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..




    Hey, there, chatters. Thanks for joining the conversation today. I know it's a joyous time for sports fans in St. Louis, but the central part of Missouri got hit hard by last night's weather, especially the tornado that ripped through Jeff City, just 30 minutes from where I live in Columbia. My thoughts today are with our capital city and all the folks affected.
    Just some wind and rain here in Columbia last night, but when you've got three kids - 9, 9 and 2 - those tornado sirens can be scary, so the Matter clan spent some time in the basement last night after getting home from a baseball game. Big thanks to the TV weather folks who kept the community updated on the storm's path all through the night and early morning. Those men and women don't get enough credit for the lives they help save. 
    OK, now let's chat. 
    Your colleague BenFred says Mizzou could start 8-0 in football this year, What are you guys smoking down there at the P-D (and where can I get some)?
    You don't need to smoke anything to read a schedule. 
    at Wyoming
    vs. West Virginia
    vs. SEMO
    vs. South Carolina
    vs. Troy
    vs. Ole Miss
    at Vandy
    at Kentucky
    Where's the scary game there? Mizzou will be favored in seven of the eight. Of course, we have to point out Odom is 0-6 against South Carolina and Kentucky, but those games have been competitive, literally down to the final seconds in both games last year. Mizzou will be widely picked ahead of both of them in the preseason SEC standings. That's not to say it's a given that Mizzou beats West Virginia either, but new coach, new quarterback for the Mountaineers. And it's a road game for WVU. With the talent and experience that Mizzou returns this fall, it wouldn't shock me in the least if the Tigers are 7-1 or 8-0. 
    What went haywire with Mizzou's baseball team at the end of the year/ And, am I correct in assuming that's the end of the year -- that they blew a bid to the NCAA tournament?
    Don't give up yet. I think it's essentially a toss-up if they get an NCAA bid. The RPI has dipped to 30. Florida is right ahead of the Tigers at 28. If you want to see Mizzou in a regional, root against these other bubble teams this week: Arizona State, Cal, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska.
    How good is the SEC compared to the Big Ten? In the RPI, there are 11 teams in the top 30. The highest-ranked Big Ten team is Illinois at 25 then Indiana at 32. Indiana is the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tourney - and ranked below 11 SEC teams. 
    As for what went wrong for the Tigers, it came down to the offense. Taylor Stadium is a pitcher's park, but the Tigers took that to a new extreme in the Florida series. This lineup's strength is drawing walks and stealing bases. Well, they walked only eight times in the three-game series and struck out 26. It's hard to generate offense on the bases when you're not getting on base. When the Tigers did connect with the ball, they had only five extra-base hits in three games. Against Ole Miss, it was more of the same. Too many strikeouts (10) and no timely hits after the second inning. A couple pitching injuries limited the staff's depth, but the pitching has been good enough the last four games. This is all about execution at the plate.  
    Mizzou softball trending up? Were the Tigers better off under Earleywine, or with the new coach Anderson?
    I don't think it's fair to compare the two yet seeing that Anderson has coached just one season and EE led the program for more than a decade. Plus, she inherited a messy situation. The team's best players transferred on the heels of a rough season led by an interim coach. That said, this team showed a lot of resiliency this year and was far more competitive than I expected. I'll do some Mizzou sports superlatives in the coming weeks, but you can bet Anderson is a strong contender for the school's coach of the year across all sports. Now, the question will be can she recruit? Can she attract the kind of players that are talented enough to turn Mizzou into a perennial power in the SEC? And if you're a power in the SEC that means you're a power on the national stage. It all starts with pitching. Find and develop an ace and you've got a chance to be an elite program. It's no coincidence that MU's WCWS trips under Earleywine came when Chelsea Thomas was in the circle.
    If Shawn Robinson is granted his waiver (big if I know), do you think he will be named the backup for Bryant?
