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. Friday.




    Welcome, friends, to a Friday edition of the Mizzou Chat. I'll be here for the next couple hours to discuss all things Mizzou. The media are getting a tour of the South End Zone complex later today, so look for some visuals from the tour later this evening/weekend.
    Of the returning WRs for Mizzou, rank your top 3 in catching the ball.
    Good question. If we're just talking receivers - outside receivers and slot receivers - I'll go Johnathon Johnson, Jonathan Nance, Jalen Knox. I was surprised to see recently that Johnson 883 yards away from becoming the team's career leader. I had to look it up and do some quick math to make sure that's right, but it sure is. In the last three years, the slot receiver has gone for 435, 724 and 737 yards for 1,896 yards. That puts him in 10th place all-time. Danario Alexander holds the record with 2,778 receiving yards. Even if Johnson goes for just 700 yards, he'll finish fifth in team history, behind only Alexander, Justin Gage and Chase Coffman. 
    That said, Nance looked like the veteran that he is during spring practices. Seemed to catch everything thrown his way and was crafty at creating yards after the catch. Knox might have the most upside of all of them in terms of speed and athleticism. 
    The past two years in CM's program has seen a couple of surprising guys start/factor heavily into the rotation that outsiders had written off for the most part: Geist in year 1, and Javon in year two. Do you have any feeling on surprise guys next year. Someone like Parker Bruan or Xavier Pinson playing heavy roles?
    Pinson was playing a heavy role by the end of this past season, so it won't be a surprise to see him playing 25-30 minutes a game again as a sophomore. Not sure about Braun. I think he factors into the rotation but we'll see how he develops this summer before projecting he'll play a major role. Dru Smith is going to play a ton of minutes. So will Mark Smith, as long as he's healthy. Pickett is a returning starter and should have a similar role to last year. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Watson will be an important piece. Throw in minutes for Mario McKinney and that's your backcourt/wing players. Tilmon will play the same role he has in the last two years - and it all comes down to how long he stay on the floor. The biggest question mark will be the four position/power forward. Mitchell Smith is the most experienced guy coming back. Tray Jackson will have a chance to start and play heavy minutes if he's ready. Braun could see minutes there, too. What about Kobe Brown? Is he a big three? Is he a four? Ultimately his role will come down to what position can he defend. If he's quick enough to play on the perimeter and defend on the perimeter and shoot from the perimeter, then he's more of a 3. If he struggles in any of those areas he might be better suited as a smaller four.
    Where does Kobe Brown fit in the rotation for next year?
    Good timing. I just touched on this with the last question, but I think it'll come down to matchups and defense. Can he be a threat as an interior scorer? Can he be a reliable rebounder? Can he trade blows with some bigs? Also, Martin will play smaller rotations and Brown could fit in as a smaller four in those looks. I'll be interested to see how developed Brown is offensively for the college level.
    What are Mizzou football players doing this time of the year? Are they not doing football activities until Aug? Weight training? Etc.
    They'll get a couple weeks off to go home and then summer workouts will begin in June and run through the start of preseason camp in August. Until then, lots of lifting and running.
  • Dave, thanks for the chat. Do you think we will see WR Justin Smith see the field much this year? I believe he is a senior, but surely he could at least be a red zone target. 6-6 or 6-7 and I’ve heard he was a good basketball player. Couldn’t he win a jump ball in the end zone? In the spring game I believe he caught a ball or two but it looks like he has good speed too...
  • I would be shocked if he's part of the rotation. He's had four years to earn snaps and he hasn't yet. Rarely do you see a fifth-year senior who hasn't sniffed the field suddenly play his final year on campus. This team has better options at receiver at this point and it makes more sense to give work to the young players who can develop at the position. The fact that Richaud Floyd moved from receiver to cornerback and Smith still wasn't getting any looks with the first unit made it clear he's not in the plans. Some players just don't develop as you'd like to see.
  • In addition to my previous question, who will be the starting 5 for mizzou hoops next year?
  • The same guy it's  been for the last two years, Jeremiah Tilmon.
    Dave, Brendan Scales seemed to look good in the spring game...do you see him finding regular role in the offense?

    Albert O is banged up a lot...keeping him healthy needs to be priority 1 for this offense. He has a TON of talent but I can’t imagine him being a first round pick if he can’t get on the field.
    Albert's had one serious injury in three years at Mizzou, so I wouldn't say he's injury prone. He'll be fine by the start of the season. He's the best weapon this team has at the receiver/tight end positions. The staff seemed high on Scales at the start of spring but he had trouble staying healthy. Daniel Parker will play ahead of Scales and I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true for Messiah Swinson. At best, Scales is probably the fourth tight end. But if he stays in healthy and keeps developing there could be a role for him.
    When I look at Kobe Brown and a brief description of his game, I can't thinking of Kevin Puryear. An undersized big, limited athleticism, but possesses a decent outside shot. Is that fair or not?
    I don't see the comparison. Brown was a point guard in high school who averaged eight assists a game and shot 40 percent from 3. Puryear never played like that in high school or college. I'd say Brown is more of a combo forward who might be able to play on the wing more than Puryear. Again, his role will come down to which position he can defend. If he can't play on the perimeter, then he's an undersized power forward ... but I'm not sure that will be the case.
  • When looking at Mizzou's softball team, do you think they will ride Norman for both games or do they have a decent No. 2 that they can put out there in the UCLA regionals.
    Cassie Gasper pitched a lot of innings this year and made 18 starts to Norman's 32, but I would think they'll go with Norman as much as they can.
    Don't you think with Mizzou baseball's deep pitching staff, they could surprise and make it out of a regional or at least make it to the finals?
  • Yes, but they have to play better than they did last night against Florida. The Tigers put their strength on display in the series opener. Ash got roughed up in making his first start, but then Cantleberry and his lethal changeup came in and held the Gators hitless for four innings. I think they're all but a lock for a regional, but they better win another game in this series and maybe another in Hoover. But, to touch on your question, yes. The combination of very good starters and a shutdown bullpen make this a dangerous team no matter the seed or location.
  • 7-5 / 8-4 seems to be the norm for Mizzou football nowadays. Chances of being better than that in 2019? Chances of being worse?
  • With the returning talent combined with the schedule this team should win no fewer than eight games. A nine-win regular season is possible. Ten wins wouldn't shock me. Georgia is the only team we can objectively say will be better than Missouri. I can't say the same about Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky or West Virginia. That doesn't mean Missouri rolls over those teams and everyone else on the schedule, but when you look at MU's known commodities on offense (QB, RB, TE, OL) plus valuable, returning pieces on defense (DT, MLB, CB) there's no reason to expect Mizzou can't win more games than last year, just like it has each of the past two seasons under Odom.
  • Jalen Hurts played for Bama last year in a backup role and recently transfered to OU. Is he eligible to play in 2019 or does he sit out a year?
    Why does he not have to sit out a year?
  • He's a graduate transfer. He graduated from Alabama. Graduates can transfer and play immediately. Same reason Kelly Bryant can play for Mizzou this year.
  • Mizzou Bball roster next year will be?
  • Center: Tilmon, Nikko
    Forward: Mitchell Smith, Braun, Jackson
    Guard/Wing: Mark Smith, Pickett, Watson, Brown, McKinney
    Point guard: Dru Smith, Pinson
    Now, a few of those guys listed can play multiple positions. McKinney might be able to handle the ball some. Dru Smith can play on the wing. Brown might play some as a traditional forward. But those are the 12 scholarship players and I wouldn't expect a 13th.
    Underwhelmed by at least a couple of the names you mentioned this morning as Cuonzo recruiting targets. Bradford at Mehlville and Kalkbrenner at Trinity are NOT elite players. They are 7-feet tall, yes. But so was that Gillmann kid from Oakville who wore a SLU uniform a couple seasons. Mario McKInney should be able to tell Coach to move on from Kalkbrenner, who could not keep up with the pace of the game when Vashon walloped Trinity in districts. Saw Bradford four times in the Meramec tournament. Slow and underdeveloped.
    Well, they have Mizzou offers and offers from a bunch of high-major programs, some of which, frankly, have had more success lately than Mizzou. Iowa, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Xavier, etc.
    What kind of workouts do the basketball team participate in during the summer? Do they just scrimmage amonst themselves or do they have a structured program supervised by coaches?
    Teams are limited in how many hours a week the coaches can work with the players, but they put them through individualized/position-based skill work. The teams can scrimmage for as long as they want, but the coaches are only allowed to be there supervising for a limited portion of the time. It's all structured and scheduled.
    I'm rather ignorant on b-ball terminology. Please tell me what a 2, 3 etc means. I know center, guard etc but not the numbers.
    1: point guard
    2/3: wing players (traditionally called shooting guard & small forward)
    4: power forward 
    5: center 
    Does MUbaseball need to defeat FL tonight and tomorrow and get some wins in the SEC tournament to make the NCAA tournament or are they already pretty much in the tournament?
  • They shouldn't have to win the Florida series to make a regional. MU began the week No. 14 in the RPI. Florida is No. 32, so it's not like losing a game or two to the Gators will crush MU's RPI. No matter what happens this weekend, the Tigers will have 10 wins over top-50 RPI wins and series wins over NCAA-bound Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee, plus a split series against Texas A&M and a win over Vandy, which not many teams can say.
  • staying in line with the rank them theme today, I have one for you. How would you rank the Top 5 Mizzou football coaches in MU history?
    Ranked 5th - 1st.
    Thank you for all your hard work in reporting Mizzou sports to its fans.
    This is really hard to do because the game was so different in the 1960s compared to the 2000s when it comes to recruiting, scholarships and scheduling. But all things considered ... 
     
