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.




    Howdy, chatters. It's that time of week again. I'll be here for the next couple hours to talk all things Mizzou. Bring me your questions, comments, concerns or whatever is on the brain on this Thursday.
    You mentioned that Suggs is on scholarship for the semester and summer, are there no rules preventing Mizzou from pulling the scholarship in '19-20 and having Suggs be a walk-on again?

    Additionally, couldn't it possibly make sense to leave him on in '19-20 so the scholarship is open in '20.
    Yes, Suggs could go back on walk-on status for his senior year. I talked to his family yesterday and they're well aware of that possibility. He understands how this work. His mother told me, "The way we've always looked at scholarships, you have to earn that every year. Nothing is guaranteed." It's great for him and his family that he gets to spend the rest of the year on scholarship.
    Now, let's say Missouri can't find someone to fill that spot for next year. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to keep him on scholarship so that the spot opens after 2019-20. Ideally you find someone who can play a prominent role for next season, but if not, you get his spot to come off the books for the following season - and that might be better than a player you don't really plan to use taking up that spot for multiple years. 
    Dave,
    Is Mario Mc more of a 2 guard or a 1? Seems to me that our immediate need is a 1 who can fearlessly penetrate and dish; aka pressey-dixon-tiller.
    Talk to me.
    I'd say he's a combo guard who can play both spots. He's not a really polished shooter yet, but he'll be able to defend both spots. My guess is he'll be an energy guy next year who can bring some athleticism off the bench, defend multiple spots in the perimeter and add some scoring/playmaking.
    Hey, Dave ... as I understand it, the titles assigned to a school's participation in an investigation have definitions - so, when the NCAA says Mizzou's cooperation was, "Exemplary," that's not pure opinion, it's a defined status (like prime beef, for example). Is that true and do you know how rare it is for a school to get that designation? (My understanding is it's been very rare over the last 20 or 30 years).
    I'm not sure exactly how rare it is. Sterk said only a few schools have gotten the "exemplary" status, but I haven't been able to confirm that. The COI doesn't just throw that term around casually. Like you said, it's an official status based on how the case unfolded.
    Do you have a feeling on how CM will use the at least two scholarships open next year? Guards? Forwards? Freshman? Grad Transfer?
    I'm sure they'd like to add a frontcourt player, but those are harder to find after the early signing date. Maybe explore the grad transfer market, but again, you usually find guards in that market, not major-conference power forwards or centers.
  • Dave, IF Jontay leaves after the season for the draft is there still a scholarship available? Only two incoming commits right?
  • If Jontay is the only non-senior who leaves the team, then here's what Missouri returns in 2019-20:
    Seniors: Nikko, Suggs
    Juniors: Mitchell Smith, Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Tilmon, Santos
    Sophomores: Watson, Pinson, Pickett
    Freshmen: McKinney, Jackson
    That leaves one open scholarship, though as we touched on earlier, Suggs could go back to walk-on status and open another spot. 
  • Didn't I also read that one person on the committee that handed down Mizzou's NCAA penalties is someone who has been on a not-so-veiled campaign to make an example of someone after the UNC embarrassment - wanting a big penalty on, "the next guy up," as a way to get some NCAA credibility back after UNC got off, scott free?
