MIzzou chat for Thursday

MIzzou chat for Thursday

Chat with Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter

    Apologies for the technical issue. Dave Matter should be joining the chat in just a moment. Please re-submit your questions. Thank you!
    Apologies for the delayed start but we're up and running now. I'll be here for the next couple hours to take your Mizzou questions.
    Any word on when Mizzou will release the new football field design?
    It's not finished yet, last I saw. As soon as the field is complete, all it takes is a stroll to the stadium to see what it looks like.
    Good Afternoon can you give any insight on the DB room at present... I know they are waiting on Evans but what is the likely backup? Also are any Frosh ready to take the next step
    You can count on Ennis Rakestraw starting at cornerback. At the other spot, just based on the current roster, Ish Burdine would likely have the edge over the rest of the candidates going into camp. Mizzou's new base defense will use three corners. At the slot corner/inside corner position, Chris Shearin worked with the No. 1 defense during spring drills. So, just based on what we've already seen, that's a possible look at the corners who open fall camp working with the first unit. 
    That is unless Tulsa transfer Ekayleb Evans picks Mizzou over Texas, Notre Dame, Georgia and his other suitors. Based on what I'm hearing today, I would not be surprised if Evans ends up in Columbia. An announcement could be looming. If Evans picks Mizzou, he's all but certainly a starter. 
    Who else is in the running at corner? Kris Abrams Draine made the conversion from receiver late in the season. Daylan Carnell, a big freshman at 6-2, 211 pounds, is going to have a role somewhere. Then you've got the other freshmen: Snoop Reaves, Darius Jackson, Davion Sistrunk. The Tigers added a Power 5 transfer, though as a walk-on, in Texas Tech's Devyn Butler.
    Another new name of interest on the roster: Isaiah Haggerty. He's a sprinter/hurdler from the track team. on the football team. This will be his fourth year at Mizzou but first with the football program. From Tyler, Texas. He runs the 100 and 200 for the track team.
    At safety, Martez Manuel will be a starter. JC Carlies impressed the staff in the spring. Other candidates: Shawn Robinson, Jalani Williams, Mason Pack, Stacy Brown, Tyler Jones and freshman Tyler Hibbler. 
    Mizzou updated its heights and weights recently. Five of the corners are at least 6-1: Burdine (6-1), Carnell (6-2), Reaves (6-1), Jackson (6-2), Sistrunk (6-3).
    Dave, thanks as always for the chat. Now that the worst of Covid is hopefully behind us, what’s been the biggest challenges you’ve had professionally over the last year or so? Thanks, and I’ll hang up and take your answer off air.
    Good question. I'd say having to do group interviews on Zoom has been my least favorite part of the last year in terms of doing the job. You can't develop rapport/trust/relationships with coaches and athletes over a computer screen. You can't ask certain questions you want to ask because that answer then becomes community property for everyone else to use for their content. I understand why teams have used Zoom - although I think it's past time to start allowing vaccinated media to conduct in-person interviews - so I don't begrudge or blame schools for going that route. 
    I'm fortunate that I have a good rapport with a lot of the coaches I cover and I keep in touch with them outside of the Zoom boundaries. But I look forward to talking to coaches and athletes in person again. Hopefully it happens soon. It's so much easier to engage in person. You can have actual conversations instead of formal press conference Q&As that can be uncomfortable for both sides. 
    On a related noted, I'm very pleased to say both Ben Frederickson and I will be on the ground in Hoover, Alabama next month for all four days of SEC football media days. We'll have wall-to-wall coverage in print and online from the season's kickoff event. 
    If you had to predict a starting 5 for the next year’s basketball team today, who would it be?
    I think we got this question last week, and I realized after the chat I forgot to include UMass transfer Ronnie DeGray III.
    So, let's try this again.
    Point guard: I'd expect Boogie Coleman to be the primary point, with Anton Brookshire getting time here, too. Is Kaleb Brown ready to get minutes at the point as a freshman? 
