Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




    Hey, there, loyal chatters. I've got to run at 1 pm for Cuonzo Martin's media availability before the Tigers head to Ames, so I'll cut this off after two hours. But I'll try to get to as many questions as possible. Fire away ....
    If Albert and/or Blanton aren’t able to play, do you expect Scales and/or Christoperson will ?
    Scales might see a few more snaps, but if the top two guys aren't on the field, you'll see more of Parker and Bailey. Those are the two guys the staff trusts most right now. Scales has gotten a few snaps here and there but Christopherson has barely seen the field at all. Seems to be out of the mix, this year at least. The staff loves Parker as a blocker, and rightfully so after the job he did at Florida. Bailey knows how to block, obviously, from his years as a center-guard-tackle. And he showed at South Carolina he can snag a bullet from Drew Lock.
    Dave - Did we see that E. Hall makes *that* much of a difference?
    Yes. His speed, even when not 100 percent, is elite. He can get by any corner Missouri has ever faced - when he's close to healthy. When he's on the field, defenses have to know where he is and if they're keeping a safety out of the box to roll to his side of the field, that's one less tackler in the box to stop the running game. It seems crazy to think one guy has that much of an impact, but the numbers are impossible to ignore: MU is 9-0 in the last nine games Hall caught a pass. Since the start of 2017, MU is 10-3 in games he catches a ball and 2-7 in games he doesn't catch a ball.
    Hello Dave. Thanks for the chat! I was looking forward to watching the Mizzou vs Iowa State basketball game tomorrow night but I don't see it on any TV. Not even the dozens of streaming SEC/ESPN feeds. It's only on Iowa States internal premium streaming service. How can a SEC vs Big 12 game NOT be available at all in 2018?
  • It's a Big 12 home game, so there's no reason it would be on the SEC Network. Big 12 schools have third-tier rights to games that aren't chosen as part of their conference network packages. And, as we know, the Big 12 doesn't have its own network to pick up a game like this. So, this isn't an SEC problem. It's a Big 12 issue. 
    But, if you happen to be a Mediacom subscriber, the cable company is picking up the game on its in-house channel, MC22. 
    I will be at the game, so if you can't see the action you can read all about it at STLtoday.com and in Saturday's print edition. 
  • Realistically, how good of a chance do you give the Tigers to win at Iowa St. tomorrow night?
  • Not great. Hilton's a tough place to play. They had an announced crowd of 14,000 for Tuesday's game against Alabama State. It's a big doubleheader weekend for Iowa State: its nationally ranked football team hosts Baylor on Saturday. So, expect a rabid crowd. Iowa State has some proven talent, a couple transfers from Nebraska and Virginia and one of the Big 12's best players in Lindell Wiggington. This should be a good test for Martin's team.
  • Hi Dave - Hats off to the entire team and coaching staff for the win over Florida. I know myself, I was starting to doubt some of the aspects to this team but they really showed their character and preparation on Saturday. Did you notice a more relaxed, calm team playing up to their potential verses the last few weeks? Do you think the games against all the ranked teams they played over the past month helped their play. Thank You.
  • Here's what I've come to believe about college football teams. You've got a small handful of elite teams that give you similar performance each week. You've got a slightly bigger handful of terrible teams that give you a similar performance each week. Then in the middle you've got a much bigger inventory of teams, some better than others, but for the most part their play can fluctuate pretty wildly depending on matchups, injuries, luck, home-field advantage and preparation. I thought Missouri was really well prepared and focused coming off that Kentucky game. Dooley and Lock made some important adjustments. They leaned on the run early on drives. Lock kept plays alive with his scrambling. Dooley called more quick, short to intermediate throws. Lock wasn't rolling out of the pocket. He stood tall against the rush and kept his eyes downfield. And, then, the injury factor. Hall was back and that made this offense so much more dynamic. But, yes, to your larger point, Odom and staff and the veteran players deserve a lot of credit for crawling out the hole of despair after the Kentucky game and playing their best game overall in at least four years.
  • Dave - I don't want to get ahead of myself, but are teams chosen by bowl committees or by their individual conference on where they will play?
  • It depends which bowls you're talking about. After the Playoff bowls (Cotton, Orange) and the New Years Access bowls (Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Peach), the Citrus Bowl picks the best available SEC team. As of right now, as many as four SEC teams could make the playoff and access bowls: Bama, Georgia, LSU and Kentucky. 
