Hello, chatters. Lots to discuss this week. Mammoth game Saturday in Columbia East. Hoops season is a month away. I'll be here for the next couple hours to take your questions, comments, complaints, etc.
He's putting up some monster numbers. Missouri will want to make sure to hold onto him and get his signature on paper in December. Odom is stockpiling good young talent at running back. I've really been impressed with Tyler Badie this season. MU's staff did its due diligence on Badie and took a chance on an under-recruited player. It's already paid off.
Tilmon needs to polish all parts of his game. He's a brute - to a fault. We all know about his struggles to avoid fouls. He'll have to refine his game on both ends so he's not a liability for the team that (eventually) drafts him. And there's the shooting range. That's got to become part of his game to some degree before he enters the draft. I'd be surprised if he's ready after this coming season - and also surprised if he wants to make the leap. He really enjoys the structure and the atmosphere being part of Martin's program and being on a college campus. I don't get any sense that he's in a rush to leave. As for the frontcourt in 2019-20 and beyond, Mizzou obviously needs to add some size for the next two classes. But Martin doesn't have to build future teams in the likeness of this current team. Mizzou's height is unique and goes against the grain of today's roster-building. In other words, they can afford to be more perimeter-oriented and still be a quality team.
I touched on this with one of the earlier questions. Yes, the frontcourt will eventually lose some size - but the roster will probably look more like most rosters. What MU has right now with four 6-10/11 guys is pretty unusual in today's game. Obviously Martin needs to add some forwards, but the game is no longer played with two post players on the court at the same time. Most lineups consist of a point guard, three wings and one post - or a point guard, two wings, a stretch forward and a post. The future lineups appear guard heavy, but this staff still has recruiting to do.
I agree. If Missouri wins this game it's probably the team's best win under Odom and best with Lock at QB. That said, if Missouri wins, South Carolina will be 2-3 ... and could tumble further. And by season's end a win over the Gamecocks might not look so impressive. But, as things stand now, yes, this would be in the "signature win" ballpark. I'm not convinced Emanuel Hall is close to 100 percent. Neither Odom or Lock went as far to say he's fully recovered. And Mizzou kept Hall from doing interviews this week. That's telling.
I'll believe what he says when I see the young guys on the field. Two weeks ago he said the two freshmen were "days away" from playing more. At this point, Jeffcoat has played in all four games but mostly on special teams. Hansford has only played in two games. Odom also said after the Georgia game that Chrisitan Holmes is close to playing starter's reps at cornerback. Will that happen Saturday?
Knox didn't play as much against Georgia. The staff clearly favors Nate Brown to get more snaps. Maybe that changes over time. Dooley explained this week, it comes down to trust. The coaches are playing Badie more right now because (1) they trust him to make the right play and (2) he's produced. They haven't lost faith in Knox, but he's still just a freshman and learning how to compete at this level. I don't think Hall is near 100 percent. He missed some practices during the open week. We'll see how much he plays on Saturday - and if he can open up downfield and get close to full speed.
If we're talking quarterbacks, Clemson's Kelly Bryant is the only one on the market right now. There was a report by a Rivals.com recruiting reporter that MU contacted Bryant once he got his release. I've reached out to Bryant and haven't heard back. We don't know what kind of situation he's looking for? Does he just want to start? Does he want a program that will prep him for the NFL? Does he want to win a championship? Does he want to stay close to home? Mizzou will be one of several teams in the market for a one-year rent-a-quarterback. Arkansas, Auburn, West Virginia come to mind as other natural fits. Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Vandy, Arizona State, Florida. Lots of possibilities. Teams that are unsure of QB plans for next year should at least consider a guy who's 16-2 as a starter at one of the nation's best programs.
Andy Hill is the team's special teams coordinator
No, I think they have a much better situation with three quality backs. If I'm Dooley I'd much rather have this situation. So they probably won't have an All-SEC back. So what? They've got an effective running game, which is more important. When you have three guys who can be replaced interchangeably and together they can carry the ball 32 times for 154 yards against Georgia - and each score a touchdown - that's a really healthy situation.
I really wouldn't consider it a slow start. He's had a few drops and two fumbles. He's got to clean that up. But through four games, he's got 23 catches on 32 targets for 181 yards. Only one tight end in the country has more catches - and most teams have played five games to MU's four. Last year through four games he had four catches on seven targets for 77 yards. He's not as efficient but he's far more productive. Defenses know about him this year. He's going to draw more coverage.
Rountree was on the field for Mizzou's first play on offense but Badie replaced him for the second play, which was the wheel route to Badie that nearly went for a touchdown had he not stepped out of bounds. At this point, the staff looks at all three as fairly even. They'll give each of them some series in the first half, then lean on the guy who's more productive for the second half. Dooley loves Badie. He'll keep feeding him as long as he keeps producing.
I think Missouri's played in enough environments similar to South Carolina that it shouldn't be a huge factor. The oldest players have played at Florida and LSU. Most starters played at Georgia last year. Turnovers are crucial every week. No different in this game. Neither team is that much more talented than the other to overcome a major deficit in the turnover ratio.
I agree with Ben's take. First of all, the grad transfer would play in 2019 and only 2019. Cook doesn't get to Mizzou until 2020. Bazelak will be just a freshman next year and making the transition from a wishbone offense to a college spread/pro-style fusion. I doubt he's ready to take over right away. I wouldn't put too much faith in Scott. He's got at least two backups ahead of him. He only plays on the scout team, and he didn't make the travel roster at Purdue. No reason to think he's in the picture for the job in 2019. Odom has been asked multiple times this week about exploring the grad transfer market. He's yet to say one important word: No.
Cornerback play is always subject to the pass rush - and vice versa. I think Acy has been pretty solid. He's not getting many passes thrown his way, not nearly as many as Sparks has drawn. He's getting picked on constantly. Acy botched his chance to make a stop on Holloman's touchdown in the Georgia game, but he's played pretty well otherwise. I think you'll see Holmes play more in Sparks' spot in the base defense this week. Sparks can play nickel corner on third downs.