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..




    Hello, chatters. Hopefully you've recovered from last night's Blues drama in Boston. I'll be here for the next couple hours to talk all things Mizzou.
    Been meaning to ask this for a long time, but haven't been around for actual question time. Do you have any inkling of why the Porter family decided to go out-of-town with their medical problems? Columbia Orthopedic Group has an excellent reputation. Henry Josey and Terry Beckner to name just a few seemed to end up very well with the surgery and especially with the well supervised rehab. Michael seems to be taking forever with (was it micro surgery?) and Jontay messed up with lack of supervision in Denver. But, I do wish them the best.
    I've never had the chance to talk to the family about that decision. But there's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. They have a lot of contacts in professional basketball around the country and they opted for the Dallas surgeon who has experience working with a lot of pro athletes. Missouri's medical staff didn't believe surgery was the best option initially in the fall of 2017. The family wanted to hear other options and clearly believed surgery was a better answer.
    ESPN just announced game times and TV info for a handful of college football games: Mizzou's home opener against West Virginia on Sept. 7 will kick off at 11 am on ESPN or ESPN2.
    If you haven't read yet, check out my piece in today's Post-Dispatch. I'm attempting to stretch my writing muscles this summer and tackling some bigger topics across college sports. This one is on the latest trend in college basketball hiring and how it might impact minority hiring across the sport. 
     

    Matter: Despite new trend, minority hiring in college hoops still behind the times

    stltoday.com: Some schools are turning to less experienced NBA players to lead their programs, but African-Americans still hold small portion of major conference coaches.
    That's going to be a hot weather home opener. Bring your sunscreen.
    Saw an article today about the SEC hiring Deloitte to review officiating. Is that calls from last year or going forward? What difference do you think it will make?
    Deloitte is reviewing plays from the past because the company is sharing the results with coaches and administrators at this week's SEC meetings in Destin, Fla. Here's more from the AP story: 
     

    Sankey said it would include statistical analysis from game and officiating reports; interviews with coaches, athletic directors and officials, along with former coaches and players; and potential best practices from other leagues that could be used by the SEC.

    The SEC is considering using its network and website to provide more information about officiating, from training to game day routines to rules, Sankey said.

    I think this is a great step for the league. The more transparency the better for everyone involved. If the league's head of officiating would have a 30-minute show each week during the season to go over calls from the previous week's games it would be the best show and most-watched show on the SEC Network. Holding officials publicly accountable should make them better at their job and will also educate the fans on the rules. I think we're reaching a tipping point in major sports where officiating is getting so harshly criticized on such a wide scale - thanks to the best cameras and TVs in the history of technology - that officials should have to start explaining their decisions and answering for mistakes. We interview (unpaid) 19-year-old college athletes after their major mistakes are seen around the world by millions, but the officials are absolved from that kind of scrutiny and public accountability. The SEC could be industry leaders in addressing this topic. 

