Howdy, chatters. I'll be here for the next two hours to discuss all things Mizzou. My Mac power adapter conked out on me last night so I was afraid we'd have to reschedule our chat. Thankfully I've secured a replacement. We're all powered up and ready to go.
I don't think Sterk will make any public decision until he has a chance to sit down with Kim after the season, perhaps as quickly as the day after the final game.
Here's the thing about Missouri's 2017-18 team: The bulk of the roster isn't going to change. Mizzou has 10 players on the current roster with remaining eligibility. They've signed one for 2017, C.J. Roberts, who could opt out of his NLI if there's a coaching change. At most, MU will have 11 players on the books for next year, clearing room for just two scholarship players. Maybe there's more offseason turnover, but chances are next year's team will look a lot like this year's team. Can a new coach turn this roster into a 17- or 18-win team? I'm not sure about that. The SEC is far from great, but people around the league believe you'll see some of the mid-tier games play a lot better next year: Bama adds a top-five recruiting class. A&M has a strong class coming in next year. Mississippi State has young talent. Auburn, too. Kentucky will always have young talent. Florida is a top 25 team. Arkansas and South Carolina have holes to fill but have recruited well. Unless Missouri goes out and adds some high-profile transfers or somehow adds some impact 2017 targets, the next coach will have to get a lot more out of this team's core to see instant progress.
I'm not sure they're going to improve their seeding a whole lot. ESPN has them as a 5 seed right now. A couple wins in Greenville could push them to a 4. Big question is can Mizzou become a host team? Mizzou Arena is set to host the state basketball tournament next week, so it's doubtful MU would even bid to host the first two rounds. I think Mizzou is better off winning Friday's first-round game and then bowing out in the semifinals. If you win Friday and play Mississippi State on Saturday, that's a grueling game. If you win that, your reward is South Carolina or Tennessee on Sunday. For a team that's got several players nursing injuries, that's a lot of wear and tear. Sure it would be great to win the tournament, but the more important tournament comes next, and you want to be healthy and refreshed for the NCAA tourney.
Missouri beat three quality teams last week in A&M Corpus Christi, nationally ranked Houston and Illinois. Those are teams that would typically have beaten Mizzou this time of year in seasons past. This weekend' series is pivotal, too: The Tigers host Illinois-Chicago, which just took two of three from national powerhouse Vandy in Nashville. Mizzou has hit well through the first two weeks. Does that hold up against SEC pitching? Hard to say, but MU needs these February-March wins. Noncon losses have tarnished MU's credentials in the past.
I'll have my list of real/probable/potential targets ready for publication when there's a job opening to discuss. I've done reporting on this for weeks, but it doesn't serve the P-D's interests to share that info prematurely. Patience, sports fans.
I don't know. I'll have a list of targets published in due time.
He's intriguing, but all indications I've gotten point to established power conference coaches ... and Mizzou could go to second-tier mid-major coaches like Muller if the process drags on. Muller's only had two seasons as a HC where he's been more than just a few games over .500. Does he move the needle? Does he excite the fan base? I don't think so. Someone with credentials like Muller would have to win and maybe win instantly to get Mizzou fans to care again. A more established, high-profile coach would generate some of that buzz immediately. Mizzou ticket sales revenues have taken a bit hit the last two years. Mizzou can't afford all those empty seats and stay relevant in the SEC.
The Bulls have won four of five and are still in position for a playoff spot. Hoiberg's not leaving that job unless he's fired, not when he's in the middle of a five-year deal that pays him $25 million. As long as the Bulls are in the hunt for a playoff spot, would they fire him midseason? I wouldn't think so. And I don't think Missouri or any school wants to wait to begin the interview process until after the NBA regular season, which wraps up April 12. If Mizzou were to hire Hoiberg, just playing with a hypothetical here, prepare yourself for a wave of transfers. That's how we won at Iowa State.
I haven't heard any of that. These guys don't enjoy losing. Sure they're loyal to Anderson, but if the next coach comes in and he hits it off with the current players, they'll sing his praises. The next coach can't win at Mizzou without the core of this current team - unless he brings in a crush of transfers.
Captains last season were based on who showed the best leadership during the week leading up to the game, so that makes it hard to predict. Lock was a captain almost every week. Other returning players who were captains last year, off the top of my head, were Beckner, Perkins, Adams, Abeln and Witter. It's not as uncommon as some think to elect weekly captains.
She was there. She came with a contingent of about 12 people but they were a few minutes late and missed the pregame ceremony. They had never been to Mizzou Arena so there was some confusion on parking from what I understand.
Missouri ran the ball 500 times last year ... and attempted 448 passes. With Lock back as a junior and entrenched in Heupel's system and with a more experienced receiver group, I doubt they'll throw the ball less often. There's something to be said for an offense that's good enough to run or pass that it can do either well based on what it sees from the defense. Odom hinted last year that Missouri might be able to slow the tempo some in the future when they have more size and talent on offense (i.e. more SEC-caliber offensive linemen). I'm not sure if that philosophy changes this year or not.
Schools generally allow a player to opt out of his letter of intent when there's a coaching change. The school doesn't have to do allow that but would get destroyed in the media if they blocked a recruit after the coach leaves or is fired. If a school lets a player out of his letter, they can't block him from signing with certain schools. It's all or nothing. Schools can block transfers from choosing certain schools but not recruits who want out of their letter. If a transfer joins a school after a coaching change he'd have to sit out a year unless he earned his undergraduate degree at the previous school.
I'm sure they've talked talked, and I expect Anderson has a realistic view of how this will end, but from what I understand they have not already discussed Kim's fate. Sterk has told people he does not make midseason coaching changes. Some ADs always prefer to have a formal meeting after the season to discuss the plans moving forward. I expect that's what will happen here shortly after the final game of the season.
I think it would be possible if Missouri hires a coach he likes. Let's not forget, Indiana was in his final five. I'm told Porter's family really liked Tom Crean during the recruiting process. Michael's family is very close. His sisters play at Mizzou. HIs aunt coaches at Mizzou. If Romar and his dad are fired at Washington, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume he won't play for the Huskies. Can Mizzou re-enter the picture even if it doesn't hire Romar? I don't see why not.
Oregon is in the field and hasn't lost a game. The Ducks are ranked No. 4. So, on paper, I'd say they're the favorite. I haven't seen Mizzou play this year, but it's been an uneven start to the season.
Rob Fulford has a lot of connections around the country. He'll catch on somewhere. Same for Dilby. Steve Shields has been in the game a long time. He'll land somewhere because of his experience as a D-I head coach. Brad Loos is well known in the industry because of his dad. His situation is unique with his daughter's health and he might not want to uproot his family from Columbia because of Rhyan's situation.