Greetings, chatters. We'll talk Mizzou here for the next couple hours. Fire away.
I can't offer the same breakdowns for the women's team for a couple reasons. One, there isn't the same data available for women's hoops like there is for the men's game. Two, I covered 32 of the men's team's 33 games this season and only a handful of the women's games, so the body of work I saw with my own eyes was limited compared to the men's team. Mizzou was too much of a one-woman team down the stretch. Not enough consistent scoring from the complimentary pieces around Cunningham. Defensively, I thought they were exposed for not being as athletic as some of the teams they played down the stretch. FGCU attacked MU in the paint and it seemed like the Tigers played on their heels the whole game and couldn't string together any stops against their penetration.
Spring football is still happening, though the team takes off next week for spring break. There will be basketball news through the spring. I'll dabble in some baseball coverage. Probably not as much softball as in years past. The team just isn't very good and there doesn't seem to be much interest. Outdoor track season will have some stories to follow. Covering a college beat is unique in terms of hours and workload because from August to March we work far more than 40 hours a week every week. Downtime comes in May and June.
8-4 is probably more optimistic than my outlook for now given some questions about the direction of the offense, the talent and depth on defense and the difficulty of the schedule. Is 8-4 possible? Sure, but I'm more of a 7-5 guy right now. 8-4 would be progress, no doubt. Lock and Dooley are saying all the right things about the new offense, but we won't know if it can consistently score points against quality opponents until the fall.
Nothing official from Mizzou or the Porters, but I don't think you'll have to worry about the offense revolving around Porter Jr. and his back next season. I'd be surprised if he's not entering the NBA draft. As I wrote on the site last week, coaches around the SEC expected Jontay to enter his name in the draft and base his decision on his draft evaluations. He said last week he'll need some time to talk things over with his family during spring break.
True. They've been a sound defensive team under Pingeton but seemed to get exposed on that end in the last couple weeks of the season.
In 10 years as a head coach Martin has taken one team to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. In seven years at the high-major level, he's always lost at least 11 games. His teams traditionally have been slower paced, more deliberate on the offensive end. He was more open to more 3-point shooting this year and it paid off. It's fair to wonder, based on his track record, if he can consistently produce a nationally ranked team that competes for conference championships and earns single-digit seeds in the NCAA tourney. On the other hand, he's never coached at a place long enough to truly establish roots. He has that opportunity at Mizzou where he has natural recruiting ties. I'm optimistic that he can build a program that can be a factor in the SEC and the NCAAs year after year.
I don't think it has anything to do with toughness or making anyone feel valued. It's all about recruiting. Finding versatile athletes who can run and jump and shoot and rebound better as well as the players going to be best programs in the SEC. It's not really that complicated. Mizzou has a top 40 recruit joining the program next season, Grace Berg. Pingeton needs more of those.
What's the difference? They have practices for five weeks. With spring break during the last week of March, if you don't want to be interrupted by spring break, you'd either have to start practices in the middle of February - too cold to practice outside - or end spring ball in late May, during finals and when coaches need to be on the road recruiting for the spring assessment period. It works out perfectly the way they do it.
I'm not so sure about that D-line depth. At tackle? Yes, sure. At end? Um, no. I'd be concerned about the quality and depth on the edge. This team got bludgeoned at home by Purdue last year. I can't just assume that's a win going to West Lafayette next year. Yes, Mizzou should be decided underdogs against UGA and Bama. I'm not sure what to expect from Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee under new regimes, though UF should (finally) have a competent offense under Dan Mullen. Vandy and Kentucky seemed to be trending the wrong direction last season. South Carolina is getting better and will probably be picked second in the SEC East. It's not a scary conference schedule by any means. Eight wins is surely possible.
I agree to an extent, but I don't think Martin has any ambition to only chase the one-and-doners. Porter was a unique situation. If he didn't spend part of his childhood in Columbia, didn't have family employed by the university and other siblings at MU, then he's never coming to Mizzou in the first place. That's not to say Mizzou won't pursue other five stars or McDonald's AA-type talents, but Martin doesn't want to build his program around those kind of short-timers. It's convenient to say teams outside of Duke and UK can't win in March with one-and-done players, but others have gone far in the tourney with one-and-done players. Kansas and Gonzaga last year for example. But they were surrounded by more experienced players. It's just really hard to win it all with only freshmen.
There's no indication Tilmon is unhappy with the coaching staff. Doesn't fight on his behalf? The guy fouls like crazy. He's fourth in the entire country in fouls. Do we really believe that's all on the officials? Were there some bad calls along the way? Sure, when you get called for 121 fouls you're going to get some bad ones, but for the most part, he played out of control on both ends of the floor, especially early in the season and late in the season. Martin can throw a hissy fit every night and that's not going to help Tilmon learn how to play the game without fouling.
No, that's not allowed. Austyn Carta-Samuels, who is on the Mizzou coaching staff, threw to the receivers, as he did last year.
I don't see any scenario where he stays if they both leave. It's common sense here, folks. He was hired for one reason. Once his kids leave the program, his purpose is finished. He's not on the bench for his coaching expertise.
I think we overanalyze how Florida State's game against Gonzaga or Xavier should reflect the analysis on Mizzou. The team that I saw on the floor in Nashville against FSU would have probably been dominated by Xavier and maybe Gonzaga, too. The Tigers were spent. No depth, no legs. Michael Porter was playing on one leg. It was admirable for him to play in the postseason, but he was a high-volume shooter who couldn't shoot and a 6-10 forward who couldn't dunk. He wasn't going to turn into Superman if Mizzou advanced through the tourney. Maybe adding Barnett to the mix would have helped, but I just don't think that team was going far. They didn't learn how to play with the Porter addition and I'm not sure there was ever going to be enough time to figure out how to make it work, especially if the addition to the rotation was so limited physically and so inefficient as a shooter. That said, I was really impressed with FSU's length and depth. I don't understand how they lost so many games in the ACC, but then again, March can be a bit of a crapshoot.
Really? People think this way? If this was a haunted season, what should Virginia and North Carolina and Xavier feel about their seasons that finished no better than Missouri's season? I thought all things considered this was the most entertaining, enjoyable Missouri season to watch in six years. Had Porter been healthy it surely would have been more entertaining and enjoyable, but to say it was haunted makes it seem like the season ended on Nov. 22 when Porter went under the knife.
Missouri is in the mix. No timetable for his decision. He can't sign a letter of intent until April 11, so there's no real urgency to make a decision. He can sign through May 16.
Disagree. They beat Tennessee at home weeks after the South Carolina drama unfolded. To say that drama impacted the team is an excuse, and a bad one. Their offense was a mess down the stretch. They looked slow and unathletic on defense. They lost to better teams when they played A&M and Georgia. I imagine there might have been some selection show hangover that factored into the FGCU loss at Stanford.