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.

    Greetings, chatters. We're a little bleary-eyed on this soggy Thursday. Last night's postgame press conference ended around 11:30 - and that was before I had typed a word in the game story you read this morning at STLtoday.com. We're working on a couple hours of sleep and lots of caffeine to bring you today's chat. Just a warning: Your friendly neighborhood beat writer might be a little ornery today. But I'm here reporting for chat duty for the next couple hours. Let's get to it.
    First, though, check out today's story on a wild game at Mizzou Arena. Lots of fouls. Lots of free throws. Lots of big shots. There was so much focus on a couple first-half contributions from players who had been out of sight lately - Mo & Mosley - but I wrote about the old guys who finished the job.
    What is your assessment on the portal players signed by Drinkwitz in this go around to meet the outstanding needs of the football team.
    I wouldn't say there are any obvious home runs but some proven Power Five contributors. They added two edge rushers, one with lots of starting experience in Joe Moore. They added two receivers, one with lots of game experience in Theo Wease. They added a mid-major offensive tackle, Marcellus Johnson, who's seen plenty of action but not at the SEC level. They added two Power Five defensive backs who were in and out of their respective lineups. Not sure either guy, Tre'Vez Johnson or Sidney Williams, is an upgrade over returning starters but look more like depth pieces. They got a much-needed punter. I'd be curious to see if they keep pursuing tight ends and offensive linemen.
    Last year taught us not to judge too quickly on transfers. Kristian Williams barely got on the field at Oregon - but blossomed into a starter on a good SEC defense 
    Hello, Mr. Matter. Thank you for the chat and your time. And, thanks for your coverage of Mizzou sports, it's one of the main reasons why I have a digital subscription to the P-D. I read the stories where a University of Florida quarterback is asking out of his commitment to the Gators because a $13 million NIL deal with the team's boosters fell through. This probably is a stupid question, but I'll ask anyway: if a player is getting $10 million or so to play football for a school, why does he need a scholarship? I have no problem with players finally getting their share of the billion-dollar prize, and it's way past time, but it seems like the whole NCAA model is out of whack.
    Thanks for subscribing; it's incredibly appreciated
    I'll warn you: Don't fall for some of these NIL dollar figures. A lot of them are greatly embellished by people who benefit from these figures being out there. (Ahem, agents!) Also the way a lot of these NIL deals are structured, athletes aren't getting paid all this money in a lump-sum. They're stretched out over the length of a contract. And if the player transfers or doesn't follow through with NIL obligations, they don't make all that money. 
    In terms of why the scholarship, well, the one cardinal rule with NIL deals is they can't be recruiting inducements - even though everyone knows they are. So, you can't pay an athlete an NIL deal until they've signed with the respective school - and that means signing a national letter of intent/scholarship agreements. If a school signs a player to an NIL deal without offering them a scholarship first, that's putting the cart before the horse and just blatantly paying them a recruiting inducement. 
    Dave, with the latest NIL fiasco at Florida, what do you see as the future for this new landscape? I realize it's all geared towards athlete empowerment, but it's crazy and it's out of hand. How about just taking away amateur status from the big conferences?
    I'm doing a lot of reporting right now on Mizzou's primary collective. Here's an essential difference between what's happening at Florida and the NIL deals that are taking place at MU: Some schools, like Florida, have multiple big-money collectives, some that aren't cooperating with the university's athletics department. The rogue collectives can run into more trouble like this because they not working in concert with the school's coaches and athletics department officials. There's more structure and accountability within the collectives that engage directly with the schools.
    As for the future, I agree with some of the folks who are working closely in the NIL space. For the next couple of years, things are going to go bonkers as more donors get involved and athletes/agents/parents learn how to capitalize on the system. Eventually, though, things will level off and a some kind of market will unfold.
    How I see it Dave as a 45 year fan of all things Mizzou. Women's Basketball, Coach Pingeton I am sure is a great lady. But the program needs to change to a new coach. You could see this coming we she won't recruit SEC Bigs. The Bigs we have are low major college players. There were numerous bigs in the portal she didn't recruit any. We also need more athletic type players. No way to be in the top 6 in t he SEC without those type players. MEN Basketball, what a win , I really think the hill is to steep in The SEC for this team getting out rebounded by large margins to get in the Big Dance but the fan base is interested in Mizzou basketball again. It feels like the clock has been turned back before Martin and Anderson. MIZZOU football I think the defense will be better, if the new offensive coach is much better running an offense than drink was it might be okay. Drink will be a great CEO and recruiter. Offensive line is still a huge concern and it is obvious Cook is our guy and I am okay with that. When your only QB option to bring in is a JUCO QB you know who drink is going with. Just my take on things , thanks for the chat Dave.
