Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




    OK. I'll be here for another hour or so.
    I know Micah Wilson had speed for a QB but curious what type of WR he could be. Could he stretch the field or be more of a possession type receiver?
    I would think more of a possession receiver, because I don't think he's got Emanuel Hall/Kam Scott type speed. I'm really curious to see if this works out. Odom said Wilson initiated the change, so it sounds like this is something he wants to happen.
    Would you take the 2018 or 2019 football Tigers in a head to head matchup, assuming nobody leaves the program...
    Good question. I'm bullish on the 2019 offense. Nothing against Drew Lock, but having a dual threat option back there in Kelly Bryant - as long as he's a plus-passer - could make this offense harder to defend. Defenses will have to account for the QB run - and that could open things up for Rountree or the intermediate routes to Albert O and Johnson or or the downfield threats like Knox and Scott. Defensively, Beckner could penetrate and get into the backfield, but this 2019 team should have a better edge rush - it can't be much worse - and I don't think there will be a huge dropoff from Terez Hall to Nick Bolton. Plus, starting the year with Bledsoe and Gillespie at safety instead of easing them into the rotations might make this group more athletic and dynamic at the start of the season.
    Wasn’t Ulmer the safety from Michigan who started his first game as a freshman but disappeared for 2 years. Have coaches talked about his game improving?
    He started the 2017 opener, then got benched and didn't play much defense last year, mostly special teams. They haven't given up on him, so we'll see what kind of progress he's made.
    Hi Dave. I'm curious whose idea it was to open spring practice and make coaches and players more accessible to the press, Odom or Sterk? At any rate it seems a good marketing tool for a program in need of as much excitement as they can find. Maybe Bryant or Garrett don't want to talk but at least they'll have the opportunity.
    This was all Odom. I give him credit for asking around for some advice on how to get more exposure for his team. He's seen the attendance figure. He knows the NCAA sanctions have left a cloud over the program. Other than winning, which he can't do for another six months, the easiest way to connect fans to his team is to allow more media coverage.
    Also, I think he's at the point where he trusts the culture in the locker room, so that a little more media attention won't expose something he doesn't want seen. I'm not sure that was the case when he first took over, when the program was in transition mode and still reeling from the 2015 protests. 
    I go back to when Odom was a player at Mizzou and I was just getting started as a reporter. We had great access to Larry Smith's staff and players, to the point where I still hear from players from that era either through email or social media. (I traded messages with a player from the late 90s just this morning.) Even a young writer like myself was able to establish a rapport with people in the program - and that helped both sides. Healthy working relationships are good for both sides.  
    You mentioned that Geist is the only Kim Anderson player that has developed/produced under Martin. I'd put Reed Nikko in there too. He doesn't have all-star athletic potential so that can't be the metric for his progress. I think
    he's exceeded his ceiling. When he joined the program I expected him to be another Dustin Reeve, but he's performed at Marlo Finner levels. Next year he could be as good as Monte Hardge!
    I agree, but I was talking more about players who see significant minutes. But Reed has certainly made progress. I think he's someone Martin wants to keep on the roster. He respects his work ethic and his commitment to doing his job as well as he can. Obviously he's limited athletically, but he can hold his own in a limited role on the floor.
    Do you think any seniors might leave due to the postseason ban? I feel like the bowl games are a joke, outside of the playoffs. More and more of the top players are sitting out of those non playoff games to avoid injury. Do you think players would actually transfer? What would be the point? (I am always optimistic, but its highly unlikely that Bryant came here expecting to play in the college playoffs).
  • I've said for weeks that I don't see the upside in a senior starter leaving Mizzou for another program - unless Alabama or Clemson or Ohio State comes calling and tells them they can be part of a national championship. But those aren't the caliber of programs that are targeting these players. Transferring is hard. Moving is hard. After you spend four years in one place, it's not easy to pack up, say farewell and move to a strange city, join a strange program full of strangers and expect to immediately win a starting job - not when you've got a good thing going already at Missouri, bowl game or no bowl game. Now, if you're a senior who never plays and would like some playing time at a lesser program in a lesser conference, maybe somewhere closer to home where their family can watch them play. If that happens,  I doubt Odom will lose too much sleep.
  • Have you heard about how much division 1 (4 and 5 stars) football talent is in Missouri high schools in the next two years? Two years ago we had a group of 10 in St. Louis area alone. Do you know if there is much quality coming down the line?
