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 10 a.m. Friday.




  • Hello, chatters. Thanks for joining me on a Friday. Lots going  on in the world of Mizzou sports. I'll be here for the next two hours to discuss all things Tigers.
  • Who are we supposed to believe in Gamecock-gate? The Mizzou accusers ("They spit! They called us the N-word!") or the South Carolina defenders ("Our fans don't spit! We don't use the N-word!").
  • I don't see why Jim Sterk would lie about hearing racial slurs during the game. Did the players get spit on? There's no video evidence but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. There's no way to prove or disprove that one fan out of 14,000 did or didn't yell a horrible word, but, again, why would Sterk make that up? I understand that South Carolina and its fans would be defensive against such an ugly charge, but guess what, there are moronic fans everywhere and sometimes they say moronic things. Did Staley promote a raucous environment? Of course. Just last Friday she told reporters, "I think our fans will give the extra stuff, and we’ll let them feed us the energy that we need to win the game." Now, that doesn't mean she encouraged them to spit and yell racial slurs. That makes zero sense.
  • Dave, Do you know the maximum number of football recruits that Mizzou can sign to complete this class? Also when do players who decide to leave the University, and thereby relinquish their scholarship generally announce that intention?
  • I don't know the absolute hard number. Teams don't publicize that number because it might affect some recruits' decision. That said, the numbers are always flexible. You can count past recruits toward earlier classes and leave yourself more room for more recruits. Mizzou has about 6-8 spots for the 2018 class. Current players could leave any time between now and the summer. Generally, you'll see some players transfer after spring practices once they realize they're not going to get playing time in the fall.
  • I feel like somebody should make me stop before I type this ... Here goes: Does it seem like Jordan Geist has settled down and actually is the answer to the point-guard void?
  • The criticism has been overblown and most of it, I believe, is based on MU's late struggles against West Virginia. Not his finest moment, but he's been more than serviceable. He's got one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the SEC. He's a good defender, he's gotten better at attacking the rim and he can make an open 3. He's not a dynamic athlete, but he's good enough to earn minutes for a good team.
  • Dave -- I heard Jim Sterk's interview with Bernie Miklasz this morning. I've been a Sterk fan since his arrival, but it left me a little disappointed. I respect him for sticking up for his players and coaches the way he did. If those things really happened in South Carolina on Sunday, get it out there. They have no place in society. Now, however, he seems to be walking it back. After bringing it up, he refused to comment further on it with Bernie. That tells me either his bosses at Mizzou or the SEC commissioner read him the riot act. I don't think he has to talk about it incessantly, but until this is settled, he needs to be out there making Mizzou's case. Let's face it. It became a story after his comments -- which I don't think is a bad thing. It needed to be said. With that in mind, I think it's fair for us fans to ask for an update, especially after Staley's comments. What say you? Have you asked him about it and got the same stonewalling treatment? Great effort by the women's team last night, even in a loss.
  • He's talked with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. My hunch is the commish told him to stop talking about the issue publicly. Missouri isn't backing down on the accusations from Sunday, but there's not much more to gain by airing grievances through the media. I think it would be smart for Sankey to sit down with Sterk, Pingeton, Tanner and Staley after the season and hash it out and put out a public statement that they've cleared the air. It's not healthy for either program, the conference or the sport to be slinging mud back and forth like this. More than anything it's unfair to two great teams and their players.
  • What's your take on the charging call at the end of the game last night. Even if it was the "right" call, (which I don't believe it was) was it really egregious enough to call and effectively end the game?
  • Between Frericks and Schaefer, Schaefer sold the foul much better. She held her ground and absorbed the blow. It was the right call, but it's fair to wonder if that's the right time to call it, on a game-deciding play with two seconds left in the game. Personally, I'd rather see a team get a shot in that situation to win or lose the game, but there was enough contact on the play that one team or the other would have been upset if it's called a charge or a block.
