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.

    Happy Chat Day, Mizzou fans. Let's get this started. I'll be here for the next couple hours.
    This is asking for a bit of speculation, but you have more (at least more recent) experience dealing with the NCAA, so my question is, do you (or the university) feel Sen. Blunt’s letter does good or harm? I’m thinking the NCAA may look at it as, “Tell us what to do? We’ll show you!” and not want to look like they are able to be threatened/bullied.
    I don't think Sen. Blunt's letter will do any harm or good. It's a nice gesture that I'm sure the folks at Mizzou appreciate - paging Sen. Hawley, do you have an opinion on this topic???? - but if nothing else, Sen. Blunt will be more popular with his voters who double as Mizzou supporters. But to think that a letter from a politician to the president of the NCAA will sway the four-person appeals committee is somewhere between naive and foolish. The president of the NCAA doesn't get involved with these individual cases. Again, I think it's just as interesting to see which politicians have not commented on the topic. To my knowledge the junior senator hasn't said a word publicly about the sanctions.
    Here is Sen. Blunt's letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert if you haven't seen it. 

    Contrary to what most MU Tiger BB fans think, the crux of this team’s inability to consistently close games out and beat good teams falls on two key team leaders.

    Number one is Coach. I am not saying Martin has done a poor job since he has been here, but his in-game strategy to offer up a different on-the-floor attack is an obvious negative. For example, why don’t the Tigers ever press the other team? We have a ‘boat-load’ of guards coming and going off the bench to do this. Also, why did it take him so long to alter his attack and mix it up with four guards? And lastly, Martin is way too generous and nice to the officiating. The fact of the matter is, he rarely if ever, ‘gets-on’ the refs and rides them. For decades, programs like KU, Kentucky, Duke, etc. get ‘homer-calls’ all the time because of their coaches persistently pressure the ref’s accountability.

    Second is J. Tilmon. Honestly, Coach needs to decide this off season if he is worth investing any more development time in the gym this Summer. J. just does not get it. The bulk of his fouls are dumb and repeated almost ever game. Additionally, it seems like every road game he disappears in both scoring and rebounding. Is it time someone hint to him maybe the non-Power 5 might be his best fit? Frees up another scholarship. Quite frankly, his game has not developed at all this year.

    Enough. Talk to me.
    Martin has a personal philosophy against berating another human being on national TV. He talks to officials constantly during games. And he's spent a lot of time and energy this season talking to the SEC when it comes to officiating and how Jeremiah Tilmon has been officiated this season. He is not just letting things happen. 
    I couldn't disagree more on Tilmon. He's one of the best players in the SEC. Ask any coach in the league. He's learning how to play the game without fouling. It's a struggle some days more than others. When he's on the floor and able to play with physicality he's Mizzou's best player. 
    I recall hearing that the strength coach has more off season access with players than HC and coordinators.

    Do coaches like Dooley have full access to Bryant now? Does he get to learn the playbook? Spend time with coaches in film room?
  • The coaches have access to the players but not on the practice field. They can have meetings. They can watch film. They can teach the offense. The first spring practice is March 3.
  • Hi Dave. Thanks for the time you commit to these chats.

    Oregon let DC Jim Leavitt go a few days ago. He’s got tremendous experience as DC as well as successful HC, he’s on a 7-figure buyout so he won’t break the bank, plus he’s a Missouri grad. What are the chances he winds up as Odom’s next top defensive analyst?