    Here's a topic worth discussing during the summer slow time. Ballots for the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame will be released next week. This is Gary Pinkel's first year to be eligible. Here are the criteria for coaches: 
    They must have been a college coach for 10 years and coached at least 100 games.
    They must have won 60 percent of their games.
    If retired they must be three full years out of coaching. 
    Pinkel fits all three. He was a head coach for 25 years and won 63 percent of his games. He won nine division titles at Toledo and Mizzou and one conference title and went 7-4 in bowl games. He's the career wins leader at both schools. When he retired in 2015, he was the only active coach in the country with that distinction. 
    Now, does that make for a Hall of Famer? Also consider, a lot of coaches have been inducted who haven't won national titles: George Welsh, Frank Beamer, Barry Alvarez, Terry Donahue, John Cooper, etc. 
    I'm not sure Pinkel gets on the ballot. There's usually 5-6 on the ballot each year and one or two who get voted in. 
    Did Mizzou Baseball get snubbed in your opinion? I love Mizzou but they played horrible down the stretch when it mattered. It was theirs to lose and they lost it. Agreed?
    Missouri didn't help itself with its poor finish and a fairly weak nonconference schedule. But I don't understand how TCU gets in over Mizzou. MU had the better RPI (much better), played a stronger schedule and had more quality wins. And it's not like TCU finished the season on a tear. The Horned Frogs went 4-6 down the stretch with losses  to Lamar (RPI No. 215) and Kansas (No. 67). Also, look at the common opponents and MU had a better record. The Tigers crushed Kansas State and TCU went 1-2 vs. the Wildcats. MU went 1-1-1 against Texas A&M. The Aggies beat West Virginia. TCU had an early win over Vandy - and MU went 1-2 against the Dores. 
    How can Mizzou avoid this in the future? Well, next year the Tigers could be on a postseason ban unless the NCAA appeals committee overturns the ban. Otherwise, MU might want to look into scheduling better noncon opponents. (Most years sweeping Missouri State would be a boon to the RPI, but the Bears weren't nearly as good as usual this year.) The Tigers have to finish stronger. I know that's not some great analysis, but even though a May game shouldn't mean more than a March game, selection committees tend to favor teams that are playing better late in the season. 
    Haven't heard much on Mizzou's interest in Luke Kasubke besides he maybe has an "offer". Is the staff not very high on him or do they think he is just going to K-State? I know Love and Fletcher are higher priorities, but doubtful Mizzou get both, and always good to have a shooter on the team who looks to be a 4 year guy.
  • Cuonzo doesn't share his recruiting notes with me, but Kasubke had a pretty early offer, but no indication the staff has given up on him. I haven't heard a lot of Mizzou buzz for him compared to some other programs, but it's still relatively early in the process.
  • Any updates on football players not drafted and their current status such as Emmanuel Hall, Crockett,...?
  • Most every team if not all has already had rookie minicamps or OTAs, and I'm not aware of any of the Mizzou rookies getting cut yet. There's not a lot of in-depth coverage to read on undrafted rookies this time of year. We'll see if they can make a push in training camp. Both have a chance to make their rosters but it won't be easy, especially if they miss time with injuries. Both struggled to stay healthy at Mizzou.
  • What is the one bucket list sporting event you would like to cover professionally and the one you would like to sit back and watch without worrying about deadlines?
    Great question. 
    Bucket list item to cover would be Mizzou in a Final Four ... mostly because it would be so epic for a fan base that's been dying to make it that far in the Dance. Second choice would be a World Series Game 7. Doesn't matter the teams. 
     
    As a fan, I'd like to attend an NBA Finals Game 7 ... the Masters ... a World Cup final ... Army-Navy football. 
  • At first glance it seems like Mizzou hoops got a pretty favorable conference schedule. Any thoughts on your first look?
    I'm not sure about that. Auburn and Tennessee have been really good the last few years but they're facing major roster rebuilds. This might not be a bad year to get them on the road instead of home. Florida should be solid. Good year to play the Gators at home. Georgia has a good recruiting class coming in, but I'm not convinced Crean has an SEC contender yet. That's another home game. Kentucky and LSU have a chance to be really good: UK in the preseason top 5 and LSU in the top 15. Both are road games. South Carolina and Vandy shouldn't be tremendously difficult road games. Could be some valuable RPI points to pick up there with wins. Every year each SEC team gets home and away games against two rotating teams. This year for MU it's Alabama and Mississippi State. Both have a decent amount of talent coming back. Good to get them at home, not easy wins on the road. I'd say it's a fairly balanced schedule. Not overly hard or easy. Still a lot of unknowns in this league with so many new coaches.
    Has there been any rule changes announced for CFB for the upcoming season yet? If so, anything that you would consider impactful?
    Yes, there are a handful of new rules. 
     
    If a game reaches a fifth overtime, teams will run alternating 2-point plays instead of regaining possession from the 25-yard line. (I'm not a fan of this change. For one, is it really necessary? How many games go five overtimes? And why are we getting away from playing actual football just because it's in overtime?)
     
    Targeting calls will now be confirmed or overturned. No more will they say a targeting call on the field "stands" where the replay review is inconclusive. Under the revised rule, if any part of targeting can't be confirmed the call will be overruled. Also, now players who earn three confirmed targeting penalties in one season face a one-game suspension. I'm good with both rule changes. Ideally, under the new rule any call that's borderline targeting but can't be fully confirmed will be overruled. 
     