    Yes. Carol Cartwright. She is co-chair on the Knight Commission and chairs an NCAA working group pushing to make NCAA rules harsher for academic misconduct. Sterk has said that it's a conflict of interest for her to serve on the COI panel. I asked him on Monday to elaborate on that opinion: "We didn’t know that going in (Cartwright headed the working group),” Sterk said. “That’s information that came out as we heard about that. I think that’s something the membership and overall the NCAA will need to look at as far as where it goes. There’s some distinct feelings (about academic reform) by the working group. Those haven’t been adopted by the NCAA membership yet. Those will be questions that have to be answered.”
    Parking for Tiger Basketball games is terrible and in my opinion partly responsible for poor attendance. Is sterk and athletic department aware of this? Are there any plans to make improvements?
    Mizzou has been aware of this for years. Unfortunately there's no simple solution, especially with Memorial Stadium now a construction site. That takes up a chunk of spots as well.
    It seems to me that one of the biggest jobs for football in spring practice will be a combo of finding out how Kelly Bryant best fits/works with the talent here and get the timing on all that down. Do you expect a big leap in last year's freshman, during their sophomore years? Some - Kam Scott and Jalen Knox, in particular - seemed to have some issues both getting open and then hanging on to the ball, when it was thrown well.
  • Those two guys showed flashes and I think long-term they'll benefit from having to play early. Knox seemed to wear down late in the year and just wasn't as consistent. Scott wasn't necessarily an early read on Lock's progressions very often, but he showed his potential with some of the big plays he made. Bryant doesn't have Lock's arm strength, so I wouldn't think they'll air it out as much down the field. But with Bryant being a running threat, that could also free up some 1-on-1 matchups out wide because safeties will have to be aware of his ability to scramble.
    MU athletic department is apparently still in deficit spending mode but in better shape than previous years. Why then are the enclosing the south end of the stadium when average football attendance dropped from 65,000 in 2014 to 51,000 the last couple of years? Basketball attendance had several years decline during the KA fiasco, but is doing better the last coiple of years. One solution is to quit paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the Delaware St or Tennessee Sts to come to COMO in September or the Oral Roberts or Texas Arlington to come to play basketball in December.
    If you don't pay those schools to come to Columbia the only other option is playing more road games - and Mizzou isn't going to play more than one nonconference football road game per year. There's no alternative. You have to play the buy games, for both sports. That's the way the modern market operates. The smaller schools have all the leverage because they set the prices. MU is already playing more road games against non Power 5 programs than they'd like. Some schools - UMass is an example - wanted Mizzou to play a road basketball game as part of the two-game football contract. But that didn't work with the basketball team's plans, so MU had to negotiate other terms. Scheduling is difficult, especially when you're not sitting on piles of cash in your athletic department.
    As far as the south end zone complex, that project will eventually open new revenue streams to help MU close the gap on its spending. You can drop in attendance and still make more money with smaller crowds if you have more people paying for premium seating options. That's what schools and pro organizations are doing all around the country.
    Will Drew Lock be participating in the coming up NFL combine? Is he still in school or is he in training like a lot of players do after their final season? How about Emanuel Hall? Anybody else from MIzzou at the combine?
    Lock was invited to the Combine but it's unclear how much he'll do in Indianapolis. First-round QBs generally sit out some of the individual drills at the Combine and save those for their on-campus pro day, which for Mizzou is March 21. 
    Lock graduated in December, so he's no longer at Mizzou. He's been training in California. 
    Six Missouri players were invited to the Combine. You can read all about it here.
     