    Two guard: Amari Davis could be the guy here. Experienced D-I scorer.
    Three/wing: You can do a few different things here. Maybe it's Javon Pickett. Maybe it's K-State transfer DaJuan Gordon. Pickett is the better 3-point shooter. Gordon might be a mover versatile, more athletic defender. Sean Durugordon could be an option, too. (I said this a lot last year but Pickett should shoot from 3 more. He took fewer attempts last year but was steadily a 40-percent shooter from deep.)
    Four/power forward: If you play with a traditional center, here's where you start Kobe Brown. If you want a smaller lineup and put Brown at the five, then you can go with DeGray here or Trevon Brazile if he's ready for the minutes. 
    Five/center: Jordan Wilmore is a true center, but is a regular in the rotation? If not, you can go with Brown or DeGray here in smaller lineup. Is freshman Yaya Keita ready to contribute immediately? 
    Blaze Allredge.. have you seen him in person yet? Trying to see if he came in looking the part... Heard great things about him. Just trying to get your take
    I have not seen Blaze Alldredge in person. Summer workouts aren't open to media. He's enrolled as a graduate student in the education school. With one year of eligibility, he's expecting to contribute immediately - and that's why he was recruited. Mizzou lists him as 6-2, 220 pounds, which is almost identical to returning starter Devin Nicholson (6-2, 221).
    When and how will Missouri handle dispersing money to players from NIL money since the state has just approved it?
    This is a good opportunity for everyone to read my column in today's Post-Dispatch, which was intended to dispel the myths of the NIL bill and its impact. 
    First off, Mizzou WILL NOT BE PAYING ATHLETES under this new arrangement. The athletes will be allowed to sign endorsement deals with private companies and profit off their name/image/likeness. They can sign deals with social media companies to earn money for their tweets and posts on TikTok and Instagram. This new law, once it's signed by Gov. Parson, does not allow Mizzou or any state school to pay its athletes. 
    If Parson signs the bill - and he his camp has given the lawmakers who wrote the bill every indication that he'll sign the bill - MU athletes can start signing endorsement deals on Aug. 28. 
    Here's what I wrote today:

    Matter: Missouri lawmakers cut through the NIL bull for a bill to benefit college athletes

    Tired of waiting on the NCAA and federal government, the state legislature sent Gov. Parson a bipartisan name, image, likeness bill that makes sense for college athletes.
    Dave, you made a comment worth the attention of Tiger fans when on your program with Ben Fredrickson you said the Tigers were closer to 2-8 last year than they were to 8-2. That brings up the point that expectations this year particularly at the beginning of the season need to be tempered. The second game of the season at Kentucky will be interesting, perhaps pivotal.
    Thanks for watching the video. To build on that point, here are the point margins in Mizzou's five wins last year: 
    LSU: 4
    Kentucky: 10
    South Carolina: 7
    Vanderbilt: 41
    Arkansas: 2
    Here's the point margin in the five losses
    Alabama: 19
    Tennessee: 23
    Florida: 24
    Georgia: 35
    Mississippi State: 19
    At no point in the fourth quarter of the five losses did Mizzou have a reasonable chance to win the game. The LSU and Arkansas games came down to the very last play. MU controlled the Kentucky game more than the score indicated, but that game was two plays away from swinging the other way. MU needed a last-minute interception to stop South Carolina on what could have been a game-tying TD drive. 
    I give Drinkwitz and last year's team a lot of credit for finding ways to win those close games. Sometimes you make your own luck. But the margins were slim: What if Josh Bledsoe doesn't make an incredible play in the end zone against LSU or Harrison Mevis pushes a field goal wide against Arkansas? 
    I'll pick Mizzou third in the SEC East for 2021, but I think it would be naive to believe the program has completely passed the likes of South Carolina, Arkansas and Kentucky in terms of SEC pecking order. I expect those games to be competitive again this fall. 
