Good afternoon, folks. Apologies for the change in start time today but I had a missed connection last night, had an unplanned overnight stay in one of Houston's finest airport hotels and a 5 am flight home through New Orleans. Quite a roundabout journey home from SEC media days. I'm working on a few hours sleep but we've got a couple hours here to chat all things Mizzou. Let's get to it.
Of course I'd prefer SEC media days to be in Missouri, but I don't mind the Hoover location and actually prefer it to Atlanta, where it was held last year and will return to in 2020. It would be nice if St. Louis could get some direct flights to Birmingham. Flying through Chicago or Dallas or Houston to get to Alabama isn't exactly convenient. But the Wynfrey Hotel is an ideal set-up for the media. Now, I wish SEC media days would change a few things about the week, but I'm good with the Hoover location.
Doubtful. Mizzou football doesn't land five-star prospects unless they're from the state of Missouri - and the state doesn't have any five-stars this year, except for WR Jordan Johnson, who's already committed to Notre Dame. Caleb Love and Josh Christopher are two uncommitted basketball prospects with offers - and I don't envision Mizzou landing either one.
No. Anybody can put them on their ballot regardless of the postseason ban.
Because he's got a track record he can sell to recruits. He's improved his win total in each season at Mizzou. He and his staff are developing relationships in the area and earning trust. He has more staff continuity now. He's got people he trusts in those positions and they're doing more position-based recruiting and that allows for recruits to build relationships with the guy who will be coaching them on campus. And regional recruiting can be contagious. If Missouri is good enough for a highly touted local recruit like Jack Buford, then that opens the eyes of other local recruits and gives Mizzou credibility in the region.
Possibly, but he's not one of the top guys. Holmes and Acy are the team's two best corners. Sparks will get some time there. Ware, too. I'd say Floyd is no higher than the fifth corner. His best shot is to contribute on sub packages on third downs and/or special teams.
Harris is a unique story. He wasn't highly recruited as a junior and was one of three Rock Bridge players - from the state championship team - to sign with Missouri State. Then he had a strong senior year and really blossomed on the AAU circuit this summer. From what I understand Mizzou showed interest but never materialized into an offer. Not sure why. They have Dru Smith for the next two years, Pinson is just a sophomore and McKinney is a freshman. I'm not sure that's enough talent/depth to pass on a ball-handler that you really want. Maybe Kansas felt like he was a better fit for their program than Missouri felt.
"Many players" sitting out bowls is a bit of a stretch, especially at Mizzou, where that trend hasn't hit home.
Cuonzo Martin and players are visiting with the media tomorrow. We don't get access to summer workouts or practices. They work carefully with each player individually.
His enrollment was going to be delayed, so I'm not sure if he's working out with the team or not. We'll get some answers tomorrow.
The eligibility question is still a mystery. Cuonzo talked to reporters on a teleconference when I was on vacation and he wasn't certain yet if he had one or two years.
He did not put up ordinary numbers. You have to look past the averages and look at the percentages. He shot 48.2 percent from 3. That's elite, especially considering he was not only his team's best shooter but also the best playmaker, averaging more than 6 assists per 40 minutes. He shot 62 percent on 2-point shots. Again, very, very good for a 6-3 guard. He shot 86 percent from the foul line. His offensive rating as a sophomore was better than 117. That's better than every Missouri player last year except Mark Smith, who was at 118. Cuonzo has said multiple times that his strength is defense and ability to defend multiple positions on the floor. I think he's got the potential to be one of the best overall guards in the SEC.
Every staff works differently. Some might might be candid and tell him it's too late and his offer is pulled. Others are more passive aggressive and just stop calling. For the most part, recruits usually have an accurate read on how much they're wanted by a particular school. If they haven't gotten a call in weeks during the contact periods and they don't get invited for visits, that's usually a clear sign that the interest has waned. Official offers don't go out into the mail until the Monday before the December signing period. At that point, if a school mails you the official offer, they shouldn't back out of it. But by then most recruits have an idea of where they're going - and who's not interested.
I watched the first season and gave up on the second. It seemed less authentic in the second season. I might give the latest season a try.
A team can sign beyond the 13-maximum - they just can't hand out 13 scholarships when it's time to pay the athletes that money for room/board/tuition, etc. No matter how many recruits they end up signing or how many players leave the program. they'll have a plan for how they'll dispense the scholarships. And then a contingency plan ... and then probably a contingency plan for the contingency plan.
I wouldn't say it's something that keeps me up at night. It gets called occasionally.