  • Unless Bryant suffers a serious injury - or plainly can't get the job done - I don't see there being any upside in playing Robinson more than four games and using the year of eligibility. If his waiver is approved, then it makes sense to prepare him to play this year in a limited role in four or fewer games to give him some game-day experience in this offense and keep him from getting rusty. But I wouldn't think it would be wise on his part or MU's to play him any more than that, again, unless there's a serious need either because of injury or performance.
    Hello thanks for the chat!! I know its early but do you have an inkling yet on mens hoops chances of success this coming up season? Would you go out on a limb and predict record and SEC finish? Thanks!!
    Need to know the schedule before predicting a record, but if things go right for this team and the returning players become better players AND Tilmon develops his game, there's no reason this team can't win 20 games and get back into the NCAA Tournament. Here's what this team has, essentially: In the backcourt, you replace Jordan Geist with Dru Smith and Mario McKinney. At forward you replace Kevin Puryear and KJ Santos with Tray Jackson, Kobe Brown and Parker Braun. Geist was a borderline line All-SEC player at times last year. Puryear had a rough senior year but was productive for multiple seasons. But there's more upside to the additions, especially Smith who's a proven college player. 
    Here's the big IF with this team. IF the returning core makes major strides in their individual games, then you've really got something to work with. If Pinson can be the playmaker he was down the stretch ... if Watson can be the multi-layered scorer he was late in the year ... if Pickett can get back to being that two-way threat he was early in the season ... and IF Tilmon can stay on the floor and be a consistent presence inside ... then this team has the makings of an SEC contender. But, as we all know, all of those things don't happen by just wishing. This is a critical offseason and, obviously, a critical season for Martin. The program has to show clear signs of progress. And, based on the glimpses we've seen, I definitely think that's possible 
    Hi Dave. Glad to hear the family is doing good. Every day is a blessing. What are your impressions of the new Renovation addition in the South Endzone. It would appear to already be paying dividends with the new recruit from Mehlville High here in st.louis.
  • I got a tour of the construction site last Friday. Here are some takeaways:
    1. The building is massive. Mammoth, as a certain former coach used to say. Halfway through the tour we were in a huge room that I assumed we had already been through once before, but no, it was another huge room. Projects can look bigger when ceiling panels and walls aren't all the way installed, but I don't think anyone will see the finished product and say, "Meh, it's not big enough."
    2. Odom has the best office view of anyone in Columbia. He's got a balcony that essentially runs the width of the end zone just outside his office, and his door opens up to a field view directly behind the south goal post. (He also has a fireplace in his office, which might be a first in the SEC.)
    3. If you're into weight rooms and locker rooms and hydrotheraphy - parts of the facility that you'll probably only see if you're a player or a recruit - then you'll come away impressed. 
     
    dave I'm going to say what a lot of us think , the 2 porter brothers we got one season out of the 2 , they were clearly a distraction to the team glad they moved on get some 3 and 4 year players to build around got tired of the circus they brought with little or minimal returns
    We've gotten a version of this statement/question every week for about the last six months. I'll go back to what I've said many times. The Porters were good for business. Mizzou doesn't sell out of season tickets in 2017-18 without their arrival. They've been good for media coverage, too. Any online headline with the word PORTER gets more traffic than just about anything else I've written over the last two years. They got hurt. It wasn't their fault. It wasn't their wish. It wasn't how they wanted or planned to spend their year(s) in college. Jontay was not a distraction to the team in either of his years at Mizzou. He was a huge asset his freshman year and well liked by his teammates and coaches. Once he got hurt last fall, he really wasn't around the team, and not at all after January. So, he was the opposite of a distraction. The players weren't asked about him. Martin answered maybe four questions about Jontay between November and March. There was no circus around him. Uncertainty at times, but that's a small price to pay for bringing in a five-star player with NBA talent. And, as I wrote here last week, let's not forget: He had a damn good freshman year - good enough to leave immediately for the NBA.
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    hello dave, what freshman or new comers besides k. Bryant can make an impact this coming year
    You start with the newcomers who took part in spring practices because they got 15 practices under their belt and got to experience a whole semester of college life. 
