Hello, chatters. Greetings from Nashville, where we're hosting today's chat before heading over to Bridgestone Arena for round 2 of the SEC tournament. I'll be here for the next two hours and change to take your questions.
Geist was looking for Watson to get open for a 3 but didn't have a clear pass to him. Puryear was also open on the perimeter for 3. Sometimes you have to give credit to the other team for defending the play the right way and not giving the ball-handler the best options.
I have seen Jontay Porter no more than three times since the start of the regular season. He was on the bench for two home games, at least before tipoff, and on the bench in St. Louis for the Illinois game. He hasn't done any interviews with the media that cover the team. He's been in Colorado doing his rehab while taking online classes. Cuonzo was asked about Porter about three weeks ago and cut off the question about three words in, saying he didn't have any sense for what Porter would do after the season. I do not expect him back for next season. He's still projected as a first-round pick in this summer's draft. The draft is not as deep as last year and 6-11 centers who can pass and shoot 3s will always be in high demand because there's such a short supply. Maybe he officially announces that he'll make himself available for the draft once the season is over.
The tournament's home will be in Nashville. The tourney will stay here through 2030 with one exception, Tampa in 2022. The league has a five-year option to extend the contract with Nashville through 2035. Obviously I'm partial to St. Louis being a native and an employee of the Post-Dispatch, but Nashville is a better host city for this event. It's a better downtown area for visitors in terms of food and nightlife. It's a closer locale to most SEC towns. That's nothing against St. Louis. Last year's tournament was fine - but the location, the attractions and, usually, the weather is just better here in Nashville.
Bottom line, they're going to have to hit. They should have a decent pitching staff again. The team defense is solid. Taylor Stadium is a pitcher's park, so there's no margin for error for the pitchers because they're probably not going to get a lot of run support at home. The schedule so far has not exactly been very challenging. The true tests will come in SEC play. Missouri is just No. 129 in the RPI heading into the weekend series at Arkansas. The league is unforgiving. I'd like to see Mizzou become more relevant in this conference, but they've got to find ways to score runs.
I'm not going to speculate on that. We'll see what happens.
I don't follow. The scandal with the celebrity parents isn't an NCAA case at this point. It's an FBI investigation. The schools weren't giving out improper benefits to athletes. Just the opposite. They were giving benefits that should go to athletes to non-athletes.
It's been well documented that Sophie kicked in a game for Rock Bridge HS. It wasn't a season-long job. Their kicker got hurt and she stepped in for a game or two from what I recall. I wasn't aware of Winfrey.
That's what I was told at the time last year. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a mutual decision for Sr. to pursue other interests, but from what I've gathered it's not as absolute this time around. Folks in this program are relatively tight-lipped. Martin runs a tight ship with very few, if any leaks. It was the same way for him at Tennessee.
The magic number is 17 wins. No at-large team the last five years has made the NIT field without winning 17 games. Mizzou is at 15 now. Maybe a win today pushes Mizzou into the field of 32, but it could come down to conference tournaments. Who wins? Who's in? Who's out?
That's for Cuonzo to answer. I know it's popular to say Porter Sr. doesn't contribute anything to the staff. Can anyone spell out what exactly the other staff members contribute? I'm not saying they don't add value to the program, but as long as we're keeping score of one coach, what about the others? I've always maintained that basketball assistants don't matter nearly as much as football assistants. In hoops, the head coach coaches the game. It's his system, his offense, his defense. He calls the plays, he runs the huddles. He's the primary recruiter and handles a much smaller sampling of targets than what a football head coach manages.
I'd pause before making that comparison. Smith was an elite talent as a runner. Bryant is an effective runner - but not a guy who's going to rush for 1,000 yards, like Smith did three of his four seasons at Missouri. Bryant completed 66 percent of his passes at Clemson. That's pretty good in any system. Smith was at 56.3 percent for his career - with only one season better than 60 percent. It's fair to say Bryant is a more polished passer but not an electric, once-in-a-generation type runner like Smith.
When he was asked about Santos last week, Martin basically said that this is the time of year when coaches shorten their bench and play their best players. The foot is healthy enough for him to play but I suspect it set back his season so much that he's never been in the best shape to be an impact player. Santos just isn't producing. He adds nothing on the offensive end on a consistent basis and doesn't appear athletic enough to handle quicker forwards on the defensive end.
He plays a pivotal position in this offense and just hasn't raised his level of play in terms of scoring at the rim or shooting consistently well. He can knock down shots. I'm sure once his minutes went down that starts to affect confidence. The struggles to contribute got in his head, he admitted last week. He didn't respond as well when Martin started slashing his minutes. I'm sure when he got on the floor he pressed to produce and that only made things worse. He's an incredibly conscientious guy who has been nothing but committed to this team for four years. He never dodges the tough questions and he's faced his share the last four years. Tough year but he's handled it with impressive composure.
Again, I haven't talked to Jontay all season, not since he suffered his injury. He hasn't been available to local media. He's not around the team. Unique situation but similar to what his brother did last year with the back injury ... until he came back in March. I can't recall a dynamic like this with any other injured Mizzou athlete, but the Porters have always been unique.
Agreed. He has to add bulk and strength, but you can see the skills. The shot. The rebounding. The energy. I believe he can develop into an effective shot-blocker. He's got to work on his ball-handling and decision-making, but Martin hasn't lost faith in him by any means. He'll have a role next season.
Martin is tough on young point guards. Just ask Blake Harris. He says all the time it's the hardest position to play on the floor and it's the hardest position to learn at this level for a freshman. He sets incredibly high standards for the primary ball-handler and the primary on-ball defender. You need to be a leader in one way or another to earn Martin's trust at the position.You're starting to see those qualities start to emerge. He's got a really bright future in this program.
He's talked about wanting to upgrade the schedule, but the reality is, when you play in the SEC, you don't need to play tough nonconference games. If your'e .500 in this league and don't have a handful of bad noncon losses, you'll make an NCAA regional. That should be the goal for Missouri every year. Finish with enough wins in the SEC to make a regional and then take your chances from there.
No sense in making predictions on this. Missouri NEVER expected to get a postseason ban, so there's no telling how the the appeals committee will decide this. The team is taking a healthy approach and just assuming that they will play a 12-game schedule. If the ban is overturned, they'll have the wins to play in a bowl, which by then will seem like a nice, unexpected bonus.