    And you and Ben are right: That Week 2 trip to Lexington is huge. Kentucky will want to avenge last year's loss in Columbia. Should be ag great crowd at Kroger Field. 
    SEC does both baseball & softball right. They’re both highly competitive & entertaining spring sports. Mizzou softball was able to turn the program around in fairly short order with a new HC & new attitude. They’ve positioned themselves to be a top tier team for the next several years in an uber competitive league. Is Steve Bieser the right person to do the same for baseball? Does SEC baseball present any unique challenges greater than SEC softball that would prevent such a similar turn around?

  • A couple stark differences between MU's baseball and softball programs: 
    Larissa Anderson has done a phenomenal job, but she inherited some talented players that came here under Earleywine. She's also gone out and added great talent. Bieser inherited some talented players (Kam Misner, TJ Sikkema, both first-round MLB picks), and you saw an uptick in performance for that team his first few years when they were on the cusp of making an NCAA regional. 
    Then facilities. The softball has a beautiful new stadium. It didn't come with all the bells and whistles that the former staff hoped to have due to some funding issues, but you can definitely use that stadium and game-day environments for recruiting purposes. Bieser doesn't have that luxury. 
    Then when you look at the league, yes, there are some really strong softball programs in the SEC, but baseball is the No. 2 sport at some SEC schools. That's not the case with softball. It's a major priority at LSU, Arkansas, Vandy, the Mississippi schools, South Carolina and Florida. I think I said this in the chat last week, but Mizzou administrators are continually baffled that their peers in the SEC talk about baseball much more than men's basketball during league meetings. 
    As for Bieser, I'll say this much: I think he just made a heck of a hire in pitching coach Brian DeLunas. He's had a really interesting career at the high school, college and MLB ranks, but most important might be his experiences with the private academies in St. Louis. This guy has strong connections to the baseball community around the state. And he knows pitching. I'll have a full story on Brian in tomorrow's P-D. (Online later tonight.) I interviewed him earlier this week. Here's something I found especially interesting: When he was a volunteer assistant at Mizzou more than a decade ago, Tony Vitello, then the team's pitching coach, essentially handed over a lot of the pitching coach duties to DeLunas. That's when MU produced the likes of Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson. 
    Is the University of Missouri an educational institution of higher learning or is it a business enterprise to generate millions and millions of dollars and to serve as a major farm system of the NBA and NFL and to a lesser extent of MLB. I think I read recently where someone is forming an alternate basketball league that will pay the one and doners lile Bradley Beal, Jason Tatum etal $100,000 for one year to play in their league eliminating the need to play one year of college basketball on a college campus. I don’t have a problem with that. I think both high school basketball and football players should be free to join the pros as soon as they graduate from high school. If a pro team wants to pay a teenager a bundle of money while they are still ideveloping, I think that is preferable to going through the one and done routine of the current system. I don’t know if paying players is going to solve some perceived problem or will open up a new can of worms that no one sees right now.
    Again, I think you're confusing the new name, image, likeness rule with something that it's not. The schools aren't going to be paying athletes. Instead, they'll be able to sign endorsement deals with outside companies. Here's an example that Rep. Nick Schroer gave me this week. "Whether you're a cello player or an academic scholarship recipient, or let's say an acting scholarship recipient, you can go out and get money based upon your name, image and likeness today." But until this bill becomes law, athletes cannot do the same. How is that fair? A music major at Mizzou who's on scholarship to play the cello can charge young kids for cello lessons, but Connor Bazelak isn't allowed to sponsor a youth football camp? Do we not see the hypocrisy there? 
    I'm struggling to wrap my head around the NIL laws being passed in various states (including, as you've covered recently, Missouri). I always thought it was an NCAA rule that players couldn't profit off their likeness, hence NCAA sanctions for programs that violated that rule. Which would mean that regardless of what laws state legislations passed, the NCAA rule would still be in place. But from these laws it seems like it's not up to the NCAA at all, but rather is an actual legal thing. Would you mind helping to clear up exactly what impact NIL legislation has? Thanks!