    Chris Daniels, the junior college D-tackle, should be able to add some depth inside. Darius Robinson, a HS D-lineman, already looks the part of a bigger D-end, but if his long-term position is D-tackle he might be more of a third-down guy until he adds more bulk. I'm not sure they'll need WR CJ Boone to play more than the four games he's allowed without using the year of eligibility, unless he has such an outstanding summer that he forces his way into the rotation. One guy who wasn't here in the spring that the coaches loved on signing day was Stacey Brown, who will probably play the OLB/nickel/strong safety position. Right now they've got Perkins and Oliver playing there. They're both seniors, so they'll need to develop a younger player there. At tailback, Anthony Watkins might have to play out of necessity just because there's not much established depth there. 
    dave what you and family went thru puts sports into perspective, glad you folks are ok. I'm looking for big things from our football team if the special teams get straight they were pretty bad last year. I'm hoping because I went to the liberty bowl game and its a dump in a pretty bad part of Memphis , id like to see a big bowl that I can travel too as I'm retired
  • To be clear, we literally just sat on the couch in the basement and watched the news, so lots of people around the state had a much rougher night than the Matters. But, yes, perspective in these times is always important. 
    Yes, the Liberty Bowl location isn't exactly the top tourist area of Memphis, but the town itself isn't a bad place to visit for a couple days if you spend your time downtown and visit some of the attractions. 
    But there's no shortage of good towns to visit in the SEC bowl circuit: Nashville, Charlotte, Tampa, Jacksonville, Atlanta. I'm not a big Houston fan. 
    Then again, Mizzou will need that bowl ban overturned or we're just blowing hot air. 
  • A 4-star recruit is going to choose Mizzou or another Power 5 school, and it's time for the final coaching visits. Who would you rather send in for the win: Pinkel or Odom?
  • I've never been in the room when they make their sales pitch, so it's probably not fair for me to answer. Gary could clearly close the deal. He landed a lot of high-profile recruits over 15 years at Mizzou. I'm sure recruits were drawn to his intensity and if they got to see his lighthearted side that would make an impression, too. Barry, now more than ever, is more comfortable in his skin. He can adjust his demeanor for different settings. He can let loose and be a dude if that's what the situation demands. He can turn up the intensity and make an impassioned speech, too. I'm sure he's good with parents, just like Gary, because he feels strongly about the program he's selling.
  • If Robinson's waiver is granted, I don't know why Scott (especially) or even Powell would stick around.
    Like I've said a million times, quarterbacks do one of two things in college football: They start or they transfer. Rarely do you see multiple quarterbacks on a team go through the senior day ceremony. So, I'm rarely, if ever, surprised when a quarterback decides to transfer. Those two guys you mentioned, Powell and Scott, will want to prove they can be the quarterback in 2020 and beyond, but if there's ever a strong signal that Robinson and/or Connor Bazelak ... or even Brady Cook ... become the clear choice, then you can't be stunned if they decide to play elsewhere.
    Who are your early picks for MU FB captains next season?
  • If they decide to go with two players on each side of the ball, I'd lean toward Johnathon Johnson and Kelly Bryant on offense and Cale Garrett and DeMarkus Acy on defense. Others who might have a shot: Larry Rountree, any of the three returning O-linemen, Ronnell Perkins.
    Just as Sophie raised the visibility of WBB, and Cox and his predecessors did the same for wrestling, and softball had that great pitcher a few years ago, does baseball have anybody of that stature on its current roster or recruiting class?
    This team is not lacking in prime talent. Trouble is, the two stars are just about done playing at Mizzou. Kameron Misner is going to be a first-round draft pick in a couple weeks. If so, he'll be MU's first position player taken in the first round since 1971. That's hard to believe. TJ Sikkema might have pushed himself into the second round the way he's pitched lately. That was the buzz around the stadium last Friday when he went the distance against Florida in front of a bunch of scouts. 
    There's some good young talent on this team, but not a superstar of the caliber of Cunningham or Cox. 
    GoT final season: disappointing or utter nonsense? It feels like they only got it right with Arya and Sansa.
  • SPOILER ALERT! (Though if you're a GOT fan you've watched the finale by now.)
