Greetings, Mizzou chatters. This is my last chat for a few weeks before I take some time off, so get your questions in now. Lots to discuss. Mizzou hoops, football, baseball. Leftovers series finale. Just no Better Call Saul spoilers. I'm behind an episode. I'm here for the next two hours. Bring it on.
I have no idea. Not my rankings. Those seem to fluctuate all the time.
Possibly, but Missouri's 2017 season was a success by any measure under Bieser. 36 wins, two games under .500 in the country's best conference for a first-year head coach who inherited a roster without any of his own recruits - that's a pretty solid debut season. Vitello wanted the Mizzou job last year, but I've heard from many sources that he didn't leave a good impression with Mack Rhoades, who didn't believe he was ready for a head-coaching job. Maybe he'll be great at Tennessee, but Bieser had a more proven track record as a head coach and certainly showed a lot of promise in his first season. People close to the program who know a lot about college baseball have become strong believers in what he's building. We'll see.
I don't know. Players have to be born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 to be eligible, and Porter Jr. was born on June 29, 1998, so he's clearly eligible. I've asked around MU's program and haven't gotten any solid answers. Jeremiah Tilmon was among those players invited for the tryouts.
Good question. I'll go with Barnett or Puryear. I know there's a lot of buzz around the newcomers, but the established veteran core will still play a lot of minutes and play major roles with this team. I spent a long time with Michael Porter Sr. yesterday and he's been really impressed with the veterans. He says this team is far more experienced than the supporting cast that surrounded Markelle Fultz at Washington last year. Puryear has put in a lot of work on his game this offseason. He's as driven as any player on this roster to be a factor.
A few thoughts on Jontay. I'm told by multiple sources close to the situation that he's still undecided on his plans. There are days he wakes up and has thoughts about playing his senior year in high school. I would still expect him to reclassify at some point this summer, but he has not made up his mind. Also, he has had an impressive spring/summer on the EYBL circuit, but his game is still under development in terms of being able to step on the floor and trade blows with established college players. He's got tremendous upside - and this is from the people who know his game best - but there's going to be a learning curve for him when it comes to the game's physicality and intensity.
Check out the blog tomorrow to read about some comparisons. Hint: If Jontay does indeed join the team this summer it will be just the second time in team history Missouri's roster has five players who are 6-10 or taller.
Hard to say. Cuonzo said Tuesday he hasn't started defining roles for players or figuring out rotations. The 40-minute workouts that started Monday are all about skill development. Very fundamental stuff. The workouts aren't broke down into position groups. Big men are doing the same ball-handlig drills as the guards. No specialization yet. It's fair to say the three core returning players will see a lot of minutes early (Phillips, Puryear, Barnett). We know Porter Jr. will play a lot early. Robertson could very well be the starting shooting guard. I would expect Tilmon, Harris and Roberts to play but hard to know how much. And don't give up on Jordan Geist. The staff has been really impressed with his play in workouts.
I think this might be a top 25 team by December or January but I'm not sure if going into the season I'd have them on my top 25 ballot. (I don't vote in that poll.) Most college basketball rosters are rebuilt from one to the next, so there's a lot of speculation and guesswork when it comes to hoops preseason polls compared to football preseason polls. Anyone who has Mizzou going from 8-24 to preseason top 25 is making the assumption that several of the newcomers will be instant impact players - not just Porter. And maybe they will. Maybe it's going to take a while for guys like Harris, Roberts, Tilmon and (if he reclasses) Jontay to get adjusted to the college level of play. Maybe they'll take their lumps early and after a couple losses start to develop some cohesion and maturity on the floor. But it's a lot to expect that many freshmen to be so good immediately that this will be among Division I's best 7 percent before ever playing a game.
Are we talking about conference championship? Division championship? If we're talking about being the last team standing, I think you have to go with the Cardinals. All things being equal there's much better odds of any MLB team winning it all (1 out of 30) compared to the 68 teams that make the NCAA tournament field. But if we're just talking about the coaches, I'll still go with Martin. He's got a better bullpen.
He's talking more about the early-season games in Florida that MU has been playing last few years. You get no less out of a road-game loss than a neutral-site win when it comes to the RPI. But more important, he wants to upgrade the noncon schedule with midweek games against power conference teams.
I wouldn't expect much to change. They led the SEC in total offense and bring back all but one starter. You might see them to continue to evolve the different uses of the tight end, though they moved those guys all over the field last year. Heupel and Odom talked a lot last year about using more pre-snap shifts and motions. Those were staples of Heupel's offense at Oklahoma. But they rarely used them last season. Maybe that's something we see more this fall. With a more experienced offense and quarterback they might be able to handle more complexities like that.
He plays with an edge. There's some value to that, especially when you've got a lot of freshmen who have no idea what playing in an intense college game is like. When you step into the Braggin Rights Game or an SEC road game, you better have some moxie and fearlessness - because this isn't the AAU circuit any more. He's worked a lot on his jumper this spring. He'll have to be more of an offensive threat to earn a place in the rotation. But I don't get into guessing on playing time. Those things fluctuate so much on just about every team in America from November to March.
Five wins with this schedule won't inspire much hope for 2018 and beyond. It'll be hard to land the top targets in the 2017 class with a five-win season. The staff is still confident when it comes to the most important in-state targets who haven't committed: Babb, Thompson and Perkins. But, as always with in-state recruits and especially St. Louis targets, Mizzou carries a much stronger burden of proof than other programs that are recruiting these guys. Oklahoma will now be coached by a 33-year-old with zero head-coaching experience. It'll be interesting to see if the in-state targets will take more of a wait-and-see approach with Lincoln Riley until he proves himself this fall. Texas just landed Ritenour LB Dele Adeoye - even though Texas is coming off three straight losing seasons and has gone 16-21 the last three years, compared to 20-18 for Mizzou in a better conference. But Texas is still Texas, and with a new HC in place, Tom Herman, Texas doesn't have that same burden of proof with local recruits like Missouri does in Odom's second year. That's the reality Mizzou faces when it comes to local prospects.
I haven't talked to Kim since his last game in the SEC tournament. He's not going to be the type who publicly badmouths Mizzou. He wants to see his alma mater do well. I'm sure he's bitter, but he's too classy to air grievances in a public forum.
25 shots a game for Porter? That's just not realistic or healthy for any team. Kevin Durant averaged 18 shots per game in his only college season. Carmelo Anthony averaged 17. And those guys were considered high-volume shooters. I disagree on Puryear. He's going to be matched up against some smaller defenders if he gets minutes at the 3 and slower defenders when he's at the 4. There's no other proven low-post scorer on this team.
Nothing of substance from what I've heard lately.
Considering he was fired from Oklahoma and had a bitter departure, I don't expect him to be part of the Sooners' future. He went from being the golden boy QB who led OU to its last national title to the scapegoat for an offense that was still good under his watch but not great.
Picking the men is more of a gamble because we don't know how some of these freshmen will play. We know what Pingeton returns. She brings back the core of the SEC's third-place team. There are more known assets on her roster right now. The men probably have more upside, but at this rate, the women's team is more of a sure thing.
Not necessarily. I was told Tuesday by a very close source that he truly doesn't know what he wants to do - but could decide any day.