
    Coleman shot 42.5% last year ... he's at 30% this year, similar to his freshman year when he shot 32.5%.
    Davis didn't make any 3s as a freshman, shot 28% last year and is shooting 27% this year.
    Gordon shot 23% last year, 21% this year.
    DeGray shot 37% last year, 27% this year.
    Pickett is the guy who has really fallen off: 37% last year, 17% this year.
    For one, we're not talking abot Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. They're just not good shooters. Just one of those five have ever had a season better than 37%. Two, this team seems to struggle to get a lot of good looks because of the point guard play. Dru Smith put players in position to get good looks last year because he could not only shoot but facilitate. 
    KMR - I think the Mizzou attendance is already at an all-time low. Pretty sure it's the worst in history
  • There's no documented evidence. For decades MU's home attendance was always listed as the capacity of the Hearnes Center even on nights when the arena clearly wasn't full. You know why? Because the head coach got bonus payments for having a full house. Mike Alden eventually stopped that and started listing more accurate attendance figures. But even during the Kim Anderson years, MU would fudge the numbers. That's why I don't always list the announced attendance in my stories because I can clearly see there aren't as many people as the box score lists.
  • Congrats to Gary Pinkel on his election to the College Football Hall of Fame. Have you talked to Coach P about it?
    Yes.

    Gary Pinkel 'overwhelmed' by Hall of Fame election

    After 25 record-setting years at Toledo and Missouri, former Tigers coach never imagined he'd earn the sport's highest honor.
    Hi Dave. Thanks for your time and insight! And Happy New Year!! I apologize if this has been previously covered - but is there any realistic chance the SLU and MIZZOU could agree to playing an annual game? Thanks!
    I don't know. Mizzou offered a two-for-one deal with two games in Columbia and SLU turned it down. That's standard for Mizzou contracts with mid-major programs. The Liberty deal is a two-for-one.
    Is there any movement among the powers that influence or control major college football to curb the craziness with players jumping team to team?