    Six Missouri players invited to NFL Combine

    stltoday.com: Fresh off a strong Senior Bowl, Drew Lock among Mizzou's contingent invited to Indianapolis.
  • This is a good time to remind my fellow chatters about our digital subscription options - and you'll probably see some ads on the site about those today. It's important that we continue to grow our digital audience so we can continue to deliver the kind of coverage sports fans have come to expect at STLtoday. We're fortunate that I'm able to travel to football and men's basketball games all around the SEC - these trips are far more expensive than what we spent on Big 12 travel - and we couldn't do it without your support of our coverage. We greatly appreciate those who subscribe and would love to have more join along.
     

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  • Now that Kyler Murray apparently is going to play football, who is drafted higher Murray or Drew Lock.? The rap on Murray is he is too short to be a pro QB but Russell Wilson of Seattle has done allright and Baker Mayfield actually led the Browns to more wins than they had the last couple of years.
    Great question. It's probably THE question in the draft. How high does Murray get picked? Some teams are probably going to back off because of his size. There aren't a lot of teams in the top 15 with an obvious need at QB, but just enough that Murray and Lock will still probably be gone midway through the first round. Haskins, too, of course. I know Denver just landed Joe Flacco, but I still wouldn't rule out the Broncos as a possible place for Lock. Flacco isn't costing Denver much money, and he's obviously not a long-term option. Keep an eye on Miami, Washington and the Giants ... and then the teams that pick later who have an older QB, like the Saints and Patriots. Maybe even the Packers. But Tom Brady is playing until he's 60, so maybe New England isn't ideal.
    Any talk of moving the student side in basketball so on TV it doesn't show that the stands are half empty....since the alumni never show up?
    Why move the students when the students don't come to the games? Other than the Antlers, you could count by hand the other students at Wednesday's game. No way should Mizzou give up far more valuable seats to an audience that (A) probably won't buy them and (B) most likely won't show up. At least the seats along the sideline are sold. Some of the fans who buy those seats spend the game in the Clinton Club ... and some just don't show up. But for now, the students should be low on MU's priority list for basketball games.
    Wouldn't it be bittersweet and soooo Mizzou if Mizzou football runs the table and is shut out of post season while ranked in top 4?
    You've got the Tigers winning in Athens? Does Calvin need a drug test?
    Whether or not there's a postseason, I think this team can be very good. Running the table seems like a stretch considering MU hasn't beaten Kentucky in a long time .... or South Carolina. I would advise taking care of those games first before any 'run the table' thoughts. 
    Is any penalty coming down for Kansas? They blatantly paid off an uncle (I believe) and the player supposedly did not know (ignorance should not exempt player). Kansas cooperated and suspended the player last year. To me Mizzou cooperated more and got smacked down but so far Kansas got nothing. So, where is the hammer?
  • CBSSports reported this week that officials at Kansas are concerned that the NCAA is about to launch a formal investigation on the heels of the Silvio De Sousa punishment. It's hard to compare an academic misconduct case with a booster case, but it sure sounds like the wheels are in motion. The FBI has given the NCAA permission to conduct investigations into schools that were caught up in the federal probe. I would be worried if I were KU.
  • Hi Dave. What are your thoughts about having Tilmon and Nikko on the floor at the same time? I think a little high low would work along with more open looks for the five guys that can shoot from outside.
    Nah. You need a fresh Nikko for when TIlmon needs a breather or gets into foul trouble. If you have both of them on the floor at the same time one of them is going to have to guard a smaller more athletic player on the other end. Probably not a great matchup for MU. Puryear is shorter but he can run high-low plays with Tilmon if that's the look you want.
    Is Tilmon adapting to the referees or are the referees adapting to him. Having him on floor for 30 minutes and scoring 21 points makes all the difference in the world in close games. Nikko has had his moments in the short periods he plays but i don’t think heis the answer for more than the couple of minutes he plays.
    Missouri doesn't get the same officials night after night, so this is more about Tilmon adjusting. You don't see him getting the pointless illegal screen fouls lately. He's defending with much better fundamentals lately, too. The coaches have taught him to get his hands behind his ears when someone's posting him up and he's taken that advice to heart.
    Any rumblings about a ku bias/collusion on this NCAA stuff? Jon Duncan (is he the VP of compliance??) is a ku grad. No penalties for UNC, one could argue because Roy Williams is a former chickenhawk. Also, no publicized NCAA attention on bill self for his role in the Adidas scandal, and no penalties on ku.

    An appearance of impropriety perhaps? Although Mizzou has moved on, it's fairly well known that ku is still bitter about Mizzou going to a bigger and better conference.
    Nobody with any affiliation or association with Kansas had anything to do with the Committee on Infractions' ruling on Missouri's case.
    Let me repeat: 
    Nobody with any affiliation or association with Kansas had anything to do with the Committee on Infractions' ruling on Missouri's case.
    Again, as I wrote the other day, Missouri had nothing but good things to say about the NCAA enforcement staff. They worked well together. MU indicated that the enforcement staff had doubts about Ms. Kumar's actions during the case (offering to sell evidence, offering to disclose students' names publicly). In fact, MU doesn't have any issues with the people who work for the NCAA. The angst is toward the Committee on Infractions panel, the four people who decided the case. Those four people don't work for the NCAA. They come from the NCAA membership and are appointed to decide the cases. Like a jury, if you will. (And, no, none of them went to Kansas or worked at Kansas.)
    To play with that analogy more, the NCAA is like the city government - of the people, by the people, for the people. The enforcement staff is the police department. The COI is a jury of peers. MU doesn't have a problem with the government or the cops. MU is upset with the jury - and will appeal to have another jury (the Infractions Appeal  Committee) hear its case. 
    Dave, what did you make of Odom's comments on Tennessee? Is there any type of unspoken rules among coaches don't poach when another program is down?
    First of all, there's no rule to say Tennessee can't contact MU compliance to ask about the seniors. You can't convince me that Missouri wouldn't do the same if the shoe was on the other foot. The fact is Missouri should feel good that other SEC schools want to poach their players. I'm sure it's annoying for Odom. But this whole situation is. And, yes, Kirby Smart got a lot of credit for telling MU he won't contact any of its players - but if Georgia was coming off a couple terrible seasons like Tennessee and had the least talented team in the division, then I imagine he'd be looking into Mizzou's seniors, too. I think it's smart for Odom from a PR front to say which schools are calling about MU's seniors. Anything that helps rally his own base is a good move at this point. But schools are going to do what they need to do to help their rosters.
    Hey look, Dave "Mr. NCAA" Matter is hosting another chat.
  • My middle name is Fitzgerald, thank you.
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