Hello, folks. Thanks for checking in. Busy day on the beat. Tomorrow's Post-Dispatch will be loaded with Mizzou hoops coverage. Lets get to this chat first. I'll be here for the next two hours.
He plays behind Cale Garrett and rotates for a couple series each game. Garrett won the job in camp and hasn't done anything to lose it since the beginning of the season. Beisel still makes an impact with his leadership and plays on several special teams units. We don't get to talk to him, which is a shame, but, oh well.
I wrote a big story on Jontay a few weeks back and we all touched on his play in the Kansas game. Otherwise, we don't get to watch practices and Jontay hasn't been available for interviews for more than a month, so not a whole lot we can write for now. I was impressed with how he played against Kansas. He's active. He rebounds with a lot of energy. He can handle the ball extremely well for a big. He's not shy about shooting from 3. He'll play a lot, probably more than I expected back when he reclassified.
I don't know if there's a concern level yet, but he'll definitely be among the five players MU allows to get a draft evaluation. If he doesn't get the first or second round evaluation, I can't imagine he considers turning pro. Knowing Lock, I'd have to think he'll want to come back and build on this season and get Mizzou back in contention for the SEC East next year. But if he should get that first-round grade - no telling if he will, but he's definitely got the arm NFL teams crave - then he'll have a major decision to make. If he should leave early, Mizzou has three backups with Micah Wilson having the most game experience. Next year is a total rebuild-type season if any of those three are your quarterback. MU might want to check into the graduate transfer market and see if there's a Russell Wilson out there looking for a new team for his final season. Those are hard to find but might be worth looking.
Hard to say. There are two in-state recruits committed to Nebraska - and the Huskers are hurtling toward a 4-8 season and more than likely a head-coaching change. Will those players want to reconsider their commitment? It's possible MU gets back in on some of the other in-state kids, but those aren't the only players Odom's staff are recruiting. This staff has actually started to prove that it can identify talent. Look at the first- and-second year players who are in the rotation: Crockett, Rountree, Okwuegbunam, Simms, Durant, Castillo, Tre Williams, Brandon, Whiteside, Utsey, Palmore, Turner, Garrett, Bledsoe, Acy, Sparks.
I think that's what you have to do. Stay on schedule on first and second down and then pin your ears back and go after the QB on third down. That's been the formula the last three weeks and it's worked well. Tennessee's O-line is a mess. The passing game is barely functional. You sell out against the run and then wreak havoc on third down.
This didn't start with Martin. Remember, Phillips got moved to the bench and over to shooting guard last year under Anderson's staff. He turns the ball over a lot. He gets a lot of needless fouls. He's not a shooting threat. This staff seems to see more upside with the other options. Harris isn't a shooter but he's a much bigger and better athlete, should be a better defender. Robertson is probably quicker, might be a better defender and is certainly a better shooter. Ball screen plays between Robertson and Porter Jr. could be lethal because of Robertson's shooting ability. If defenses hedge against a Porter screen for Robertson, Porter gets left alone with a smaller defender. If defenses stick on Porter after a screen, Robertson gets an open look. Defenses would probably rather leave Phillips alone in that situation than Robertson. I still think Phillips will have a role in some capacity. I just don't see him being a 30-minute starter for this team.
Robertson is all but certainly the starting point guard. I asked Robertson yesterday who's been the shooting guard when he plays the point and his first answer was Cullen VanLeer. Jordan Barnett could also start at the 2. I could see Porter Jr. starting at the 3 or 4. If he's at the 3, Puryear or Jontay Porter is at the 4 with Tilmon at the 5. They could also go Barnett at the 3, Porter J. at the 4 and Tilmon at the 5.
He's making $700K already. Not too shabby a salary. That ranked No. 32 in the nation last year for all assistant coaches, No. 16 in the SEC and No. 6 among SEC offensive coordinators. My guess is if Heupel leaves Mizzou it's for a HC job, and if he wants a HC job Mizzou can't give him a raise that will compete with that opportunity. He's one of 56 coaches nominated for the Broyles Award. I'd be surprised if he makes the cut for the finalists. Those are usually coaches from teams in the playoff hunt. Heupel has done a nice job adjusting to the September struggles, losing his best running back and a starting receiver.
I expect the defense to play well against Tennessee. The Vols are one-dimensional. Solid running game, no passing game at all. That's good news for MU. The Tigers can control the line of scrimmage and heat up the pass rush on obvious passing situations. Mizzou should be able to do the same against Vandy. Arkansas has really struggled all year on offense.
Thank you. We've had a good week. Lots more in tomorrow's paper. And Saturday. And Sunday.
I'll go with Jontay's points ... but not by much.
Yes, it's crazy. The grades are very influential. I can't imagine someone like Hall, Adams or even Lock leaving if the the advisory board advises them to return to school. Remember, the board only gives three grades: 1st round, 2nd round and go back to school. There are only 64 picks in the first two rounds. I can't imagine anyone believes those four guys are among the 64 best draft prospects. Now, Beckner has been through two major injuries. He might want to leave early just for fear or further damage to his knees.
I'll go with Robertson, then Harris.
It depends on who comes out. Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen could all be in this draft. Again, if Lock doesn't get a first- or second-round grade, I don't see him leaving early. It's not like he faces a dire financial need to get paid.
I get your point, but one opponent can be described in a plural sense. Gators=foes. Headlines are all about brevity because of space issues, so sometimes we take some liberties with words.
I didn't rule out the possibility, but I wouldn't have expected both (A) Missouri to be playing this well and (B) the final four opponents on the schedule to be playing this poorly. Some will dismiss a 7-5 record because of the slow start and the soft schedule at in November, but Mizzou wont' have to apologize for how far the other SEC teams have fallen. Florida and Tennessee have far better resources and tradition than Missouri and, in theory, should almost always have a better team based on finances, recruiting, etc. To beat those teams and finish ahead of them in the standings - not a given yet, but trending that way - should always be considered an accomplishment.
I'd expecte freshman Elle Brown to get some minutes there, maybe Jordan Chavis and Jordan Roundtree. Ultimately, Pingeton believes Brown can be the starter at the point, maybe by her junior year when Aldridge needs to be replaced.
Sorry you consider my reporting absurd, but that's the truth. Link had a falling out with his bosses. He wasn't happy with some decisions being made and he let it be known to a lot of people. It got back to his bosses. His bosses told him to be a team player and stop being critical. He didn't stop. He got fired. Fin.