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 Thursday, chatters. I'm fully caffeinated and ready to rock. Let's get started.
    There has been no comment on a strength coach that coach Gates has hired. Has he hired? If yes, what can you tell us about him.
    Most of the non-coaching staff has been hired but not formally announced. Gates wanted to announce the three assistant coaches first. I can tell you this much: Chase Goldstein followed Gates from Cleveland State and will serve as director of operations. Ryan Sharbaugh also joined him from Cleveland State and is assistant to the head coach.
    Dave - I suspect you’ve heard that Sam Horn has recently been projected at slot 71 of the upcoming (July) MLB amateur draft. I’ve also heard that NIL compensation could be the deciding factor. This could be a very strange summer. He could graduate from high school in May arrive at Mizzou in June and (depending on his actual MLB draft slot) be gone by August. Your thoughts please. Thanks
    MLB.com listed Horn as the 71st-best prospect in this summer's draft. That's not exactly the same as saying he's slotted as the 71st pick. He's had a very good senior season in baseball. Initially I had heard about some injury concerns, but that's apparently not the case any longer. As I reported back in December, Horn told me he hoped to have a decision to make. “It really just depends on how high or low I go (in the draft),” Horn said at the time. “It’s definitely going to be a tough decision ... probably one of the hardest decisions I ever make. But I don’t really want to worry about that until I get to that point. I’m just trying to have a good baseball season and see how things work out, and then we’ll just go from there and make a decision when the time comes."
    Mizzou's staff wasn't worried about losing Horn to baseball during the winter and spring. There's more of a concern now. From what I've gathered he's still expected to be in Columbia in June for summer workouts. He has the Mizzou playbook. Drinkwitz has said numerous times - including just last week in St. Louis - that Horn will get a chance to win the job. But the MLB draft is July 11-13. 
    It could come down to leverage. Will MLB teams avoid drafting him high for fear that he prefers college football? Maybe he'll leverage his MLB interest into better NIL deals from Mizzou. Either way, it would be in MU's best interest to have NIL money ready for him to keep him on its campus for the next three years. Should be an interesting summer. 
    Is Western Kentucky’s Jamarion Sharp in the portal? I have heard he was but found no evidence of that being true. He would be a nice pickup if he was in the portal considering he has a connection with our newest assistant coach. Does Mizzou have one or two open scholarships?

    Sharp is not in the portal as of today. He has until Sunday to enter if he wants to play somewhere new in 2022-23. If he enters by Sunday, I expect Mizzou to pursue him heavily with the recent hiring of Kyle Smithpeters, who was his coach at John A. Logan College. Currently, MU has two open scholarships for next season.
    When is the dead period for basketball coaches to recruit players and does that apply to those in the portal as well?
    Here are the upcoming dead periods for men's hoops:
    May 19-27
    July 6-24, though there are evaluation periods on July 6 and July 20.
    Yes, that applies to players in the portal. During a dead period, it's impermissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the school's campus or allow official or unofficial visits by recruits to campus.
    How many wins will it take to make you feel good about the Gates hire?

    How many wins will it take the average MU fan to feel good about the Gates hire?

    Which of the new basketball recruits do you think will make the biggest impact. Thanks
    I'd be impressed with a .500 record next year given the strength of the SEC and the fact the roster will have at least 10 new players. An NIT bid would be fine for a first-year coach in this league. 
    I'm not sure about the average MU fan. A .500 team isn't going to set attendance records by any means, and an NIT bid won't impress the bandwagon element that expect instant success just because the new guy's name isn't Martin. 
    As for newcomers, D'Moi Hodge can score and defend. Noah Carter should have a chance to make an early impact. Both point guards will see the floor a lot, I would think. 
    Good morning Dave. Thank you for being the best source of Mizzou sports info for those of us outside of Missouri. Who are the available big men that are highest on Gate’s radar? Is Jamarion Smart still a possible addition? Thanks.
    I think you mean Jamarion Sharp. He's not in the portal yet. Obviously that could change over the next four days. Luke Northweather, 6-10 senior at Blair Oaks HS, has an offer, PowerMizzou first reported this week.
    What position is the top priority for the Men's Basketball team with the remaining scholarships and who are they pursuing at that position?
    Gates has said at some speaking engagements that he'd like to add a rim protector. They clearly want another big man. 
    I'd think a proven perimeter shooter would be a priority, too. They have guys who can shoot from deep but don't have any proven high-volume 40% shooters. 
    Am I right that May 1st is the deadline for transfers to join a Fall/Winter sport and have immediate eligibility? After that it would take a waiver to play, right? Don't these players entering the portal now risk having to sit a year then? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me if they are looking for more playing time.