    Also, no more blind-side blocks. Any blind block that's ruled to be “attacking an opponent with forcible contact” will result in a 15-yard personal foul. 
     
    Lastly, no more two-man wedge formations on kickoffs.
     
    I'm not even waiting for your answer to the "did Mizzou baseball get snubbed" question. If TCU is in, then Mizzou got snubbed! It's that simple.
    I think I covered that earlier. Yes, agreed. You can't put in TCU over Mizzou.
    Quick out for Kareem last night on American Ninja Warrior, I was hoping for a course finish. Which former (or current) basketball player do you think would have the best chance of getting to the top of Mt. Midoriyama? I'd have to go with Desmond Ferguson
    It's all about agility and strength. Doesn't hurt if you can jump a little. T.J. Moe would do well. From hoops, J.T. Tiller.
    What's the latest on Jordan Geist?
  • I haven't caught up with him lately, but I know he had a workout with the Timberwolves. We'll see if maybe he can catch up with a team after the draft in a few weeks and get on an NBA Summer League team. If not, I imagine he'll look to sign to play somewhere overseas.
    I wonder what % share my feelings that Mizzou basketball was supposed to be a top 20 program under Martin. Its still early, but, not sure when the Tigers ever get to the Final 4
  • You immediately expected a top 20 team after coming off the worst three-year period in program history since the 1960s? And, please, let's not forget he's lost his best player to injury in each of his seasons at Missouri. That initial recruiting class was a tease, but the reality was, the two most important additions (Michael Porter Jr. and Kassius Robertson) were only going to be on campus for one season. The real rebuild was going to take longer. Now, if the 2019-20 team isn't more competitive in the SEC and comes well short of 20 wins - while staying injury free - then it's fair to wonder when it's going to get better under this regime. But I think there's a lot to like about next season.
  • Dave, fair points on Mizzou baseball. Not sure how TCU got in. Sounds like they need to play against better opponents in the non conference schedule if you want to get a boost because you won't get it in the SEC if you aren't winning the games.
    Mizzou's strength of schedule was 29. You'd think with 33 at-large teams, that an RPI of 31 and an SOS of 29 would get you into the field. TCU's SOS was 45. Baylor got in at 43, Cal at 46, NC State at 48.
    I just read Ben Fred's article about how Bruins fans haven't exactly been accomodating towards anyone involved with the Blues. Have you ever gone on the road for a Mizzou game and seen a particularly unwelcoming fan base?
    Nothing off the top of my head, but then again, I'm not really around the fans at a football game. Reporters are in a much bigger environment at a football game and farther removed from the fans than they are at a hockey or basketball game. College football players have a different perspective. Tennessee and South Carolina haven't been the most hospitable to the Tigers. Nothing wrong with that. That's how it's supposed to be in college football. It would be more alarming if the fans didn't care about the opponent.
    May be time for some 3 AM fire drills at whatever hotel the Bruins are staying this weekend.
    Do you know anything about the Clemson player who will be a grad transfer and roomed with Kelly Bryant at one time? Would he be a good addition for Mizzou? Any interest on either side?
  • If you're talking about Clemson running back Tavien Feaster there are reports that he's taking a close look at Virginia Tech and South Carolina. Really productive backup running back at Clemson. I'm not sure how appealing Missouri would be for 2019 considering Larry Rountree is going to get a lot of the carries.
    Just joined in to the chat late, but Mizzou's baseball team tied for 10th in the league with Florida and lost three straight to them at the end of the season. Since the most teams the SEC have had go to the tournament in one season was 10, wouldn't the committee have a hard time putting Mizzou in as the 11th team? While they have a better resume than TCU, would selecting a team from a conference with less teams play a part in the selection process? If Missouri did get in I'm sure the first four out would bring up the Tigers' finish and the fact they were technically 11th in their conference. Wish they made it, but that three game series with Florida put the Gators in and the Tigers out.
    I'm not sure how the baseball committee looks at conferences, but when it comes to the basketball tournament selection committee they say - and for the most part seem to follow - the rule that it doesn't matter what conference a candidate comes from. It's all about their results and their strength of schedule. The hoops committee doesn't care about taking an 11th team from the SEC as opposed to a sixth team from the Big 12 if the SEC team has the better credentials. They want the best teams, period. It's hard to argue that the baseball committee looked at this decision the same way considering MU has the better credentials by almost every measure.
