Hello, Mizzou chatters. Lots to discuss after last night's game, I'm sure. I'll be here for the next two hours at least. Bring your questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
For the 2016 fiscal year it was Texas A&M at $194 million, which led the country, according to USA Today's annual list. Bama, LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Auburn were all at $140 million or more. Mizzou was ranked 30th nationally at $97 million.
I don't think Missouri fans would settle for a football coach who only gets to lower-tier bowl games over a long stretch. Pinkel set the bar higher than that. Haith won 30, 23 an 23 in his three years and fans weren't upset to see him go. Winning in the teens won't cut it. Either way, there's a theory among smart people in this business who believe in the 10-year rule, that unless we're talking coaching legends like Saban or Krzyzewski, fans and head coaches generally get tired of each other after about a decade. If you win enough early to stay at a place for 10 years, you generally set the bar high among your fans, and then when you have an off year or two, you wear out your welcome because you're perceived as underachieving. I think it can be healthy for coaches to move on after a long period of time, even if they've had success. Mark Richt at Georgia is a great example.
Barnett was far better last night than he was Saturday at A&M, at least offensively. He's not a real high-motor guy. Teams that play up-tempo can really challenge him on the defensive end. He's a good athlete, a great rebounder for a wing player and obviously can shoot the ball from deep. But he's far from an elite defender and not much of a ball-handler. That's just who he is. It's hard to change a senior.
He's never going to be huge in a literal sense. That's why Lindsey Scott didn't land many Power 5 offers. People in Baton Rouge speak highly of him, for obvious reasons. His final two games each of the last two seasons were championship victories, at the highest high school classification in Louisiana in 2016 and the national juco championship game in the fall. He seems like a natural leader, charismatic and a great athlete. He should have a great shot to win the job in 2019.
Missouri has three quality SEC wins in a loaded conference but has looked awful in the last two games. Because the SEC is rated so high, Missouri can still get back into the hunt for the NCAA tourney. At this point, other than a team or two, it doesn't matter who you lose to in this conference. Wins over anyone are really valuable. Losses aren't as damaging to the March credentials. MU is 3-4. A 7-4 finish will get them onto the NCAA bracket. 6-5 and a win or two in St. Louis could do it, too. The schedule is favorable down the stretch. MU plays four games against the Mississippi schools and also gets A&M and Vandy. Those aren't automatic wins, but those look like the most beatable teams in the league. I thought Mizzou would be a top four or five team in the league with Michael and a single-digit seed in the NCAA tourney. Without Michael, I figured MU would be a bubble team.
Having a few home wifi issues. Bear with me.
Yes, it's possible. Let's not forget Missouri beat a really good Tennessee team last week by playing a strong defensive game. That's what has to be the strength of this team because of the challenges on offense. Last night was a bad matchup for MU. Auburn wins with 3s and free throws and their plan worked to perfection. Pearl spreads the floor with his undersized rotations, and Missouri couldn't adjust, couldn't close out on shooters and gave away too many second chances and fastbreak points.
On the SEC conference call, Cuonzo was just asked if he lets his mind wonder about how things would be different with a healthy Porter Jr.: "You think about that all the time, not just because we lost the game. First and foremost is him being healthy. But we have to play with the guys we have. I like the guys we have and we have to continue to develop them."
They're still recruiting some pass rushers and safeties for sure. I would think between 6-8 more signees would be the sweet spot to close out the class.
Let's see how he does in his workouts. I would think he's a mid-round guy, but I'm no Mel Kiper. He wasn't as productive as the past MU edge rushers who now play on Sundays, but he played most of his senior year hurt.
Missouri changed its number retirement policy to state that an athlete must win a national player of the year award to be eligible, so that would mean she'd have to win that award next year. That's a lot to ask. But, yes, Mizzou has retired two women’s players’ numbers: Joni Davis’ No. 33 and Renee Kelly’s No. 42.
Missouri has always aimed to be middle of the pack in its conference for spending and revenue. Top 20 nationally is probably unrealistic. For one, Mizzou doesn't have enough fans to consistently pack the stadium to where you're maxing out on ticket revenue. And Mizzou doesn't have enough donors to compete with the wealthiest programs in the SEC that have such a wider base of supporters. The administration can always expand their donor base but not to where they're on par with Florida or Bama or Texas A&M. Mizzou just doesn't have the resources to spend money like a lot of its peers. Winning helps, but MU was within a victory of the football national championship game twice in a six-year span and still struggling to break even.
I haven't talked to Andy, so I don't want to speculate. My sense is it was a sort of compromise. Ofodile is an offensive coach. He could have helped with running backs, receivers or tight ends, but Hill has the most experience working with specialists compared to the other offensive position coaches. Another point people don't realize. I think Hill will probably still help on offense. When you have a football practice, there are a lot of periods where you're not practicing special teams. When the offense is going against the defensive scout team and vice versa, it's not like Hill is going to take a nap or head to Booches for a burger. He'll have to do something during the non-kicking game periods.
No commitment. Missouri is recruiting several 2018 point guards.
On Jontay, Martin made a valid point after last night's game: Jontay has never really played around the rim even though he's 6-11. He's mostly be a perimeter player. He doesn't have a lot of experience posting up bigger bodies. He's learning on the go - and it hasn't always been pretty. Only until recently has he gotten post feeds and tried to post-up defenders. As for Tilmon, the fouls have clearly gotten in his head. I thought Martin was smart a couple weeks ago to call out the officials - because miraculously Tilmon started playing with more confidence and refs were letting the bigs play their game. But he's gotten back into bad habits. Careless, out of control play. I thought Tilmon played well against A&M's two bigs, but he didn't respond well to Auburn's personnel.
Well, look at this this way, they didn't beat Florida ... but they beat the team that just beat Florida. Like I said earlier, who you beat in this league won't matter as much as how many games you win. If Martin gets this team back committed to defense and can pull more out of the two freshman bigs, there's no reason to think they can't get to 20 wins. A&M is still a dysfunctional mess and has to play in CoMo. Again, MU plays four games against the Mississippi teams, plus Vandy and LSU. Kentucky isn't Kentucky - and has to come to CoMo. Missouri has played what I feel are the three best teams in the league. Beat one (Vols), got hammered by one (Auburn) and should have beaten the third (Gators). I don't think it's time to jump ship by any means, but they need to get back to taking care of the ball and closing out on shooters. Auburn is a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams, especially a team with a lot of young size that doesn't have a dynamic athlete at point guard. Sound familiar?
It would help, but Geist hasn't been the problem the last two games. He had to give Harper some space last night or he'd blow right by him - and Harper answered with some NBA 3s. Geist was the only guard last night attacking the paint and getting good looks inside. Yes, he's an ideal sixth man if you want to be a great team. But, the roster is what it is at this point. I still agree that he's the best option at the point. Phillips has lost his handles. As Ben Fred wrote today, he's a liability.