    They have until May 1 (Sunday) to enter the portal. They don't have to pick their next school by that deadline. A player could enter the portal on Sunday and then spend the rest of the spring and summer making a decision. There are risks involved in entering the portal, no doubt.
    Enjoyed reading your article yesterday about MIZ running backs drafted by the NFL. The best player I saw on that list was James Wilder of the 1978 team. In those pre ESPN days not every game was on TV, but I found a video on youtube of the 1978 MU-Nebraska game at Lincoln. In those days Nebraska almost always won at home but not that year. Wilder ran for 181 yards and 4 TDs including the winning TD late in the game in which Wilder knocked down several Nebraska defenders on his way. Phil Bradley and Kellen Winslow were also on that team. That game is one of the most memorable games because of those players and the fact that MU rarely beat the Huskers in those days and almost never away.
    Great player, very good NFL career. It's crazy that Mizzou has produced so few NFL running backs over the last 40 years.
    Greetings oh wise one. Softball question (surprise). Did I read correctly that in order to qualify for the SEC tourney teams must be .500 or better in league? Thanks as always.
    That's not correct. All 13 teams make the tournament. (Vanderbilt doesn't play softball.) 
    Directly from the SEC: "The tournament is a 13-team, single elimination format, beginning on Tuesday and concluding with the championship game on Saturday. The 13 tournament teams shall be determined based on the highest percentage of wins during regular-season Conference competition. The winner of the tournament receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship."
    If this were five years ago, I'd feel really good about where AD DRF has put the football and basketball programs - and I'm still pretty confident about football. Coach Gates appears to be an excellent hire and his staff looks like -- in the former world -- they'd do great things. What I worry about is NIL will be our downfall ... that we won't get the financial backing that most of our competitors will have. Gary Pinkel warned Mizzou about the cost of joining the SEC but I'm sure even he didn't see this, ten years ago. It's the world we live it but I don't think it will benefit Mizzou in the long run. Any insight into how the college sports landscape may look in five or ten years?
    It's impossible to see that far ahead when it comes to college sports. New NCAA leadership might set up new NIL guardrails. I've even talked to some state lawmakers who wonder if federal legislation will at some point enforce stricter rules on the NIL situation. 
    Can Mizzou compete in the NIL arms race? Yes, to a degree. But not with the established powers that have bigger and stronger fan bases. But it's not like Mizzou was competing financially with those programs before NIL. As time passes, there will be tiers to the NIL movement. Mizzou won't be in the top tier - but never was anyway. 
    I'm writing more about this topic in this week's College Sports Insider, notably a new state law - not in Missouri - that could drastically change the NIL game. 
    Adam Miller. Possibility or bad information on social media?
    I don't know about the social media part of this, but he hasn't committed anywhere, hasn't even released a list of schools he's considering. Typically, I don't get into the daily slog of recruiting coverage. The kids don't talk. The coaches and contacts tell different stories to different outlets. The info changes by the hour. For some of these players - not all, but some - you're usually hunting down information that's flimsy at best. Miller will pick a school eventually. If it's Mizzou, I'll write about it.
    How often do Mizzou football players get together outside of official training? I assume Cook & Macon workout with the WRs/TEs (even RBs) on a regular basis in the, "off season." (My son is a college soccer player and I can promise you there is no, "off season.") Assuming they do, do the work off "suggestions" from the coaching staff or have to make it up on their own?
    NCAA rules allow the coaches to spend time with them a certain number of hours per week during summer workouts, but the players are also expected to run their own "voluntary" workouts - 7 on 7 for the skill players. The coaches can't oversee all of those workouts, but you can bet they "encourage" what the players work on and will somehow stumble upon feedback from those workouts. Part of being a quarterback is leading those workouts. I would fully expect Cook and Macon to do the same.
    Dave, any thoughts on the likelihood that Kobe and Kaleb Brown will stay at Mizzou? I'm worried that we have only heard silence from the brothers so far
    Sometimes silence is good. I don't expect them to transfer. I'll throw on the caveat that you never know. BUT, I'd be surprised if they leave Mizzou.
    Have you had any chance to see if chemistry is developing between the QBs and the WRs, particularly LB3?
    There hasn't been any access to the football team since the spring game two months ago. I was impressed by Burden and the receivers in the spring game. 
    If you missed on social media late last night, JJ Hester has entered the portal. He wasn't going to start this year ahead of Dove or Burden and figured to be more of a rotation guy again this year. Showed some promise last season, but it's the best position group on the team right now, so I don't think it's a major loss.