    The laws that are being drafted and passed are explicitly stating that it will be illegal for the state schools to prohibit athletes from entering into endorsement deals. 
    Here's some of the language from Rep. Schroer's initial bill:
    * Prohibits public or private institutions of higher education from preventing a student from earning compensation for the student's name, image, likeness rights, or athletic reputation;
    * Limits these institutions from preventing a student from participating in intercollegiate athletics if the student earns compensation, or from hiring professional representation as outlined in the bill;
    * Prohibits the postsecondary educational institution from revoking or reducing any grant-in-aid or stipend if a student earns compensation;
    Essentially, if Mizzou or SEMO or Missouri State rules a player ineligible for signing an outside endorsement, the school will be violating state law. Remember, it's the schools that rule the player inelligble before the NCAA makes any kind of ruling and it's the school that revokes scholarships, not the NCAA.
    I see KU and MU are scheduled to play December 11th at Allen Field House. I hope Bill Self lasts long enough that he is still coach when KU comes to COMO. I know he has a lifetime contract, but with the other schools involved in the same scandal situation as KU are firing the coaches involved, I would just hate to see the Antlers as missing one less opportunity to torment Self.
    The original six-year Mizzou-KU contract was supposed to start last year with a game in Kansas City, but once KU backed out of the game for COVID reasons, the KC game was pushed to the end of the six-year run. So, as the schedule stands now, Mizzou visits Lawrence this year on Dec. 11 and will host the Jayhawks during the 2022-23 season, presumably around the same time of year in December 2022. MU will host again during the 2024-25 season.
    Mizzou has yet to announce its nonconference schedule for the upcoming season. Kansas put out its schedule earlier this week, including the date for the MU game. 
    Dave, i have the upmost respect for you as I also am a former member of the Mizzou J-School Mafia, but it is distressing that it looks like you are moving into the pro-player at all turns. Your phrase "about damn time" in your story on NIL is not only the slippery slope, it's the dam leaking more than ever. Sports writers are no longer being objective, but just a cheering section for athletes. First you (and not in the prerogative) say college athletes should be able to transter and play immediately and looks what's happen - chaos, no one who's playing for the team. Now with the NIL, if you don't think it's even going to get dirtier in college payouts, you're being naive. And next the sports media will even push more for paying the college players. If college athletes want to be paid, go to the pros! And now that all can, even underclassment in football can go the XFL and CFL. Do you find it at all alarming that the sports media is pushing this more and more everyday!
    Today's piece was an opinion column. I've been filling in for our opinion columnists Ben Frederickson and Benjamin Hochman for the last few weeks while they take some vacation time. I would not write an opinionated piece in a normal news story, but this was clearly an opinion piece.
    So, yes, I believe it's way beyond time that college athletes should be able to (1) transfer one time without penalty and (2) sign endorsement deals. That is not the same as saying colleges should be paying athletes a salary. I don't believe that should happen.
    My favorite/most interesting position is the DL/ DEs .. I think this group is super deep and could be a determining factor to how well we do. How deep do you think the rotation goes this year? Who out of the young guys you think will be contributing? What are the over under on sacks per game I have my number set at 4.. This assumes the offense will be dominant and allow us to score more than previously.... I also think the zone coverage allows us to get more PBUs and INTs
    Four sacks per game? In the last 10 years of college football only six teams have averaged four sacks per game. That's a lot to expect. Even Mizzou's SEC East title teams in 2013-14 averaged just 2.9 and 3.1 sacks per game. And those lines featured Shane Ray, Kony Ealy, Markus Golden, Michael Sam and others.
