Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • Greetings, chatters. We'll talk Mizzou here for the next couple hours. Fire away.
  • Nice final player evaluation articles on Men's BB! I'm assuming there likely won't be enough clicks to warrant writing the same for the Women – but I am interested in your take on the last couple weeks of their season. Seemed like maybe Pingeton got out-coached against FGCU?? Or was it just a worst case match up? I noted that in FGCU's next game against Stanford they were beaten by 20.
  • 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.
  • Basketball is done for Miz this season and football has been done for some time. It must be a great time for your job. Nothing to do. I mean It's not like there is baseball, softball, is the wrestling season over, its only spring football practice and Miz doesn't participate in any other sports. So, what do you do with your days?
  • 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.
  • I almost feel like I am required to ask you if MPJ, Jontay and dad are leaving Mizzou next year. However, I am guessing someone else will. My question is what do you expect from the football team next year? Is 8-4 good enough given the more difficult schedule but more experienced squad?
    Thank you
  • 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.
  • MPJ--Does Cuonzo really want to build his offense around a volume shooter with a fragile back? MPJ injury next year & deja vu. Best MPJ leaves, Jontay returns, team ball & defense defines team.
    Your thoughts?
  • 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.
  • I followed the WBB team as close as I did the mens. The did a lot with the talent they have, but teams which beat them were much more athletic. In the last few games their defense let them down.
  • 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.
  • Why do people love to jump on the "Cuonzo is a bad coach" band wagon? Common criticisms seem to be that his team's lack offense and he underacieves with NBA talent. Are those fair criticisms? As always, thanks for the chats.
  • 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'm a big fan of Mizzou women's basketball. You mentioned the lack of athleticism on the team and I have heard others mention that. How does Pingeton get more athletic girls? I worry that there is so much emphasis on making everyone feel valued and accepted, that some of the tough things don't get addressed. But if that is why Erleywine got fired, then I guess it is treacherous ground to walk on?
  • 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.
  • Why would the Football team have spring practice with a break in the middle for spring break? Why not just schedule it when the days would be consecutive?
  • 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.
  • With returning QB,RB's,OL, TE's and with really deep DL depth and adequate LBers, I feel like we should win the NonCon schedule (though not easily of course) and suffer two for sure losses - AL and GA, plus two clunker losses in conference. Four losses! Am I too optimistic about Odom's abilities to lead us to a good season.
  • 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.
  • Return of Jrs. & SRs
    Tournament is showing teams with experience of playing together can beat 1 and doners (Sexton, Trae Young, Ayton,Bamba). Unless you're Duke or Ky, you have to compromise your system and other players development. Mizzou was headed there before MPJ injury.
    Your thoughts?
  • 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.
  • Dave, nobody does it better than you. Cuonzo Martin did a great job this year considering all of the obstacles. I say Jontay Porter comes back next year. Do the Tigers make the NCAA tournament? What happens with Cullen Van Leer? Great representative of the University. Also when does the schedule for Mens Bball get released?
  • The schedule will come out late summer. Teams do a lot of negotiations deep into the summer to finalize conference games. We know that Mizzou is in the Paradise Jam in November in the Virgin Islands. It's a pretty weak field outside of Elite EIght-bound Kansas State. 
    Like I said earlier, I would expect Jontay to enter his name in the draft and learn where he stands as a prospect. Dozens of players do that every year and end up returning to school. 
    Does Mizzou make the NCAA tourney? On March 23, we really don't know what the roster is going to look like, but I'll say if both Porters enter the draft MU will be on the wrong side of the bubble next March. I just don't see where this team gets enough points to be a contender in the SEC and a safe bet for the tourney. Tilmon is far from a consistent offensive threat. They're going to need newcomers to score a lot of points. Robertson and Barnett accounted for 40 percent of MU's scoring. You don't just snap your fingers and expect freshmen and transfers to pick up the slack. Toss Jontay in the mix and you're talking about having to replace 55 percent of this year's points. That's a lot to ask. As for VanLeer he was schedueld to have surgery yesterday. He's looking at a 9-month recovery. That would put him back on the floor in January or February. 
  • I really like Tilmon, and hope he does well. Is Tilmon unhappy with his development or his coach's disinterest in fighting on his behalf? I know Cuonzo is averse to going after the refs, but Tilmon was good for 1.5 questionable foul calls against him per game. How does Tilmon shake the "when in doubt, call a foul on him" image?
  • 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.
  • Did Lock throw to J'mon at the workout?
  • No, that's not allowed. Austyn Carta-Samuels, who is on the Mizzou coaching staff, threw to the receivers, as he did last year.
  • Hi Dave. Who is the most intriguing player that you will be watching in the spring game?
  • I'll be watching more than one. Here are a few ....
    QB Lindsey Scott Jr.
    WR Harry Ballard
    DT/DE Jordan Elliott
    OLB Aubrey Miller
    CB/S Christian Holmes 
  • How likely is it that Coach Porter leaves if both his boys do? That would look bad imo.
  • 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.
  • Watching the FL ST BB team move thru the bracket makes their dominance of MU a little less worrisome. If anything, the tourney shows that unless you have a top defense you won't go far. Also thanks for the evaluations on the BB team and the recruits coming in next year. Lot's of points needed to make up for departing seniors.
  • 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.
  • If Mizzou losing its best prospect in a generation for nearly the entire season wasn't painful enough, seeing this year's wide open tournament can't help but make you wonder how deep a run the team could have made if Potter had been healthy all year. Dave, could this be the most haunting season of Mizzou basketball since Tyus Edney's mad dash down the court?
  • 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.
  • Have you heard anything in when Webster Groves Courtney Ramey might make a decision. Also Mizzou chances?
  • 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.
  • It seemed that once the Lady Tigers were called out in the media about their aggressive play they played back on their heal and became more of the fans behind the bench just watching the game. Was the SEC watching the team closer and took the tigers out of their game.
  • 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.
  • What is your feeling on how the Porter brothers interact with their teammates? I'm speaking more to off the court activities and camaraderie. Michael and Jontay are obviously very close is that ever a problem in meshing with the other guys? Also, what is Porter, Sr's relationship with Martin? What is MPS main area of responsibility on the staff?
  • I wrote about that after the SEC tournament. From my observations Jontay was more immersed in the team, and that's to be expected because he actually played this season. But it's impossible to ignore that the Porters weren't always as engaged with the rest of their team. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, they often didn't join the rest of the team at restaurants on the road because of their vegan diet. Those things go noticed by people on around the team. Michael obviously wasn't around the team early in the season when he wasn't going on road trips. 
    As for Martin and Porter Sr., Martin has a very tight inner circle of people he's known since childhood and close coaching associates he's trusted throughout his career. I don't sense any bad blood between the two, but I don't think they'll join a bowling league together in the offseason. 
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