    I am all for players earning money and not being locked in forever but the reason people follow teams, in my opinion, is because of the team--its history and its location and players they think are at least loyal to that institution or city for a period of a few years. Take NFL football...I was a big fan of the Big Red in St. Louis and the Rams in St. Louis...now, with no St. Louis team, I hardly pay any attention to the NFL...because I have no franchise...I feel I am on that path with Mizzou men's basketball...not really caring to even watch anymore...harder to know the players as they come and go in a year or so...college football may be going that way too, not sure...I am still a Mizzou fan but hard to get invested when the players--maybe understandably--have no loyalty to the school. Maybe they never had true loyalty, but they were stuck, so it gave me, as a fan, some reason to get invested in the kids and team, longer term.
    I understand that fans want to get to know the players over three to four years, but if they're good players and the team is winning it's a lot easier to cheer for them immediately. Everybody loved Kassius Robertson, who spent about nine months on Mizzou's campus. But he played great and won.
    Coming into this season, the tight end position looked like a logjam for the football team. Fast forward to now, there is some concern. What are some options the team has to replenish the position? Any chance we see another Daniel Parker situation where someone is switched positions?
    I don't know who would even be a good candidate to switch. 
    I never considered the tight end depth a logjam. They didn't have anyone close to being an All-SEC player. 
    Dave, with the announced medical retirement of Niko Hea, this leaves MU with none of their Top 3 TE's from last year coming back. So as of now, they're down to their 4th-string TE as their most "experienced" starter next season. I have a friend who was a walk-on for Mizzou in the mid-80s. I do believe he still has some eligibility left. Should I have him give Drink a call?
    Okay, in all seriousness, Drink has a crisis situation at the TE position right now. He only has one TE in his recent recruiting class who sounds like he eventually might be a good player but probably not ready for a starter role as a true freshman. I can't even recall who he still has on the roster for that position right now, but we're taking 4th-stringers and walk-ons, right? I know he'll try hard to find someone in the transfer portal to fill the TE position. But if he can't find anyone really good, we're in trouble.
    There are two scholarship players at the position, Hoerstkamp and McKay and then three walk-ons. I wouldn't say it's a crisis situation in January. The season is eight months away. There are several tight ends in the portal.
  • Is the addition of Jernigan from OKSt and the subtraction of WIngo a net gain to the defensive line? Did Wingo play for steeples at Desmet and is the transfer portal allowing teams to see how a marginal player works out in his first season and causing teams to reevaluate players they didn’t originally offer a scholarship to reassess players? Is the no sitout a year after transfer a permanent rule?
    Yes, it's a permament rule - unless the NCAA goes back and changes the rule.
    Jenrigan was a productive player on a much better defense than Missouri's defense. He's got two years of eligibility. Wingo has three years left. I don't know if it's a net gain but if he's a SEC-caliber starter then it's  not a major loss. 
    Hi Dave, thanks as always for chatting. As someone with high school age kids, I see that a lot of traditional sports powerhouses also seem to have started (quietly?) investing more in the academic side as well, e.g. Alabama, Florida appear to be putting a lot more money into faculty + student recruitment compared to Mizzou, at least according to what I read and friends in academia. Even though the FL governor gets a lot of hate from the liberal crowd, he seems to be investing much more into state school education than us in MO. Is this going to put Mizzou further behind, and do you think it’s an issue we should care more about? Thanks.
    I don't know enough about the topic when it comes to to the higher education angle to really add to the discussion. Missouri's governor isn't exactly a strong advocate of higher education compared to past governors.
    Dave,
    I subscribe to both the KC Star (Chiefs coverage) and Post Dispatch (Cardinals and MU coverage). For many years you've provided far superior coverage of MU than what the Star has printed/posted. Recently the Star hired a new beat reporter for MU, Lila Bromberg and their coverage has improved. There have been a couple of times where she'll post a story about MU news before you do. While it's beneficial for me to have both news outlets have quality MU beat reporters (more and different stories), I was wondering if you ever felt any pressure to compete with other reporters on the MU beat. How important to you is it to break a story? Thanks!
    What stories has the Star reported before me? Just curious. We have set times that our stories publish online unless it's a case of breaking news. 
    Competition is great, but there's no pressure on me. If you're confident in your sources and how you go about the job, there is no pressure. 
    Earlier you said they wouldn't turn the team over to the 5 freshmen. For what it's worth, why not? Yes, they might win a couple more games this year with the current starting 5, but what is that going to do for them. This team needs to play for next year regardless. When KenPom says you're favored to win one more game the rest of the year, and that's against lowly Georgia, what's the point. They're predicted to finish with 10 wins. Frankly I don't see it and the game by game prediction doesn't support it.
    As the saying goes, stop moving furniture around on a sinking ship and do something about the leaks. I simply don't see what will be accomplished by running the same lineup out there.
    I've never seen a Mizzou team turn the ball over so easily; 24 turnovers seems unreal. When you count how poorly they shoot the 3 I count them as turnovers too. All are possessions with zero chance of production.
  • Well, for one, Kobe Brown is this team's best player and why would you play a freshman over him? Also, five guys can't play 40 minutes. Martin was stating two freshmen every game until Brookshire was out with COVID. I think it's a good mix, but I haven't seen anything from all five freshmen to make the case they should be playing 30 minutes a night.
    Which is the real 2022 MUMBB team - the one that dominated Alabama from start to finish last Saturday or the one that didn’t show up last night? TXAM looks tough so far, just as Alabama did before last Saturday. Maybe the real answer is you expect wide variations in their performance due to the lack of experience playing together?
    Let's see how the next few weeks play out. I don't mind having a bigger sample size to make broad judgments. This much we know: They've been terrible on the road, for whatever reason. They've already beaten one good SEC team at home, so it stands to reason they should be able to beat the lesser SEC teams at home. If not, then the Alabama game becomes more of an outlier.
    Is the FB coaching staff settled or do they have one more opening?
    Hearing anything else about Luper potentially leaving for an OC position?
    Luper hasn't been connected to any other openings. Drinkwitz has one more on-field assistant to add.
    What’s a past game that you feel many people forget about? My pick would be vs. Ole Miss back in 2013.
    I can't really answer what games other people don't remember. 
    Will the activity in the portal go down as the covid 5th year effect goes away and playing time opens up and as players see that many players were not picked up and left to their own devices?
    In the CFP the top seeds typically slaughter the 3 and 4 seeds. Think the 9th-12th seed will do better? Yes the 7 vs 9 game may be good, but Iowa vs Baylor will happen in the current system in a bowl game.
  • I don't see why fans don't want to see more playoff games? What if the Rose Bowl was a playoff game this year? Utah-Ohio State was better than any of the actual playoff games. Now, what if there were high-stakes at play? Even better. Ohio State could have hung with Bama or Georgia. Even if Bama and Georgia still meet for the national title, wouldn't it be great to see all those other playoff games? It would be ridiculous if after the NFL regular season ended the Titans and Packers meet for the Super Bowl.
  • I know the position is not open, and may not open this year, but what are your thoughts on these individuals as a potential fit with Mizzou:

    Todd Golden - San Francisco
    Casey Alexander - Belmont
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