  • I realize the Porter's/Mizzou are under no obligation to give updates on MPJ's injury situation, but the lack of information is staggering. Every time I turn on a college game and a team has an injured player I hear the announcer say, "the medical staff expects a return of (fill in the blank) or in time for the (blank) game." All we get on Porter is, "he's not practicing." Okay, when will he start practicing? Is a return likely this year? What were the results of his most recent check-up? I've also heard he will return if healthy and "wants to play." If he is healthy doesn't he owe it to the University to play? He signed a scholarship to play basketball. Mizzou paid for his surgery, right? I know he's a NBA lottery pick and that effects much of this, but it seems like a lot of gamesmanship.
  • It's a complicated situation as I've said countless times the last few months. Porter went outside the team's medical/training staff for his surgery, so it's not like Martin can sit down with MU's staff to get his questions answered. When Porter's doctor clears him to play at full-speed and full-contact, then he can practice and eventually play. By all accounts and the visual evidence before every game, that hasn't happened yet. Until Martin gets the green light from the Porters, then he's not available to play.
  • Dave -- Agree or disagree with this statement? The victory at Alabama was tremendous and I'll take it, but the Crimson Tide was terrible. Missouri might have caught them at the right time and needs to play much better down the stretch to make the tournament. You're not going to get away with those foul issues very often on a team with so little depth.
  • Disagree. Alabama is very good. Terrible teams don't have the wins Alabama has this year. It's a strong defensive team and an offensive team that relies on inside scoring and free throws. Mizzou executed a smart game plan. They forced Sexton to take difficult shots. They controlled Petty on the outside. They didn't let Bama's other scorers become factors. On the offensive end, Missouri spread the wealth and its core players all had their moments doing what they do best. When you only have eight players and two are freshman bigs who foul a lot, depth is going to be a challenge every night. That's not something they'll fix this season.
  • Think Terry Beckner can have any sway over a recruit like Michael Thompson to bring him to Mizzou?
  • It can't hurt to have a high-profile St. Louis area D-tackle on the roster who's so happy at Mizzou that he passed on the NFL draft to return for his senior season. That said, I'm not sure a high school recruit will pick a school based solely on a returning senior. But, again, it can't hurt to have Beckner in your corner on this one.
  • Did you feel that MU women’s b-ball team got worked over by the officials last nnight guy? Several questionable calls down the stretch impacted the game
  • A handful of 50-50 calls went Mississippi State's way, a couple jump-ball tie-ups and a couple block-charge calls and a couple missed travels by the Bulldogs. But Missouri doesn't have much room to complain. The Tigers get plenty of calls their way in most home games.
  • Where it stands today, how do you feel about Martin's 1st recruiting class? 2 of them are gone, the crown jewel might never play a meaningful minute, his brother looks legit (albeit not nearly aggressive enough), and the last seems like he is incapable of not fouling every other possession..... Of course the best class in team history would end up like this, because... mizzou
  • Martin kept CJ Roberts, but his staff wouldn't have recruited him if he weren't already signed with the program when Martin arrived. Not saying he doesn't count as part of Martin's first class, but it was a unique situation. Harris clearly didn't work out, but as well documented, he wanted playing time that he hadn't earned - and Martin was not upset to see him go. Jontay and Tilmon are future stars if they continue to develop and already give MU one of the best inside tandems in the league, maybe the best when they're playing at their peak. Michael is obviously another unique situation. You can't blame Martin for the back injury or the uncertainty that's lingered the last few weeks.
  • Where do you see this basketball team next year... Similar to this year in that it will look good at times, but in the end is nothing more than a bubble team? or worse?
  • I'm not dodging the question, but rosters change so much from year to year and this team clearly has room to make more additions, whether that's high school recruits, jucos or a grad transfer. A team that returns Jontay and Tilmon has a core that any coach would love to have. Geist and Puryear will return to the rotation. Obviously next year's team needs wing scorers and more help at point guard. Once the roster is final we'll have a better sense of what next year's team can be. (Full disclosure, I'm still trying to get a feel for tomorrow's Kentucky game, so ...)
