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.

  • Howdy, chatters. I'm here to take your Mizzou questions, comments, complaints, rants and raves and anything else you want to share, from the latest episodes of "The Leftovers" (Also known as the best show on the Matter house TVs.) to "Better Call Saul" to whatever else you want to discuss - outside of WH politics. Consider this your 2-hour WH-free zone for the day.
  • Does Odom use the same or similar methods for assessing talent that Pinkel used (testing for athleticism). Another way of asking, is can we expect to see more Charles Harris’ stories?
  • There are some overlaps I'm sure. Pinkel had a very meticulous evaluation system that touched on all sorts of factors - but built on the overall belief that the staff could develop a functional player if he has the requisite speed and size potential. They could gamble on a Charles Harris because he had the frame plus the vertical jump - a pivotal metric for the Pinkel grading system - that indicated he was athletic enough to mold into a productive player, no matter what his HS stats or highlight clips looked like. Now, as we know the Pinkel teams didn't only draft a bunch of underdeveloped prospects who didn't have any on-field success in high school. But they took on their share of projects. Not all of them work, but enough worked that the Pinkel teams were able to overcome not recruiting top 25 talent year after year but still produced a lot of top 25 teams. Odom had some influence there, but I'm not sure he has a carbon copy evaluation system. Also, Pinkel's staff worked collectively when it came to approving scholarship offers. From what I've gathered, Odom's coaches don't always (or ever) vote on whether to offer a certain player. That's not to say one system is better than another.
  • Are we to assume your tweet about Kemp transferring is pending and not ready for release?
  • If I've got news to report, it will usually come first at STLtoday.com, not Twitter. If you were paying attention to our site yesterday you probably noticed the Kemp story that was inadvertently posted for a couple minutes. Full disclosure: I was working on that story yesterday, along with two others simultaneously. The Kemp story was a fluid situation. Information was changing in real time. It was not ready to be published online - and still isn't as of Thursday. Occasionally with breaking news I'll file a story in our online publishing system and revisit it during the day to add details. That story was not supposed to go live on the site, but a box that was supposed to stay unchecked was mistakenly checked. Boom, it went live. We quickly pulled it from the site. Will it reappear anytime soon? Perhaps. Stay tuned.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm responsible for that going "live" -- NOT Dave. Any complaints, email me: mikesmith@post-dispatch.com 
  • Dave,
    Who do you think is the second best football coach in the SEC? I'd say Dan Mullen but its a crapshoot. Nick Saban's been so dominant that other great coaches like Les Miles and Mark Richt have been fired, Spurrier retired, etc. You've got a lot of career assistants who took over those gigs. Seems like the SEC has done a good job hiring basketball coaches recently but football seems to be trending a little downward when it comes to coaching quality.
  • This is a great question, and the kind that pops up in May, after the draft and before the season when there's not much else of substance to discuss. Mullen has gotten a lot done without the same resources as other coaches in this league. I think you have to include McElwain in the discussion. His last two Florida teams won the East without the same level of talent we're used to seeing in Gainesville, especially on offense. Way too early to know about Smart or Odom. Haven't seen enough results from Mason, Stoops or Orgeron. I still think Bielema is a fine coach and runs a solid program, but is he an elite coach in this league? Same for Malzahn. Freeze and Sumlin just haven't done enough with the talent they've had in their programs to earn that title. Butch Jones has brought a lot of talent to Knoxville, but the results aren't consistent. He's in the running, only because the field is pretty mediocre.
  • Do you think The Leftovers will answer the big question (where did everyone go?) before the show ends this season?
  • No, and I hope not. We don't need everything answered. I like that they let the viewer experience the show from the perspective of the leftovers, and they have no idea what's happened to the departed. The show is more about the leftovers recovering and learning how to solve their own lives rather than the world's biggest mystery. Part of me would love to see more seasons, but I'm glad it will go out on top - assuming the home stretch won't be disappointing.
  • Is Jakoby Kemp transfering?

    Also, who are the targets if Tillmon goes elsewhere and Jontay Porter does not reclassify?
  • I touched on the Kemp situation earlier. Stay tuned. I expect some clarity after final exams. The staff still feels confident about Tilmon, but there's some hurdles in the way before anything can be decided. I haven't seen any other names really surface as Plan Bs or Cs in case Tilmon doesn't come to MU. Jontay's decision may not come for a while. Lots of unknowns still.