    Also, are there legs to the story that Odom was dissatisfied with his analysts’ work last year?
  • Well, Odom promoted one of the analysts to coach the team's wide receivers, so he was clearly satisfied with Garrick McGee. And I'm pretty sure Odom would have gladly kept Ted Monachino if there was a full-time assistant position for him on the staff, but there wasn't on the defensive side - at least not until after Monachino left for Kansas State, then the Chicago Bears.
    Leavitt wants to be a head coach. I'm not sure he has any incentive to come to Mizzou for a year and work as an analyst, where he can't really interact with players and can't really coach on the practice field. Had the timing been better he would have landed a good DC job somewhere, which I presume he will during the next offseason. 
    Hi Dave. Cuonzo’s postgame talk clearly focused on the future. Do you see Kevin Puryear getting any more than minimal minutes going forward? It’s a shame I have always pulled for the young man.
    He's clearly not happy with Puryear's play. Cuonzo isn't one to throw a player under the bus, but he seemed to reach a breaking point with his senior forward on Tuesday. I know he wasn't happy with his practice effort earlier in the year, and that's why he didn't start at Auburn. But his options are so limited. Santos gives this team nothing on the offensive end. Mitchell Smith is at-most a 7-10 minute a night player, not a starter. The four-guard lineup isn's sustainable for 40 minutes just because the team's lack of depth - and Mark Smith is playing on one good foot. I wouldn't be surprised if Puryear continues to start but if he doesn't produce on both ends of the floor then you'll see more of that four-guard look.
    Thanks for the chat Dave...have you gotten to many Mizzou basketball practices? Didn’t know if you had seen Parker Braun much? Could he be a factor next season? With Puryear, Santos being so disappointing maybe Braun could help next year? Seen video of him before and he looks like he can shoot it and has high basketball IQ
  • Missouri doesn't allow media to watch practice, so I haven't seen Braun do much of anything. I know Martin is very high on him. He's outplayed some of the older forwards on the team in practice, which makes you wonder why he's not playing this year, thought it makes sense to preserve his year of eligibility rather than use it during a season that's best-case scenario is ending in the NIT. It also wouldn't be the first time that a coach during a rough season builds up one of his players who's not playing this season. It helps build some outside hope for the future - and no one on the outside can dispute what they can't see. But maybe he develops into an option in the frontcourt for next year.
    Whats going on w/ Kansas? Didnt they get caught paying a player? Will they get in big trouble? Seems like NCAA brought hammer on MU but not KU
  • The NCAA hasn't officially opened an investigation into the KU situation, but there have been reports that KU is worried about what's coming.
    Dave have you gotten to chat with Derek Dooley since the sanctions came down? Has to be a sad situation for him with a LOADED offense coming this season.

    How is the relationship between him and Odom?
    Hopefully better than Heuepel and Odom which seemed a little off.
  • The last time anyone in the media talked to Dooley was two days before the bowl game. We don't get much access to the coaches other than after practices sometimes.
    How many games will the blues win in a row?
  • They're never going to lose again.
    How come no foul was called when Mitchell Smith was knocked to the floor and could not continue. The ESPN announcer said there was inadvertant contact and later described as incidental. Seems like knocking an opponent to the floor is not incidental. Was this play even reviewed? In the second half a KY player pushed Geist to the ground in the KY offensive zone with no foul called. Later they did call a charging foul on KY, but it seems like KY got away with a lot of pushing that was not called. It makes the ticky tack fouls that are routinely called against Tilmon hard to swallow.
    I thought the contact on Smith was inadvertent. The Kentucky player was in the act of shooting and landed on Smith from behind. He wasn't trying to elbow him. Wrong place, wrong time for Smith. That game had the chance to get chippy, but I thought both teams and the officials kept things from getting too heated. I didn't feel like Kentucky was getting away with calls. Smith also flattened a Kentucky player with a solid pick and no foul was called, which was the right call.
    Also on the appeal subject, have you spoken to the university about their strategy? It seems they could go two ways: 1) Ask for everything and hope they settle for half (but it may not be the half you really value) or 2) Ask for exactly what you want (post-season ban and recruiting restrictions lifted) and hope that, by being, “reasonable,” you get all you ask for.
    I wrote about that extensively last week. The lawyers aren't going to disclose their strategy, but Sterk and the compliance director had plenty to say here. 

    Mizzou launches full-court press vs. NCAA sanctions

    stltoday.com: Athletics director Jim Sterk sheds light on MU's academic fraud case and looming appeals process.
    Dave. I have been watching quite a few of the Mizzou bball games and I would like your input. First, it is pretty obvious Mark Smith is still hurt and trying to play on a bad ankle. How bad is his injury and could it possibly make the injury worse by playing. Why don't they shut him down? ESPN announcers said that the only way it would heal would be rest. I watched his last good game on SEC against Arkansas and by far that was the best game that he had played. . Coming into his own but unfortunately he got hurt. Second, how many scholarships are for next year and is there a big coming or being looked at to help Tilman?
    If Smith were in danger of making the injury worse I don't think you'd see him on the floor. Martin praised him Tuesday for playing through the soreness. Martin said he wouldn't have had any problem if Smith said he couldn't play the rest of the year, but he clearly wants to.
    Mizzou will have another scholarship available if/when Jontay Porter enters the NBA draft. MU also will have another scholarship to offer if Ronnie Suggs goes back to walk-on status. MU signed two players in the fall, guard Mario McKinney and forward Tray Jackson, who should be available to help immediately. 
    If you take Porter off the roster here's what next year's scholarship count looks like:
    Seniors: Suggs, Nikko
    Juniors: Tilmon, Mark Smith, Mitchell Smith, Dru Smith, Santos
    Sophomores: Pinson, Pickett, Watson
    Freshmen: McKinney, Jackson
    Without Porter, you've got one more spot. Without Porter and Suggs back to walk-on, you've got two. 
    How many of Kentucky’s starting five will be drafted in the NBA first round this year? Just wondering since a couple of years ago their entire starting five was drafted.
    At least a couple. NBA Draft Net has Keldon Johnson and Ashton Hagans as first-round picks and PJ Washington as a second-rounder. Washington is the best college player right now, but he's a bit undersized to play power forward in the NBA. I would think Reid Travis will have a shot, perhaps. 
    The same mock draft, by the way, has Jontay Porter to Houston with the No. 21 pick.
    I'm in the mood for some chat polls ...
    Would the need to develop an edge rush be the best argument for HCBO to institute at least some of his 3-4 system? It seems as if we have a fair number of quality interior D-linemen and some promising linebackers who might be able to provide that rush. Edge rushers seem to rely much more on speed than power.
    Does this team have a 300-plus nose tackle who can handle two gaps? I don't know about that. Do they have those 270-pound defensive ends who can set the edge and allow for pass-rushing OLBs attack the pocket? I'm not sure about that either. And who are these dynamic outside linebackers who can fill that pass-rush role? MU has been recruiting players to fit a 4-3 or 4-2-5 defense. That's Odom's base. Maybe you develop some of those lanky D-ends to become stand-up rushers, but again, I don't see the other pieces fitting a classic 3-4 system.
    I thought CM put his best 5 on the floor during the second half of KY game (Tilmon, Giest, Suggs, Pickett and Ma Smith). To my knowledge, this is the frist time all year to see this lineup. They scratched back from being down 20 to making it respectable against #4. Don’t understand why we haven’t seen this group before. What has CM been waiting for? Afraid to hurt Puryear’s feelings?
    Martin went to a four-guard look in both games against Arkansas, too, mostly because Arkansas went small and he felt he had to counter. He's reluctant to go that direction because the four/power forward plays such an integral part in the offense, not necessarily as a scorer but as a passer and decision-maker. Remember, that's the position Jontay played. They didn't completely deconstruct the offense a week before the season began once he got hurt. Also, when the other team has multiple bigs on the floor, Martin wants another big body on the floor for defense. But, as noted earlier, he reached a breaking point Tuesday and went small, defended Washington with two guards and the tactic seemed to pay off. More important, he admitted after the game he's more willing to go that direction in the future. This was a pretty candid comment from Martin: "We will. Good or bad I try to go with guys giving us the best chance possible. Sometimes when you’re an older guy you’ve been in the program, given every opportunity, but at some point you got to do what’s best for the program." His voice trailed off a bit at the end and it seemed like this was something hard to admit but it was true.
    Based on Martin's post-game comments about upperclassman and doing what is best for the team, do you think Puryear will not start in the next game and possibly not play many minutes? He does seem to make a lot of mistakes on the floor, but this seems like a sad way for him to end his career at Mizzou.
    Good timing for your question. I'm not sure what we'll see Saturday at Florida. Short answer is it probably depends on what happens in practice leading up to that game.
    When Mark Smith had to be replaced in the first half vs Kentucky, one of the announcers speculated that Mark was having issues with his fifth metatarsal on one of his feet, an issue that he has been dealing with for awhile. I hadn’t heard anything about that. His problem has been reported as a sprained ankle. Does he have some type of long term issue on one of his feet?
  • Martin does not elaborate on injuries. (As we learned last year on the MPJ saga.) I've heard that the injury moved from his ankle to his foot but it's not to the point where he can't play on it. Mark hasn't been available for interviews since he first had the injury almost a month ago. As soon as I know more that I can report you'll read about it.
    What’s the outlook for next year’s men’s Missouri basketball team. Will we be better than this year in regards to roster. Better record ?
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