Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 11 a.m.Thursday.

    Hello, chatters. It's Thursday and there's plenty to discuss. I'll be here for the next couple hours to tackle all things Mizzou.
    I know you don’t like these questions. But..

    If mike Anderson stayed at Mizzou. Would he taken us to more of an elite level. He would have had great access to all the STL stud b-ball players we have recently had.
    I'm not sure he would have had great success, but it's fair to expect consistency from Anderson. His teams were almost always in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament but rarely nationally elite or serious challengers for the conference. He didn't have a great track record for recruiting the best players in the area while at Mizzou, so I'm not sure he would have done a much better job than Haith. 
    In eight years at Arkansas, his teams finished 9th, 7th, 5th, 2nd, 8th, 3rd, 4th and 9th in the SEC. Never terrible, rarely elite. 
    And the way the standard has been collectively raised around the SEC - where you can get fired at Texas A&M a year after reaching the Sweet 16 - being consistently good but rarely great isn't good enough any more. 
    Any rumors on grad transfers in men’s b-ball. Can we take one? I know there used to be some rule you had to wait a few years or something like that.
    As far as I understand things, Missouri would be eligible to take a grad transfer this year. MU was not in position to take one last year. MU hasn't been linked to any grad transfers on the market so far from what I've gathered. The scholarship situation is still a little murky. There's at least one open spot. Another spot becomes open when Jontay Porter leaves. One or both of those scholarships could go to Ronnie Suggs or Parker Braun.
    If one CM’s asst coaches leaves. I would love to see Avery Johnson replace that person. Coaches will and great recruiter. Thoughts?
    Nope. I can't see Martin taking on an assistant like Johnson who's been a recent head coach in the SEC or in a power conference, especially if we're talking about someone with whom Martin doesn't share a natural connection. Now, I could see him wanting to add recently fired Southern Illinois coach Jon Harris, who coached under Martin at Missouri State, Tennessee and Cal. There's a natural connection there. Martin has been Harris' mentor. Harris probably isn't in the running for another head-coaching job right now. But I don't see Martin thinking the program needs an older, former head coach on the staff. Here's the danger when you add a recently fired, high-profile head coach: As soon as you get on a losing streak, the impatient fans start calling for the veteran assistant to take over the program.
    Here's the other side of the coin you can't ignore: Who says Avery Johnson wants to join a middle-of-the-pack staff in the SEC as an assistant? This is a guy who was once the NBA coach of the year. He just took a reported lump sum settlement of $5.5 million from Alabama. I don't see him wanting to jump back in as an assistant when he can sit back and wait for a better job to surface. 
  • Any updates on Blackwell? Still coming to Columbia?
  • Aijah Blackwell is still expected to play for Missouri next season. She just won MVP honors at an all-star game last weekend. She didn't play for Cardinal Ritter her senior year after she transferred from Whitfield.
  • Dave, really enjoyed your comments at STL Quarterback Club this week. Wanted to ask a question about Lindsey Scott, Jr. My wife, a UGA grad and I were excited when he came to Mizzou, but after the Spring game last year, never really heard a thing about him. Can't we use him somewhere?
  • Great turnout in St. Louis on Tuesday and I was grateful for the invitation, as always.
    I don't see him playing meaningful snaps at quarterback for Missouri. He just doesn't have the accuracy from what I've seen in practices from last August, to bowl practices to spring practices. As for a position change, he seems pretty intent on playing quarterback. And I'm not sure there's a position he can play at the Power 5 level. I don't think he's big enough to be an outside receiver or quick enough to be a slot receiver. I'm not sure he's fast enough or athletic enough to play cornerback or safety. By all accounts, a really good young man who's popular with his teammates, but I'm not sure he'll have a role on this team on Saturdays. 
  • What incoming freshman in football has the most chance to breakout ?

    Any position change for Scott Jr?
    I just touched on Scott, so I'll hit on the incoming freshmen. 
    The natural place to start is with the freshmen who are already on campus and going through spring practices: The two corners, Burdine and Shearin. I can't say if either has shown enough this spring to win a backup job, but MU could use some depth there if Sparks isn't 100-percent recovered by the fall and if Floyd hasn't done enough making the conversion from receiver. 
    Safety Jalani Williams was in position to earn playing time in a rotation until he underwent foot surgery. He'll have to have a great summer to fully recover and get back in the running for playing time, at least early in the season.
    Defensive end Darius Robinson has the frame you want to see for an SEC D-lineman. Not sure if he can produce at this level, but he'll have a full spring under his belt heading into the summer. 
    Mizzou needs depth at tailback. Anthony Watkins will have a chance to break into the top three or four and get some looks.
    I know the defensive staff really likes Stacy Brown, who can play the strong safety/nickel position where Oliver and Perkins are playing now. Both are seniors, so it might make some sense to get him on the field for snaps this fall. 
    What current freshman in men’s b-ball excites you the most for next season
    All three have a lot of upside. Pickett is Cuonzo's kind of guy. He has said he could go down as one of the best players in team history. Now, I don't think he literally means he'll set records and be compared to Stipo and Sundvold and Chievous and Smith and Peeler, but he's a four-year player who will be a fan favorite because of his style and toughness and versatility and endear himself to fans, similar to J.T. Tiller - with a better jumper. 