  • I read recently that Mizzou has had a record number of 7 figure donations to the athletic department. Many of my friends are fatalists that blamed our recent woes on the "riots" (demonstrations really) of a couple of years ago. I know you don't like to speculate, but I wonder if those demonstrations have been more of a catalyst for these donations than not?
  • Riots? Yeah, that didn't happen. For a couple weeks two years ago students held a protest on campus about a slew of issues, the origin of which had nothing to do with race but university policy. The campus has worked for the last 18 months to address causes of the unrest and practically turned over the entire university leadership in those 18 months. Enrollment is down. Did the incidents of 2015 play a role in the enrollment drop? Surely, yes. I suspect the overblown reaction, the perception and mistruths of "riots" on campus have a more lingering effect. But it hasn't slowed down Mizzou athletics' fundraising efforts. That's for sure. Sterk has raised nearly $50 million for the football facility - and from multiple sources. Are some of those donations the result of fans trying to overcome the image that came out of 2015? Perhaps. But Mizzou has always had wealthy donors. Maybe Sterk and his staff are better at convincing them to spend their money.
  • You were right about Knox going with Kentucky, what about Tilman and Jontae?
  • I was not right about Knox going to Kentucky. I don't think anyone expected him to choose Big Blue. Not even Kentucky's coaches. But I didn't expect him to choose Missouri. I had him pegged for Tobacco Road, like most.
  • I saw Clay Travis say something the other day about how amazing Alabama has become because of the football program. They have tons of out of state kids applying to the university and because of this they are able to raise their academic levels. Not saying they are an Ivy League but obviously good things are happening all around because of the football program and Saban is worth every penny. Given this do you think a great football season or basketball season can reverse mizzou's spiraling enrollment and other problems at least in the short term? And long term if either or both basketball and football become a perennial top 15 program what sort of impact could that have on all of Mizzou? I am asking this fully aware that Mizzou football/Odom are not Alabama/Saban and Mizzou Hoops/Martin are not North Carolina/Williams and most likely never will be. Third and final question, what comparable college program in both football and basketball do you think would be the ceiling for each respective program?
  • When Pinkel had Mizzou playing in New Year's Day bowls and winning division titles, the university saw an increase in enrollment. There's no doubt athletics plays in role in the school's popularity. It also affects other factors that benefit the university, like licensing. Will a turnaround for football reignite Mizzou enrollment? It can't hurt. I haven't looked too closely at this factor, but from what I hear from parents of HS students who are choosing colleges, Mizzou's tuition costs have gotten out of whack compared to a lot of other nearby state schools in the Midwest. I have to imagine that's factored into the enrollment drop as well. Long-term, yes, a winning football and basketball program benefit the university in terms of revenue, exposure and public relations. We saw the university benefit from all of those things during the peak Pinkel years. If anything, the surge of enrollment during the late 2000s is why the current projections cause so much concern. Next year's enrollment is on track to be similar to what it was when I was a student. Mizzou was hardly a small school in the late 1990s. I don't recall ever thinking, 'Man, this school doesn't have enough students.' We're a numbers-based culture and media industry. We demand answers when numbers shift one direction. Maybe this isn't the right line of thinking in today's culture, but is bigger necessarily better? I know teachers on campus who have complained for years that Mizzou has gotten too big for its own good and it affects the eduction students are getting. Maybe the enrollment drop is an overcorrection? I'm not smart enough about these topics, but I'm not in the doom and gloom camp over the enrollment figures. 
    As for your third question, Wisconsin always comes to mind when I'm asked what programs should Mizzou strive to model. Wisconsin is THE state school in the state, a state that's similar in size to Missouri. Wisconsin doesn't have the natural recruiting resources as Ohio State or Michigan when it comes to prospects, just like Missouri doesn't have the natural abundant recruiting territory of a Georgia or Florida. But the Badgers win at a national level and are relevant and competitive year after year (in both sports) mostly because of coaching, player development and building their programs around a specific culture. There's no reason Missouri can't have similar success. 
  • Would a Kemp transfer be related to Timon and Jontay?
  • Everything is relative when you're rebuilding a roster when it comes to who's coming and going. Bottom line, he was a late addition whom last year's staff didn't believe was ready to contribute to an 8-win team. There's not a lot of mystery here. Maybe he transfers and thrives at another program.
  • I know with the APR released yesterday, Mizzou hoops are good to go for this upcoming season. However, with it being necessary to get a high score this time next year (I think I read we need over 960), how much of a concern will the postseason eligibility be for 2018-19? It really shouldn't surprise anyone if Kemp does wind up transferring, but further attrition has to make this even tougher for Cuonzo. Thanks for the chats.