    Coming out of high school how did Cook and Bazelak compare in terms of rankings? I know they were different years, but how recruited were they by other schools?
    Bazelak was a three/four-star prospect, had a bunch of offers from Power 5 schools. Rivals rated him a three-star pro style QB and had him No. 24 at that position nationally. 247Sports rated him a four-star QB and the No. 13 pro-style QB in the class.
    Cook was a three-star prospect by both sites: No. 29 pro-style by 247 and No. 19 by Rivals. Cook committed to Mizzou so early in the process that he probably cost himself some Power 5 offers, but he was intent on playing in Columbia. After a really good senior year at Chaminade, he got late interest from Kentucky and Arkansas but stuck with Mizzou.
    I've become convinced that the worst thing about NIL is that fans who basically know nothing about it won't stop talking about it. It has made my those my three least favorite letters. They actually might not be as bad as the fans that think Mizzou is a community college that doesn't have any resources and can't get NIL deals done for the players they want. We got Luther Burden in the NIL era. Gates has added an entire roster of guys in the NIL era.
    The Alabama's of the world have always been paying more for players than we have. The game hasn't changed much for Mizzou.

    Why are Mizzou fans such "chicken little" the sky is falling all the time, woe is me types?
    We've done our part by writing about NIL a lot over the last year. I understand that there's still confusion. Maybe once the folks at the major MU collective get more mobilized they'll explain how fans can engage in the process. 
    I'll say this much: NIL hasn't been much of a factor with the transfers Dennis Gates has landed - zero in some cases. He's hoping to have NIL as a recruiting asset in the future, but he's not pulling players from junior colleges and the Horizon League by promising major endorsement deals.
    Dave, being a SEC West FB fan. How do you see the SEC East finishing this year?
    I'm an SEC West fan? Are we still doing this?
    If I had to fill out my SEC East preseason ballot right now, I'd go ...
    1. Georgia
    2. Tennessee
    3. Kentucky
    4. South Carolina
    5. Missouri
    6. Florida
    7. Vanderbilt
    I'll consider flipping the Vols with UK and Mizzou with the Gators, but as of today, that's how I'd slot the division.
    Dave - Baylor's quarterback from 2021 (Gary Bohanon) has entered the transfer portal. He still has two year of eligibility remaining. Do you hear of any interest from HCED? Thank You
    I have not heard if there's interest. He might be worth a nibble. He missed a couple games late with an injury, including the Big 12 championship game win, but decent numbers for a Power 5 QB: 145.9 passer rating, ran for over 300 yards and nine TDs. I'm not convinced he's an upgrade over Cook, but might be worth exploring.
    Interesting article about LB III and production comparing to other Mizzou and SEC freshman. What type of numbers is your expectation from him?
    Not sure what article you're referring to, but I expect him to get plenty of touches in a variety of ways. This team's strength is going to be the receivers, so it's not like a 2009 Danario Alexander situation where one guy catches 100 passes and the No. 2 option catches 40-something. Lovett will get his share. Luper. Dove. Banister. Cooper. A Mizzou wideout hasn't caught more than 41 passes in a season under Drinkwitz through two seasons. I could see Burden being in the 50s or 60s, pushing 1,000 yards if he stays healthy.
    Make sure you give this week's Eye on the Tigers podcast a listen if you haven't already - and share with your friends. C.Y. Young was generous with his time on the recruiting trail and share some great insight and stories.
    Great podcast with MBB's C.Y.Young. I was chuckling to myself thinking it must be great for a reporter to ask just four(?) questions and get 35 minutes in response. I think both Dickie Nutt and Kyle Smithpeters only got one-year contracts. Is that typical or are those contracts usually longer?
    It doesn't take many questions to get Young rolling. One-year deals are typical for a staff's second and third assistants. They have clauses that say their deals are renewable if both parties agree to renew.
    Dave, not really a question, but just to piggyback on an earlier post, that game against Nebraska in 1978 was definitely a highlight of my Mizzou fandom. You probably are not old enough to remember but the game was not televised -- yes, that really happened -- and I listened to every second on KMOX, with Dan Kelly and Bill Wilkerson on the call. I thought Bill was going to have a heart attack when Wilder scored that fourth touchdown. Mizzou actually had some success against Nebraska in the 1970s -- it beat the Cornhuskers four times, including three in a row in Lincoln. Sadly, it didn't beat them again for another 25 years. The video is great but for any fans who ever chance to hear the radio call, do it. It is incredible. Might have been my favorite Mizzou football moment until the legendary win over Kansas at Arrowhead. And yes, it is incredible how few running backs has turned out in the NFL. Was Robert Delpino the last one to have much of a career?
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