     
    I was satisfied with where most of the characters ended up, but getting them there was messy. I predicted Jon would head north and reunite with Tormund and Ghost and I loved the scenes of his return to the Wall and then beyond the Wall. BUT ... it made no sense that he was sentenced north against his will. It would seemed more true to his character if he chose to give up his claim to the throne and headed north to where he belongs. Why did Grey Worm get to decide Jon's fate? And Grey Worm was on his way out of town. What happened if Jon just would have waited a couple hours and decided, never mind, I'm staying. Who's going to stop me? 
    I thought they should have explained more of what happened between Drogon's takeoff and the special council meeting a few weeks later. Did Jon turn himself in? Why didn't Grey Worm kill him on site? 
    I'm on board with Sansa being queen of an independent north. She was never going to leave Winterfell. She's the show's biggest winner.
    I'm good with Arya heading West. 
    Bran as king? I would have bought it a few seasons ago, but they abandoned his story and didn't create enough buildup to make that ending seem believable. I'm good with Tyrion's reasoning for endorsing Bran, but he also knows the kid is a weirdo who's not going to be connected with the day to day business of running the realm, thus putting Tyrion in charge as the true leader of the Seven Kingdoms. So, in that light, I can buy it. I loved the cabinet meeting scene. Around the table you had some of the show's truly good people who had the best intentions all along: Devos, Sam, Brienne .... and then Bronn, who's just good to have around because he's such a charmer. 
    So, I'll give it a B ... but we're grading on a major curve because no show in the history of TV has attempted what that show pulled off for a decade. It's hard to stick the landing when you've got so many characters and plot points to weave together. So, I didn't come away angry or disappointed like a lot of people on social media. 
     
  • Good to see the Tigers pick up another 2020 football recruit commitment yesterday, 4th one I believe and is another from STL. Thoughts on where 2020 recruiting stands? #'s lower than you'd hope now or right where need to be? When would most of the 2020 verbal commits happen - this summer and fall? Thoughts on which position groups will need more emphasis in the 2020 class?
    Missouri always seems to enter the summer with a low number of commitments compared to the rest of the SEC. (Only Vandy has fewer at this point.) But the rush of pledges usually comes in June and July once Mizzou gets more players on campus during camp season. Mizzou's 2020 class will probably look a lot like the 2019 class. A handful of kids from within the state and the STL area. A handful of intriguing but overlooked out-of-state recruits. And by December it'll rank somewhere in the 30s and hinge on the staff's ability to identify and develop talent better than some teams that recruit higher-ranked players. 
    Mizzou needs to keep adding D-linemen. It wouldn't hurt to add some running backs. Like, more than one.
    Predictions in who leads the football team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs this season? Think Albert O will see even more coverages tilted toward hm this season, or be similar to where he was healthy last year?
    When you spread the field with four receivers like Missouri did last year and will this year Albert's going to find ways to get open. You can't cover him 1 on 1. If you double him there will be other options on his side of the field or in the other slot. But he's got the size and talent to still lead MU in catches and touchdowns regardless how defenses play him. Johnson will catch a lot of balls. I don't think you'll see as many deep balls per game with Bryant, so that gives those inside targets like Johnson and Albert more chances to make plays underneath the coverage. Nance looked like the No. 1 option on the outside and has a chance to catch a lot of balls. Knox is probably the guy who can take the top off a defense on any given notice - Kam Scott, too, but Knox will play more - so he's got a chance to have a lot of yards, just maybe not as many catches as those inside options.
    Was great to witness Chievous and Brown's #'s being retired this past season. Any other players that might get that honor in next few years? Any women's players besides Sophie with a shot at it?
    Mizzou doesn't want to go hog wild with retired numbers. Nobody in football has a shot other than Chase Daniel. And that's for the best. MU doesn't need any more retired numbers in football. They retired too many in past generations. There's not a player in WBB other than Cunningham who comes close to meeting the new criteria, and she won't see her No. 3 go up for at least 10 years.
    OK, friends. That's all for today. Have a great weekend. We'll see you next week.
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