    Lots to unpack there. I agree on women's hoops as far as the lack of athleticism. That was obvious against LSU and South Carolina. Mizzou can still finish in the top half of the league if they win more games like they did against Bama, Auburn and Kentucky
    Hi Dave - thanks as always for the great coverage and the chats. Is it reasonable to think 21-22 wins for the MBB Tigers at the end of the regular season? I see them winning against the 5 unranked teams at home, picking up 2 wins on the road (probably the Mississippi and Miss State games), and then MAYBE picking off IA State at home at the end of this month. What's that matchup look like?
    I think 21 wins is very possible
    Here's how I'd rank the remaining games from least likely to win to most likely to win:
    at Tennessee 
    vs. Alabama
    at Auburn
    vs. Iowa State
    at Georgia
    at Mississippi State
    vs. Texas A&M
    at LSU
    vs Mississippi State
    vs. LSU
    at Ole Miss
    vs. Ole Miss
    vs South Carolina
    So, if Missouri wins the easiest four home games and at least two road games, you're looking at needing to beat A&M at home or beating one of those two mid-tier teams on the road: Georgia or Mississippi State. You can lose the top six games on that list and still get to 21 wins - and I imagine Mizzou can/will win at least one of those first six games. 
    As for Iowa State, the Cyclones are very good defensively and rely heavily on forcing turnovers. They're an older, experienced team much like Mizzou - but not as good offensively and don't play at Mizzou's preferred pace. Tough game no matter where it's played.
    How did we do last night? Looking for an "objective" view. Some of these subjective folks have been rather mean to us.
    Go easy on those whistles. Nobody paid to see 66 free throws.
    Dave, enjoy your reporting on Mizzou matters. A question, Mizzou has 4 players committed for mens Bball next year, how many on this years roster are eligible to play next year?
    All but three are eligible to return next season. The only players out of eligibility next season are Hodge, Gomillion and Gholston. Remember, Mizzou is only using 12 scholarships this year, so theoretically, everyone else could return next year and MU would still have four available scholarships to give to the four signed/committed players. But chances are, at least one player with remaining eligibility will decide to move on. Just as an example, Kobe Brown will have played four college seasons and will turn 24 next January. He could very well decide to pursue his pro career rather than play a fifth season.
    Maybe I am giving Gates too much credit, but East's steal after Ark's rebound on the missed free throw at the end of the game almost looked like a sneaky called "play." He called over the two guys in the lane after the first free throw, and East snuck up from near half court for the steal. I guess they may have a better chance a getting a steal there than a rebound. Anyways, go MU!
    Gates might have seen something that would give East an edge there to grab the steal. Good observation. Unfortunately from my seat in the media section, if the fans are standing up, I can't see much of anything that happens in the area around MU's bench.
    I suppose the call even out over time (at least to a degree) and perhaps this is me looking through my gold-and-black glasses, but until those final 5 minutes, last night, I didn't see Missouri getting the kind of home-cooking other teams get. Good example is what I think was Gholston's 4th foul, the charge. The defender (Anthony Black, I believe) was clearly still moving into the space and, although Gholston's shoulder was down a bit, I'd bet my mortgage that the call would go against us if we were in the defensive position and the game were at BWA. And there's no way Mizzou has ever gotte payback for the 5th Down, the Flea Kicker, the Phantom PI and the Roughing the Weasel (this year's UK game). This universe owes a a bunch, it seems to me. Am I (and the myriad of other Mizzou fans who have expressed similar sentiments) wrong?
    I'm not sure that's the game where Mizzou fans should complain about officiating. Arkansas was called for 11 more fouls. Mizzou took 14 more free throws.
    Hello Dave!

    Just want to say that it was a great comeback by the Tigers last night but they have struggled the last 5 games with 3 point defense....too many 3 point shots taken (and not making them) and of course bad rebounding!! 43-23 last night.