    Pinson has the tools to be a dynamic point guard with more shooting ability than most expected. Obviously he has to clean up the turnovers and be more efficient in the halfcourt and play tighter defensively. The flashes are obviously promising. 
    Watson started shooting with confidence late in conference season and learned how to stay on his feet while driving the ball in traffic, making him more than just a spot-up shooter. No reason he can't develop into a complete shooting guard, a guy who can score at all three levels and absorb contact to get to the foul line consistently. 
    Dave, really enjoy your writing and these shows. Mizzou bb has 2 new players coming in, have you heard anything on Jontay coming back or who Mizzou is recruiting if he doesn't come back?
    I do not expect Porter back for next year. The staff did not expect him back before he re-injured the ACL and the thinking hasn't really changed now that he's undergone a second ACL surgery. He has until April 21 to enter the draft. So, he's got 17 days ... 
    Because  he'll be coming off knee surgery he won't be able to do much of anything at the NBA Draft combine next month, which means if he's declaring for the draft there's nothing he can really do to help or hurt his stock between now and the deadline to pull out of the draft. So, once he's in the pool there's no logical reason to climb out.
    Dave, you always have the answers, My question: what is CJ Roberts doing this weekend?
  • He played this past season at Broward College, a junior college in Fort Lauderdale. He didn't last long at Texas Tech.
  • I just don't see the Porter boys ever doing anything in the NBA they're fragile as a 40 watt light bulb. The NBA is tough, They arent!
    I suppose it would be worth a risk for an NBA team but I wouldn't take a chance if I were an owner. Just sayin...
  • There's obvious risk with the injury situations, but there are different levels of risk when it comes to the NBA draft and signing players. Is Jontay worth a lottery pick? No, not at this stage. Is he worth a non-guaranteed mid-tier second-round pick? I would think so, especially if it's a team that has multiple picks and has the roster flexibility to stash him in bubble wrap for a year while he recovers from knee surgery. Should he come back and make a team's rotation as a 6-11 big man who can shoot, pass, rebound and block shots, then you've got an incredible bargain. Obviously a lot of "ifs" in that scenario, but for some teams and GMs, it's a risk worth taking.
  • Any update on the appeal in regards to the postseason ban?
  • No updates other than MU has formally filed the written appeal. Mizzou won't know if the postseason bans are upheld until the appeals committee makes its final ruling.
  • I realize that softball isn't a huge topic on this weekly chat. But I just want to say that I have a lot of faith in coach Larissa Anderson. She had several players transfer before the season but she has this team playing well beyond my expectations. Jim Sterk will be happy with this hire and so will the fans in a just a couple years time.
  • She's done a really impressive job considering the last-place team in the SEC lost its best players and the Tigers are in the middle of the pack of the SEC with a .500 record. They're on the brink of being nationally ranked. No one could have predicted that a few months ago. She deserves a lot of credit.
  • Who would you say is the most underrated coach on Barry Odoms staff?
    Also who is the coach (on his staff) who has the most pressure on them coming into next fall?
  • Derek Dooley will always be under a lot of pressure as the offensive coordinator working for a defensive-minded head coach. Dooley runs half the team. The offense is on him, as opposed to defensive coordinator Ryan Walters, who has a lot on his plate but is ultimately running Odom's defense. If the defense falls flat this fall, Walters will get blame but ultimately the finger should be pointed at Odom for his system AND putting Walters in charge of his system. 
    But back to Dooley. Offensive coordinators these days are always under the greatest amount of fan/media scrutiny because people second-guess every play that doesn't work and assumes they could do a better job. (Hey, I can call plays on Madden, so this guy must be a doofus if he can't score a touchdown every possession!) So, just by the very nature of the job, and the fact that Mizzou is stocked with talent on offense, there's considerable pressure on Dooley. Also he pulls down the highest salary for any assistant coach in team history. 
    Also, Andy Hill is under some heat to get the special teams figured out. Andy is Mr. Mizzou, a popular coach and a real touchstone for the past around the program - but the Tigers have to perform better on his watch. 
    Most underrated assistant? I'll go with ... Cornell Ford. All he's done in three years as running backs coach is help produce three different 1,000-yard rushers. His guys seem well prepared every week and he's not afraid to go with the hot hand no matter if the back started the game or came off the bench. He gets a lot out of his guys.  
    It doesn't seem like their has been much coverage on the Spring Football practices this year. I know the media has more access than in the past, yet their's less coverage IMO.
    Also with media allowed to cover practices, how does Mizzou know that their isn't other coaches from other schools coming in and giving away our plays or secret. I'm not sure how the program can keep out other coaches who may be sending id spies. #ParanoidFan
    The practices are open to the media but not open to the public. You just can't walk onto the practice field and watch unless you have permission to be there.
    I was on the road with the basketball team during a couple practices football practices, but we've had multiple stories per week when the team has practiced. They only practice two to three times per week, so it's not like there's media access every day. Also, the team was on spring break last week, so Tuesday was the first practice in 13 days. No practice, no access, no coverage. 
