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.

    OK, chatters. It's our last get-together during the football regular season. (We'll take Thanksgiving off next week.) Much to discuss. Let's get it started.
    I know this is a question that has been ask before but with the Tennessee blowout and the inability to score significant points I am curious what you think is the difference between the results between Drink and Josh Heupel. They both took over their respective teams about the same time. Both had access to the portal. Both did a good job recruiting. My best guess is Heupel got a great quarterback and that is the difference. Your thoughts.
    Let's be clear on something: Hendon Hooker transferred to Tennessee BEFORE Josh Heupel took that job. Hooker went there to play for Jeremy Pruitt. Heupel's Week 1 starting QB last year was Joe Milton, the transfer he landed from Michigan. So, clearly, Hooker has emerged as the perfect fit for Heupel's offense, but it wasn't necessarily by design. It just worked out that way.
    Heupel is a more proven offensive coach than Drinkwitz. Nobody who follows college football would deny that. That was true before this season. Heupel coordinated very good college offenses at Oklahoma and Missouri before taking his system to UCF and now Tennessee. Those offenses were far more productive than the offenses Drinkwitz ran at North Carolina State, App State and Missouri. Heupel's offensive system is all encompassing - and is defined by tempo, getting the ball out quick, vertical shots and power running. It's working better than ever at Tennessee. But it has worked according to plan at other stops, too.
    It's a far more proven system than Drinkwitz's offense - and Heupel has better players, too.
    Dave, starting off with a MBB question. You said last week during you chat, we should pay more attention to the players who are getting playing then about players who aren't. Okay, that was a good point. My question, which of the transfers has surprised you the most so far?
    D'Moi Hodge is good. He's a high-major player. He can score. He can shoot. He can run the floor and score in transition. Very good defensive wing. Very exciting player
    Tre Gomillion is instant offense off the bench. Versatile. Can defend just about every position. Smart. Can handle the ball. Can shoot. Can attack inside. He grabbed the whiteboard from Gates the other night and drew up a play. Tough defender.
    Mosley might take some time to adjust to a new role and a new system, but you can see the offensive skill and the scoring ability. He's a playmaker, too. He's shown moments where he starts to hunt his shot and it doesn't always come within the flow of the offense, but when he feels like setting up teammates, he creates opportunities for them.
    Both point guards have been solid. Very different players but they seem to complement each other well.
    Dave…good morning!

    Ronnie DeGray lll seems to be the 14th player on a squad of 13.

    Last year he was one of our top rebounders and defensemen around the paint and this year he’s the invisible man. Do you see him having a role with this team as the season kicks into high gear or will this be his assignment all season long? Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving! Larry
    He was an average player on a bad team last year - so I'm not surprised he's not seeing the floor as much. He's only 6-6 but doesn't really have the skills of a wing - and he really doesn't have the frame for a traditional big. He was a solid offensive rebounder last year, but Gates clearly prefers Noah Carter and Kobe Brown as the two "bigs" on the floor. They seem to have more upside on the offensive end and more athleticism. Maybe against high-major teams with more size DeGray will see the floor more. But Gates does't mind playing smaller lineups to beat size with quickness.
    Very smart of Gates to play a lower level schedule to start. Players learn to play with each other. Our lack of size will be a huge challenge in the SEC, and non conference good opponents. I see us going 17 and 14 before SEC tournament. We will go 9 and 4 non conference and 8 and 10 in the SEC. I think we will get an NIT BID , 3rd seed in a region. Football wise , I applaud AD for not panicking ,and keeping Drink, this helps in so many ways. I think 7 wins is a real possibility next season.
    I'd say anything short of seven wins next year is trouble for Drinkwitz. As I've written and said many times over the last couple weeks - and BenFred wrote in his column last week - the contract extension actually raises expectations and cranks up the pressure to win sooner. The resources are there and will now command the results.
    I'd be surprised if the basketball team loses four nonconference games. Beating Kansas and Illinois won't be easy. Wichita State is not the Wichita State of old. They've lost to Alcorn State. Maybe UCF is a loss - but UCF lost to UNC Asheville. Unless the Tigers drop one of the next three games, I suspect they'll be favored over Wichita State and UCF. 
    For the record, KenPom projects MU going 11-2 in noncon - losses to KU and Illinois - and 7-11 in the SEC for an 18-13 record. 
    How does activity initiate in the transfer portal? Is it the player who reaches out to the university(s), or do interested coaching staffs review a list of players who’ve expressed interest in relocating and then they initiate contact ? Also when does an “open season” begin, or is it a process that’s always open ?
    The portal is just a database. As soon as a player enters his name in the database, coaches from other schools pounce. If the player has a contact on another staff he might reach out first, but schools employ entire recruiting departments who monitor the portal 24-7 to make connections with players as soon as they enter their names. 
    Players can officially enter the portal on Dec. 5. Expect there to be a wave of players entering their names that day and coaches reaching out immediately to set up visits. 
    Also, it would be naive to think coaches haven't already initiated some talks with potential transfers - either directly or between third-parties. Remember, players can work with agents now.
    Well, I'm impressed with the men's basketball team. They look more athletic and more talented than the teams the last few years. Better inside game by far, better passing, better movement....better defense. But fouls need to be reduced and better perimeter defense. They gave up a ton of points to a few lesser teams and that won't fly in the SEC (and against Illinois and Kansas). But they look MUCH better. (need fans to show up though....kind of embarrassing)

    BUT, the football team is terrible. Bad defense last week, bad offense (again...and again...). Mizzou needs a QB who know....actually throw accurate passes over 5 yards and not rely on 2 yarders and QB runs.

    Why won't Drink just start Horn against New Mexico? I mean, they SHOULD win anyway, so what do they have to gain by playing Cook? Play Horn and get him some reps.

    1. Is Drink afraid Horn will light it up and everyone will question his coaching choices?
    2. Will Drink hire an offensive coordinator? It's obvious over the last few years that he is not a good play caller.
    I've had multiple conversations the last few weeks that tell me this: Drinkwitz would love to play Sam Horn. But he's got to earn those reps in practice and as of last week he simply hadn't proven he was ready. It's not just about ability and upside. It's about proving he's mature enough to handle the job, to know the plays and be able to execute the base plays in the offense. The staff had targeted the New Mexico State game all along as a game they'd like to get Horn in the game. But they don't want to play him in a situation where he has to win the game - or could potentially lose it with a mistake. If Mizzou gets a comfortable lead on Saturday, I'd expect to see 21 on the field at some point.
    Why is it obvious he's not a good play-caller? I see an offensive line that struggles ... I see a lack of dynamic playmakers at tailback ... and I see a QB who's inconsistent. What kind of play-calling overcomes all of that? What plays would be better? In my opinion, recruiting and player development are bigger issues than play-calling. 
    That said, as I reported last week, the increased salary pool for assistant coaches was constructed that way to allow Drinkwitz to hire an offensive coordinator. I'd be surprised if he completely turns the offense over to an outsider with a different system. First, he'd have to get rid of a current assistant to hire someone new. And if he does that, maybe he brings in a new position coach, gives him a coordinator title with the expectation he'll still run Drinkwitz's offense but perhaps with some tweaks.
    How do you think this year's Tigers men's basketball squad measures up against the Illini?
    A little early to get a read on the Illini. They've actually played a less challenging schedule than Mizzou. Illinois' SOS (per KenPom) ranks No. 358 out of 362 teams. But that changes tomorrow when the Illini play UCLA. Illinois has more size, plays fast and has been really good on the defensive end. They've got veterans in Hawkins, Mayer and Shannon but two freshman guards. Should be a really good matchup.
    Hey Dave- the roster looks significantly upgraded. More athletic. Better ball handling. Better passing. I know this is lower - mid major talent, but this is encouraging.

    For the hoops fans out there you can follow the bball team’s schedule on your phone right from the mu men’s bball web page. At least so far this year the game video and audio are on the calendar.
    Are we concerned that other teams will completely pick apart our team through the transfer portal given the less than successful year we are having?
    Players have to enter the portal first. It's inevitable that some good players will enter. It's also inevitable that good players on other teams will enter the portal. Mizzou landed some All-SEC caliber defensive players via the portal last year. No reason MU can't do that again this offseason. It's open season for everyone.
    Seems like Gates has a plan with how he wants his teams to run their offense, enough that hes sitting the best transfer player from the offseason. Play fast, hunt for 3s, no hesitation. Was his teams like this at Cleveland St.? Does he talk about anything he emphasizes on the offensive end?
    I assume you're talking about Mosley, who just played 23 minutes the other night - more than every player on the team except Hodge. 
    As for comparisons to Cleveland State, this year's Missouri team is playing slightly faster in terms of the number of possessions played but also relying more on 3-pointers for its points. Still a very small sample size to make valid comparisons. But he wants to play with pace, share the ball and have multiple go-to scorers. 
    I saw Chad Bailey has announced he is coming back for a 5th season and Isaiah McGuire is definitely not. Any word on any of the other seniors, whether they have made a decision or not?
    Martez Manuel is not coming back for an extra year. Darius Robinson will walk Saturday but hasn't made a final decision. Javon Foster will  not walk Saturday but also hasn't made a final decision on next year.
    Did Tennessee just score again? I was not able to watch the game. Were the Tennessee players just that much better? I know Missouri made it 28-24 but then the bottom fell out. After the way Missouri played Georgia I thought it would be a better game.
    Transitive property doesn't work in college football.
    Kentucky beat Florida ... Florida beat South Carolina ... South Carolina beat Kentucky. 
    Tennessee has a great quarterback, an elite receiver and a proven system with a great play-caller and play-designer. And probably most important, Tennessee has an incentive to score a million points over its final three games. 
    What are the odds Lovett or Burden leave after the year? Seems like it could be a trend of committing to a university, having a big year, and moving up the ladder. Could the big fish (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, etc.) come calling for Burden?
    I'd be surprised if Lovett or Burden get into the portal. Lovett has proven he can be an All-SEC player in this offense. Mizzou fans have invested a lot of NIL money to bring Burden to campus. I haven't heard anything to indicate he's not happy here. He's touching the ball a lot for a freshman receiver at a Power Five program. He has 56 targets, tied for 15th in the SEC. Mizzou has thrown to him more times than Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky or Florida has thrown to any of its players. He's also touched the ball another 14 times on designed runs. He's getting chances. 
    Is that enough to keep him in Columbia, along with all the NIL deals? Maybe. Maybe not. But I don't suspect there's a tremendous fear that he'll leave.
    Dave, using the measuring stick of a good coach, “he will take his and beat yours, and take yours and beat his”, do you blame a large part of the reason of this year‘s football losses on coach Drink? I do! And not just this year, but during his whole tenure, it seems, he’s ALWAYS out-coached, out schemed, and NEVER shows the ability to win a game due to his coaching abilities. I really feel a better coach would’ve gotten more out of the talent during these three years.
    You mean he's outcoached every week or just in the losses? Did Bryan Harsin actually out-coach Drinkwitz? Would you say that if Mevis doesn't miss the field goal or Peat doesn't fumble at the goal line?
    It's fair to say Heupel out-coached Mizzou on Saturday. His offense was a step ahead of MU most of the day.
    I thought for about three and a half quarters, Drinkwitz out-coached Kirby Smart - and maybe for the whole game. Mizzou's offense gave UGA some issues. The defense had Bennett rattled. Eventually, UGA's talent took over. 
    We currently only 3 recruits signed for next seasons basketball team, and 4 players are non seniors. Is Gates working on getting more freshman recruits or do you believe he is leaving roster spots open for seniors to return for a 5th season/grab new players through the portal. We have alot of slots to fill.
    Hodge, Gholston and Gomillion are out of eligibility after this season. This is it for those three. Five other seniors have another year of eligibility - the COVID year - if they want to use it next season: Kobe Brown, Sean East, Nick Honor, Noah Carter and Isiaih Mosley. There should be room to add at least one more recruit because, remember, they're only carrying 12 scholarship players this year. They could always lose another transfer or two. The staff will be flexible and ready to adjust.
    Chatter saying 7 wins is a real possibility next year. Is the bar so low, standards so where in year 4 we are excited for 7 wins (when 4 are usually NC cupcakes)?
    Next year's schedule has two must-win games: South Dakota and Middle Tennessee at home.
    Then you've got some marginally tougher games that could be toss-ups: Memphis (in St. Louis), home games against Kansas State, South Carolina and Florida, road games at Vandy, Kentucky and Arkansas.
    Then you've got three games that look far more imposing: at Georgia and home against Tennessee and LSU.
