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, Mizzou chatters. I bet there are 6 million things to discuss today. Let's get to it
    We’re you as surprised as most Tiger fans were at the Drinks contract extension during the season. On reflection it makes sense to aid in recruiting and continuity for the program.
    Did you see another close score with Tennessee similar to Georgia?
    Let's get to this. The recruiting angle is an outdated play made by coaches and agents. I've never heard a recruit say he picked a school because he knows the head coach is going to be there in four or five years. Even high school recruits understand that contracts are made to be broken and their coach can get fired at any second. Elite recruits in 2022 are basing their decisions on NIL opportunities and their value in the NIL marketplace. They care about playing early, winning and making it to the NFL. But coaches and agents have convinced fans, media and, most important, their bosses that they need four or five years on their contracts so they can convince recruits they've got job security.
    That's why the years on the deal aren't all that important - and why the buyout structure is more important.
    I was not surprised by the extension. I was surprised by the size of the raise. But after lots of conversations this week, I have a better feel for the situation. This is by no means Mizzou telling Drinkwitz that he can keep going .500 with no danger of losing his job; this is a message that it's time to win. He now has the resources. Facilities, staff pay, bigger salaries all around. Mizzou is making a big commitment and now expects results. The new contract elevates the pressure and raises expectations. Eli seems to understand that. Also, the new buyout protects Mizzou in case he proves he can't do enough with the added resources. The offset language was crucial. 
    I'll post my Mizzou-Tennessee prediction on Friday. I believe Mizzou can be competitive for three quarters. Not sure about four. Vols can score a lot in a hurry - and will be motivated to secure style points.
    Dave, were you surprised like me, that Mohamed Diarra, the No. 1 rated JUCO player in the country last year didn't get on the court Monday vs Southern Indiana?
    Nope. He's a project. Physically he has to get stronger. This team isn't going to play with a traditional back to the basket center. I don't think he even fits that role, but I just don't think he's ready to be a big part of the rotation. Gates has said he'll play 10-1 guys. That means some guys will be out of the mix.
    Good morning Dave,
    Coach Drink is now in the company of the real Six Million Dollar Man... Steve Austin, played by Lee Majors... a 1970s TV series based on a cartoon character. Well, in my opinion, it seems so far in Drinks career at MIZZOU, that is what his record is, a mediocre joke! I am unsure of the best word or words to describe WHY a contract extension and no less a sweet raise were even considered until his program starts trending above .500. I am miffed! Help me understand the thought process behind the University's decision to make this decision. Please ?
    The raise is not a reward. It's an investment. I agree that the optics don't make a lot of sense. Jimmy Sexton is the best agent in the game for a reason. He creates markets for his coaches and finds ways to leverage schools for money. Like I said earlier, the raise comes with a message: It's time to win. The resources are here. The stakes are raised
    Big picture, a $2 million raise for a department that last year worked on a budget of about $121 million is not a huge deal. That's about 1.5% of what Mizzou spent on athletics last year. By the offseason cycle, Drinkwitz will be back near the bottom of the SEC salary pecking order. I think the staff salary pool increase is more important. As I reported yesterday, it was structured that way to give Drinkwitz the money to hire an offensive coordinator. It wasn't mandated but money can't be an excuse not to upgrade the staff.
    It seems not all fans are excited about Drink’s contract extension. But I like it and feel Mizzou will do big things starting next year. But I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because I just really like the guy and how he handles himself with the media and his players. He is kind of the “antihero” of Power 5 college coaches and to me, that is appealing.
    Anti-hero? That's a description I haven't heard. He's interesting. Never dull. That's for sure.
    Happy Thursday Dave,

    If Drink does decide to hire a OC, do you see it being more likely Bush being elevated to the role or an outside hiring? From the outside it feels like Bush could be decent calling plays based upon his time at UDUB, but that may have been more Chris Peterson than anything Bush actually did there.