    I could post links to all the stories we've published since the start of spring, but you can find them all here: 


    Mizzou sports news, Mizzou commentary, Mizzou football schedules, Mizzou stats, Mizzou photos and Mizzou videos from the St. Louis Post Dispatch & STLtoday.com
    I think Mizzou football will come into the season ranked in the TOP 25. Not that rankings matter but I still feel like they will, simply because of Kelly and what is returning. Pus they exceeded most expectations last year. Agree or Disagree?
    Agree. Most preseason polls I've seen posted by different media outlets has Mizzou ranked in the high teens or 20s. If I'm an AP poll voter this year I'd have Mizzou around No. 20 going into the season and second or third in the SEC East.
    Do you see Micah Wilson making an impact? I think he was smart to move to WR. But did he ever play WR in HS? I appreciate his loyalty to his school and his commitment to Mizzou. I hope he can improve and make a contribution but theirs a lot of talented WRs on this team.
    I think he can make an impact if he can learn the position. I won't count him out. Who are the established outside receivers on this team? Knox is a starter. I'd expect Nance, the grad transfer from Arkansas, to start. Then who? Kam Scott made some big plays last year but he's never been very consistent. Can he make tough, contested catches in traffic? Can he get off pressure on the outside? Who else? Alex Ofodile hasn't done anything since he came to campus. The other guys who have played extensively are slot receivers. On the outside, there's not much proven depth at all.
    While it's always fun to get a legacy player into the program and he's clearly a good WR, Jay Maclin is not the second coming of his cousin - right or wrong?
    He's not as highly rated as Jeremy. But if he's got a Mizzou offer, which he does, then the staff would like to sign him. Should he pick MU he'll feel some pressure to perform just because of the name on his back, but that doesn't mean he can't be a productive college player.
  • Folks, there are about 30 questions in the system that I'll attempt to answer. No reason to resubmit your question over and over again. I can't answer them all at once. 
    Carry on. 
  • Hey Dave, does the SEC have better football or basketball coaches?
  • Good question. Let's divide them into a few different categories.
    1. Elite: (National title winner/Hall of Famer)
    2. Great track record (CFP appearances, Final Fours)
    3. Proven winner (consistent bowl games, NCAA appearances)
    4. Up and coming or still unproven
    Not everyone fits perfectly into these categories and you could be a 2 but be a stronger 2 than someone else in the category. I'll attempt to categories each of the current 26 coaches (still hoops vacancies at Arkansas, Vandy) and rank each coach within each category:
    1. Nick Saban, John Calipari, Jimbo Fisher
    2. Rick Barnes, Kirby Smart, Bruce Pearl, Ben Howland, Gus Malzahn
    3. Frank Martin, Tom Crean, Dan Mullen, Buzz Williams, Cuonzo Martin, Mike White, Mark Stoops, Kermit Davis, Will Muschamp, Ed Orgeron, Barry Odom, Will Wade
    4. Derek Mason, Joe Moorhead, Chad Morris, Matt Luke, Jeremy Pruitt, Nate Oats
    OK, that's a lot of fodder to debate. I'm not sure how you really measure most of the guys in the middle of the 3 category. I could listen to Malzahn for the 3s and Tom Crean for the 2s. That's just off the top of my head without doing any sophisticated research. I valued championships, longevity and consistency above anything else. Malzahn and Crean are tricky because they've been to the mountaintop - CFP and the Final Four - but they've also had some yucky down years and underachieved, too.  
    So, are there better football or hoops coaches in the SEC? I've got four coaches from each sport in the 1-2 categories ... but five football coaches to just one hoops coach in the bottom category. Translation: There are more proven winners in basketball, where the SEC has turned their programs over to more unproven coaches in football, like Odom, Mason, Moorhead, etc. Not one current basketball coach in the SEC is in their first head-coaching job. Seven of the hoops coaches previously coached at another power conference school - and an eighth (Calipari) coached a high-profile mid-major (Memphis) along with the NBA. In football, six of the league's 14 head coaches are in their first college head-coaching job. 
    Who is the best recruiter on BO staff?
    And by best I mean who has had more success evaluating the better talent, not necessarily recruiting players with the highest stars. Although that's ok too. HaHa
    The body of work for some of these assistants isn't big enough to really evaluate them as recruiters. Ofodile is new to tight ends, Gibbs is new to the staff, McGee is new to the staff. 
    These coaches do more position recruiting now than regional recruiting, so the question really is which position coach has done the best job landing the best and the most players that have produced. Hard to argue with Mizzou's results at running back. Ish Witter, Damarea Crockett, Larry Rountree and Tyler Badie have all been productive backs in the Odom years. Only Crockett was a four-star recruit, so Ford has done a really good job of finding players that met MU's needs at the position. 
    Otherwise, it's hard to argue with Dooley's track record so far: Connor Bazelak, Kelly Bryant and Shawn Robinson. All four stars or higher as high school recruits, though the latter two came as transfers. 
    Brick Haley has picked up some good pieces, but jury still out on some of the defensive ends Mizzou has brought in under his watch. 
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