Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers football and basketball questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.




    Hey, chatters. Just got back in town from Arkansas. 
    No updates on Mark Smith's ankle injury or Javon Pickett's back. The team had plane issues last night and didn't leave Arkansas until late this morning and landed in Columbia around noon. The team was in the air during Martin's slot on the SEC conference call, but he wasn't available to update either player's status. If I learn something over the next couple hours, I'll share the news here on the chat. 
    Do you know anything new that wasn’t in your game report on the Mark Smith and Pinkett injuries?

    Also, the Grace Berg transfer surprised me. It seemed like she was on a pretty good track for a Freshman in WBB. Do you know why she transferred? Seems like it might have been more than just playing time??

    Thanks!
    As I just posted, no new info on either injury as of 1 p.m.
     
    I haven't heard anything on the Berg transfer situation. I haven't followed the women's team as closely this year. Intern Anne Rogers was surprised at the news as well. Berg hadn't been playing as many minutes since SEC play began. I figured she was part of the team's core going forward. 
    Thanks for your time. Been pretty quiet on the Addias shoe payola scam. Any news? Any chance Arizona, Kansas, Auburn and L'ville face serious consequences?
    Nothing new has been reported on that front since the convictions back in the fall.
    Do you think bowing out of the Senior Bowl at what seemed like the last minute will hurt Emmanuel Hall in the draft? I saw that he said the groin injury was the reason and it makes sense, but not giving Lock a head's up seemed weird to me. I thought they were good friends.
    I wouldn't read too much into Lock not knowing Hall pulled out. If anything, that's not Lock's place to discuss publicly with the media. I'm sure he was advised not to talk about another player's status or injury situation. Or he's just savvy to know that's not his topic to discuss. And there's no reason Hall has to share his status with his former quarterback. There are business decisions the players make at this stage - and they're no longer teammates. 
    Also, I imagine if Lock wanted to know Hall's status, all he had to do was send him a message. Hall responded to me within minutes the other day when I asked about his situation. 
    He said his groin never fully healed once he came back and played the final games of the season but he's expected to be 100 percent healthy for the combined at the end of next month. 
    Do you have any injury updates. Messiah Swinson in particular
  • There hasn't been any media access to football since the bowl game. Spring practices will start some time in late February or early March.
    Any predictions on post-season opportunities for the men's team? Or is it too soon to tell? They looked awesome against A&M which gave me hope. And last night with the turnovers and injuries, my hope has dwindled. Any thoughts on what the rest of the season looks like for this team?
    They're going to have to hold court at home to make the NIT. You don't need a .500 record to make the NIT field but you better be close. Right now the Tigers are sitting at 10-7. Here's a guess at how the rest of their 13 SEC games will unfold:
    vs. LSU: Loss
    at Auburn: Loss
    vs. Vandy: Win
    at Tennessee: Loss
    vs. Texas A&M: Win
    vs. Arkansas: Win
    at Ole Miss: Loss
    vs. Kentucky: Loss
    at Florida: Loss
    at Mississippi State: Loss
    vs. South Carolina: Loss
    at Georgia: Win
    vs. Ole Miss: Win
     