    With so many questions about this roster going into 2023, picking out seven wins from that schedule is easier said than done, especially for a team that hasn't played all that great on the road, never beaten Georgia or Tennessee under Drinkwitz and always struggles with Kentucky.
    On the broadcasts, they have mentioned multiple times, both D'Moi Hodge and Tre Gomillion as being former Horizon league defensive players of the year but Mizzou currently ranks 304th of 363 teams on defense. Do you think this is a product of Gates fast style of play that leads to high scoring on both ends or do you think its poor defensive play. If we rank that low against these teams so far, I am a bit worried once SEC play starts.
    Gates' teams at Cleveland State weren't all that great defensively from a national perspective. Here's where they ranked in defensive efficiency: 250, 138 and 227. They also didn't rank anywhere near the fastest teams in terms of tempo. So his teams aren't necessarily bound by one defined trait. Like any good coach he'll adjust the style based on his roster's strengths. But you can still be a good defensive player on an average defensive team.
    On last Saturday’s CBS telecast the announcer stated that 6 football players from the state of Missouri were drafted by the NFL and none of them had played for Mizzou. I know Mizzou has had success the last 2 signing periods and did get Luther Burden, but it disappointing that Miz hasn’t attracted more of the high end talent in past years. I’m sure if you get an offer from Notre Dame or Ohio St or Michigan, it would be hard to choose Mizzou over those traditional powerhouses. Are any of the 21 seniors who will be honored Saturday likely to get drafted by an NFL team?
  • All four defensive linemen will get an NFL shot: McGuire, Jeffcoat, Coleman and Robinson. Manuel will get a chance. Several more underclassmen could enter the draft: Hopper, Carlies, Abrams-Draine, Rakestraw, Charleston. I doubt they all do, but the staff is well aware that some could make the jump.
    Keep in mind, not all the Missouri natives who get drafted were can't-miss Power Five recruits in high school. Some of them developed into prospects while they were in college. Missouri can't bat 1.000 on the recruiting trail with lesser prospects who MIGHT develop into NFL draft picks. 
    Here are the 2022 draft picks who came from Missouri high schools.
    Jameson Williams, Cardinal Ritter … Ohio State & Alabama
    Rachaad White, Center/Kansas City … Arizona State
    Hassan Haskins, Eureka … Michigan
    Skylar Thompson, Fort Osage … Kansas State
    Marquis Hayes, Pattonville … Oklahoma
    Kyren Williams, Vianney/Kirkwood … Notre Dame
    Sam Roberts, Waynesville … Northwest Missouri St.
    Mizzou pursued some of them, not all of them. 
    Respectfully, I scratch my head a bit on the framing of "As I've written and said many times over the last couple weeks - and BenFred wrote in his column last week - the contract extension actually raises expectations and cranks up the pressure to win sooner. The resources are there and will now command the results." I know I've been on the anti-HCED bandwagon from day 1 (thought we needed a lot more than a head coach with only 1 HC year under his belt from the minor leagues). What were the expectations before? What was the pressure before? What resources weren't there before? He's in year 3. Making $6M a year, would have thought there were raised expectations and pressure to win from day 1 of his hiring. And he hasn't. So let's give him more money, and say, "well, before he didn't have everything he needed to win .... now he does." He didn't inherit a dumpster fire, but we've been closer to that under him than previously. I guess this only makes sense in College Football head-coaching, because it doesn't in any other field.
    He didn't have the enhanced staff salary pool before. Heading into this year he could have said he couldn't hire an offensive coordinator because there wasn't money to spend on one. Now that money is there. 
    He didn't have a new indoor practice facility when he took the job. He will in June. He can no longer say their facilities are behind.
    He also has an AD who didn't hire him - whose reputation and legacy doesn't hinge on the decision to hire a young head coach with one year of HC experience. The current set-up inherently increases the pressure. 
    Is Barret Bannister a “preferred walk on? In all my years of watching college football, I first ran across this term when reading Kent Herstriet’s book a couple of years ago. Apparently his sons were preferred walkons at Clemson. I had always assumed walkons got no scholarship money and were paying their own tuition. If they played well enough they could earn a scholarship. So how does a preferred walkon differ from a walkon? How many walkons does MU have - preferred and regular.? I assume there would be a limit on how many you could have?
    Banister has been on scholarship for several years now.
    A preferred walk-on gets to join the team for summer workouts and the start of preseason camp and doesn't have to wait until the start of classes to join the team. They still have to pay for tuition, books and other expenses that are covered by an athletic scholarship. 
    Preferred just means the staff put more time into recruiting them to join the team and let them join the program sooner than other walk-ons. I don't know the breakdown on the current roster. 
    Theres alot of calls for Sam Horne to play in the New Mexico State game but no one seems concerned about other high profile recruits that take time to develop. I think it is an unfair critique towards QBs and how they need to perform right away. With all that said, is there any chance we see any of the other high profile recruits get time in this upcoming game? I haven't seen Marquis Gracial, DJ Weslock, Tavorus Jones, Isaac Thompson, Ja'Morion Wayne, or Travion Ford play much yet. We will need some of these guys to step up next season with how much of our defense will graduate.
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