    After the Citrus Bowl's SEC selection, there's what the league calls the Group of Six bowls. The league office, in communication with the bowls and the schools, decides which SEC teams play in these six bowls: Outback, Gator, Belk, Music City, Texas and Liberty. If there are any eligible SEC teams left in the mix, the Independence and Birmingham Bowl have the final picks. At this rate, MU should be squarely in the mix for the Group of Six. I doubt the league would want to send the Tigers back to Houston. The Liberty typically gets the final choice, and this year there might  not be enough eligible SEC teams for the Liberty, to MU's most realistic spots could be Music City or Belk. Proximity will play a factor, too, and some of the more southern teams might make more sense for the two bowls in Florida. 
    That said, MU has to win one more game and winning three more would make the Tigers more attractive, obviously.
  • Couple questions. First, what would you assess the odds to be that Missouri lands Kelly Bryant? Second, if they do NOT land Bryant, what is your sense of who 2019 Mizzou starting qb may be (if a transfer, any names emerging)? Third, who do you perceive to be the most impactful commit coming into the program in 2019? Thanks in advance and have a great weekend!
  • I don't know how to handicap the Byrant sweepstakes. He hasn't indicated any favorites. He seems to be adding options by the week. North Carolina and Arkansas have been in the mix all along. Now Mississippi State, Auburn and Florida appear to be candidates. He's got as good a chance to start at Missouri compared to any of those options. He's got an NFL-experienced coordinator at Missouri who runs a pro-style system that would still allow him to use his legs like he did at Clemson. MU would appear to check a lot of boxes, but impossible to know where the Tigers stand among the contenders until he says one way or another.
    If Bryant isn't the choice, I would think Missouri would still explore the grad transfer market. For now, I'm not aware of another quarterback who's declared plans to transfer and play somewhere immediately in 2019. If not, then I'd suspect MU opens the job to the current backups and incoming freshman Connor Bazelak. May the best man win.
    As for the most impactful newcomer for 2019, other than QB this team shouldn't have any drastically thin position groups that needs an instant impact player. I'll go local and say CJ Boone. The Tigers will have to replace Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown, and Boone could make a strong first impression and earn touches on the outside. 
  • Dave - Will Blanton play on Saturday? Thank You.
  • Hard to say. He practiced Tuesday but was in a red jersey. At this point, what Odom says about injured players on Tuesday doesn't mean much by Saturday. Last week he said Adam Sparks would likely play at Florida - and he didn't make the trip.
  • I thought CJ Roberts transferred to Texas Tech. When I looked on their roster he was not listed. Do you know what happened to him?
  • I believe he was dismissed from the team over the summer/early fall, but no details have emerged as to why as far as I know.
  • Why was Dru Smith dressed out the other night? I thought he won't be cleared to play.
  • As of now, Missouri hasn't gotten clearance from Evansville, so the appeal is in limbo. Until the team gets final word that he can't play this year, I presume he'll go through warmup drills before home games. I'd be surprised if he makes the trip to Ames, but we'll see. Obviously it's a unique situation. Plus, he might just be more comfortable in sweats during the game even though he can't play.
  • Any idea on the expected crowd size for this Saturday? After the Kentucky loss, I figured the stadium would be somewhat empty. But the Florida win may have changed that?
  • I'd be surprised if it's bigger than 50,000. The Florida win might repopulate some of the bandwagon, but it's an early kickoff. Weather isn't expected to be great. Plus it's the first day of firearm deer season, which always seems to be a reason for some fans who don't come to the game.
  • One of the announcers on the FL-MU telecast said Drew Lock was all state in basketball in high school. Is that true? If it is with the depleted squad that Kim Anderson had when he was still around, they could have used an all state player. Or maybe the FB wouldn’t have allowed him to play.
  • Yes, he was an all-state hoops player. Missouri, Oklahoma and Wichita State offered him basketball scholarships at one point. But hoops wasn't going to be an option at Mizzou. Pinkel had a rule that a player could play a second sport if he established himself as a starter. Well, Lock took over as MU's starter midway through Pinkel's final season. Then came the head-coaching change. From there, Drew wasn't going to win over Josh Heupel and the new staff if he ditched football from January to March and skipped out on spring football. Plus, I don't think he wanted to do that. So, no, it was really never realistic for him to play both sports.
  • Speaking of Lock on the hardcourt, check out some of the players who made the MBCA All-State team in 2015: Jayson Tatum, O. G. Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, Drew Lock, Landry Shamet, Xavier Sneed, Tyler Cook, Kevin Puryear. Three current NBA players in Tatum, Anunoby and Shamet, some college veterans in Morgan, Sneed, Cook and Puryear ... and a future NFL draft pick in Lock.
  • Well, I guess it's good we are out of the Big 12....not even a conference TV package. Weak! Well, I guess I watch the Blues and listen to the Mizzou game!
  • Dave - Holmes continues to improve his game which is a big help to our secondary. Does he not start when Sparks come back from his injury? Thank You.