    Thanks Dave, hopefully Baker can pull another Georgia on Saturday in Knoxville.
    Hamdan's days at UW didn't end well. The offense struggled on his watch in 2019 when he was fired. That doesn't mean he can't do a fine job here. He and Drinkwitz are very close. Eli has called him his best friend in coaching. That move wouldn't shock me, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see Drinkwitz use the money to hire someone from the outside. Lots of options on the table.
    I do not understand the Drinkwitz extension and understand less the raises to $6 and $7 million. This is getting a raise for doing less than mediocre work. What's the logic behind this, Dave? Please explain. Thanks.
    We have to stop thinking about coaching salaries in terms of what these guys have earned. These contracts go against the normal laws of income. In coaching, you get paid what you can convince your boss you're worth based on ... whatever you want to use as a factor. Drinkwitz talked about the SEC salary market that was reset last year. Not sure I've ever heard a head coach refer to it that way, but that's what they talk about when they're  not on camera. They see what their peers are making and convince their bosses that they can't compete at the same level without the same resources.
    Sad to see the story on Jed Frost. He was a fan favorite on the 94 undefeated Big 8 team.
    Just a terrible situation. I couldn't imagine what his children and family are going through right now.
    Was surprised to see Degray riding the bench. I thought he was pretty effective last year, but were you expecting to see a dramatic decrease in minutes with the addition of Noah Carter?
    DeGray was an occasionally good player on a bad team last year. I'm not shocked to see him get minimum minutes. He's probably a role player at best, and at the positions he can play, they clearly like other guys more. I think Carter has more upside. Better shooter. More athletic. More explosiev. They can't all play. Gates hand-picked most of this team.
    @trevonbrazile2: 21 pts, 12 rebs, 50% from 3pt THANKS
    He's a good player. No one ever doubted that.
    Does Marcus Johnson get another year to right the ship? This o line has been brutal, but felt like it had been pretty solid the previous 2 years.
    He was Mizzou's nominee for national assistant coach of the year in 2020. I don't think he's forgotten how to coach in two years. Lane Kiffin tried to hire him at Ole Miss that offseason. He's got an undersized redshirt freshman center. He's down to his third right tackle. The guards aren't particularly good. Injuries happen to every team, so not an excuse. But this team hasn't exactly recruited standout SEC offensive linemen lately. Player development might be a concern. They simply need better talent there and more quality depth.
    Drink has been using a primary RB throughout his time at Mizzou. This despite having a reliable secondary back to Roundtree, as Badie showed last year. Why won't he keep the primary back fresh by using a secondary back part time? I love Schraeder, but think a change of pace back in Young would make Schrader more effective and make the defense adjust to different styles, potentially yielding a chunk play periodically.
    Drinkwitz said this week they need to get another back more touches. He mentioned Peat and Young. But he's also said Young just isn't equipped to be a primary tailback in this offense in this league because of his frame. Maybe it's worth giving Peat another shot - but one more fumble should end that conversation
    Hey Dave!!
    More of a comment than a question. The last couple of games I am excited to see the improvement from Luther. To me he is learning how to battle through contact to make a catch. Great things to come from him without a doubt. What are your thoughts on his progression this year? Thanks for the chats.
    He's been better lately. Better hands. More decisive after the catch. I think he's starting to realize there's a time and place for trying to shake and bake but that he's strong and physical enough to break tackles. He's caught the ball much better lately, too.
    Are we (both fans and ADs) too quick to pull the trigger on coaching changes these days? I feel like there are many examples of successful coaches in the past who've had a rocky first 3 or 4 years and then figured things out. Pinkel was 22-25 through Year 4. I get not wanting to waste 5 or 6 years, though, only to realize your HC is the wrong guy for the job. Is more patience warranted with Drink?
    I never thought they should fire him after three years - especially if we decide his best accomplishment is two straight top 20 recruiting classes. Now, if all these SEC losses looked like the K-State game, then it would have been fair to wonder if he's entirely overmatched and/or lost the team. But you can't question the fight at this point. If we did, then that would be a big indictment of his leadership. In general, I do think fans/media are too impatient with coaches, but that's part of the deal when they're handed these monstrous salaries. They raise expectations, sometimes unrealistically
    I’ve got a few if you could please...

    1. How is Dennis Gates' demeanor on the sidelines? The little bits I saw of him on the broadcast against USI he seemed almost preternaturally calm compared to the Bruce Pearls of the world. Same question about his staff in general (I love his staff BTW).

