The chat is a solo operation. The only living being in my vicinity is my 12ish-year-old dachshund Desi, and she's barely conscious right now. (I checked her breathing. She's alive.)
I don't see it happening. It all comes down to football scheduling within the conference and within the divisions and making sure the right rivalry games stay intact. The sticking point with trading Missouri for Auburn or Alabama has been Alabama's two main rivalry games. Under the current setup, Alabama always has its two important games against Auburn and Tennessee, the former as part of regular division play and the latter as its permanent non-division opponent. You shift Auburn to the East under the current scheduling format and now Alabama can only secure one of its rivalry games with the Tigers or the Vols. And Bama won't agree to any setup that costs them one of those games. So, until the league can agree to a different scheduling format than the 6-1-1 format (six division opponents, one fixed non-division opponent, one rotating non-division opponent.)
Amber Smith is the best returing player. She's capable of scoring 20 points any night - but needs to be more consistent. Maybe being the clear-cut No. 1 option will be better for her. Aijah Blackwell should get some immediate playing time to seize that role, and same for Hayley Frank.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Buzz will make $3.5 million. That would rank just outside of the top 10 this year and not far from the top five. He's a great coach. I think he'll build A&M into a consistent SEC challenger, maybe not immediately but it won't take long.
I'd like to see him play one game before deciding if he'll have a long career.
You've got Mark Smith, Dru Smith, Pinson, Pickett and Watson coming back, plus McKinney joining the mix. That's six. Who's seven? I don't see any of those guys transferring. Dru Smith essentially replaces Geist and McKinney becomes an option off the bench. There should be enough playing time for those guys on the perimeter. Now, that doesn't mean someone won't find a better option this offseason, but if we're just talking about playing time, I don't see why that should scare anyone off.
I don't think it's accurate to say he was promised a scholarship. That's not really Cuonzo's style. I always understood the situation as being he would have the opportunity to go on scholarship after his freshman year. That's still true as far as I know. I haven't seen him play enough to really have a gauge for his role or style. I know Martin likes him a lot and liked the growth he showed in practice. He was more of a perimeter player at times but has the height to play the four with some range.
Missouri doesn't typically name facilities after donors, other than the Walsworth golf facility. MU has resisted to sell naming rights for Mizzou Arena and Mizzou Softball Stadium.
I think you are forgetting the NCAA sanctions that hit the basketball program the year after Haith left. The booster in Georgia who set up a sham internship for players? MU took a postseason ban and probation because of those violations that started under Haith's watch. Also, he knew he wasn't getting a new contract at Missouri, much like he knew he wasn't getting a new contract at Miami when he left for the Missouri job.
I don't know much about the younger Maclin other than he plays receiver at Kirkwood. I don't think the staff would offer him a scholarship if they didn't think he could make an impact.
The pleasure is all mine. I think.
I've got time for a couple more questions before I've got to get back to writing. I spent the morning with some of Mizzou's pitchers and their fascinating pitching coach Fred Corral. The guy is a treasure full of stories and could talk the art and mechanics of pitching all day long. I'm really impressed with that that program is doing behind the scenes to try to improve the product on the field. It's a tech-savvy staff that's really embracing advanced metrics and trying to apply them to the talent on the roster. It's working especially with the pitching staff. Read more in an upcoming story. I'm excited about this one.