  • Holmes was starting before Sparks got hurt, so, yes, I would expect he stays in the starting lineup. Acy has been consistently good all season. As coordinator Ryan Walters said this week, Holmes has been really good at times and has gotten exposed at times with big mistakes. Here's the full quote: "Christian, right now it’s sort of feast or famine. He makes plays that nobody else makes but he also does things that make you scratch your head when you watch the tape. It’s just the consistency of practice that will carry over to the games. He’s coming along. He’s right where he should be in terms of his development and growth. We’re starting to see from a potential standpoint what he’s capable of doing."
  • Hello Dave, it appears the young Tiger BB 'team-of-guards' will take some time to develop the chemistry needed to jell offense. Disappointed with Kevin P and Jordan G performance in game 1.
  • Geist missed some open 3s. That's going to happen. I didn't think he played poorly other than that. He improved greatly last year as a shooter. I think he'll be fine as a shooter this year. Puryear missed some shots near the rim and he didn't look comfortable from 3. But he had 10 rebounds and had the second-most defensive stops. Those guys are going to get a lot of minutes. They're the leaders of this team. One poor shooting night isn't going to shift their roles. Not sure I get the 'team of guards' comment. Tilmon isn't a guard. Mitchell Smith isn't a guard. On most possessions this year and last at least three players on the floor are always guards. Sometimes four. So this team isn't all that unique in that regard.
  • Last Saturday Mizzou played a complete 60 minutes against a ranked SEC team on the road. Mizzou had for all practical purposes their entire starting team available and playing and it was apparent, Drew Lock is a very talented QB when he has receivers that can both seperate from their defenders and hold on to the ball when it is delivered. Their rushers looked outstanding due to a solid O-line performance and Lock looked good tucking the ball under his arm and running a couple of times for key first downs. With all of that said, is it time for Lock and Odom naysayers to button up their criticsim of these two and begin to relize football is a team sport that counts on everyone participating excellently to win?
  • I don't disagree, but if this team loses to Vandy on Saturday, any criticism that comes their way is probably fair. I think Odom has put a lot of things in place that will lead Missouri to have a winning program. Win championships? I'm not sold on the talent or depth for that to be probable, but an 8-4 finish with a couple really close games - Purdue, South Carolina and Kentucky - that could have gone either way would be an unqualified success and progress from last year. But this team's story isn't over, so it doesn't seem like we have to make these broadstroke statements when we've already seen how quickly things can change from one week to the next.
  • Last week told me a lot about Coach Odom and his ability to get his team prepared after the devastating loss to Kentucky. A lot will be said this week as well seeing that it is a game they should win. Do you expect this team to have the same focus as last week and come out and play well? I worry about the game as a trap after the big win, but if Odom keeps them focused they should be fine.
  • Yes, I'd be surprised if they come out flat. Odom seems to get the best out of his teams after they've been punched hard first. Then once they find a blueprint for success - both strategically and emotionally/mentally - they consistently play well. It happened late in 2016. It happened in the second half last season. (I don't count the bowl game. When you take a month off and so many other factors come into play - coaching changes, especially - it's impossible to sustain momentum.) So, yes, I think the track record suggests this team will carry on the things that worked last week. Odom coaches a pretty good team when he's not searching for answers on how to pull things together.
  • Did the guy from last weeks chat from Connecticut who was complaining about Mizzou’s loss to Ky watch the Tigers-Gators game? I hope the rest of the season doesn’t turn into a roller coaster season - up high one week and down low the next week like the Al Onofrio era in which they would beat a top 10 team one week and lose to a last place team the next. With 3 games left an 8-4 season is within sight. I hope everybody can play like they did in THE SWAMP. Finally my complements to the defense in holding the number 11 rated team to 17 points. I’ve been waiting all year for that kind of effort against somebody not Wyoming or Tennessee Martin.
  • Dave, If the football team wins out and goes 8-4 I fully expect Odom to continue to the be the coach but, this will be the second year in a row that it can be said the team under-performed with him as coach due to what appears to be poor readiness and preparation in the first half of the season (for both the players and coaches). Do you believe this will be a big area of conversation with Odom, his coaches, and the AD in the off season? The consistency of this team really needs to get better, you never know what you're going to see from week to week.
  • Trust me, they analyze everything after the season. Odom won't be satisfied with 8-4. The Kentucky loss will haunt him for a long time. Three more wins and a bowl game won't change how they look back and try to learn from the earlier losses.
  • Is Hall 100% now or will he be slowed down by his nagging injury the rest of the season.
  • He looked pretty darn good on Saturday. Can he reach top speed? Probably not. But he's clearly healthy enough to play and be an impact player against a good defense. Missouri doesn't play a great defense the rest of the season, so unless he has a setback, there's no reason to think he can't keep producing.
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