Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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

    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.
    Dave - Is the SC Sandstorm the best pre-kick spectacle in the SEC?
    I guess it all depends on your taste for Finnish trance music. South Carolina is one of the best if not underrated game-day atmospheres that I've witnessed. Great crowd, great vibe in the stadium. I'd advise Mizzou fans to make a visit there at least once for a game. 
    Mizzou blasted "Sandstorm" from its on-field speakers during practice on Tuesday and I suspect during the other days that were closed to the media. In about 48 hours from now, those of us going to the game will have already heard it countless times. 
    Got the chance to watch Anthony Watkins run against a better than average High School Football team the other evening. He ran for 306 yds and 6 touchdowns. Looks like a REALLY good catch for the Tigers. Fast with great moves. There were several college scouts at the game.
    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.
  • Lots of fans have expressed concerns about the front court next year without Jontay and not securing EJs commitment. I think as long as Tilmon is around we should be fine. I feel like there is a possibility Tilmon makes an attempt to go pro after this year however, besides the expanded range what other parts of his game will he need to improve to where it is realistic he could go to the NBA?
  • 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.
  • Putting together this week's college football picks after a coming off a disappointing week: 2-6 against the spread :(
    Some really interesting cross-division games Saturday in the SEC. Kentucky at Texas A&M, LSU at Florida. Huge statement weekend for the SEC East. If UK and Florida win those, we can officially stop talking about the West's dominance over the East and stop talking about the East as a one-team division.
  • CM has placed a big emphasis on recruiting athletic wing players. Mizzou has added players such as Watson, Pickett, Santos and Guess. The guard positions are deep in the near future with Pinson, both Smiths, and now McKinney. It seems like the team will be lacking size next year when Jontay and potentially Tilmon are off to the NBA. it seems that Cuonzo’s next challenging on the recruiting trail is to find big men that can fit the system. Otherwise, Mizzou might look like the Haith teams that played very small lineups
  • 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.
  • Hi Dave - I think the up-coming game on Saturday against South Carolina should be looked at as a signature win opportunity for both Odom and for Lock - would you agree? The Tigers have not done well under Odom coming off a bye week. But I think this is one where there should be know excuses: SC is banged up with injuries, we appear to be healthy at our wide-outs, our defense should start taking shape, and Dooley has had time to script our a game plan that should give Lock some good looks. Thanks Dave!
  • 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.
  • Dave - Are we going to see some different faces at defensive end on Saturday? Odom keeps talking about how some younger players are just about ready.
  • 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?
  • Dave - will we see more of Jalen Knox on Saturday? He did not get to many opportunities against Georgia. Also, is Hall really back to full speed? Those groin injuries can be tough.
  • 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.
  • Tell us more of the graduate transfer candidate, and odds of him being interested for next year , and a review of our current players here next year for QB
  • 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.
  • Who coaches the special teams, punt ing unit
  • Andy Hill is the team's special teams coordinator
  • Dave - Do you think we have a running back that is ready to jump out and take the lead as the number one ball carrier or do you think we will achieve yards based on the committee of three?
  • 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.
  • Dave - I've been looking at the break out game for Albert O - do you think we will start seeing a better performance going forward? I'm a little perplex why he is off to such a slow start.
  • 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.
  • Hello Dave !!! Do all recruits get scholarships? Last I heard there are about 80 per team permitted? Are there any half-rides for recruits to stretch the assistance? I know players, especially higher profile recruits like the younger Gabbert, have left for playing time, but have there been any other trending reasons for that or other positions?
  • If you're talking about football, then the maximum per year is 85. And, no, players can't get half scholarships in football. Nor in  basketball (men's and women's), women's gymnastics, women's tennis and women's volleyball. All other sports at Mizzou - and across Division I - must split up their allotted scholarships. Baseball, softball, golf, track, wrestling, etc.
    Players transfer for multiple reasons. Playing time is usually No. 1, especially for quarterbacks. But as long as you're a scholarship football player and not a walk-on, you're getting a full ride.
  • Do you see Tyler Badie “starting” this week. I could be wrong, but I thought he was the first back to play against Georgia. He certainly belongs on the field. Reminds me of a young Josey. Just waiting for the homerun ball. I think Mizzou fans would like to see some more creative ways to get the running backs/ slot receivers the ball in space
  • 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.
  • Dave - I believe the X factor for Saturday's game is how well we can play before a fan base that South Carolina provides. They cannot let this crowd get into there heads. With that said, would you agree that turnovers could be the deciding factor for a Tiger win?
  • 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 don't like throwing out "Must-win" games, but it seems like for Barry Odom, this game almost has that kind of feel..Mizzou still hasn't beaten a team it wasn't supposed to under Odom and I'm not sure how many wins they even have against bowl-eligible teams since he has been coach. I think if they lose this, AND don't rebound by beating Florida and Kentucky, meaning another 7-6 or 6-7 season is likely, Odom may be on his way out..thoughts?
  • Well, technically, Missouri is favored, so is this really a game MU isn't supposed to win? Odom has beaten three teams that went on to play in bowl games in the same season, all in 2016: Eastern Michigan, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Last year, all seven teams Missouri beat failed to play in a bowl. In other words, yes, this would arguably be the best team Missouri has beaten under his watch - unless South Carolina loses this game and collapses. (It's not out of the question. After Saturday, USC still plays A&M, at Ole Miss, at Florida and at Clemson. If Mizzou wins Saturday, safe to say the Gamecocks are favored just twice the rest of the way, against Chattanooga and Tennessee. 
    Regardless what happens Saturday, Florida and Kentucky are better than I thought and will be hard to beat for Mizzou. Winning Saturday makes life a lot easier for Odom and this team going forward. 
  • BenFred's idea for a grad transfer QB is to add a mature player to the process of QB depth competition for the post-Lock era? Because we have a lot of QBs who never see the field, like Lindsey Scott and we're seeing MU bringing on Connor Bazelak and now Brady Cook.
  • 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.
  • Hey, if you're capable of multitasking, give a listen to the freshly recorded Mizzou podcast. 

    Eye on the Tigers podcast: A trip to the other Columbia

    stltoday.com: Episode 43 • South Carolina is not the SEC East force some suspected. Can Mizzou take advantage? The Tigers are back in action after their bye week, and headed toward
  • Dave - it's about time that both Acey and Sparks step up and start making plays to help the defense. However, has their average play so far been largely a result of the D-Line not providing enough pressure on the quarterback?
  • 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.
  • MU's additions of O and D analysts, Ted Monachino and Garrick McGee, misses the more basic problems of consistent execution from players and getting them to do the basics like stopping a field goal defender, tackling effectively or avoiding penalties. Are these new
    analysts able to better assess the weekly competition or can they also assess MU's optimal use of our own players?
  • I wrote about the two senior analysts a lot during the open week. They can't instruct the players. Their basic function is to scout the opponent and then observe schemes in games and suggest adjustments. Neither one is involved in special teams, so they have nothing to do with fixing those issues.
    Read more about their roles here: 

    What's an analyst do on a college football staff? Mizzou staffers talk shop

    stltoday.com: Complete Q&As with Mizzou senior analysts Ted Monachino, Garrick McGee.
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