Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Greetings, Mizzou chatters ... and Happy August, which means we're officially into the month that will bring us college football. Mizzou players report today and the first practice kicks off Friday morning. I'll be on hand covering all 14 practices that are open to the media. 
    I'll be here today until a little after 1 pm to take all your questions.
    Quick nugget: Mizzou is unranked in the preseason coaches poll - and didn't receive a single vote. But there's a reason: MU isn't on the ballot. USA Today, which compiles and publishes the poll, confirmed that MU isn't eligible for the coaches' poll as part of its probation sentence from the NCAA sanctions. 
    OK, on with the chat ... 
    Good morning Dave,
    I am excited about the upcoming Tiger BB team. I think there is a lot of upside potential with this team due to the set of guards and their experience/skill sets. Can Coach keep them all happy. As always, each will want their fair share of PT.
    Talk to me.
    John L
    Keeping everyone happy is a challenge and goal of every coach. I'd say that's something to monitor with this team - not because Cuonzo has a group of me-first players who won't buy into the team concept, but there's just a lot of guards/ball-handlers/shooters who can be impact players for this team but not necessarily every night. Martin addressed that challenge yesterday. 
    "I think our strength will be our numbers as far as  nine, 10 guys, sharing the basketball playing well as a team. But the other part is ... the sacrifice of if I don't play as much tonight I have to understand the big picture, what it means to be a team because oftentimes when you huddle up as a team you say want to be family ...  you say all these things. What does that really mean? Family means sacrifice. ... I think it will be good in a lot of areas. But I think the most important thing, we have to be good as a whole."
    This team doesn't have individual superstars. At least not yet as the way it's constructed now. That's why they have to buy into what Martin is preaching to have a cohesive, balanced, deep team. 
    There has been a lot of hype from media personalities and fans of this season being a 9-3 or 10-2 type of outcome with the way the schedule sets up. What has been your impression from the coaches and players compared to years past? Do they seem more confident than years past? It seems there is high potential for this team if Bryant gels with the offense/Dooley, and we can get a pass rush going.
  • Missouri finished with eight wins last year against a more difficult conference schedule, so I wouldn't call a 9-3 prediction hype. I think it's grounded in logic with maybe a touch of optimism. 
    Here's a news bulletin: Players are confident every year. They expect to win every game. At this point in the calendar, they don't know much about Kentucky or Georgia or Tennessee. In the spring, the team leaders talked about going 12-0. And it's not all that different from what we hear from players before every season. So, I never read too much into the preseason bravado. 
    Coaches, on the other hand, can be the ultimate fatalists. They might have a sneaking suspicion this team is better than other teams ... but most of them are convinced one bad practice or one bad drill will lead to 0-12. And for the most part, coaches see only with tunnel vision. They're consumed with today's meetings and tomorrow's practice. Do I get the sense they like this year's team? Of course, but in the same breath that they express any hope they've got a million things to worry about, a million things that could go wrong. 
    Is there really much more potential for playing time with Floyd switching from receiver to corner? At either position I think is guy #5-7 in the group but at least he has been a receiver on the team for years up to this point. I think/hope he has the inside track to the return job based on his 2017 performance there, and would think returner/receiver has more playing time potential for him than returner/corner
    It will take multiple injuries or severe bouts of ineffectiveness for him to become a top three or four corner. He's not playing ahead of Acy or Holmes and probably not playing ahead of Sparks or Ware. Maybe a great August camp pushes him into the third or fourth role and he gets some snaps as a backup or in certain nickel or dime packages. He has played both slot receiver and outside receiver on offense, but again, I'm not sure he was going to crack the two deep at any of those spots this season. They clearly believe there's better depth at receiver or he would have stayed there.
    Good morning, Dave.

    Has there been an update on the topic of serving beer/wine to the general public in Missouri athletic venues at athletic events? Understood July 31 was somewhat of a deadline for a decision.

    In terms of quarterbacks.....how many behind Kelly Bryant, who are they and how would you rank them going into camp tomorrow.

    Thanks much.
  • At last check, Sterk is still working through the process of making this happen this year. I would expect some kind of announcement soon. Missouri wants to make it happen, but the athletics department needs everyone in alignment, from police to campus leadership to their food and beverage distributor. 
    As for the backup QBs, Taylor Powell opens camp as No. 2. He won the backup job in camp last year. Lindsey Scott Jr. is still in the mix. Freshman Connor Bazelak has joined the team this summer, though I doubt we see him this fall unless they want to get him on the field under the new redshirt rule (four games or fewer). The wild card is TCU transfer Shawn Robinson. He has a waiver request pending. The team won't want to use up his year of eligibility unless Kelly Bryant gets hurt for a lengthy stretch, but if the NCAA grants the waiver, MU might want to get Robinson some playing time to prepare for 2020.
    How much of a real "shot" do "walk on" kickers really get? Do they have to be invited to try out? Do they get to show up during these summer work outs or do they have to wait for school to start? Since scholarships are only good year to year, have you ever seen one be pulled and given to a "walk on"
    Ask Jeff Wolfert, Grant Ressel, Andrew Baggett. They all won the kicking job as walk-ons. Teams offer kickers and punters the chance to join the team as preferred walk-ons - and players at other positions - which means they're part of the team year-round for spring practices, summer workouts and the start of August camp. Once classes begin, another wave of walk-ons join the team for practices. These are your garden variety walk-ons, who are a notch below the preferred walk-ons when it comes to the coaches' expectations for their roles. Yes, many walk-ons over the years have gone on scholarship. It usually comes down to a player leaving the team, which can happen for a variety of reasons (discipline, transfer, injury, etc.)
    Dave, do you know when the football series starts with Illinois? I believe they have a few games eventually...and are they considering playing these games in St Louis again? Would love to see maybe a game at Busch? With so many players coming from the metro area, would think getting a game in STL would be a good thing at some point
    You've got to wait seven more years:

    Sept. 26, 2026: at Illinois (Champaign)

    Sept. 18, 2027: vs. Illinois (Columbia)

    Sept. 16, 2028: at Illinois (Champaign)

    Sept. 15, 2029: vs. Illinois (Columbia)

    When the contract became official two years ago Missouri and the St. Louis Sports Commission was open to the idea of moving one or multiple games to St. Louis, but there's plenty of time to make those arrangements. 

