One of my major takeaways from his press conference was his choice of language when it came to the program he was inheriting. If you watched that press conference on TV and knew nothing about Mizzou's last four years you would have thought he was taking over at Rutgers. He talked like MU was 2-10 and drawing 5,000 fans a game. That seemed very intentional to paint a very bleak view of the state of the program. He used the phrase "restore pride in the program" three times in his 9-minute opening speech. I know it was a long, ugly second half of the season, and the bandwagon was losing fans by season's end ... but Mizzou did have its first sellout in five years this season. The program isn't nearly as broken as some of his phrasing would indicate. He talked like the team was just coming off 2015. I get it. The worse you project the situation you're stepping into, the greater the achievement you pull off if you eventually win ... but I don't think some of that tone reflected reality. As one person from the 2019 team mentioned to me after the press conference, "Man, if we just beat Vanderbilt maybe none of this happens."
When he was asked about Odom after the formal part of the press conference, here's what he said: "I've met Barry several times. I think Barry's a great man, and have nothing negative to say about the program or what the state of the program is. I just know that this is a business and sometimes things change and there are opportunities. I don't know what was done in the past. I don't know if it was right or wrong, I just know what we're gonna do is is what we're gonna do. It's going to be different. And I'm excited about that. And I appreciate Coach Odom's leadership, former alumni here, and I appreciate Coach Pinkel. And my hope is to build off what they've done. That's my goal."
Not gushing with praise obviously, but respectful and appropriate.