    That would put the Tigers at 15-15 going into the SEC tournament. That's probably good enough to make the NIT. Maybe, but no guarantee. The home games against South Carolina and Ole Miss are toss-ups. So is the game at Georgia. Otherwise, I think it's safe to say Mizzou will be clear underdogs in the other games I've picked for them to lose. 
    The A&M game was promising, but the Aggies have really struggled. That's not a good team. Vandy showed some fight last night against the Vols. The Tigers are fortunate they get A&M and Arkansas at home, though I'm not sure how much of a home-court advantage Mizzou has right now - or will have a month from now.
    Down goes Bryant. The Redshirt Rule could be major factor ifff Bryant goes down for a couple games. Connor could step in if wins the backup job. All that said Do you think MIZ would burn Connors Red Shirt if needed or would MIZ play the 3rd QB to save the Red Shirt? Do you always play your 2?
    It all depends on what time of year the injury to Bryant would occur and what other quarterbacks are on the roster and how they compete for the backup job in the spring, summer and fall. I don't expect Taylor Powell to transfer. I don't expect Jack Lowary to transfer. If either one of them earns enough trust from the staff that they can be the backup in 2019, then they wouldn't have to play Bazelak should Bryant get hurt.
    Hello Dave, Have you heard any wish-listing by MU coaches related to defensive ends or defensive end coaching. Haley and Walters seem to be stopping the run petty well, but our pass rush, especially off the end, has left opposing QBs free to pick apart our secondary.
    Missouri coaches said on the first singing day back in December that they'd like to add another defensive lineman/defensive end or two. Chester Graves, the junior college edge rusher from Kansas City is the big name Mizzou is pursuing, but he's still got some academic hurdles to clear before he's a realistic option. Tre Williams' status is still unclear. His assault case is still going through the court process. Whether he's back or not, this team needs some upgrades at D-end, either with internal options getting better or newcomers improving the depth and talent at the position.
    FB: Who do you think has best shot at ALL SEC for 2019. I am thinking Jordan Elliot is going to be contender
  • Good question. I'd start with Larry Rountree. He's going to be the second-leading returning rusher in the SEC behind Vaughn from Vanderbilt. 
    Albert O is an obvious choice. He'll be a preseason All-American by some outlets.
    I'd say all three returning O-linemen have a chance, but especially Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms at offensive guard. 
    On defense, Elliott has never started but played well enough this year to earn some looks in the preseason. It might depend how much Mizzou promotes these guys to media outlets. Some voters need some prodding or they'll just vote for the names they recognize from Alabama or Georgia or LSU.
    Cale Garrett deserved to be first-team All-SEC this year, so I'd say he deserves the preseason nod, too. DeMarkus Acy had a rough bowl game but had a strong regular season. Christian Holmes should merit preseason consideration, too. It wouldn't surprise me if Bledsoe has the best 2019 season in the secondary. He really came on one he started getting more snaps last year. 
    Do you have any more information on what's going on with Xavier Pinson? I heard he didn't play at A&M because Coach Martin wasn't happy with his defense. Do you know if that is true? Sounds like he will hang in there as a Tiger, but players often leave teams because of lack of playing time and clashes with the coaches. I hope he stays.
    Yes, if you read what I wrote last Friday and last Sunday at STLtoday.com, I covered this extensively. First and foremost, Cuonzo's exact words, Pinson needs to have more of a presence defensively. On the offensive end, he needs to run the offense and make the simple plays. He played 21 minutes last night in a competitive game, so there shouldn't be any complaints about his playing time at this point. That was the most minutes he's played since the Oral Roberts game. Here's what Cuonzo said about Pinson's game last night: "I thought he was solid. He’s got to be strong with the ball and continue to run offense. He’s got to get better defensively, but I thought he was OK."
    I watched his defensive possessions pretty closely and he still struggles to keep his man in front of him. He doesn't handle any contact very well. Offensively, he probes a lot without running the play or swinging the ball. That said, he made a couple shots and was more active on other possessions. He's learning the game - and still severely limited physically because of his frame. He needs an offseason in the weight room with many, many protein shakes in his future. 
    Dave, why is everyone saying it's a given that Jontay will enter the draft this year? If he was barely a first rounder last year, and now he's suffered a major injury, wouldn't his draft stock drop without having played an entire season? If his brother's situation is any predictor, he would now be a second round pick. Wouldn't it make more sense to come back for a season to show he's healthy and has improved? Thanks as always for your insights!
    He's still projected as a first-rounder in most mock drafts. It's not going to be as deep as a first round as last year. Your draft stock is relative to the rest of the pool of players available. I'm not saying it's a guarantee that he enters the draft, but common sense and intuition says it's more than likely. He's already paid the price for coming back to school for his sophomore year. Why play for free again and shorten his earning window another year?
    Another good start wasted. Up 13 points in the first have and end up losing by 12. While it is impressive MU unexpectedly leads the SEC in 3pt percentage, they are last In FG%, last in scoring average, last in blocked shots, 2nd last in steals and 2nd in turnovers made. This is not a sound fundamental team. TXAM had a poor shooting night and maybe that is what it will take to get any wins the rest of the season.
