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. The trolls have already invaded the chat in full force. I'd like to publish a few of the questions submitted so the 90% of you who aren't posting vile messages can see what these toddlers with wifi are sending me.
    Has the new quarterback made it to Missouri campus to begin informal training? How much can the coaching staff interact with him?
    Drinkwitz said he expected Sam Horn on campus around May 28, so possibly this weekend. Yes, the coaches can work directly with Horn and the other players during the summer. Earlier this spring the NCAA Division I Council passed a proposal that allows two of the permissible eight hours per week of summer athletic activity to be used for non-contact skill instruction in football. A football is the only piece of equipment they can use during the two hours of skill instruction. For players like Horn, that’s two hours per week during the summer he can work directly with coaches and teammates in running the offense, albeit without pads.
    Might as well get the Sam Horn Questions out of the way early.

    What have you heard about his MLB draft status and is he likely to end up on Campus this fall?

    If he makes it to Mizzou, Do you think he has a realistic shot to be the starting QB as a freshman?
    He's expected to be on campus very soon and then everyone will wait and see how the draft unfolds in July and what he'll decide after the draft - if there's indeed a decision to make. I wouldn't really expect any update until then. Drinkwitz is well aware that Horn could get drafted high enough to have a decision to make. 
    I would think a true freshman who hasn't been through a real practice would be a serious long shot to start the season opener, but he if he makes strides and the older QBs aren't playing well enough to be the best option, then maybe he becomes the starter at some point. But it all depends on how camp and the season unfolds. 
    I sure hope Gates can get a big or we will be right back to brown guarding other teams big and getting in foul trouble. Also we really need a shooter that can cause the defense to have to guard the 3 line. Last few years our 3 ball has been horrible.
    Yes, last season Missouri set a Mizzou record for the worst 3-point shooting percentage in team history. As I've written here many times, you can get by without great 3-point shooting if you do other things on the floor really well. Last year's team didn't specialize in anything positive. Gates has recruited some transfers who have shown the ability to hit 3-point shots. There's certainly a better track record for making 3s with this roster - it just lacks a proven high-volume shooter who's made a high percentage. 
    There's still plenty of time to shop the portal and the junior colleges. There aren't many high-profile transfer candidates still on the market, but if they really want to add someone, they'll find someone. 
    Does your crystal ball tell you ,mizzou football going to win 5 , 6 , or 7. Games me personally I think they have a legit chance at 7 could be a stretch but if they can win the close
    I wouldn't be surprised if they're in the five- to seven-win range. But it's hard to have any strong convictions about a team without knowing who will play the most important position. Mizzou should be a decided favorite over Louisiana Tech, Abiline Christian, Vanderbilt and New Mexico State. They'll be a decided underdog against Georgia and possibly at Tennessee. Kentucky has far fewer question marks and has been a much better program over the last five years. The game is in Columbia and by no means unwinnable, but UK would be favored if you're setting odds now. From there a lot of toss-up games. At Kansas State, at Auburn, at South Carolina, at Florida. If I'm setting lines now, Mizzou would be an underdog in all four but all four are also winnable. Then you've got a home game against Arkansas. Another toss-up game.
    So, Dave, what are the "toddlers with wifi" posting?
    It's not even worth discussing. Gross, vile stuff about the people I work with and write about.
    Aside from QB what starting position(s) are the most unsettled entering pre-season practice?
    A couple spots along the offensive line, especially at center. 
    I'd expect Nate Peat to be the No. 1 option at tailback going into camp, but they can rotate there. Same at the receiver positions. Who are the primary tight ends? Hoerstkamp and Stephens? 
    The front six on defense isn't too hard to figure out. There should be good competition at cornerback. 
    Have you heard any rumblings that Drinkwitz is disenchanted with the job/situation at Mizzou?
    Inadequate NIL program, not enough freedom, lack of fan support, including monetary resources.
    Insight?
    I talk to the head coach often, not necessarily always on the record. If there's something he wants to express on the record, he always has that opportunity.
    He made his feelings about lack of fan support pretty obvious at the start of last year when he challenged fans to attend games. He took a different tone once the season began, but considering his challenge essentially went unanswered - Mizzou didn't draw 50,000 for a single game and ranked 41st nationally - you can draw your own conclusions on how he felt about attendance. 
