Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • I'm not sure I'd agree with that. He's a huge priority for Mizzou's staff. If they lose him to Ohio State, there's no shame in that. But I don't think it's a foregone conclusion.
  • I'd say four. They should be able to beat Missouri State, Purdue and Idaho. UConn is no gimme on the road. If the defense can't stop anybody, Missouri is no match for Auburn, Georgia or Arkansas. It's hard to win a road game in the SEC without a defense. Kentucky and Vandy both have experienced QBs who have already beaten Missouri once before in their careers. Florida and Tennessee won't be easy to beat with a bad defense, even at home.
  • Thanks for the chats Dave. Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Do you think the quick/fast pace used in towards the end of the Big 12 days can work? It seems like it could work if you could score 35 ~ 45 pts a game but your defense would be gassed and probably give up close to the same. So, the question is could that style of play manage to sustain scoring that many points against a slate of SEC defenses. Thank you
  • In a word, yes. It can work. It worked for Mizzou in 2013. It's worked to varying degrees for other up-tempo teams in the SEC. Texas A&M has had decent seasons - not championship seasons, but winning seasons - with that kind of pace. Same for Auburn and Ole Miss. Also, keep in mind, not every SEC teams plays great defense. Yeah, that's the league's reputation, but just last year you saw some crummy defenses in this league. Tennessee, Mississippi State, A&M, Ole Miss. I think it's possible to play up-tempo as long as you're scoring points. It doesn't work if you're going three-and-out in 30 seconds. To some degree the offense and defense have to work together to manage the pace of the game, but ultimately it's up to the defense to make stops. You didn't hear Clemson's defense complain the last two years about its offensive pace.
  • Who is going to provide leadership on the defense this year? Since Beisel is going to Hoover, I assume he is one.
  • Odom has praised Beisel, Marcell Frazier and Terry Beckner as the leaders of the defense. I think AJ Logan and Logan Cheadle are guys who have earned respect. I think you start with those guys.
  • I know they are 2 different sports and one usually has very little on the other... but do you think hiring Martin and his strong ties to East STL can help repair the damaged relations with the football program recently?
  • I hesitate to use the word "damaged." Missouri missed out on Jeff Thomas, who never showed the staff great interest in playing at MU. They lost a commitment from Rey Estes, but nobody on the staff was too upset about that development. If he was intent on staying at quarterback, the staff didn't believe he'd ever beat out the young QBs they had on the roster. The Greg Taylor situation wasn't ideal, but I think his decision to leave the team - and he hasn't resurfaced anywhere else to my knowledge - reflects more on Greg Taylor than it does on the staff's relationship with East St. Louis. There are still four players on the roster from ESL, and you don't hear them complaining. That said, can Martin help the relationships at ESL? Perhaps, but he won't be there recruiting for football. That's on Odom and his staff to foster a rapport with the coaches and players there.
  • Great Work Dave. Earlier post on the Dline speaking of players. If Howard is out that is a thin line. Kid I liked because of his off the charts athleticism Franklin Agbasimere. Has he healed and since he is a converted LB I always pictured him at this position from the time they signed him Hasn't played organized Football But was a 4.4 sprinter with a 225 lb body. Any scoop on him or maybe a story.
  • He missed most of the spring after moving to defensive end. We haven't had any player access since the spring, so there's not much I can report on summer workouts. I'll have more updates next week at SEC media days.
  • Dave, it does seem as though Coach Odom has surrounded himself with some solid assistant coaches and isn't shy to pay them well. I know this is a very important year for Coach O to prove Mizzou is back on track and not in a tailspin. Do you get the sense that the coaching staff and Coach O are on the same page from the limited exposure you get to them? (I hope they are)
  • On the same page in terms of what exactly? I sense there's more staff cohesion this time around, especially on the defensive staff. The coaches seem to genuinely respect and appreciate what Brick Haley has brought to the program. Offensively, I think there's good chemistry under Heupel. He's essentially the head coach of the offense. Odom is fairly hands-off with that side of the ball.
  • Hi Dave, have you had a chance to watch Jayson Tatum in the summer league with the Celtics? He's tearing it up! Celtics really loaded on the wings with him, jaylen brown, jae crowder, and now Gordon Haywood. Anyway, as good as JT looks, I'm convinced MPJ is better, and by a significant margin. He's at least 3-4 inches taller, has noticibly better hops, and has a similar array of quality moves from all over the court. They are both coaches kids, and have great court awareness. Have you heard how dominant MPJ is so far in practice? I know it's summer, but they scrimmage a lot and I'd love to get an inside scoop on how badly he's dominating those runs. I'm still bullish on 28-30 ppl!
  • Tatum is 6-8. Porter is 6-10. That's two inches, not at least three or four. Yes, I've watched some of the Celtics first couple games. Tatum has been very impressive, as I expected. His game was pro-ready in high school. I think his game compares favorably to Porter's. Great size on the wing. Solid perimeter shooting mixed with explosiveness to the rim. Mizzou's coaches and veteran players had strong first impressions on MPJ when they met the media a few weeks ago. Here's what the coach who knows MPJ best said about him a few weeks back. From Michael Porter Sr., "The speed and physicality will be a transition for him and how hard you have to work in practice. He has been good for so long and in some situations he didn’t have to empty his tank to excel. He can’t do that here.
    “What I’ve seen so far is he can get his shot off whenever he wants. Whether or not that’s a good shot that’s a whole other deal. But he can get to where he wants to and get his shot off. But it’s not as easy as it was for him. That’s the biggest thing. He’s going to have to be a more consistently good defender.”
  • I thought Montes de Oca was drafted. Is he not signing?
  • Where do you rank Gary Pinkel in Mizzou football coaching history. I rank him as the best coach in MU history. Faurot 2nd.
  • Devine and Faurot and Pinkel are difficult to measure and separate because of so many factors. Faurot coached longer but had more losing seasons. He also made Mizzou football relevant nationally for the first time and was an offensive innovator that changed the entire game. Devine coached two of the best teams in MU history (1960, 1969). Pinkel coached at least two of the best (2007, 2013). Devine's teams played more grueling nonconference schedules, but the SEC is more challenging top to bottom than the Big Eight was in the 1960s. Pinkel also guided the program through realignment and proved he can win at a national level in two leagues. He was a win away from playing for the national title in two separate seasons, in two separate leagues. I give Devine the slight edge based on the quality of teams in his smaller body of work. But Faurot gets his own place in MU history because of his contributions as an athletic director. Without Faurot, there is no Mizzou football - or Mizzou athletics.
  • How often are you on the Frank Cusumano radio show? I've caught the show a few times and really enjoy it. Times and stations where we can hear it on a regular basis please.
  • I'm on every Monday, usually around 11 am or later.
  • What is the best thing that Coach Martin can do right now to assure a sustained level of success in the post-Michael Porter years: a) aim at a great 2017-18 turnaround, including success in the NCAA tournament; b) convince Jontay to stay in HS another year; c) recruit hard NOW for upcoming players in 18-19 and beyond; d) (name it) ?
    Thanks.
  • I'd go with C. An NCAA tourney run with MPJ would be great for the program, but it doesn't guarantee future success. In today's game, coaches have to rebuild their rosters every offseason. You don't really build a program like you do in football; you build a roster year after year.
  • How are you involved with Gary Pinkels new book? When will it be published and available? Will GP be scheduling any book signing events? Thanks
  • I wrote the book, along with Gary. It will be on sale in late August/early September. Gary and I will have book signings all around the state during the fall. Those dates will be announced later this summer. I'm not going to use this forum to sell the book. But you can pre-order at Amazon. Gary Pinkel: The 100-Yard Journey.
  • Brookside just built 2 more apartment buildings since this chat started
  • Did I hear correctly today that Mizzou has the 8th highest odds to win the National B-ball Championship? If so, how can that be if most pre-pre-rankings have Mizzou around 25th or so.
  • Because Vegas odds have nothing to do with rankings. People are excited about Mizzou right now. Vegas preys on that kind of hope and excitement. The realists who vote in preseason polls aren't bookies. Writers and coaches undoubtedly have a more reasoned, skeptical approach to preseason projections.
  • I read that Phil Steele magazine has B Odom ranked as the worst coach in the SEC. I'm not sure if I agree, but I will say he still is unproven. Phil Steele did not say he is one of the worst coaches in NCAA, just SEC. Thoughts
  • I'm not sure Phil meant he's the worst, but if you're ranking the coaches in the SEC from 1-14 based on their achievements, who would you rank lower? Derek Mason and Mark Stoops have taken their teams to bowls. Kirby Smart wasn't overly impressive in his debut season, but he won eight games and beat Mizzou in Columbia. All of the West coaches have achieved more than Odom at this point in their career.
  • Will the early signing period that is now in place for recruiting benefit Mizzou or make no difference regardless?
  • Nobody knows unitl it happens - and maybe won't know until a couple recruiting cycles. On one hand, Mizzou might have fewer commitments poached by blue blood programs like they have in the past. But Mizzou might also have fewer chances to poach other team's commitments like they have in the past. It's going to be really interesting to see how things fall in December. Will teams pressure players to commit early? Will teams pressure players to NOT commit early and delay their decision until February? My guess is Mizzou will still end up with the caliber of class it typically signs, ranked between 30-50 nationally and in the bottom to middle tier of the SEC.
  • I don't think Mizzou is ever getting booted from the SEC... I guess my overall point is: I wonder how long or how many wins it takes before Mizzou gets any credit, or at least as much as A&M gets
  • I would advise to stop giving credence to every opinion on the Internet. Who's giving A&M credit for anything? The Aggies make more money and build fancier buildings and can attrach higher-profile coaches because it has a bigger and more committed fan base, but what has A&M really achieved on the field in the SEC? Most writers who cover the SEC would agree that Kevin Sumlin sits on the hottest seat in the league because he's underachieved at A&M. If anything, A&M's resources raise the expectation level for what that program should achieve. And that's why after three straight 8-5 seasons Sumlin is coaching for his job.
  • Do you think the Big 12 deciding to add a championship game was a good idea? I know they only have 10 teams and will result in a rematch game. Thoughts?
  • It might  backfire, but if an undefeated or one-loss team loses in the championship game. I like the idea of every conference playing by the same rules to reach the playoff, but I can understand why a coach in the Big 12 would be skittish about adding a championship game. What happens when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have the best records in the league, play each other the last week of the regular season and then meet again in the championship game. The team that won the regular-season meeting will say it's already proven itself as the league champion.
  • I have heard rumors blaming Self completely for not putting the MU/KU bball game on the map in KC. I also heard an idea of putting the MU/KU bball and the last game of football regular season MU/KU at arrowhead and make a weekend of it to open bball and end football. I thought it was an awesome idea and would generate huge revenue for both schools and the KC area as a whole. Have you heard anything regarding this?
  • Bowen Loftin was recently quoted as saying Bill Self killed an MU-KU football game set for Arrowhead that campus leaders at both schools were working on finalizing. I'm not sure I buy that. Nobody at Mizzou, from Mike Alden to Mack Rhoades to Gary Pinkel - who I've spent more time with the last seven months than my family - has ever mentioned, EVER, that MU and KU had an agreement in place. And the chancellor doesn't negotiate those kind of deals. Self dismissed Loftin's claim. I believe Self in this case. That said, Self doesn't want to play Mizzou in basketball. And his AD won't dare schedule a football game against Mizzou when the more powerful hoops coach is against reviving the series. I'd like to put this debate to bed. Kansas doesn't want to play. Mizzou has not initiated any talks under its current leadership. Move on.
  • Thoughts on M Frazier not attending SEC MD next week because he has sworn off talking to the media. In my opinion he is bringing more negative press to MU. I hope he has a great year and can match Harris production from last year.
  • Frazier would have been a candidate to represent Mizzou in Hoover next week but not after his tweets saying he'd boycott the media. His loss, not mine, in my opinion. I'll be happy to get thoughts from Lock, Moore and Beisel in Hoover.  All three are thoughtful, interesting guys who have always been generous with the local media. I'm glad Mizzou is taking Moore. He's a great interview. I don't understand Frazier's media boycott, but I won't lose any sleep over it. He's got plenty of teammates who will share their thoughts and insights on the team and the season. I covered an SEC player of the year who didn't speak to the media throughout his All-American season. I think my coverage will survive without Frazier quotes. If he changes his mind, great. He's a thoughtful guy who's been great with local reporters since he came to Columbia.
  • I am sure you have answered this before and probably will again, but why is odom still insisting on changing the defense when it was so successful before?! I heard the explanation that the defense he wants to implement is more pro style and helps stop the run... the problem is everyone in the world knows the game is shifting towards a spread passing attack where you need to get to the quarterback and play fast, so why shift from that? I get Odom's defense could help prevent Tre Mason for running for 500 yards, but it also causes us to give up over 50 points to Middle Tenn and 900 to Tennessee (some of these figures may be exaggerated)
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