    As of today, Rivals has seven four-star players from the state of Missouri in the 2020 class. Here they are by their ranking: 
    Jordan Johnson, WR, De Smet HS
    Mookie Cooper, ATH, Trinity Catholic HS
    Reggie Love, RB, Trinity Catholic HS
    Antonio Doyle, LB, Lutheran North HS
    Kevon Billingsley, DE, Parkway North HS
    Itayvion Brown, ATH, Lutheran North HS
    Dontae Manning, CB, Raytown HS
    Six of the seven are from the St. Louis area. Cooper is the only one currently committed. He pledged to Texas a couple weeks ago. There's a handful of three-star prospects on both sides of the state.
    The 2019 class had 10 four stars.
    The 2018 class had seven. So the 2020 class is about on par or at least not far off from what we've seen statewide the last couple years. 
    Hello Dave! I want to revisit the exchange between Statesman and you regarding SEC officiating. Good info about the individual ref. I had to comment about the incredible discrepancies I believe I've seen in officiating between halves of SEC football and basketball games. It sometimes appears to me that the respective halves look like completely different games, as far as the approach and focus of the officiating. I'll soon be 68, so I've seen a lot of games, but have trouble recalling anything like these in-game extremes in the SEC. I've long heard of makeup calls, but makeup halves seem ridiculous. Is it just my old age and deteriorating mental condition, or is something rotten in Birmingham?
    Again, these officials work for multiple conferences, so I don't think the half-to-half or game-to-game inconsistencies has anything to do with one individual conference making sure they call games differently.
    What # will Bryant wear?
    7
    So dust off those Corby Jones and Maty Mauk jerseys and wear them with pride this fall. 
    Geist their best player graduating where is their hope that 2020 BB will be able to compete and win in the SEC with the rare hope that Tillmon will mature. Sure we will beat some pre season cream puffs but what about Sec teams?
  • I still think the core of next year's team has a great chance to be an NCAA Tournament team - as long as the returning players make progress this offseason. Dru Smith will add a lot to this backcourt as a shooter, playmaker and defender. Mario McKinney can provide some much-needed athleticism. It's fair to expect Pinson, Pickett and Watson to develop their skills this offseason. Will TIlmon ever figure it out? I'm not sure, but Martin won't give up on him. I've gotten some emails and tweets this week that Martin should get rid of TIlmon. That's absurd. Any coach in the SEC or any high-major team would gladly take him off their hands. You don't just get rid of 6-10, 260-pound centers with his footwork and skill because he can't figure out how to play without fouling. Especially because he's gone through month-long stretches without the silly fouls. Missouri just needs to keep working with him and he needs to keep working with his coaches. I don't think he's a lost cause by any means.
  • I was afraid when Missouri moved to the SEC we would be totally overwhelmed physically in football. As it turns out, our basketball program has been the problem. Game after game, year after year it's like boys against men. It is hard to watch these skinny, weaklings posing as Missouri men,s basketball players standing next to these grown men on the other teams. They are stronger, jump higher and are so much faster. The game is basically over berfore it starts !
    Agree to disagree. This team's issues are lack of skill and depth, not just pure strength.  Tilmon might be the most physically imposing big man in the league - or he's at least in the conversation. Pickett is a physical wing player at 6-4. He needs to translate that into more drives to the basket, more contact and more free throws, but I wouldn't say he''s weak. Same for Watson, who has a solid frame for a freshman. He doesn't get pushed around. Pinson is skinny - and that was always going to be the case his freshman year.
    I do not believe they keep stats on this, but I've watched with great interest lately with the number of fouls Sophie Cunningham draws. In the Texas A&M game, I believe, 5 of the first seven fouls called on the Aggies were committed on Sophie. This seems to be the norm. She is continuously fouled, but keeps going. I'm not sure if anyone else in the SEC gets fouled as much. Your thoughts?
    There are some advanced stats for the women's game, and I would venture to say she draws as many fouls as any guard in the country. Then again she's only eighth in the SEC in free throw attempts, so other players are getting the foul line more often.
    Is UGA still loaded or did they lose a lot of talent. Seems like they always have a NFL back on the depth chart
    Georgia football is loaded at certain spots. They lose talent every year but Kirby has signed elite classes since he arrived in Athens. They return one of the SEC's best quarterbacks in Jake Fromm and one of the best running backs in D'Andre Swift. They lost their top receivers to the NFL but they'll have some pieces in place to succeed them.
