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 11 a.m. Thursday.




    There are a few, but I wouldn't expect to see them play in a game with stakes like this one. Those guys were on the scout team during the year, so they're not as familiar with Missouri plays, not to the point where you'd put them in a game, unless it's a blowout and there's no harm to let them play.
    How many more players could Missouri add to their recruiting class come this February? I know there's only so much room on the roster for scholarship players. I look for at least two quarterbacks to transfer so that opens up a couple spots but I'm just curious how many will they add this February.
    I went through the roster and the signing class last week and counted up the scholarship players and I think there were spots for just a couple. It's a bit of a moving target. There will inevitably be a couple players who leave the team between the bowl game and spring practices and probably a few more after spring practices. The staff will leave enough wiggle room to add some more pieces but there's not so much room that they'll be short at any position group.
    Dave, did Mizzou sell out its ticket allotment? Have you heard what kind of crowd is expected overall from both teams and fans on Monday? Thanks.
  • As of a couple days ago they were around 7,000 tickets sold out of the 8,000. Missouri realizes a lot of fans will buy tickets from outside of the allotment. The team sections aren't the best seats and you can buy more affordable tickets through the secondary market. The whole bowl ticket allotment system is a such a scam. Don't be surprised if the SEC system changes in a year or two when the bowl contracts are renewed.
  • Dave-Season's Greetings. I have been impressed with Javon P. He seems to continuing to develop and gain confidence. Is his strength outside shooting? coming to MU, I thought he was more of a slasher and driver to the basket. Talk to me.
    He was never a great shooter from outside - but has worked tirelessly on his game since coming to Mizzou. He's a natural slasher. His jumper is a little quirky, but he's made some big 3s so far. Some fans are surprised by Pickett, but you shouldn't be if you paid attention to what Martin was saying during the summer and early fall - and what I was writing at the time. Martin has known Pickett a long time. He's always liked his game and his skills. But he was incredibly impressed with Pickett's work ethic this summer and his approach in the gym. He'll be in that starting lineup for a long time. He's the kind of player who will improve each year and before long be a complete player in this league on both ends of the floor.
    Make sure you read today's story about former Mizzou OC Josh Henson from today's paper if you haven't yet. I've known Josh since he first came to Mizzou a decade ago and it's good to see him land on his feet. 
     

    Former Mizzou coordinator Josh Henson faces familiar foe in Liberty Bowl

    stltoday.com: Fired after the 2015 season when Barry Odom replaced Gary Pinkel as the Tigers' head coach, Henson landed on his feet at Oklahoma State, his alma mater.
    I agree that the basketball team seems to have hit a stride - you can't criticize a 5 game win streak - but it some coverage/comments seem to be going overboard with the "new" potential for this team. We haven't beaten anyone that we shouldn't have (Illinois wasn't a good team/OSU looks pretty bad/the Kansas St loss hasn't aged well) and we still turnover the ball WAY too much. I want the team to do well, but it strikes me that there is more to prove than just showing some grit vs UCF and blowing out Oral Roberts.

    Am I wrong or missing something?
    I agree that Missouri doesn't have a great win in terms of the NET rankings or KenPom ratings. But they don't have a bad loss either. K-State and Iowa State are fringe top 25 teams. Temple's only loss since beating Missouri came at Villanova. But when Porter got hurt, I counted UCF, Xavier and Illinois as losses, especially after the debacle at Iowa State. I don't think anyone who's being reasonable is saying this is definitely an NCAA Tournament team, but they're playing solid basketball right now. They have a clear identity. Tilmon and Geist are playing better than they've ever played in their careers. Pickett looks like one of the best, if not overlooked, additions Martin has made. Considering how often Illinois forces turnovers, I thought Missouri did a solid job of handling the pressure in the game's final 30 minutes.
    Any hints or rumblings that Mizzou is in on additional player signings during the February signing date? New names not given in the PD of those who may have Mizzou high on their list? Thanks
    Not really, no. The biggest name is Chester Graves, the junior college defensive end, but that recruitment is far from over.
    Dave, I just drove thru Starkville and MSU. I was never sure what you and your colleagues were meaning when you discuss regular SEC facilities and Mizzou facilities. While Starkville seemed a century behind Columbia, MSU was very impressive. The FB stadium provides a tremendous environment with the seating appearing to be close and right over the field - a definite home field advantage.