  • Tilmon fouled out again wednesday and only played 14 minutes which considering his involvement in the low post in the 2nd half scoring 12 is acceptable to me. He still has to work on his positioning to avoid cheap fouls the refs are calling. The big question is can he complete with KYs big boys when they come to COMO tomorrow.
  • That's always a huge question going into any game. But Kentucky isn't a huge team. There isn't an Anthony Davis or Bam Adebayo or Karl-Anthony Towns on this team. UK has big wing players who can score and rebound, but when Porter and Tilmon are on the floor together, Missouri will have more size up front. I'll get to the matchups more in tomorrow's paper and online.
  • i saw MPJ elevate off the floor when Tilmon threw one down against Bama, so maybe he is jumping, just not sharing that to all the media?
  • Not sure if this is a serious question, but reflexively jumping off the bench to celebrate isn't the same as jumping at the rim with a ball in your hand with other 6-10 bodies trying to knock you down. Michael shares videos/photos on Instagram every day, so I suspect when he's ready to play he'll tell the world.
  • 1) Thank you for the chat. 2) Heartbreaker last night vs. Mississippi State but a very competitive and exciting game. 3) I freely admit to being petty, but was pleased that UConn whipped South Carolina at SC.
  • Point taken. The irony of last night's game was South Carolina needed Missouri to win if it has any hope of wining the SEC regular-season title.
  • It seems like Mizzou has a very favorable schedule down the stretch, with the toughest remaining opponents all at home. If they can knock off one of Kentucky, Texas A&M, or Arkansas, and then avoid upsets in the other games, do you think they would make the tournament?
  • Yes. Split with Kentucky, split with Ole Miss, split road games at LSU and Vandy and beat A&M, Arkansas and Mississippi State at home gives you six wins and a 10-8 record. You can't leave out an SEC team with a 10-8 record with wins over Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, A&M, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina. At 9-9, Missouri would likely still be on the bubble.
  • Dave, in reference to the men's basketball team, with the game on the line, which five players would you want on the court?
  • It all depends on the scenario. Offense or defense? What's the foul situation? Shooting free throws or need 3s? Robertson is a given. I'd want Puryear on the floor for free throws. If you need 3s or free throws, Barnett should be out there. Porter gives you many options inside and on the perimeter. Tilmon can be a force on both ends.
  • Dave-- With the departures of CJ Roberts, Blake Harris, and possible Terrence Phillips where do you see Cuonzo going with the definite need of a ball handler in this years recruiting class. Ive heard noise and Courtney Ramey but it sounds like Villanova is pulling away in that race. What do you think the next best option would be? Ive heard names like Trent Williams and Xavier Pinson thrown out there, just was curious as to what you have been hearing regarding our desperate need for a ball handler.
  • Williams and Pinson appear to be the top targets that are realistic gets. I would expect Martin to go for two point guards. Getting a high school target like Pinson and a juco like Williams is ideal because they'd be in separate graduating classes.
  • In Sunday,s women’s game last Sunday, it was impressive the big supportive crowds they are drawing. It’s nice to see the intensity and competition shown by both teams although is Stark is correct with his allegations it seems like SC has gone too far in their enthusiasm. It was nice to see Staley get her comeuppance last night vs. Connecticut. Are South Carolina and Mississippi St final four teams again this season.
  • I wasn't at the game in Columbia, SC, so I can't speak to what the enviroment was like, but Sterk used the word "unhealthy," and I've known him to be a sound and reasonable person, as much as any AD I've come across in college sports. I have no reason to doubt what he said about the atmosphere. That said, as I wrote earlier, I thought he unwisely crossed a line when he pointed the finger at Staley. No reason to think the Gamecocks and Bulldogs can't reach the Final Four again this year.
  • I remain disappointed in Dawn Staley, but realize there is blame enough to go around. I like and support your idea of a meeting with the SEC commissioner to try to settle this and leave it all behind.
  • When was the last time SLU and MU won road conference games on the same night . With all the struggles both teams have had over the past three years it seems like an eternity. It is about time both teams get on the right track for a change.
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