    I hate to be a downer, but is Mizzou destined to be underwhelmed or disappointed in Kelly Bryant. I think its in Mizzou's bad luck DNA. We can't have nice things. (TVZ, DGB, Porters, 5th down, tyus edney, Nebraska game 1997....)
    "I hate to be a downer, but ... "
    I understand the Missouri Fan DNA. I really do. But I don't believe in sports destiny or jinxes or any of that silly stuff. Things happen in sports. Sometimes they're good. Sometimes they're bad. Sometimes they just are. 
    Sophie now 80 points from the record w/ at least four to go. Think she gets there?
    Missouri has two regular-season games left and at least two postseason games. Cunningham is 79 points from tying the career scoring record, 80 from eclipsing. I think she'll get it - but it might be really close if they go one-and-done in both tourneys.
    Can you give a quick rundown of the offseason activities the team has been going through the past couple months that helped coaches put together the depth chart? Gerald Nathan for instance was a surprise 1st teamer in my book, not that he's not a great player and no doubt he's earned his spot, but surprising to see a RS freshman put there over someone with more time in the program. Just for education, what workouts or activities have been going on that might've allowed a player like Nathan to move up the depth so well?
    They started morning workouts a few weeks ago, speed/agility/endurance workouts. They can't have padded full-scale practices until Sunday. 
    Don't read too much into Nathan being No. 1 at that spot. That spot intermixes with the strong safety, and I suspect you'll see Perkins or Oliver on the field more than Nathan. 
  • Reminder on how often the football depth chart might be updated during spring ball? Will they just update after spring over, or do they update during?
  • I doubt we see another depth chart publicly until SEC media days in July. That's pretty standard.
    Saw the '93-94 basketball team is being honored at Sat.'s game? Heard any rumblings of potential activities? Just the usual pregame or halftime intros, videos, etc?
    I only saw an announcement posted on twitter/Instagram. Otherwise, Missouri hadn't really promoted the player reunion to my knowledge. A handful of the guys from that team are around town or in the state, so I imagine Crudup, Thames, Sutherland, Winfield will be there. Not sure about Booker.
    Oline depth shows a lot of RS freshmen. Hopefully that's a good sign that those guys are doing very well, but also doesn't always mean they'll play a lot (as last year starters played lots of minutes). Potential area for concern if some injuries this year, and guess we'll learn more in your spring coverage?
    I really didn't think there were any more redshirt freshmen than usual on the depth. I'd say a few have a chance to have impactful roles this year, but not many. Gerald Nathan is one and Messiah Swinson is another. I wouldn't read too much into the backup O-linemen. Often times the real backup right guard is actually the No. 2 center, not the guy listed as the No. 2 right guard.
    Dave,
    With Jontay expected to enter the draft, any update on his dad’s contract, or expectation of how much longer he will coach at Mizzou? Has Mizzou shown any interest on the additional high school Porter kids, I believe there are 2 playing for father Tolton, the younger of the two has been mentioned a fair amount in coverage of the team? Thanks!
    Porter Sr. has one more year left on his contract after next season, but every contract has language to end it sooner. The younger Porter is just a freshman. The older son is not a high-major conference prospect. If Martin decides to keep Porter Sr. on the staff it won't be because he hopes to recruit the son who's four years away from playing college ball.
    I have enjoyed watching the women's bb team the last few years. This year they played a few really good games but really didn't have enough talent to hang with the better teams. I saw Levy get hurt and if she is out for the rest of the season I think Mizzou's season is about over also. She was the only guard they had that could reallyhandle the kind of backcourt pressure that the better teams in the SEC are able to apply. PS I thought their road win against Miss St was by far one of their best game in years!
    They've  been pretty inconsistent and could probably lose to or beat any team in the NCAA Tournament field depending on how shots are falling. If they can win in Starkville, then they can beat any team on a neutral court. They've also played poorly enough in stretches that they could get upset in the first round of the NCAAs - again like last year. The Levy injury would be a huge blow, obviously. She has some speed and quickness that you don't get from the other ball-handlers.
    Mizzou has several at the NFL combine now. How does media coverage work for that? Do you have opportunity to attend if you'd like? Or is it an invite-only type thing? Have you attended in past or have interest in attending sometime, or does it seem like the NFL beat writers cover more?
  • They do grant media access, and I had the chance to go but decided against it. With basketball season still happening here and spring football getting started there's more to cover here in Columbia. I'll visit with the draft prospects for stories when they come back to Columbia for pro day in a few weeks.
    OK, chatters. That's all for today. We'll chat again next week. Thank you.
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform