Greetings, chatters. I'll be here for the next two hours to take your Mizzou questions. Let's get this started.
Missouri is likely in the field right now if the season ended today. The latest ESPN projections have MU has a No. 7 seed, which is a lot better than last year's No. 10 seed. The Tigers have a very good RPI ranking (No. 26) and win or lose Sunday they'll get a boost from playing South Carolina (No. 3 RPI). If Pingeton's team wins tonight at Florida, beats Ole Miss next week and Bama on the road, they'll be 10-6 with a chance for a top-four seed in the SEC tournament. They're not a lock for the NCAA bracket but safely in as of today.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that. If the ball bounces a different way in a few different games Norm has multiple Final Four teams. He was on the brink so many times. I wouldn't say he necessarily had a set system that defined his recruiting. He recruited pass-first guards, dynamic wing players, dominant big men. One trend with his teams was they tended to lose gas in March. Jon Sundvold doesn't disagree with the theory that Norm pushed his teams so hard to win the Big Eight that some years their tanks were empty by the time they reached the NCAA Tournament. The big goal was to win the Big Eight. Anything after that was gravy.
Odom and his staff deserve a lot of credit for being proactive and aggressive with this group of recruits. Just being able to pull off 10 visits on the same day with each and every in-state target was impressive. That doesn't guarantee they'll sign even half of these guys, but it won't be for a lack of effort or a late start to the process.
Maybe if Mizzou had already hired a coach in waiting they would have fired Anderson midseason Maybe if Mizzou had been picked to compete for a championship and instead severely underachieved they would have fired Anderson midseason. Maybe if Mizzou had nearly made the Final Four last year, they would have fired Anderson midseason. Maybe if Mizzou had an AD who wanted to save face and deflect scrutiny from his poor roster moves, they would have fired Anderson midseason. Otherwise, the Blues and Mizzou situations are identical.
I've posted this a few times. Mizzou staff member assured me last year there was no way Odom could have allowed Brady back on the team. He wasn't arrested for anything, but that doesn't mean the staff wasn't aware of some activity that broke team rules.
I'd put any speculation on roster moves on a holding pattern until we know who's coaching the team. At this point, players will want to see who will be coaching the team next season. If someone's unhappy with their role/playing time, a coaching change might be just what they're looking for. Most of the guys on this team are very loyal to Anderson and his staff. That doesn't mean they'll look to transfer if he doesn't return.
He's widely expected to be a high first-round draft pick this summer. He's easily one of the five to 10 most talented arms in college baseball. He hasn't had much run support during his first two years at Mizzou, but he's got great K to walk ratios. He's a special talent. Fans should make their way to Columbia for Friday night games this year to see him face SEC batters.
I'd say four to five would be considered a success. And it might depend on which four or five. If you can land a couple of the major D-linemen (Trout, Thompson, Perkins) and add a couple more of the other guys, it's a big success. The competition is stiff. It's going to be a long process. If recruiting decisions give you ulcers, prepare yourself for a long, stressful 11 months.
I've reached out to Ms. Kumar recently and have not heard back. The university hired (again) Mike Glazier, the go-to attorney to handle cases involving the NCAA and possible violations. Stay tuned.
Georgia on the road. One of the best game-day atmospheres I've ever been around. Home game, I suppose Auburn, for the mere fact that West teams other than Arkansas only visit Columbia once every 12 years.
Combination of factors. Arkansas played like it expected Mizzou to roll over, and to MU's credit, they played with lots of energy and hit some shots early to capture momentum. Vanderbilt couldn't handle MU's inside presence and missed a lot of wide-open shots. Otherwise, when Barnett hits some outside shots ... when Woods and Phillips stay out of foul trouble ... when a third perimeter scorer shows up (VanLeer, Walton, Geist) ... this team has enough ingredients to be competitive with a decent SEC opponent. When the shooting's not there consistently, they're vulnerable to the kind of offensive lulls that cost them last night.
I don't sense those internal issues this year. This team appears to genuinely like playing with each other and playing for Anderson. Frankie Hughes has seen his production and playing time decrease considerably, and obviously he had some second thoughts about rejoining the team at the semester break, but if you watch his body language on game day he's still invested. Other than the Florida game, this team's given a good effort every night. I couldn't say the same about the two prior teams.
Doubtful. Coaches around the state have been making Coach Reed's point for years. This state doesn't seem too progressive on moves like that. I think it would be of great value in terms of exposure for recruiting. College coaches would get chances to watch teams practice without the time crunch and stress demands that happen in the fall. Players would be able to work on skills and fundamentals so they're better prepared for the college game.
Missouri has been interested in St. Louis players - but there hasn't been much mutual interest. Mike Lewis didn't have any major conference offers coming out of high school according to Rivals.com, so Missouri was hardly the only school that didn't consider him. I do know that Mizzou's staff (pre- Anderson) dropped the ball on Tatum. He took an unofficial visit to a Missouri home game several years ago - the ice storm game against Kentucky - and let's just say they weren't his dream school on the drive home. And it had nothing to do with how the Tigers played that day.
I don't expect this staff to be loyal to older players just because they're older. This defense needs the most talented players to emerge. They need game-changing playmakers. Some of those guys you mentioned missed a lot of tackles last year on the back end. I'll be surprised if they're starters this fall. The staff likes the young talent on defense. The veterans will have to outplay them in camp to have a chance.
If he's someone Mizzou seriously targets I believe there would be some mutual interest. IF he's seriously targeted ...
Travis Ford comes to mind.
Just pure speculation, but I would think there'd be a role for him if he's interested. Kim loves Mizzou. Give him a job and he'd work his azz off to help Mizzou compete and thrive. I'm not sure that's something he'd want to do, but if so, I think he'd be some value to the university in some capacity.
I'm not in the recruiting prediction game. I imagine Mizzou will get at least a couple of these guys - unless the season is an absolute nightmare.
I don't think two wins over a three-year span and a couple close losses will override a three-season body of work. Jim Sterk isn't a rookie in this industry. He'll evaluate a lot of factors, and I don't suspect he'll make a rash, emotional decision based on the outcome of a few individual games. MU will have two scholarships available - more if some players don't return next year. I don't think that would be a deal-breaker for a coach who truly wants this job.