    5. Gwinn Henry: He won three conference titles in the 1920s. 
    4. Warren Powers: Five bowls and six winning records in seven seasons. He's probably not appreciated enough because of how quickly the program turned for the worse after he left.
    3. Don Faurot: His best years were in his first of two stints as head coach, but he was the first man to truly lead MU to sustained success. He created his own offense and produced national star players. 
    2. Gary Pinkel: He won four outright division titles in two conferences and twice had the Tigers on the brink of playing for the national championship. His success made the SEC move possible.
    1. Dan Devine: He won conference titles, even though it was a much smaller conference than a 14-team SEC, and put Mizzou on the map nationally. MU would have played in more bowls under his watch had players not voted against playing in the postseason a couple times.
     
    I'd like to put Al Onofrio on there, but he lost at least four games every year and never finished better than tied for second in the Big Eight. 
    Has their ever been less bang for our buck than the Porter brothers. They were outstanding players and warranted all the excitement given to them when we landed them. But when all was said and done did they really benefit Mizzou basketball? Also would CM have gotten them to commit if he wouldn't have given their dad a job on his staff?
  • It's obvious that Porter Sr. was a package deal. No one will dispute that. Same as he would have been at Washington or any other school the boys would have picked to play. Texas A&M tried hard to hire him so they could land Michael and Jontay. Other schools would have gone the same route. 
    Did the Porters bring value to the program? Absolutely. For the first time in many years Mizzou sold out of season tickets in 2017-18. The Porters get credit for that. They got hurt. It happens. Bad luck. It's not like Michael was faking an injury. We know that because he didn't play a minute for the Nuggets this season either. Jontay gave Mizzou one very good season. That's easy to forget. He was skilled enough to be a one-and-done player and might have been a first-round pick had he stayed in the draft last year. You can make a case it was unrealistic to expect more than one season from a 6-11 five-star recruit who can make 3s, block shots and rack up assists.
     
    I want to take a quick moment to give a Mizzou Chat salute to our Anne Rogers, who did an outstanding job as our student reporter this year and my sidekick on the Mizzou beat. She enhanced our MU football coverage throughout the season, including our game-day coverage and bowl coverage. She was a big reason we covered Mizzou women's basketball more than ever before. I hope readers appreciate what she was able to bring to our coverage for the last year. Anne graduates from the Mizzou journalism school tonight and is moving on to a great new job covering the Cardinals for MLB.com. I'll miss her on the beat for sure, but .....
  • Again this year we'll have another student reporter who will work alongside me on the beat to improve our quantity and quality of Mizzou coverage in the print edition and online. Christina Long will be a junior at Mizzou in the fall and has done some great work covering the local sports scene for the Columbia Missourian. She'll get started with us in late August after a summer abroad. The Post-Dispatch has made a really important commitment in adding a student reporter to the Mizzou beat and we're lucky to do it again next year with Christina.
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