    I'm not sold on this being an elite D-line at all. Trajan Jeffcoat did some good things last year off the edge and could be an All-SEC end again this year. Otherwise, who's an All-SEC caliber player on this line? Kobie Whiteside was very good in 2019 but missed most of last year with an injury. Isaiah McGuire did some good things last year. Akial Byers is a solid player. Darius Robinson had some moments last year. In the spring, Realus George and Daniel Robledo looked like guys who will earn snaps this fall for sure. 
    But I thought the defensive front got pushed around in a handful of games last year especially against Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas. That group has to be massively improved if this defense is going to make major strides. 
    Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA in the 90s for using his likeness in a video game. I believe the lawsuit and video game were after his college career was over. With all the publicity about paying players today, it made me wonder if O’Bannon actually got anything from his lawsuit? The NCAA clearly used O’Bannon and the other athletes in the video game, but as I remember acted like those players had no claim to be paid anything.
    Many, many college athletes got modest checks as the fallout from that lawsuit, including Mizzou athletes.
    What are our chances of fielding some SEC Freshman awards on Defense and Offense? Just asking if you could spit ball a few possible from our team... to make us feel good
    Someone's going to have a chance in the Mizzou secondary to get a lot of snaps - and if you play a lot and play well in the SEC, you'll get noticed. Maybe that's Carnell or one of the other corners. I'm not sure there's a freshman defensive lineman, linebacker or safety who will get enough playing time to earn SEC recognition. There are high hopes for Travion Ford but missing the spring might have tempered some of those expectations.
    On offense, Mookie Cooper is the easy answer. He's still considered a freshman. Dominic Lovett would be the only other reasonable candidate - unless one of the freshman running backs emerges and takes some carrie away from Badie and/or Young. 
    Mizzou just announced that the long-awaited home basketball game against Utah will finally happen this season on Dec. 18 at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers played at Utah in Cuonzo Martin's first season, but the return game was pushed back year after year. The Utes have been right around .500 the last three years and now have a new head coach in Craig Smith, who had a good three-year run at Utah State.
    Last week you said Mizzou would put in a new turf field and not a grass field.
    Do most or all SEC teams have turf fields or grass fields? I know grass fields are harder to maintain but I would think grass fields would be the better option for players. I was there at the infamous Fifth Down Game vs Colorado in the early 90s. The Colorado coach tried to deflect the 5th down issue by saying his players were slipping frequently on Mizzou’s turf at the time(they were).
    Mizzou's artificial turf is nothing like the old OmniTurf from the Fifth Down game. If you remember, when Mizzou did have grass turf in the Larry Smith years and the beginning of the Pinkel years, the field was a mess by the end of the season and drew a lot of criticism for how poorly it held up. 
    Some quick research tells me in the SEC, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mizzou and Vanderbilt have artificial turf. The rest have natural grass. 
    As of last season, 58 of the FBS teams had FieldTurf, which is what Mizzou has used at Faurot Field since the early Pinkel years. That's by far the most popular turf in college football. Exactly half as many FBS teams (29) still have natural grass.
    Okay, it appears NIL is going to happen soon in college sports. Could high school athletes be given an opportunity to join in as well?
    The Missouri law only applies to college athletes on college campuses.
    My big concern for mizzou basketball is interior defense and offense there are some real good bigs coming through the portal to SEC schools I think our peremiter defense will be good
    I think it's just about impossible to make any kind of forecast on strengths and weaknesses for this Missouri team when only two players from last year's rotation are back this year. It's fair to say this year's team will be more athletic on the perimeter when it comes to defense - that was a goal when the staff recruited from the portal - but we'll see how all the pieces fit together once they're on the floor.
    How would have Chase Daniel done in the NIL market? I recall seeing quite a few #10 jerseys in my time in COMO
    He would have done quite well. He would have to enter into a contract with the company that sold those jerseys in order to get a cut, but Daniel and a lot of his teammates from those years could have benefited from this rule. Think about all the companies around the state - restaurants, bars, shops, car dealers, etc. - that would have loved to showcase Daniel, Maclin, Alexander, Temple, Rucker, Weatherspoon, Coffman, etc.
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