    It seems HCBO has made a big part of his hiring process the ability to recruit - how big of an emphasis do you sense he puts on that? The point being, he - more than other head coaches - has to have great recruiters to compete against the programs that are established to the point of simply, "selecting," the players they want (as Alabama football and Duke basketball get to do, to a large degree, these days) and what kind of quality has he come up with, in these hires?
    Yes, it's a priority for Odom, as it is for most coaches. They want coaches who can communicate, who can develop relationships, who can make convincing sales pitches, who work relentlessly at the job. 
    I think those qualities show up in a handful of the coaches on this staff. AJ Ofodile, Brad Davis, Andy Hill, Cornell Ford. 
    good day dave, so does any body have an idea when the kangaroo court will make there decision, its totally ridiculous the penalties because of some rogue tutor
  • Let me direct you back to what I wrote in Sunday's Post-Dispatch. I wrote it about as clearly as we can at this point: 
    "When can Mizzou expect a final ruling on the appeal? The NCAA benchmark is six to eight weeks after the final hearing, which took place July 18. On average, an NCAA appeals case takes eight months from the time of the appeal to the final ruling. MU filed its appeal on March 25. In other words, the ruling could come any time from August to November."
  • In your limited access to them, who stands out as the best leaders on both the football and basketball rosters and is there anything in particular that you can say about them that demonstrates those capabilities?
    Football ... 
    Cale Garrett
    Kelly Bryant
    Larry Rountree
    DeMarkus Acy
    Granted, I'm not in the locker room or around the team in their most intimate settings, but these are all guys who carry themselves with the right blend of confidence but also an approachability. They're the kind of players you want to be around and have with you when things are good and bad on the field and away from the field. Bryant won over his new teammates when he pledged to stay at Mizzou in the wake of the NCAA sanctions. Rountree just carries himself like a pro, appears to be a model teammate and plays as hard as anyone. Garrett says and does all the right things and leads by example. Acy seems to be finding his voice and holds himself to a really high standard. 
    As for hoops, the players have raved about Dru Smith. Cuonzo has, too. Yesterday he compared him to Kassius Robertson. That's high praise. “He’ll say what needs to be said but very similar to Kassius in a way, he’ll just go about his business, say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done and let (his) work speak for itself," Martin said. 
    following up on my previous question , I don't think we have a chance on the appeal not because we aren't right , its because the NCAA doesn't want to look like its wrong which they are
    Well, it's not the NCAA per se making the decision. It's a panel of four people who aren't the same people who decided on the sanctions.
    Today’s PD has a short article about 2 time NCAA champion Villanova playing USC in a charity basketball game in October benfiting California firefighters. This article is from the AP and of course is fake news because it ignores Nova’s memorable 1985 upset win over Georgetown and Patrick Ewing which is their 3rd championship. My question is how many schools play these charity games? I think MU and KU met in KC a couple of years ago in the preaseaon. They filled the KC arena and probably could do it every year. If these games really are for charity an MU KU preason game seems like a no brainer. It’s only a 30 minute bus ride for KU and Self won’t have to subject himself to the taunts he would get at Mizzou Arena. Does MU play an annual charity game?
    Schools have to receive an NCAA waiver to play these kind of games. They were popular a few years ago after the wave of tropical storms. It takes two teams to agree to these kind of games. The proceeds have to go to charity, so there's not a great incentive for coaches to risk injuries when there's no financial stake at play. As Mizzou learned last year, even the so-called secret scrimmages carry that injury risk. That's when Jontay Porter suffered his ACL tear. 
    To your larger point, yes, it would be great if Mizzou and Kansas could play a basketball game, but until there's genuine desire on both ends, we're wasting our breath and keystrokes. 
    Has the team moved into the new SEZ facility? They are still doing construction on the exterior. I thought they were supposed to be finished Aug 1?
    The team was set to move in today and hold their first team meeting. Parts of the building clearly aren't finished, but other parts are functional from what I understand.
  • special teams pretty much stunk last year, I would even say cost a couple games sure hope they improve this year also don't like McCann doing the placekicking and punting he wasn't good enough last year so he should concentrate on just placekicking only or the other punters aren't very good
    I wouldn't bet on McCann doing both jobs all year long. Mizzou recruited some preferred walk-ons who could push for the punting job. That's what camp is for. It's an important competition, obviously.
    Have you taken a tour of the new SEZ? Our season tickets have us in a different section of the stadium. But I am curious if we will be able to walk around inside the new addition to check it out, can anyone just waltz in if their even if they're seated in another area?
    I took a tour in late May, so a lot of work has been completed since then. The concourse will be connected to the new area, but I don't think you'll be free to waltz into the locker room or coaches' offices or the new premium seating areas.
    I see that the Arkansas razorbacks are going back to a natural grass field in Fayetteville anyway. Do you think players prefer playing on natural grass over artificial turf?
    It depends on the quality of the turf. I don't hear Missouri players complaining about their FieldTurf surface. There are a handful of natural grass fields in the SEC. The technology is advanced enough now that I'm not sure how much difference the players notice from one field to the next.
    Phil Steele says he expects the bowl ban sanctions against Mizzou to be overturned. I hope he's right.
    Nobody knows. From Jim Sterk to Alex Cartwright to Barry Odom. So, as much as Phil knows about every team's depth chart from Akron to Youngstown State, he doesn't know if the ban will be overturned.
    When small schools like WYO or Umass host Mizzou. Does Missouri have to pay them for the road game ?
  • There's no payment as long as it's a home-and-away series. The Wyoming series was a two-game series, one game in Columbia, one game in Laramie. Same with UMass in 2024-25. Missouri pays for single-game appearances, like when SEMO and Troy visit this year with no return trip from the Tigers part of the contracts.
    Coaching in the SEC is a challenge for anybody. But based on the circumstances that we know about, who has the toughest coaching job in the SEC? and I realize there are a lot of intangibles like grade point averages, donations, population, history, location...etc...
    If I were to choose I would have to think it would be any coach coaching at Vanderbilt. So what is the toughest coaching job in the SEC?
    I would say Vandy ... but the expectations there are so much lower than any other school that I don't think the coaches there are under same kind of scrutiny or pressure to win at national level. 
    On that note, I think Mississippi State is the more difficult job, mostly because of its location in Starkville and the fact that its resources are less than that of the other public universities in the league. I also think Missouri is a difficult job because of the limited local recruiting pool, the incredibly small donor base, the attendance challenge, the lack of established tradition history (compared to some SEC peers).
    Could you list all of the former Mizzou football and basketball players who currently work or serve in some capacity with the current programs?
    Football staff: Barry Odom, Andy Hill, AJ Ofodile, Michael Scherer, Michael Stannard, Jack Lowary, Kevin Pendleton.
    Outside of the football staff: Howard Richards, Bud Sasser, Bradon Barnes
    Basketball is a much smaller staff and doesn't have any former MU players currently working under Martin. 
    Does Mizzou have the easiest schedule this year in SEC football?
    Last year was probably one of the toughest schedules we've ever had to play.
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