    1.Is there anything they can do THIS year to reverse the trend of bad rebounding? Will the recruits coming in next year help in this respect?

    2. Also, shout out to the fans. Great turn out last night and great atmosphere. Not sure what changed. I had been harping for years about the BAD fan support the last decade, and it's not about winning. Haith and Martin had some good teams and people just didn't show up. Maybe it's just a more exciting style of play? Did Francois do anything different to get fans in the building?
    1. I didn't think the rebounding really hurt Mizzou last night. Arkansas scored only eight second-chance points. The Hogs got 13 offensive rebounds on 27 missed shots but didn't really capitalize on the extra chances. Like I wrote about, on the offensive glass, I thought Kobe did a great job tapping the ball back to a teammate twice on one possession - which is exactly what the staff emphasized before the game, he said. When they're playing four guards they don't have the size to grab all the rebounds, so they have to find other ways to impact the opposition in the paint - and sometimes just tapping the ball back is all you need to do. They're adding some size next year but they're more perimeter-oriented players.
    2. In fairness, when MU was 13-3 and ranked No. 10 under Martin two years ago, the fans COULDN'T show up. They had COVID crowd capacity rules at the time. Otherwise, I think we would have seen big home crowds that season. MU sold out every game Martin's first season. 
    As for what Reed-Francois did, she hired a new coach who got off to a good start against an easy schedule. Gates made it clear he wanted to play a bunch of home games early against a manageable slate of games to get the fans bought in. In hindsight, smart move. This team might have gained more by losing to quality high-major teams, but fans also want to see wins against anybody with a pulse. So going 9-0 helped MU get ranked and bring the fans back to see a ranked team.
    Yeah $10 million NIL money is more than most coaches. I can see maybe $50k a year for a good player but $10 million is just a joke.
    Chances we come up with the $13 mil to land Rashada? 😂
    Nil - no pun intended. Mizzou's NIL collective is looking to build a sustainable base of cash that regenerates over time - not just one big lump sum for one player. Stay tuned for more.
    Good morning Dave. Thank you for your hard work on our behalf. How do you compare the atmosphere last night with some you have seen in the past? I hope your kids get to experience it sometime.
  • The atmosphere is back to where it was during Haith's first season when the Tigers were ranked and beating other ranked teams. I'll say it again, but no matter how you feel about the Cuonzo years, it's a shame the best start his teams had came during the 2020-21 season when there were still COVID crowd limits in place. MU beat No. 10 Alabama at home that year and only 3,000 people were in the building because of COVID crowd rules.
    What has been with the foul calling in basketball games this year? The refs are so whistle happy it slows down the game so much and removes any momentum. It worked in our favor last night with 4 Arkansas players fouling out, but in other recent games it’s been an issue.
    It's a problem - and it's not just an SEC officiating problem. I know Mizzou fans are focused on SEC games, but coaches around the country have been outspoken about the same issues slowing down the games. Officiating is hard. They're instructed how to call fouls, but there are some unbelievable athletes playing today's game. Here's the reality: The players are all getting bigger, faster and stronger - but the court is the same size. You've got bigger, more athletic players playing a physical game on a court that's the same size as when Gary Link and Jon Sundvold and the Haley twins played the game. (No offense to Linker, Sunny, Sammie and Simeon.) There's inevitably going to be more contact, especially with more traffic in the paint and with fewer mid-range jump shots. I think some officials call too many anticipation fouls, where they're conditioned to expect more contact than what really occurs.
    Would Jamarion Sharp have made a decent difference on this team? Was there some problem Brazile encountered at Mizzou? He seems quite interested in poking Mizzou now.
    There were rumblings in the final month of last season that SEC coaches were already talking to Brazile. As I reported at the time, they were already contacting Kobe Brown at the end of the year, too. I don't know if Brazile had any issues with Mizzou per se, but I'm sure he took a lot of grief on social media from fans when he transferred. And he's a college kid, so he probably let it bother him - like many of us do when strangers attack us on social media. So, I assume that's what happened with Brazile. 
    As for Sharp, his rim protection and rebounding would have helped this team. I'm not sure he's a major impact on the offensive end on this team, especially the way Gates like to play five players on the perimeter. 
