Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • Football staffs are big enough now, they don't need some suits telling them to how to make a sales pitch. First, you have to have a strong product to sell. Track record counts. And if you don't have a good track record you have to sell a vision. And more than anything, you need the ambassadors of the program - head coach, assistants, players - to be genuine people, build relationships and constantly sell that vision.
  • I don't have a good feeling about Odom and Mizzou. Even if Mizzou has a great year the new recruits know that they will begin 2019 with an unproven QB. With no 4-5 star talet either I see this as Odoms last year no matter what.
  • There's enough established depth on this team that Mizzou will probably be picked third or fourth in the SEC East and expected to win seven or eight games in the regular season. If that happens, Odom is back for 2019. If the program stalls or takes a step back ... no telling what Sterk will decide.
  • Where is Barnett’s usual position- does he stay outside the 3 point line exclusively waiting to get his shot? He’s a big guy and I would like to see him go to the basket more often getting closer shots if his 3 point shooting is off in a particular game. He is an excellent FT shooter so he can contribute that way. MU needs somebody in the paint to mcllect the garbage points when Tilmon is sitting out in foul trouble
  • Barnett is 6-7 but he's a perimeter player who sets up shop in the corner and waits for kickouts. He's not a player who can create his own offense. He's not a playmaker. If he's got an open lane to the basket he'll drive and dunk, but those lanes are usually congested in SEC games. The guy is a fourth-year player. It's really too late to change his identity. When the outside shots aren't falling, he doesn't score. Occasionally he'll attack and get to the FT line - like he did against Kentucky - but that's rarely been the case.
  • Dave, two facets of Gary Pinkel's approach that I wish would be more evident in Barry Odom's program are: "Never let Mizzou beat Mizzou." Pinkel's teams were almost always among the country's leaders in fewest turnovers and fewest penalties--Pinkel would have been been over the top after the Texas game. The other practice that I wish Barry would copy is to play the 2nd string QB at least one series each half. Pinkel always had his next QB ready to go when it was his turn. He did it with Chase Daniels, Blaine Gabbert, James Franklin, and Maty Mauk.
  • I agree on the first part. Discipline has been a common problem the last two years. Odom tried playing Marvin Zanders some in 2016 but he wasn't very productive, and it's not like Lock was in any danger of losing his job for 2017. Maybe the backup gets some looks this fall when Odom knows he'll need a new starter for 2019.
  • I have little faith in OC Dooley. Not sure what BO was thinking here. D Dooley has never been successful as a coach let alone an OC. I hope he surprises me...and proves me wrong.
  • True, he's never been a coordinator, but that doesn't mean he can't excel in this role. He's  been part of some good offensive teams. He knows the game. Can he design his own offense and call plays that work and lead to touchdowns? We'll find out.
  • 5 favorite restaurants in Columbia MO, in order?
  • No order: Murry's, Booches, Las Margaritas, Sophias, CJ's
  • Do you know if Barry Odom has adopted any of Gary Pinkels recruiting techniques? GP had a lot of success in his evaluation of talent and finding great 2 and 3 star players who were missed by other programs. I think he had a great way of evaluating talent. Does BO possess that knowledge or did he learn from GP on how to recruit? I mean BO did have several players contribute last year from last years class.
  • Pinkel had a very meticulous system that valued size-speed potential over other stats and measurables. He had a long list of questions assistants were required to ask of HS coaches and other people close to recruits that touched on character, work ethic, leadership, etc. I don't know how much of that Odom implemented into his recruiting process.
  • Dave, you seem to espouse the theory that Mizzou has enough inherent barriers to make recruiting successfully improbable.
    Do you mean to suggest that Urban Meyer wouldn't recruit well at Mizzou? Or how about even Tom Herman? Also, are the same barriers there for basketball?
    If your theory is indeed corre5, it seems like joining the SEC was not a well thought out plan, especially for FB and baseball.
  • Recruiting for football and basketball is apples and oranges. In hoops you recruit 3-4 players a year and recruit on a national landscape. Football is always more regional because of time limitations. You have to maximize your resources when you're signing 25 players a year and evaluating hundreds more. Could Urban Meyer recruit well at Missouri? Which Urban are we talking about? Circa early 2000s when he had won some games at Bowling Green - or 2010 Urban who had won a couple national titles and had as much cache as any coach in the country? If he's straight out of Bowling Green, then I imagine he'd face similar challenges that Pinkel faced, having to convince local recruits that a guy from the MAC could win on a national level. Obviously it's an easier sales pitch if he shows up with two national titles - though it's a weird hypothetical because Urban's not leaving Florida for Mizzou. When MU joined the SEC, Pinkel had a nationally relevant Big 12 program that proved it could win double-digit games per year. At the time there was no reason to expect a sudden dropoff in the SEC. As for baseball, yes, Mizzou is always going to have disadvantages in this conference, but you don't let a non-revenue program make or break big decisions. Mizzou can live with having a last-place baseball team if being in the SEC proved profitable otherwise.
  • I was surprised that coach CM mentioned Porter may make it back in his postgame interview. He really stirred up the fan base with that news. Porter must be going to return sometime soon or CM wouldn't have opened that can of worms, would he?
  • Martin mentioned it off-hand to one of the broadcasters before the game that he wouldn't be shocked if Porter returns. I don't think he intended for that comment to be shared publicly, but once told Dick Vitale blasted out the comment to a national audience, Martin could either confirm what he thought or deny what Vitale said - and it probably wasn't worth the hassle of saying he was misquoted, especially if he wasn't. Either way, Porter has to practice before he can play and that hasn't happened yet.
  • Dave - What are your thoughts on the new incoming receiver Harry Ballard? From what I have read, his skills are very high and his two years at junior college were productive both on and off the field. Could he see the field a lot in 2018?
  • He didn't catch many balls at junior college. His team ran more of a run-oriented system. That said, he's a physical specimen, a possession receiver who could be a real asset on the outside. He's not a burner like Emanuel Hall who can beat defenses with pure speed, but he's got a chance to earn a major role.
  • Dave - Do you think the 2015 football season would be a good story for an ESPN "30 for 30"? The Maty Mauk story, the protest, the end of GP's legacy and his departure, then of course the AD leaves the next year.....
  • Maybe. To do a fair job, the writer/director would have to dig pretty deep and not just scan the superficial storylines.
  • Dave, so much is said, u included about the attitude of StL athletes toward Mizzou, and the 2015 event which I agree with u is mostly a non-factor, but no one seems to acknowledge that perhaps the athletes, even those like Hentges, chose to attend the blueblood programs because of the coaches abilities at Mizzou have not matched those of the blueblood programs. And if you are not good at selling yourself and your program like Pinkel and Odom are not, why wouldn't the athletes go where they feel comfortable with the coaching staff and head coach?
  • I'm not sure why we're lumping Pinkel and Odom into the same class here. Pinkel sold his program pretty well for a long time. He rarely missed on the elite in-state recruits. Sure, a few got away. They always will. But he hit on far more than he missed. Temple, Nash, Patton, Coffman, Rucker, Richardson, Gabbert, Keck, Golden, Maclin, Green-Beckham, Boehm.
  • If I was Xavier Pinson or some other guard, I'd look at Mizzou freshman bigs and think, I want to play with those guys. Any concern that Jontay or Tilmon go pro or transfer after the season?
  • I'm not sure either would want to transfer and sit out a year, but I've learned to never say never when it comes to basketball roster turnover. Coaches really don't build rosters for the long-term. They build for the next season and that's about it. But nothing this season has given me any signal that Porter or Tilmon or unhappy at MU. Now, if Jontay strings together more 18-13-5 performances, his draft stock will soar and soar and soar.
  • Do we have any idea as to what type of Offense will funny man D. Dooley try to run at Mizzou? Spread, Pro Style, similar to coach Hypel. I hope he is successful, I think he could be a hoot for you in the media at press conferences. lol
  • All I know is what I've reported. He said there'll be some elements of what they've done in the past and some changes that will help Lock be prepared for the NFL. Here's what I wrote a month ago:

    Maybe not drastically but this won’t be Josh Heupel 2.0. Dooley said the offense will be “multiple and flexible.” Not too enlightening, but he clearly doesn’t want a one-dimensional system. Going into this third year at Tennessee, he and coordinator Jim Chaney installed a faster tempo to what was considered a traditional pro-style offense. Tight ends, fullbacks, under-center snaps, play-action passes, etc. Mizzou’s 2018 offense will feature “elements of the pro style and elements of the college tempo and spread,” Dooley said.

    The offense will be different for quarterback Drew Lock and should help him bridge the gap between the college level and what he’ll face in the NFL in 2019. Odom noted that Lock has rarely taken an under-center snap. Sounds like that will change this fall.

    “What we’re going to do systematically is probably going to be a little more oriented to what he’ll get in the NFL,” Dooley said. “He plays with a lot of freedom out there and we don’t want to take that away, but he’ll probably have a little bit more on him mentally than what he’s used to. Hopefully that translates to more consistency and more versatility to help us win. Over time that’ll help him personally when he leaves Missouri.”

    Speaking of Lock, as reported earlier this week, Odom kept his quarterback plugged into the coaching search for the last month, but Odom noted Friday, “You can’t make one decision hiring a coordinator for a quarterback who’s coming back for nine months,” Odom said. “But (you) also understand we’ve got a special talent that cares about the university of Missouri, is a great teammate and wants to lead Mizzou to great success.”

    As for the offense’s tempo, Odom took a slight jab at the offense’s breakneck pace under Heupel: “Tempo is great, unless you’re going three and out in 17 seconds,” he said. “Then it’s not a whole lot of fun if you’re on the (defensive) headset.”

    Heupel did pump the brakes on the no-huddle pace in the middle of the season, though maybe not soon enough for Odom’s tastes.

  • Pinkel never recruited St.Louis when they had such a high number f 4 star recruits, so comparing to a Pinkel year is a mistake. This was a disaster! For every Texas 2 star that worked out there were 2 failures. How does Odom recover?
  • There's some truth to that. People always remember the 2 and 3 stars that panned out but not the 2 and 3 stars who never saw the field because they weren't good enough.
  • Why are Mizzou sports fans delusional? I mean Vandy fans know they won't ever win anything so they just enjoy the competition although Mason let them Tarzan they chest too much before the Bama game last season. Why don't Mizzou fans just accept the mediocrity built into the Mizzou sports culture?
  • In a six-year span Missouri football was twice 30 minutes away from playing for the national championship. There's no reason Mizzou can't win on a national level. Maybe not every year, but the program shouldn't settle for just being OK.
  • If I was Sterk, I would fired Earleywine on my first day in office.
  • In hindsight maybe he would have. He inherited a lot of issues to address back in the fall of 2016. A disastrous hoops program. A rookie head football coach. The fallout of the protests. A newly hired baseball coach. At the time, Sterk inherited a winning softball program that was in the middle of building a new stadium. I can understand why he didn't want to pull the trigger and fire the head coach.
  • Dave, I don't understand everyone getting upset regarding the recruiting. It's rinse and repeat every year. Mizzou is probably never going to out recruit the elite schools no matter what they do. Furthermore, it's all a crap shoot. There's so many guys who get overlooked every year and 5 star guys don't always pan out in the long run. Until Mizzou ever becomes a destination school in football (unlikely), they're best suited by recruiting guys who fit their system and coaching them up while adding in some elite talent here and there as they can. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they can prove capable of doing so. HCBO has shown the ability to do this with some of the young guys so far so I believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt for the moment when you consider the circumstances of this past year. If missing out on the all of the elite guys becomes a recurring theme and he fails to find the correct fits for the program, then let's have this discussion.
  • True, Missouri can get to bowl games by recruiting at the current level, as long as the staff can identify and develop talent as well or better than most peers. But it's much harder to win 10 games and compete for championships if your recruiting classes that rank in the 40s. No, the rankings aren't gospel. There are always programs that outperform their rankings. But it's hard to consistently win on a national level if you're not recruiting at a national level.
  • It would be interesting to trace the issues the football program has had in attracting recruits from the St. Louis area high schools. You and I are about the same age, and when we were kids (80s), when Warren Powers coached, the top recruits in this area wanted to go to Mizzou. I realize Powers's teams went to bowl games, but it seemed later on, St. Louis high school coaches were saying that there was a disconnect between Mizzou coaches, and were actively pushing their kids to go elsewhere. To be sure, Mizzou fell off a cliff for a long time after Powers was fired, but it has sure seemed for a long time there was a rift there. Do you have any sense of how the divide got started?
  • I've used this story before, but I think it reflects a lot of attitudes about Mizzou in St. Louis, both then and now. I went to SLUH the same time as John McArthur, who attracted early interest from some major programs before he had a shoulder injury. By signing day, he chose Mizzou because he wanted to be part of Larry Smith's rebuilding project. At the time I remember the buzz around school being, 'Why the hell does he want to go there?' And that wasn't coming from the football coaches - it was from the other students. Mizzou football wasn't cool. It didn't resonate with the generation. Now, the program hadn't been to a bowl in more than 10 years and was rarely on TV. The exposure and branding is better now. But I still think there's a disconnect along that 120-mile drive from Boone County to STL.
  • Is Jontay Porter a 3-4 year college player?
  • As far as football goes, we all know Georgia is back to elite status. But would you say that the SEC East has made strides in closing the gap on the SEC West? With Pruitt, Mullen, and Smart it looks like it could gain some ground and make the SEC East relevant again in football.
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