    All true. This team was always going to have problems on both ends of the floor after Jontay got hurt because he did so many things better than anyone else on the team. That's not the only reason for the struggles. Too many players are too inconsistent. Mark Smith might be the only guy you can count on to fill his role most nights. Geist has been solid all year but really struggled last night. They missed Pickett's energy, defense and shooting last night. Tilmon was OK defensively. He made Gafford work for his points. But too reckless on the offensive end with the fouls (again). The pressure got to Suggs and Watson at times. Puryear was great at Texas A&M, less than great last night. It's just a very limited teams in terms of depth and talent. Martin was asked on Monday about his team's depth. He said he had five solid starters, maybe three guys he's comfortable with off the bench and then two more who might see minutes based on matchups. That's not a real ringing endorsement for the personnel.
    Have you heard Coach Odom or any of the assistants comment on the effect of the south end zone project to recruiting?
  • Not really. I mean, they're not going to say anything negative. All they can show them now is the construction site and the artist renderings. It can't hurt recruiting.
    Hi Dave. If Mitchell Smith cannot get on the floor why is he taking up a scholarship spot? Also do you see any reason to bring back Santos next year?
    Martin raved about him in the offseason and during the preseason, but he's clearly not doing enough to earn minutes at the 3 or the 4. I'm not sure he has one clear skill that makes Mizzou a better team when he's on the floor. He's shooting OK from 3, but he seems like he gets lost in traffic when he's on the floor. I wouldn't rush to judgment on Santos just yet. Unlike the rest of the team he never got the chance to play against the crummy noncon teams on the schedule because of the foot injury. Also, I never quite understood the fan hype for Santos. He played as a freshman at Illinois-Chicago and wasn't all that productive.
    Are stats kept on how many offensive fouls and defensive fouls are made. I counted 3 offensive fouls on Tilmon last night. The ESPN announcer says he commits most of his fouls in the offensive zone. For His third foul, he put a shoulder into the defensive player to create separation. His fifth foul was a moving screen one would hope by mid season he would not be making either of these fouls. Refs are especially calling lots of moving screen fouls.
    Three of his fouls were on the defensive end, two for illegal screens. I'm not sure what the exact breakdown is between offensive and defensive fouls, but it's got to be close to 50-50. I think the defensive fouls are more excusable. Those are usually the result of Tilmon being aggressive and trying to muscle up the big man with the ball. The offensive fouls are just a lack of body control. He's athletic enough that he should be able to set clean screens and not use so much force.
    I've heard complaints about special teams generally this year, but especially after missed point after attempts. How much of our problems on PAT and FG are snap or block or holding and/or coaching thereof would you estimate?
  • A good deal comes down to execution by the specialists. The snaps were a problem. I didn't notice too many issues, if any, with holds. Fatony was really solid there. There were some clear missed 1-on-1 blocks. Those are simple execution mistakes, not schematic errors.
    I’m glad to see Drew Lock is playing in the Senior bowl but am a little surprised since so many potential first rounders are skipping to avoid injury. Is his first round status tenuous that he needs to show what he can do? How about Emanuel Hall? Where is he expected to go in the draft?
    What other first-round prospects are sitting out the Senior Bowl? Underclassmen don't play in the Senior Bowl, so that would explain why there are some big names who won't play in the game on Saturday, but for the most part, the best seniors are in Mobile and expected to play. 
    I had one draft analyst who knows his stuff tell me Hall is the best senior receiver in the draft and could be a top 100 pick, which would put him in the first three rounds or early fourth. So much for Hall is going to come down to his medical reports. Is the groin healed or is this a chronic injury that won't get better? He expects to be healthy for the combine. If not, he'll have to run at MU's pro day or his best asset won't be on display for the scouts. 
    Do you have a slice of the goal post?
    People like to second guess coaches Dooley and Odom on in-game offensive play-calling. From my point of view they're generally successful, but a few of these late in the game calls have been pretty ragged - and costly. Does our play-calling seem to trend to the better yet from your view?
    Which calls in which games are you talking about? Missouri ran 1,004 plays on offense this year and 889 on defense. Some of them worked. Some didn't.
    Is Tilly strong? It seems he can't keep/gain position without making obvious moves eliciting foul calls whereas stronger players like Silva can just establish position with bulk & balance.
    He's incredibly strong in the weight room. Sometimes it works against him when he's setting screens against smaller defenders. He's so long that it's not always easy for him to get leverage on a shorter, more solid player in the post, like Silva, who's about two inches shorter but thicker.
    Your thoughts on Ronnie Suggs and the amount of playing time in the past couple of games. He adds a lot of energy, but seems a bit out of control most of the time. Not surprised with the number of fouls and turnovers he accumulates. I assume he is a walk-on? I saw where Kevin Puryear said he works really hard in practice and deserves the playing time. Do you think other players feel that way, too?
  • Suggs is indeed a walk-on. He was a scholarship player at Bradley but gave that up to play for Mizzou. Yes, he's an energy guy. He was vital in the A&M win. He played great defense on the perimeter. Offensively, he's not as polished, though he scored some points last night. He probably doesn't play as many minutes last night if Pickett doesn't get hurt tin the first half. He was a little shaky against Arkansas' pressure on the wings. His passes and catches weren't as firm as they needed to be. But he's never played against that type of pressure at this level, so he's hardly the first player to struggle with that.
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform