Folks: Thanks for your patience. Dave's flight into Salt Lake City was delayed. He'll be here in about 15 minutes or so. I know many of you are counting on this as your work-avoidance event for the afternoon. Thanks for hanging in there, and we apologize for the late start.
Greetings, folks, from dreary Salt Lake City, where sunshine is but a rumor. Apologies for the delayed start. My flight didn't cooperate with the start of today's chat. I'll take your Mizzou questions for the next two hours.
Witter has a lot of skills and is certainly versatile. I'm not sure he's got the speed to wow the scouts on pro day, but he could get a look as a late-round pick or free-agent pickup. Russell Hansbrough has played some in the NFL, and Witter is a similar back who could end up having a better college career.
The coaching staff and Aldridge and her family discussed her plans at length after she transferred. Pingeton has made it clear that she's more than capable of handling the balance. It's demanding, and I'm sure most athletes couldn't manage, but Pingeton is confident she can pull it off. I think it's a little silly to blame her shooting percentage on her academic workload. Kassisus Robertson didn't shoot well against Iowa State. Was it because he had too much homework?
Defenses have to pick their poison against Mizzou's offense. You load the box to stop the run and Lock will pick apart the 1-on-1 matchups. Go heavy in the secondary and leave a light box and Heupel will run Witter and Rountree all day. No telling what Vandy will try, but not much the Dores have tried against anybody has worked for the last six weeks.
If you get to your junior or senior year and you haven't contributed much, chances are you're going to get passed over by younger players who show more upside. I'd say that's been the case with all the players you mentioned. Byers has played some at D-tackle lately, but he's clearly behind the first two units: Beckner, Logan, Brandon, Palmore.
I did not see either and didn't expect to see either.
Good question. Hard to say. Some of these recruits have said or implied that they needed to see Mizzou get to six wins and have some stability for them to consider the Tigers. Well, the program is trending that direction. Will it be enough to convince some of these in-state players to pull the trigger and pick MU or possibly decommit from other schools? They're not saying yet. There won't be a lot of time between the final game of the regular season and the December signing period, so players will have to decide quickly.
Here's what Jontay said Monday: "I’m sure as you can imagine any player would be upset that they don’t get to play their first year of college." I'm sure some readers interpreted it differently, but it was obvious to me that he meant "don't get to play right away" or "all of their games." He wasn't implying that Michael will miss the entire season. Missouri is not disclosing any specific diagnosis or timetable. They're not obligated to share that information publicly, and I imagine they won't tonight either. There's a lot of chatter around Columbia from people who seem to know bits and pieces, but I've heard very conflicting degrees, which leads me to believe not as many people know the truth as think they do.
I could see them looking for some secondary help, maybe running back.
Odom will have three years left on his deal. Most coaches prefer to have a minimum of four years on their contracts so they can tell recruits they will be in place for their entire careers. I could see Odom getting an extension and mild raise, nothing extravagant, and possible raises for his staff. An extension would be largely symbolic, as most are, and less so a validation of the job he's done. Coaches want to portray stability and commitment within their program.
They found a loophole. I'll discuss the change further at another time, but the compliance department looked into it and got league approval.
I don't believe he got hurt during that game.
If I had credible sources with solid information on the injury I would be reporting it and not breaking news on the chat. So, for now, no. Also, I want to share this: I've never been comfortable in my career reporting injury information about a college athlete based solely on anonymous sources. We're talking about a student's health, and if a source is willing to share what's actually legally protected information about the athlete's health but unwilling to put his/her name alongside the information, that isn't good enough for me. Others in the media might throw out unsubstantiated info on an athlete's health based on anonymous sources, but I don't think that's fair or ethical in most cases. That doesn't mean we're not trying to compile credible information and cutting through the noise that's out there, but these are delicate matters where the highest standards should be used.
I can't tell you what to worry about. Jayson Tatum missed eight games with a foot injury at the start of last year and it didn't diminish his freshman season or his draft stock. If it's late December and Porter still hasn't played a game, then yes, it's time to have concerns, especially if MU hasn't given some clear answers about the extent of the injury and a timetable. But, again, they're not obligated to share that information.
Mizzou planned to announce a future football series today ... and it's a good one. MU and Kansas State will play in 2022 (Manhattan) and 2023 (Columbia). Good to see at least one Big 12 team from the state of Kansas is willing to play.
I thought the offensive line was damn good last year, just didn't have great depth and had to play some guys that have since been passed over. On the D-line, there was a shortage of SEC-caliber players that were both healthy and ready to contribute right away, mostly because of a lot of roster turnover. Odom's staff addressed that in recruiting and through player development, and I think that group is again becoming a strength. I don't get the comment that Pinkel puckered up in close games. Missouri won a lot of close games under his watch. Odom hasn't coached in many close games in two years. Either MU was blown out or had too much firepower for the opponent to keep close. He's had one game all season decided by less than 18 points.
I'm not sure he's in danger of getting fired. I think he could be a great asset to this staff, an elder statesman of sorts who could help in a lot of areas. Odom is going to get to hire two full-time assistants. One to fill Cross' spot, and one to fill the new 10th assistant position the NCAA is going to allow.
I'd be really surprised if the game is close. Vandy's defense has been dreadful. Vandy does have a more competent passing game than Florida or Tennessee, so they won't be out of the game if they fall behind like the Gators or Vols. I just don't see this Missouri team letting up with the way Odom has it playing.
The players' perception? Well, it's high right now. Everybody likes winning games. I don't take the temperature of recruits throughout the year. These are kids who are swayed by uniform styles and fancy tweets. It's not really worth my time to gauge their interest on a daily basis. That's the coaches' jobs. Some kids just don't want to play at Mizzou.