  • The staff and administration will have to monitor the APR very closely - like they are now. The 2016-17 team is the one that can't afford to lose more points. What happens to next season's team impacts the APR figures that will come out in 2019. The figures that will come out a year from now will reflect the loss of Jackson, Walton and Hughes. When he met with reporters last month Martin said MU could afford to lose a one more transfer or three more points on the APR and still be in good shape.
  • is there someone in the athletic dept who can calculate the gpr for the 2016-17 season now rather than waiting to see the score?
  • I think you mean APR. You can't predict the score without knowing if everyone on the team is academically eligible. Martin said MU can afford to lose three points and still be in good shape for next year's APR. We'll see if that happens.
  • I saw your article about our current academic standing in Basketball. We're looking at quite a few transfers this year, Walton already went somewhere else, is there a danger of not reaching the 976 milestone next year?
  • Where does 976 come in? Next year's single-year score has to be in the 960s to avoid the 930 threshold. Again, Martin said they can lose one more transfer - or three more points. When he said that they had already lost at least three points with the transfer of Jackson, Walton and Hughes. If they or anyone else is not eligible, they'll lose more points - or if someone else transfers. There are some loopholes in the APR rules, so with Jackson leaving at the semester break, they could be spared his point deduction. I'm not sure.
  • Over/under for Reed Nikko this year: 10 minutes/game, 6 ppg, 4 rbs. I'd take the under even with the lack of big men currently on the roster. What do you think?
  • If they don't add an impact big man, he's playing a lot more than 10 minutes a game. I've heard good reviews of Nikko from the spring workouts. If he can get fully recovered from the hip surgeries that delayed his preparation from last season he can help this team inside.
  • Today's chat has become an APR math class.
  • Prediction...How many of the St Lou 10 sign with Mizzou?
  • Ooooh, I love predictions on recruits! Take note, most people who make recruiting predictions had Cameron Brown going to Mizzou. He picked Nebraska - much sooner than anyone expected him to decide. Why are we still asking for recruiting predictions? I don't think Odom gets shut out, but I'll say he gets three.
  • A reminder: Don't forget next Sunday is Mother's Day. I thought I should remind you since you forgot my birthday Tuesday.
  • Dave-I follow "The Leftovers" as well-I remember that it was explained recently that "The Departed" was a part of the Biblical teachings of the "Rapture" that God comes down and takes a number of folks that happens before the end of the world.
  • Yes, that's the assumption, but not necessarily the answer. I like the fact that there is no answer, at least not yet.
  • I knew we weren't likely getting Knox, but the Kentucky decision baffles me. They've signed like eight 5 star players, they have to realize that not all of them will play. I'm convinced there is a SMU-type situation going on there, this doesn't make sense anymore. Why would a player who could star anywhere else elect to be a backup to another freshman?
  • Because it doesn't matter if they start or come off the bench: Cal sends them to the first round of the NBA draft. And they know they're going to compete for a championship their one year in college. If you're a high school player who wants the quickest path to the NBA, wants to play for a team that will guarantee great exposure and preparation for the draft, then UK is an obvious choice. Cal started the NBA-style combines for his players a couple years ago, and it was a genius idea and marketing move. Guys like Kevin Knox go to Kentucky thinking they'll be the best of the five five-stars on the team; they don't worry about falling between the cracks and getting lost in the rotation. It doesn't surprise me at all to see kids make that decision.
  • Cameron Brown picking Nebraska was... surprising. Are there any other guys that you could see making a decision sooner rather than later? I assume most will wait this out and enjoy the recruiting process
  • Not just enjoy the recruiting process, but the ones that have a serious interest in Missouri - and I think several do (Perkins, Trout, Thompson for sure) - they want to see how the Tigers perform this fall. If Mizzou gets off to a shaky start then it could be detrimental with this group of recruits. Also, not all of these offer lists will be as long and impressive in November and December as they are now. A school like Michigan or LSU could fill their needs at a certain position and tell one of these players that their offer is no longer committable.
  • Dave, long time Mizzou fan, any thoughts on when we will have an answer for Tilmon and Jonay? Thanks for the updates!
  • Touched on both earlier in the chat. I get the sense Jontay will play more AAU ball this summer. He has some classes to finish before he knows if he can reclassify. Tilmon is an absolute mystery.
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