    The baseball stadium next door (both right in the middle of the campus) was even more impressive. Mizzou’ s by comparison would be a really nice high school stadium. We are definitely in a catch-up mode. They have a recruiting advantage and they are considered only SEC average. I don’t see us catching up in less than 10 years. Whadda ya think?
    It all depends on what facilities we're talking about. Baseball? Missouri's not going to come close to other SEC programs, for many reasons. Mizzou Arena is as good if not better than the other basketball arenas in the league. Memorial Stadium is on the smaller end, but the coming upgrades are going to add some aesthetics and, more important, new revenue streams. But the Alabamas and Floridas and LSUs will always have more money to spend on facilities. Missouri shouldn't be so consumed with chasing those programs but just always looking to improve what it can show recruits and how it can help its own athletes.
    Santos? With Mitch Smith lacking physical strength (SEC will expose even more), Santos has physical stature, but is injury prone. Will he contribute this year,(track record says he leaves soon)?
  • I'm not sold that Santos will be a regular contributor any time soon. He got in a for a couple seconds against Illinois. He's still far behind offensively. Staff tells me he's pretty sharp defensively in terms of knowing where to be at the right time, but athletically, he looks a few steps too slow to help much against a quality opponent. What is he on offense? A stretch four? Can he post up? Can he shoot from 3? We haven't really seen him do anything of substance on that side of the floor  yet. Martin doesn't use a very deep bench, so until he's physically ready to contribute, I'm not sure we'll have a great feel for his game for a while.
    Hello Dave, Any recent talk about holding on to or letting go of any of the QBs? Or any talk about how that depth will be developed or used? I think MU will need some good backup QBs to play a high-octane offense without fear of losing production in a QB rotation.
    One or two of the current QBs will leave. It's inevitable. You can't have seven QBs on the roster. Odom knows it. On Saturday he talked about the situation, basically saying they'll eventually need to know what the depth looks like. I don't think they can go into 2019 and feel good about the depth unless at least Powell, Wilson or Lowary are on the roster. Lowary has made it clear he plans to stick around. Not sure about the other two. 
    Here's what Odom said about the QB situation with adding TCU's Shawn Robinson and Connor Bazelak: "There's a little bit of worrying going into it because you already have Kelly (Bryant), and what if (Robinson) ends up saying yes and you lose everybody? You're sitting there with Kelly Bryant and hopefully you can hold on to Connor. If not, what if everyone says, 'We're out'? Then you've got one guy and nobody behind him. I feel really strongly about Connor also. ...  You would hope that you're not counting on a true freshman anyway (in 2019). I would not like to. You can't plan it out, but you'd hope he wouldn't have to be the guy this year. So you use this year as a redshirt and then let's go line up and compete with whoever's there (in 2020), whether it's Taylor or Micah or Lindsey or however that shakes out." 
    I don't care if athletes want to sit out of bowl games - it makes sense to me from a financial standpoint.

    Why don't we see players sit out the last 2 or 3 games of the season once they've proven their draft stock if they play for a team that definitely isn't going to the playoffs? Any sense that this might be a trend?
    It's possible. We haven't really seen that yet. We've seen some draft prospects take precautionary measures with injuries late in the season, like Houston's Ed Oliver, who might have played in games were they not draft eligible.
    Next season I believe MU can average 38 points offense per game while allowing only 24 with our improving defense. Does that sound feasible to you for the 2019 schedule?
    Missouri averaged 36 points per game this year and allowed 24 - and doesn't have to play some of the more potent offensive teams it faced this year, namely Purdue, Memphis and Alabama. I'm not sure I'd expect a higher scoring offense with Kelly Bryant replacing Lock. I don't think the offense takes a step backward, but not sure I'm ready to say it will be better.
    How solid are the recruits when they sign a letter like they did last week. I guess I am asking if there are any consequences for them if they back out of the letter commitment.
  • It's rare to see a football player back out of a signed letter of intent.
  • Dave, have you heard anything about St. Louis and the local sports commission trying to get a bowl game in STL? I know there’s a lot of bowl games but more than a few have horrible attendance. Given no major college football or pro football in STL, I think it would do well at the Dome. Just wondering if you’ve heard anything.
    In past year I know members of the STL Sports Commission have gone to other bowl games to scout locations for ideas on how they can make a pitch for a local bowl. I'm not sure how rigorously they're working on that project currently. St. Louis wouldn't  be the worst climate city to host a bowl - and having a dome would be a plus.
    I've read on an Oklahoma State site that they are behind on their ticket sales for the bowl game. The writer said that many fans are just worn out from the up and down season of the Cowboys and there is not a lot of confidence in the team right now, especially with the running back skipping the bowl game.
    That doesn't surprise me. It's been a turbulent year for the Pokes. Some really big wins, close call against OU and some bad losses.
    I am big of "where are they now" articles. Do you keep tabs on the BB players from the 90s. Like Crudup, Sutherland or Albert White, to nam a few. Can you update us?
    Sutherland lives in Columbia. Not too long ago White did, too. Crudup comes to home games every once in a while. He stopped and said hi to the writers after a game late last season. I'm not sure any of them are doing anything interesting enough to merit a story in the paper right now.
    BB team is growing up right in front of our eyes and they did better than many of us thought but are exciting. Seeing all of Pickett's and mark smith's hard work pay off in solid play is great and seeing X get better each game, Jordan just playing solid and being a emotional leader. Jeremiah's finally getting a better handle on how he has to play in order to stay out of foul hell and be productive. Now how will they do in SEC? who knows but they are entertaining and this is a transition year so NIT would still be a good result.
    There will inevitably be some games where the turnovers prove too costly. The 3s don't fall. Tilmon gets in early foul trouble. But they've proven to me the last couple weeks that they're more than capable of being a functional team that can beat quality opponents. What is really promising is you're seeing guys improve. Pickett is a far better player now than he was when the season began. You're seeing Pinson make positive strides. Reed Nikko gives them productive minutes. Puryear has his moments when he's knocked down big shots or played strong defense. Guys are buying into their roles.
    Why can't Mizzou come close to other SEC teams in terms of its baseball stadium/facility?
    For one, Mizzou did a major renovation to the clubhouse and the coaches offices, hitting cages, team meeting rooms, etc., just a few years ago. They made those changes to help with recruiting.
    But in terms of really adding to the stadium for the fan experience, there's hardly any fan interest compared to other SEC programs. And without fans you don't have revenue to spruce up your stadium. There's no reason to expand capacity. The first time LSU visited Columbia for an SEC series a couple years ago, the LSU writers - yes, in the SEC, some teams have media who travel to road baseball games - were shocked at how small the stadium and how few fans were at the games. It's just a different league when it comes to college baseball in the SEC. MU can hold its own on the field to some degree, but there's no comparison when it comes to all the amenities that come along with having a program.
    I have to laugh at the dude knocking Barry and where MU fb is, HELLOOOO take a look at the new reality of the last few weeks. Did they start rough yes, did many of US think he was doomed, yes again but you cannot discount how he regrouped his guys and finished the season and the recruiting of KB and robinson? something beyond MU for many years and a huge reaffirmation of where the program is now. He has team on upswing and a big victory in bowl for a ninth win would really top it off after this very solid recruiting class which filled a lot of needs and with another crop of not highly rated but seemingly excellent prospects.
    You heard it here first, so bookmark this week's chat: Mizzou goes 11-2 or better in 2019. Snaps taken by young defenders in 2018 pay off. Bryant leads Tigers to New Year's Day bowl, but not playoff.
    I think the over-under on regular-season wins should be at 8.5 or 9. I'd take the over right now.
    Do you see Bazelak redshirting? Maybe get some playing time with the "new rule." Robinson cant play next year right?
  • I wouldn't be shocked if he gets in a couple games but no more than four so he can preserve his redshirt year. The big question for 2019 is who becomes Bryant's backup? If he has an injury that puts him on the sideline for more than a few series, who gets the ball? I don't think the coaches know the answer to that yet - and won't until the roster sorts out.
  • Scales was recruited by AL as a DE. Any chance he would go back there at this stage in his career to try to see the field next year?
    I'm not sure about that. I don't know if he's got the quickness or strength play that position in the SEC. I also don't see him being a regular in the tight end rotation. If they thought he could play as a regular this year they wouldn't have moved Parker from defense back in August.
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