Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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

  • Greetings, chatters. I'll be here for the next couple hours unless the ice storm takes us all too soon. Fire away with you Mizzou queries
  • Who do you see being the higher NBA draft pick - Jontay or Tilmon? Obviously, the hope is this is pretty far down the road!
  • I think both can develop into lottery pick-caliber players, though Jontay's combination of size and skill is probably more unique, which might give him more value. You don't see many 6-11 guys who can post up, shoot 3s, pass like a point guard and block shots. If Tilmon can develop an outside shot he'd add some obvious value, but right now he's purely a back-to-the-basket player. Jontay is more versatile.
  • Man those WV and FL losses hurt. We were up double digits most of the game on both teams. And now WV is 2nd in the AP!
  • The West Virginia loss doesn't really hurt. The more the Fightin' Huggy Bears win, the better for Mizzou. That's a quality game against an elite team away from home. Those are worth mucho RPI points. Yes, a win would be better for MU's credentials, but a loss against an elite team away from home is much more valuable than a home win over a low-rated mid-major.
  • I thought mizz basketball got really shafted by ref s in fl game. Is there anywhere to file complaint or is it tuff luck, fl is a favored sec team. thank you
  • I'm afraid there's no way for fans to file complaints. The teams submit questionable calls to the league office for review. There's always an evaluation process. I thought the officiating was fair last night and clearly favored Missouri's bigs.
  • Have you heard much about this Dooley fella from the players themselves? Do you even get much info from the players during the offseason? I know you're tasked with getting info from student athletes so that could be tricky.
  • We don't get access to the players this time of year and I'm not conducting any polls. The next time we interview players will be spring practices in March. By then they'll have worked with Dooley for a couple months and have a better feel for his style and personalty.
  • Explain the Dooley hire, if you can.
  • Explain, how? Odom interviewed him and they agreed to terms. Is there more to this? It's been well documented by this writer and others that Odom met with other candidates. Did he offer them the job? Did they turn it down? I haven't gotten a clear answer on either and probably won't. Candidates who turn down jobs or aren't offered jobs rarely, if ever, explain the reasons behind those decisions. But we know that Dooley said yes. It's not clear that he would have returned to the Cowboys next year. Local media is scheduled to meet with Dooley and Odom on Friday - hopefully the weather holds up - so I expect to have more answers tomorrow. Stay tuned.
  • Jordan Barnett seems to have made a huge leap from last year to this. With his athleticism, size, and newfound deadeye shooting from deep, he seems like a candidate as a "3 and D" wing in the NBA. Is there a shot he gets drafted if he plays as well as he has for the rest of the year?
  • He could fit that mold, but he has to consistently provide the D part. Not that he can't be a strong defender but that's something he has to bring every night. His offensive game is pretty clear cut: He shoots 3s and he can finish at the rim. He doesn't put the ball on the floor much and he doesn't create his own perimeter shot. MU would like to see him attack the paint more because he's an elite foul shooter. There was a possession last night in the first half where the offense was stalled and Barnett drove the lane and drew contact to get to the line. He can afford to do that more often.
  • In my edition of today’s PD the box score of the MU-GA game has a line under MUs stats of M. Porter all zeroes except 1 PF. I don’t remember him being in the game. Did he get a technical foul from the bench? What is the explanation?
  • That was a mistake by the wire service that puts together the box scores. The Post-Dispatch doesn't compile those. That box score only gave Jontay two fouls and he actually had three. They accidentally gave the third foul to Michael.
  • It was nice to see the Tigers bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Florida and from a 1 for 9 3 point shooting percentage in last night’s game. I’m glad they decided to drive to the basket for points early in the second half that got them going after a desultory first half. If their normal game of shooting 3 pointers isn’t working they should try something else and did successfully. I would like them to drive to the basket more often. I also would like to see them spread the floor and get the ball into Tilmon more often. If he is only going to play 20 minutes because of foul trouble, at least make some room for him to maneuver and get him involve while he is in there.
  • Georgia's defense packs the paint and leaves the perimeter open, daring teams to shoot quick 3s and then makes it difficult to grab offensive rebounds. Mizzou shot some quick 3s in the first half and played into UGA's hands. Martin made some nice adjustments in the second half and designed some plays to get Jontay and Tilmon open inside and MU promptly attacked the paint. Gradually, too, they finally hit some outside shots that helped expand the lead. That was a clinical second half on the offensive end against a very sound defensive team.