    2. What’s up with Ronnie DeGray’s minuscule minutes? Hurt? Doghouse?

    3. Will you have an intern helping you out with coverage of WBB this year as I believe you have had in the past?
    1. Gates' back is to me on the opposite side of the arena from where I sit, so I really don't have a good view of him through two games. He'll be pretty stoic, I think, just based on his demeanor off the court. 
    2. Coaches can't play everyone. He was an OK player on a bad team last year. If he were playing over someone else, we'd be asking why that player wasn't playing.
    3. Calum McAndew has been writing multiple stories per week for us since August as our campus correspondent. He'll write some Mizzou women's basketball stories but probably not a lot. If they look like they're having a really successful season and fans are more interested, we'll adjust our coverage plans. But they just don't attract an audience the size of men's basketball. 
    The stories I’ve read on Drink’s contract extension don’t explain why the AD believed it was necessary and why now. Can we conclude that the administration believes that not only is the FB program on the right track but they also fear they could lose Drink if he has a breakout season in 2023?
    The extension has nothing to do with fear that he'll leave. Who's hiring him? Keep this in mind: Don't assume this is all on the AD. Members of the Board of Curators were the ones who took an active role in hiring Drinkwitz - and have been his closet allies the last three years. They were instrumental in getting support for the indoor facility. They were in favor of an AD change and played a major role in that hire. 
    When it comes to getting the best deals for their clients, the best agents find the school's pressure points - and that's where they apply their leverage. It's not always the AD.
    It's good for Reed-Francois if Drinkwitz has success at Mizzou - but her reputation/legacy isn't at stake if he fails. Her signature is on his extension, but she also adjusted his buyout to give MU protection should she fire him.
    Morning Dave
    What has happened to Ronnie Degray?
    He was a serviceable big that could help with rebounding in this smallish club. Please explain.
    The question of the day. You guys and your backup players. Zero questions about the 10 guys who are seeing the floor and producing but always an obsession with the guy at the end of the bench. Again he was an OK player on a bad team. I liked what Ronnie did for last year's team; but I'm not sure there aren't better options on this team with more upside. Maybe they'll play him more against teams with more size, but he's only 6-6. It's not like he's 6-10.
    Was HCED’s raise and extension the idea of the MIZ administration, the boosters or did they think they had to improve Drink’s contract at the same time as the defensive coach. They are have a better than last year and need a QB desperately. I have nothing against Brady Cook. I’m glad he is getting his chance, but the results aren’t there. Mizzou’s approach is in contrast to other SEC teams they are trying to compete against. Auburn has fired 2 coaches in the last couple of seasons and ower 30-40 million in buyouts. LSU fired Obregan 2 seasons after he led them to the national championship. Tenessee fired their coach. Florida also. Mizzou tried this extending a losing coach’s contract (Bob Stull) after he had a record of 12-31 for one more year and he produced a 3-7-1 record before he was finally fired. HCED is way behind the results that new coaches in neighboring are producing, Saturday’s foe being one of them. I think the raise/extension is creating another Cuonzo Martin situation leading a big buyout before 2027. I wish HCED all the luck in the world, but in my opinion it is time to put up or shut up.
    Well, I addressed most of this already, but Cuonzo never got an extension at Mizzou. So not sure how his contract is relevant. 
    If Mizzou fires Drinkwitz after the 2023 season, they would owe him $19.9 million minus whatever he makes in his next job. The contract requires him to seek another coaching job in order to collect his buyout. He'll be 40 years old at the time. Still relatively young for the coaching world. He'd get a Power Five coordinator job somewhere - and before you ask why: Jimmy Sexton. He represents most of the head coaches. He wants his clients to get new jobs. Do you think it was just a coincidence that Barry Odom (Sexton client) hired Derek Dooley (Sexton client) when Heupel left? Drinkwitz could get a coordinator job for $1-2 million ... or a Group of Five head-coaching job for $2-3 million. His salary for that job comes off Mizzou's buyout. Big picture, that's not a huge price to pay for Mizzou, at least by the SEC buyout standard.
    First impressions: Love Shaw, looks like a long and smooth forward with a nice upside who will go great with the three 4 stars (two bigs) coming next year ... Gomillion reminded me of a feisty Geist, the garbage man mentality who can wreak some havoc. Kobe: wow!! At point, liked Honor (he threw a couple of nifty no look passes), but East will need to acclimate to major conference competition. Defense? Needs a LOT OF WORK! But hey, it's early, right?
    There was plenty to like Monday. I'm with you on Gomillion.  He's a glue guy. Can defend multiple positions. Can run the point. Can get you a bucket. All about the team. Every great team has a Gomillion. He should  be a fan favorite.
    Dave,
    Besides Brown, I was impressed with Shaw as much as anyone on the court Monday. Will he become part of the core rotation? Seems pretty smooth and agile.
    He's part of the core rotation it sure seems. He was playing decent minutes for the team's only freshman. He made a 3, showed some serious upside at the rim. They'll need him to rebound if gets real minutes in the SEC.
    i believe the extension is based on Mizzou standing in the SEC. they have to stop recycling coaches, fans have to be realistic they are not close in any phase to the top programs in the SEC. going for 8 wins is a great win. Will fans ever accept the reality?
    Listen, I understand the skepticism over the raise. People in the industry were stunned. My text messages were proof of that. Nice gig if you can get it.
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