    I thought Mizzou was very fortunate that the charge on Arkansas was upheld with under 2 minutes to go last night. The game was tied at that point I believe, if it goes the other way, who knows what happens. Mizzou shot 40 free throws as well, and Arkansas had four players foul out. Conversely, and I will admit I do not have the most impartial eyes on this, Mizzou seems to get a lot of tough calls against them on the road. I don't like to blame losses on poor calls from the officials... but, is it just me or do SEC officials seem to be heavily influenced by the home crowd? If you agree, is this a belief that is widely acknowledged around the league?
    Again, this isn't an SEC thing. For one, these officials work for multiple leagues. I've tried to make this point a million times over the last few years, but not sure anyone is paying attention: Officials don't work exclusively for one conference. 
    Brian Dorsey was one of last night's three officials. He also worked MU's home game against Vandy on Jan. 7. Here was his schedule between those two games:
    Jan. 17: Wisconsin-Penn Stat
    Jan 15: South Florida-East Carolina
    Jan 14: LSU-Alabama
    Jan 12: Iowa-Michigan
    Jan. 11: Georgia-Miss St
    Jan. 10: South Carolina-Kentucky
    Jan. 8: Northwestern-Indiana
    Last night’s win over the Razorbacks is the perfect example of what iis meant by Defending Your Home Court. I wouldn’t have bet a plugged nickel that MIZ Would win the game when they were down 10 with 5 minutes to go. Surprisingly they won. The whole season is surprising. Given the patchwork that Coach Gates had to do to put together this winning team. The path to the big dance got a little easier with last night’s. Alabama, even though it’s a home will be a tougher task, especially since MIZ upset them last year in COMO. Coach Eli should be taking notes on how to defend his home field. MIZ had UGA on the ropes for 55 minutes but succumbed to the inevitible. MIz may had been the closest to defeating Georgia. If they had, maybe the Bulldogs don’t make the pplayoffs. As we all know close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
    I made the point to the other writers with five minutes left when fans started leaving arena: Do they not watch basketball? A 10-point deficit is not that big of a deal in today's game, especially when you've got two teams that play fast and both teams are already in the bonus. When you're down 10, you need two straight defensive stops and two 3-pointers and suddenly you're down just four. One more stop and you've got a chance to make it a one-possession game with a basket or trip to the free throw line. In last night's case, Arkansas went from down 2 to up 10 in five minutes. It's a game of runs. I figured Mizzou had another one in them. I wasn't confident they'd win the game, but I wasn't shocked it got close again.
    What happens to the NIL money that Rashada already got? Does he have to return it or does he get to keep it and rob the next school as well?
    I've got to be honest, I'm not paying that close of attention to the story. I'm busy enough.
    Have you had enough time to look at Kirby Moore's work or maybe glean from his short presser what we may see out of the offense, next football season? He made a point of saying you design to take advantage of your talent base so perhaps his history at Fresno won't provide as much insight as we'd like. I just hope they find a way to be more north/south rather than horizontal. Defenses in the SEC are too fast and athletic to think our guys can consistently, "make someone miss in open space," as it seems every OC is looking for.
    He didn't offer any specifics and mostly just used boilerplate terms that most offensive coaches use. He wants to attack, play with tempo, etc. We'll learn more this spring, hopefully.
    Dave, what's your prediction on if Coach Prime will be the Buffs coach when the Tigers travel to Boulder in the fall of 2025?

    BTW, I just saw the Pac-12 schedule released and it'll be an interesting start for Deion at Colorado. First five are at TCU, vs Nebraska, vs. Colorado St, at Oregon and then vs. USC. I wonder how high the fan-base will be if CU starts out 1-4.
    Well, it's Boulder, so plenty of fans will be high.
    Mizzou doesn't play Colorado until 2030 (home) and 2031 (away). The game in Boulder was pushed back. For now, Mizzou's 2025 noncon schedule is Kansas (Sept. 7), at Miami-Ohio (Sept. 13), Louisiana (Oct. 4) and UMass (Oct. 18). Of course that's all subject to change when Oklahoma and Texas join the league. So don't book your hotels yet.
    Still, I doubt Coach Prime will still be there by 2030-31. He'll make Colorado competitive pretty quickly. And if they can win six or seven games against that schedule, other Power Five ADs will take notice. I'm bullish on Prime at Colorado, to the point I'm not sure he's still coaching there by 2026.
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