Greetings, Mizzou chatters. The third practice of preseason camp wrapped up earlier today. I'll have an online update posted soon and in the meantime will take your questions for the next two hours.
I don't know exactly what's gone on privately between old teammates, but English works for Frank Haith and is 100 percent loyal to his boss, as any assistant coach should be. Kim went on radio in Kansas City during the spring and shared some strong opinions on Mizzou and the basketball program - pre Cuonzo Martin. I did not expect him to be involved in the reunion game, mostly because he's an assistant coach for another staff. English can be very opinionated, and that turns off some people. I've had my share of issues with swipes he's taken at colleagues in the media, but overall I've maintained a professional rapport with him. He helped me greatly with some chapters in a book I wrote that comes out next year.
You mean the SEC schedule? They usually release that in August. Any day now, I suppose.
Jordan Harold? He's a starter right now, so even if he loses that job to one of the younger defensive ends, I'd expect him to be in the rotation at some capacity.
Good question. I'm not sure about that. You might try calling the MU ticket office or Scottrade. I suspect they'll go fast this year.
He might have made it into the two-deep but it wasn't a given. Right now the three starters are all but set: Moore and Mason on the outside, Johnson in the slot. Justin Smith, Nate Brown and Dominic Collins are in position as the No. 2s on the outside and Richaud Floyd is pushing Johnson as the top backup in the slot. From there, you've got mostly walk-ons. An injury or two is going to happen at some point, so Davis would have had a chance to see some time on the outside.
On defense, DT Kobie Whiteside, DE Chris Turner, LB Jamal Brooks and CB Adam Sparks. Maybe one of the safeties. On offense, one of the running backs, Isaiah Miller or Larry Rountree. Otherwise, I don't see where a freshman on offense has to play unless injuries deplete the depth.
He'll have a role on the outside. He's not a burner, not a guy who's going to stretch the field vertically. But this offense can use a reliable possession receiver who can move the chains on third and 5. The staff likes him, so he'll compete for a role. When you play up to 100 plays a game like this offense can do, you need backup receivers to give those starters a blow.
They all know each other and seem to be friendly enough online and when they're attending camps together, but I don't know if they're all that close personally. Rarely do you see a recruit pick a school because his buddy is going there, too. It happens sometimes, but not with the four- and five-star recruits who can essentially name the school they want to attend.
Good question. I'd say they have to finish in the top five of the SEC and get into the NCAA Tournament, possibly as an 8 seed or better. Considering this is going to be the one and only year with Porter Jr. on campus, this program has to capitalize with a substantial breakthrough - and it would be hard to justify an NIT invitation as substantial.
I would vote Mizzou top 15 preseason if I had a ballot and probably third or fourth in the SEC. Cunningham is a legit All-American candidate. Lauren Aldridge, the new point guard from Kansas, should be a big upgrade at the position. Amber Smith is a solid No. 2 perimeter scoring option. Cierra Porter is on the cusp of being one of the SEC's elite post players. Very talented team that plays with a good home-court advantage.
I had never heard of any contract talks with Mizzou and Houston. Mizzou has to play a Power Five school every year per SEC rules, so I don't think it makes a lot of sense to play a power five school and then one of the best Group of Five programs, like Houston. Nonconference games don't help you in recruiting at all. I've never heard a recruit say a factor in their school choice is one game on the schedule of their four- or five-year career. Most kids have no idea who's on the schedule when they pick a school. As for the SEC this year, I think part of the reason you only see one team in the preseason top 10 is there aren't any established great coaches in this league outside of Saban. Most of the other coaches in this league are either dangerously close to the hot seat (Sumlin) or inching close (Bielema, Malzahn) or too unproven to earn the benefit of the doubt with preseason hype (Smart, Orgeron, Odom).
Nate Howard. I would be surprised if we see him play a game at Missouri. He's definitely not taking part in camp, and even if he avoids a felony charge, that doesn't mean Odom's going to allow him back on the team.
Book your CoMo hotels (or dorms) now, because they're not going to last long.
It's good for the rivalry, good for both schools, both programs. It's good for St. Louis. This game needs to mean something again. There's too much history between the two programs to have just 12,000 people show up to watch a game that means zilch on both a national and local scale.
I'll be at every football game this year except, probably Arkansas, because it's the same time as the basketball team's tourney in Orlando. We'll have another reporter in Fayetteville. As of now I plan to be at every home and road hoops game.
Without going back and looking through every game it's hard to know how many times Mizzou passed on what should have been doable FGs and ended up turning the ball over or not getting a touchdown. MU missed multiple FGs in the West Virginia and South Carolina games. Would six points in each game had given MU enough momentum to change the outcome of those games? Maybe, but I'm not sure. A trusty kicker would have given the offense a dimension that would have impacted play-calling and confidence, but it's one of those hypotheticals that's hard to answer.
Well, on my All-SEC ballot I went with Nick Fitzgerald first team and Jalen Hurts second team. If the ballot would have extended beyond two teams, I would have put Lock in the mix with Austin Allen and Jarrett Stidham - and probably given Lock the edge as No. 3 in the league. He's got a chance to be the best in the SEC if everything comes together for this passing game. But MU has to win some games for him to earn that kind of recognition, too. You can become a high drafted QB without having an outstanding record, but you need Ws in addition to stats to earn postseason awards.