  • I thought the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half last night were the best this team has played. Getting to the rim, great ball movement, great emotion after a dead first half. Do you think Geist can continue to settle into the job? I know he has had games with more points, but I thought it was his best overall game as a point.
  • Geist is capable of playing 30 minutes a game and being a productive player. He generally takes care of the ball unless teams are applying a lot of pressure - and before the South Carolina game, Martin adjusted how MU handles the press and it's since cut down on turnovers. Geist has developed into a strong shooter. He can defend both guard spots and he's as tough as they come, Cuonzo's kind of player. In crunch time, Cuonzo can put the ball in Robertson's hands to have someone quicker to control the ball, get to the rim and draw contact. But I think if this team can get some balanced scoring from the wings and the bigs, Geist is good enough to be a winning point guard.
  • I see Puryear not scoring much as a good thing. Means our offense doesnt have to filter through him. We have more options.
  • He can add value without scoring. Missouri's offense relies on bigs handling the ball to facilitate the offense. Puryear can catch and pass and sees the floor well. He can occasionally knock down an open jumper and when he has a favorable matchup he can score inside or at least get to the line. He's not the biggest or quickest athlete on the low block but I thought he showed last night what he can bring to this team as a second unit player. Just when MU needed a spark he gave it on three straight possessions.
  • Dave, Odom's selection for OC has left everyone with many questions. Mine is this: Was not the safest course of action to select a proven OC from a mid major? Most mid-major OCs would double their salary, would love to be a power 5 OC and would see it as a potential ticket to a head job in two years (Huepel's blueprint). Why go the Dooley route? Did no mid-major OC want the job?
  • I don't know the answer to that. As I wrote, he interviewed Jedd Fisch, who is still without a job, Dan Werner, who took the South Carolina QB job, and Todd Monken, who was retained as Tampa Bay's OC. I share the skepticism with Dooley, but my sense is Odom valued his head-coaching experience and SEC experience more than play-calling experience. When you're the OC under Barry Odom, you're essentially the head coach of half the team. You need some management experience. Now, Dooley didn't have success at Tennessee, but perhaps he can apply lessons learned from those three years and turn out to be a successful college OC. Again, it's an unconventional move. That doesn't mean it won't work. And a conventional move wouldn't have necessarily worked either. Like hiring an alum who was groomed as a co-coordinator under one of the best minds in the game at the Power 5 level. That described DeMontie Cross' background before he came back to Mizzou - and we know how that worked out.
  • By mid-next football season and the Tigers are tracking toward a 5-7 (or maybe worse) record, does the same discussion come up around firing Odom?
  • He bought himself another year but he's far from bulletproof. Mizzou needs to maintain or progress for Odom to feel really secure. If they take a big step backward after getting Lock and Beckner to return, that doesn't say much for the staff.
  • Does Cuonzo Martin think the fouls being called on Tilmon are ticky-tack fouls but is afraid to say anything at least publicly? It sure seems to me refs are calling anything he does as a foul.
  • Afraid to say anything publicly? It's all he talked about after the Florida game and again with the media on Tuesday. I think he's said plenty - and he did it without coming off as a bully. He got his point across and I doubt it was a coincidence that last night's crew let the bigs play without a whistle concert. You don't have to rant and rave to get your point across.
  • I guess what I was getting was how a WR coach is suddenly a OC/QB coach? I'll tune in Friday.
  • It's still the same sport. Guys move around all the time from one position to the next. Gary Pinkel was University of Washington's WR coach, and when the staff had some turnover he was promoted to quarterbacks coach and coordinator. That's just one example. Urban Meyer went from coaching wide receivers at Notre Dame to being named head coach at Bowling Green - with zero coordinator experience. Josh Henson had zero OC experience when Pinkel promoted him from OL coach after the 2012 season and Mizzou set a school record for offensive yardage his first year. Again, that's not to say this is going to work. But there's not one infallible way of hiring coaches. 
    Here's a completely unrelated example from my part of the world: Jim Thomas spent decades as a sportswriter and after more than 20 years covering the NFL as well as anyone on the planet, he's made the move to covering the NHL. Natural transition? Not necessarily, but reporting is reporting and writing is writing, just like coaching offense is coaching offense.
  • Dave, Auburn Mens BB seems to having a great year. But isn't the NCAA on the prowl about them? And I heard that Bruce Pearl isn't cooperating with NCAA or the Auburn internal investigation. What's brewing? Is Pearl in trouble again?
  • Two of his best players are being held out while the investigation lingers, which says even more about his coaching ability and his team's talent that Auburn is 15-1. There were reports that Pearl wasn't cooperating with the investigation initially, but it doesn't seem like he's in any trouble per se.
  • Nothing more than what I wrote earlier this week, which was ... 

    A weekly update on freshman Michael Porter Jr. and his surgically repaired back. Porter was scheduled to visit his spinal surgeon, Dr. Andrew Dossett, last week in Dallas for a checkup on his recovery from November surgery. Porter was back on the Mizzou bench in street clothes for Saturday’s game but has not rejoined the team for any physical activity, Martin said.

    “He’s probably working out, shooting shots,” Martin said. “But I’m not on Instagram and Snapchat and all of those.”

    That was a slightly tongue-in-cheek reference to Porter’s frequent photos and videos of personal workouts that surface on his social media accounts.

    “I imagine he’s getting a few shots up here and there,” Martin added, “but no practicing, banging with the team. Nothing at all. Nothing outside of treatment. But nothing on the floor with the team at all.”

  • How does a team go from 333rd out of 351 to 16th in 3 point shooting from last season to this season. I know Robertson is a key addition, but such a change is hard to imagine.
  • A couple reasons: Mizzou has installed an offense that truly works, inside-out looks to free wings on the outside for open 3s. ... The Tigers have two bigs in Porter and Tilmon who attract attention inside and leave the wings open for 3s. ... Robertson is shooting 45 percent from 3. That's a huge addition. ... Barnett and Geist have improved their shot dramatically. Geist had a hitch in his jumper last season that he fixed with thousands of shot per week during the offseason. When you get a new coach who's demanding and wipes the slate clean from the past, players tend to sense the urgency and work on their game to earn their roles. Credit Barnett and Geist for doing just that.
  • The conference seems very balanced this year - lots of good teams. Do you think a .500 record in conference would be enough to get a tourney bid or would they have to go 10 - 8 at the very least?
  • 10-8 would be much more idea, but depending on who Mizzou would beat and who they'd lose to, 9-9 might be enough to sit on the right side of the bubble. Home losses to the Mississippi schools would be bad. Road wins over Kentucky and/or Texas A&M would be mucho valuable. Right now the league looks really balanced and there doesn't appear to be a clear favorite or even a top tier or two or three elite teams. But from 1-8, heck maybe 1-10, there's a lot of quality. KenPom has five SEC teams in his top 25 and nine in his top 55.
  • Do you think Drew Lock could flourish in a pro-style offense?
  • Good question, but here's another one to ask in response: What's a pro-style offense? I think that term has become antiquated. Watch the NFL and you'll see a lot of the same formations and concepts that you see in college. The pure structure of Mizzou's offense under Heupel was more "pro-style" than what MU ran in its Big 12 spread days and even under Henson in the two SEC East title teams. Under Heupel, MU was predominantly in 11 personnel: one running back, one tight end, three receivers. Mizzou was rarely in four- and five-wide looks the last two years. The tight end sometimes lined up in the backfield or in motion as an H-back. That's a pro-style look. What made the Heupel system more college style was the routes and reads in the passing game. Lock had more full-field reads this year than he had in 2016, but his wideouts didn't run a full route tree like they do in the NFL. There were a lot of horizontal throws and then a lot of deep, vertical throws - but not a lot of intermediate routes. Maybe Dooley incorporates more of those routes and reads into the new system.
    Once Heupel left, Lock made it clear he'd like to play in a system that helps him prepare for the style of offense he'll have to play in the NFL, and more so than formations, he was likely talking about the type of reads he'll have to make and the routes his receivers will run.  
  • David in your opinion how is next years men's basketball recruits shaping up? Can Cuonzo get the Louisville recruit from Webster? As always lover your coverage of all Mizzou.
  • Missouri will adde three wings who signed in November. They'll need some scoring to replace Robertson and Barnett. Torrence Watson might need to supply some perimeter points immediately. They're going to have a couple more open scholarships with the loss of Roberts and Harris and anyone else who might leave, so we'll see how they use those spots. Is Ramey an option? He hasn't eliminated Missouri and maybe Harris' departure makes MU more appealing, but I've still heard mixed opinions on his interest in MU and MU's mutual interest in him. A lot can change between now and the late signing period.
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