    Just checked - the Clemson player who is transferring and roomed with Bryant is Shaq Smith.
    Backup linebacker. He reportedly has a "do not contact" tag on his status in the portal, so that indicates he knows what school he wants to attend and doesn't want others contacting him. From what I understand Mizzou doesn't have roster space to add any scholarship players at this point. Inside linebacker isn't really a spot that they need immediate help. You've got Garrett and Bolton as starters, Brooks and Miller as top backups, along with Bailey, Wilkins and then a handful of incoming freshmen.
    Who had a better season. Mark or Dru stats wise ?
    You mean this past season? Dru didn't play.
    A question was asked about fans attitude toward visitors. As for media, have there been instances of this? I know two years ago the sports reporter from Knoxville said Missouri should be traded back to the Big 12 for West Virginia and the Tigers were an embarrassment to the SEC. This is before we drubbed them twice. Also, the women's bball reporter for the State seems to encourage fan behavior when we play them there. Do some reporters feel Missouri and their reporters are second rate?
    Well, if they do they're not going to tell me that in person. Here's one thing I've heard from some reporters around the SEC: They don't like the long travel to Columbia. They're accustomed to shorter trips, and to get to a game at Mizzou you've got to fly to St. Louis then a 90-minute drive to CoMo without traffic. But they're not going to get any sympathy from me. Writers at SEC East teams have to make one long trip to Columbia every other year for football. I have a long trip EVERY road game. Personally, that's really the only thing I don't like about the conference change in how it impacts me. It's hard to get everywhere in this league, either long drives or flights, followed by long drives. It would help if the Columbia Airport would add some flights to cities in the Southeast, but they got rid of its Memphis and Orlando flights about six years ago.
  • Who has a better next season stats wise. Dru or Smith. Dang autocorrect
    OK, that makes more sense. I think their scoring will be similar, in the mid-teens. Both are capable of going for 20 any night. Dru is more of an assist guy. Mark has been a better rebounder in his career. I can see Dru getting to the foul line more often. Both are good 3-point shooters.
    Will P Braun help us a lot? Is he still super thin ?
    He's put on more weight and muscle since he got to campus last summer. He's got a chance to contribute at the four position. Let's face it, there's not much established depth there. You've got Mitchell Smith and two incoming freshmen, one who might be better suited to play on the perimeter in Kobe Brown. So, if Braun is physically able to trade some blows inside and adds a scoring touch at that position - and, more than anything - can defend his position, then I'd expect him to get minutes.
    Best fb or mbb player who would dominate at America ninja warrior?
    We're still on this? I can't say I'm an expert on the show, but if we're talking current Mizzou players I'd go with Christian Holmes or Larry Rountree from football ... and Javon Pickett from hoops.
    I've been asked the last couple weeks in the chat about Mizzou football season ticket sales. As of this week, MU tells me they've sold right around 20,000. MU is especially pleased that they're seeing a higher renewal percentage at this point compared to past years. That's a positive. I don've have last year's numbers at my fingertips, but I know at the start of the 2017 season MU had sold about 23,000 season tickets and 26,000 heading into the 2016 season. June-July are typically big months for sales, so there's relatively a lot of time for MU to increase the current number.
    Before we shut this down for the day, make sure to check out Sunday's Post-Dispatch where we'll publish my annual Mizzou year in review piece with my picks for Mizzou male and female athletes of the year, coach of the year, newcomers of the year and the top 10 Mizzou stories of 2018-19.
  • I have a potential conflict for the South Carolina football game. How important will that game be? In other words, should I try to change my schedule so I won't miss it?
  • It's always a huge game, especially this year because it's early on the schedule. There are few things more important in the fall than college football, which is easy for me to say considering I have to miss my wife's birthday every year to attend SEC football media days and sometimes my twins' birthday in November while out of town covering a game.
    OK, friends. That's all for today. We'll do this again next week.
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