    He's challenged fans to get involved with NIL support. I don't know if he's disenchanted with NIL, but he understands whom Mizzou is competing with when it comes to recruiting and NIL and what it takes to be competitive with those programs.
    I know this much: He is a coach with very high standards and expectations. He knows what a winning SEC program looks like internally and the resources it requires to compete in this conference.  
    Do you know if DRF is planning to roll out any "news" of changes she plans to make in the football experience, this fall, from her research on what fans want? Have you heard of anything they plan to do?
    She already rolled out all the new seating sections based on last year's feedback/fan surveys and just her general takeaways from where certain groups should be sitting at football games. There could be more announcements made closer to the season. I'm not sure.
    Hey Dave - thanks as usual for the chats. Softball: Does this qualify as a fine, good or great season?
    Basketball: where’s the (a) big man?
    I'd say it's a disappointing softball season based on how much returning talent and experience they had on the field. When you have to scramble late in the year to even make the NCAA field and then when you're rewarded with a regional and you lose to a No. 3 seed that traveled 1,500 miles, I'd say that's the definition of disappointing. That said, Anderson has a strong core returning and has recruited well the last couple years. That program won't fall off. 
    Stay tuned on basketball recruiting. It seems the staff is in no major rush to add someone right away. 
    After spring practice, is there any names you think we should watch for as a breakout candidate this season?
    Daylan Carnell did some good things at the star/nickel position, but this team has three veteran safeties who will be hard to get off the field in Manuel, Carlies and Charleston. But Carnell showed he has a knack for the ball.
    The staff loves Florida transfer Ty'Ron Hopper at linebacker. He'll start and could be one of the better playmaking LBs in the SEC.
    Don't sleep on Cody Schrader at running back.
    The staff really seems to like young O-lineman Connor Tollison. Could play center. Could move out to tackle. Bright future. 
    It definitely feels as if Drink has upgraded his account, when it comes to the players he's bringing in through the transfer window. I noticed when Kentucky was bringing in Power 5 transfers, we were bringing in Group of 5 at best ... but players like Ty'Ron Hopper and Jernigan appear to be more SEC ready than the guys he's brought in, in the past.
    Agreed. Mizzou landed an NFL corner from a Group of Five program last summer, but for the most part, the staff wasn't adding impact Power 5 difference makers. You saw an upgrade in talent acquisition through the portal this year with Hopper, Jernigan and Charleston, the safety from Clemson.
    Been seeing Mizzou ranked 13th in the SEC for pre season rankings. Do you agree or disagree? I see us as being competitive and cracking the top 10. Hopelessly optimistic as always but I think this group will shock some people.
    Just based on what we know about the current teams, who they return and what they've added I don't think 13 is too far from where I'd have Missouri. Mainly because of the QB situation. If I had to rank the teams today - and, mind you, I don't have my Phil Steele preview yet to study all the depth charts - it would look something like this:
    1. Alabama
    2. Georgia
    3. Texas A&M
    4. Ole Miss
    5. Tennessee
    6. LSU
    7. Arkansas
    8. Kentucky
    9. South Carolina
    10. Florida
    11. Mississippi State
    12. Missouri
    13. Auburn
    14. Vanderbilt
    That might be giving Brian Kelly too much credit to overcome some talent drop-off at LSU, but I think he'll get a lot more out of what's left of that roster. Kentucky is probably underrated. South Carolina might be overrated. Auburn has two great players in Tank Bigsby and Derick Hall, but I've got QB concerns there, too. I reserve the right to completely jumble this list by the time I submit a preseason ballot at SEC media days in two months.
    Drink has done a fantastic job with recruiting these last 2 years and has already had a strong start next season already landing a top QB. What are some other names to watch for in this up coming recruiting cycle?
    I'll just list some of the top state prospects
    Samuel M'Pemba, five-star defensive end originally from St. Louis is a major target with offers from all the elite programs. He played at Ladue HS but has since moved to IMG Academy in Florida. 
    Others from around the state with interest from Mizzou ... 
    CBC running back Jeremiyah Love
    Lee's Summit receiver Josh Manning
    Peculiar receiver Jaidyn Doss
    East St. Louis O-lineman Miles McVay
    Raytown O-lineman Logan Reichert
    Lee's Summit O-lineman Cayden Green  
    North Kansas City D-lineman Edric Hill
    Platte City edge rusher Chandavian Bradley
    Cardinal Ritter safety Marvin Burks
    With jack abraham in the fold, will the QB position be an open competition with the best performer getting the starting qb job or do Cook and Macon, since they have been with the team for 2 years, have a a leg up? Seems like Eli went through a long process in the transfer portal to finally get Abraham after being rejected by 3 others. Or is Abraham considered the favorite because he has more experience than Macon/Cook?
    I would expect an open competition. It's in the program's best interest to give the ball to the QB who earns it. Abraham obviously has much more playing experience, but it's not like Mizzou added an all-conference QB who had offers from every Power 5 team in America. There are well documented concerns about his track record. 
    It's a small body of work (two seasons), but since coming to Mizzou, Drinkwitz has deferred to the more experienced player at both quarterback and running back. In 2020, he favored Shawn Robinson over Connor Bazelak and said it was because of his game experience - until it became obvious that Bazelak was the far better passer. Then last year, even when Bazelak played on one leg, he still favored the more experienced option over Cook and Macon. Same thing at running back. It was all Larry Rountree in 2020 with only a few touches for Tyler Badie. Then last year it was all Tyler Badie - until the bowl game, when it was a lot of Dawson Downing, the team's other veteran.
    So, all of that tells me Drinkwitz will put a lot of stock in Abraham's game experience - at least initially when deciding who starts in 2022. I know this much: Coming out of spring practices there was still a major concern taking untested younger QBs into crucial early road tests at Kansas State and Auburn. Drinkwitz puts a premium on experience on that position. 
    Either way, the team needed another QB on the roster for 2022. It's a physical league. This team is going to have to pass the ball to win games. Quarterbacks are going to be exposed to injury at times. That comes with the position. It's uncertain if Sam Horn will be on the team - and if he is, uncertain if he'll be ready. So, I see the value in adding another QB no matter who starts.
    On that prediction - football win total - it seems to me Drink will catch a lot of flak for a 5- or 6-win season and even getting little praise for a 7-win season but it seems to me, this team can be both noticeably better than last year and a top 35 team in the country with a 6- or -win season ... especially if they appear significantly more competitive in some of those losses. But I worry that in the world of $4M coaching salaries, six wins or fewer will put a serious fire under Drink's seat. I'm hoping for both increasing fan support and patience.
    I'm not sure I agree. I sense fans would give Drinkwitz a free pass for winning just six or seven games this year, based mostly on his recruiting success. And I'm not sure why in year three the standard has shifted for that to be OK at an SEC program. A 7-5 regular-season record would put Drinkwitz at 18-17 in three seasons. Odom was 19-19 through three seasons - and was definiltey under pressure from the fans. Cuonzo Martin was 50-46 after three seasons - and was definiltey under pressure from fans.  
    Fans are hoping for more success from Drinkwitz this year, but I don't get the sense there's nearly as much angst as there was directed toward Odom and Martin at a similar stage after a similar level of success.
    But maybe sentiments will change during or after this season. It's definitely an interesting thing to observe. 
    Dave,

    Based on what you have heard and seen of Coach Gates, do you believe that the Tigers have a realistic chance of getting into the NCAA Tournament next year ?
    That seems premature. I don't see a top-half of the SEC roster in place. And if you're not in the top half of the SEC, you're not making the NCAA Tournament.
    At the same time it's really difficult to project how a team will play when it has nine or 10 new players. If the new pieces are much better than the outgoing pieces, if the shooting is vastly better, if the defense is much improved then maybe it's a successful one-year rebuild and Gates has one of the surprise teams in the SEC. But anyone making that projection is just guessing (or hoping).
    Since Coach Gates actually played his prep basketball in Chicago, can we expect him and his staff to get Chicago area players to be recruited by them. It’s probably too late to get any new high school recruits now, but it seems like in the future that area might beva good source for recruiting solid basketball players
    He has ties to the area and his name surely resonates with the high schools in that area and the AAU programs
    That said college basketball is a national recruiting game. When you only sign a few high school players a year - and you attend AAU events that host teams from all over the country - you don't necessarily focus on just one area for recruits. 
    I thought this chat went to subscriber only and I thought that would have helped with the trolls?

    is it fair to say that the Softball teams offense is sort of feast or famine? Seems like they have a trouble manufacturing runs and playing small ball?? I haven't examined the stats closely – thought it would be easier to just ask you! Thanks.
    This year's team hit for a lot of power but wasn't very good relative to the rest of the SEC at getting on base. The Tigers were last in the SEC in batting average and last in on-base percentage but seventh in slugging. That tells me your analysis is spot-on: They could smack the ball over the fence, but generating runs without the long ball was a challenge. Mizzou was fourth in the SEC in home runs but second in strikeouts and 11th in walks.
    Please comment on the reasons there is no SLU vs Mizzou in MBB. It would create HUGE STL interest in all Mizzou sports, most importantly MBB and football. The respective teams are now working on their schedules. Thanks
    A SLU-Mizzou basketball game would increase interest in Mizzou football? I don't follow that logic.
    As I've reported here many times, Mizzou's last regime offered SLU a two-for-one deal - two games in Columbia, one in St. Louis - and SLU turned it down. If SLU wanted to play the game that badly, it would have accepted the offer. Right? 
    Good afternoon, Dave. What does your reporting and instinct tell you the final landing spot will be in terms of "cleaning up" NIL? While I find it hysterical that two multi-millionaire coaches, Saban and Jimbo, have their Fruit of the Looms in a twisted knot, what we have now seems to be a mess. And asking Congress to craft one law to cover all states and universities is a joke. Help, Dave.
    The irony in the Saban-Fisher spat is if they would sit down talk about NIL, I would guess they'd agree on 95% of their points. But Saban broke the code and named names and made sweeping allegations against the Aggies, that even if true, hasn't been documented or proven by any means. 
    My guess is the NCAA will eventually assign a task force and establish some kind of NIL guardrails that will be impossible to enforce on a consistent basis. There just isn't enough NCAA manpower to monitor every program and every NIL collective and every NIL contract and enforce the 
    "no pay-for-play" rule with any uniformity. Maybe one school/one collective will make some seriously egregious mistake that the NCAA can punish and prop up as an example and hope it compels other places to follow the rules more closely.
    Did Missouri baseball not make the SEC Tournament? I just checked the bracket and looks we did not. Is Missour's baseball outlook bleak evne after a sweep of Georgia last weekend?
    Missouri did not sweep Georgia and did not make the SEC tournament. Mizzou finished two games behind No. 12 seed Kentucky in the SEC standings. Had the Tigers won the final game of the Georgia series AND Kentucky lost its final game to Auburn, Mizzou would have made the SEC tourney. Oddly enough, the other team that didn't make the field was defending World Series champion Mississippi State. 
    The Tigers made marginal progress this year. They won 13 more games overall, won two more SEC games and won four of 10 SEC series. As a team, MU's slash line was much improved at .283/.384/.443, compared to last year: .243/.334/.355.
    The pitching struggled in SEC play more often than not.
    Two more for you. It was mentioned recently (I believe in your Chat) that there was an unnamed MBB "big man" visiting the Mizzou campus, considering joining the Mizzou program. If true, any update? Also, seems the WBB program has some roster filling to do. Any update there or is it typical WBB program code silence?
    I'm not aware of a big man name for the Class of '22, but Gates just posted his bat signal on Twitter. So there could be a commitment to report here soon.
    The women's team has landed one transfer so far, former Notre Dame guard Katlyn Gilbert. They expect to add one or two more in addition to the two high school recruits they signed. 
    Regarding football attendance Dave... Do you have access to percentages of where the season ticket holders reside? KC and STL compared to the central Missouri area? Thanks for chat.
    I don't have that info and I'm not sure the school would disclose that.
    What effect do think losing Plassmeyer (SP?) will have on the baseball program?
    I'm not sure it'll be a major loss. He stepped into a very difficult situation right before the season started and did his best to implement DeLunas' pitching program. The staff made some strides, but it took some time for roles to develop.
    Dave, any word on if Mizzou football is ever going to have another game in St Louis? Battlehawks Drew extremely well, seems like a logical thing.
    The administration wants a game in St. Louis. It's a game of matchmaker. You have to find an opponent who's willing to move a game there for the right price. I've heard there's a push to get out of next year's game at Memphis (Sept. 23) and possibly replace that date with a neutral site game in St. Louis, not necessarily against Memphis.
    Jeez, Dave, just because a player may be a little odd, you don't have to list him like this:

    Peculiar receiver Jaidyn Doss.

    A little decorum please.
    OK, folks. That's all the time I have today. We'll chat again next week.
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