Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your questions and comments about Mizzou sports, and talk to Post-Dispatch beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Thursday.




  • Hey, folks. Hopefully, you've recovered from the Braggin' Rights Game. I'm playing hurt today. Nasty cold and cough, but I'll battle through for the next couple hours. Let's get to your questions.
  • What would be the best options if Mizzou were to fire KA? Would they pony up for a big name to bring Mizzou back to the Mizzou of the Norm era?
  • Disclaimer: I'm more than willing to admit this regime is heading down the wrong path and at this rate, I'd be surprised if Anderson gets a fourth year at Missouri. But it serves me no interest to start speculating on replacements in a public forum. I'll gladly entertain questions about specific coaches you have in mind, but understand where I'm coming from on this one, too.
  • Hi Dave, is Coach Anderson finally on the hot seat? I liked the hire at the time, but they haven't made any progress. Especially with their poor performances against teams like Eastern Illinois and North Carolina Central.
  • He was on the hot seat when the season began under a new AD. The scrutiny and pressure seems to be at all-time high.
  • 1. Barring a miracle turnaround from the basketball team, this will be the second consecutive academic calendar that Mizzou has not played in a bowl game or the NCAA tournament. Do you know the last time that happened prior to last academic calendar year?
    2. How on Earth has it taken Kim Anderson this long to figure out that maybe he shouldn’t be trotting out the same starting lineup every game that recently lost to North Carolina Central and Eastern Illinois? (Referring to his comments after the Illinois game that he talked about changing things up in the future).
  • The last time they missed the NCAA Tournament and a bowl game in two consecutive school years came in the 1970s. Anderson had deferred to his "veteran" players all year when it comes to the starting lineup but he seemed to come to the realization last night that it's time to shake up the lineup. Although, I assume it's going to be Frankie Hughes who doesn't start when the season resumes. He took some awful off-balanced shots early in the shot clock last night. VanLeer couldn't shoot straight either but he at least took good shots in the framework of the set.
  • It doesn't look like Mizzou basketball will get any better, do you believe the new athletic director will give Anderson a 4th year. I just don't see ANY improvement this year
  • I don't envision Missouri winning enough games in SEC play to convince Sterk to bring him back. That's not based on anything I've been told from the AD, but it's becoming obvious that progress has stalled.
  • Since MU hasn't won a bragging rights game in 4years and trails badly to the Illini in the overall series, should MU be like the Illini and cancel the BB series just as Illinois cancelled the FB annual game in St. Louis?
  • Hell no. This series has historically been streaky. That's part of what makes the games mean so much to the players, because one side or the other usually enters the game looking to end a long losing streak.
  • Both teams should have gotten a L last night that game was horrible. Amazing how smarmy Coach K had to eat his words last night and suspend the punk Allen today -it was great to see- especially after he criticized another teams player for showboating when they beat Duke last year.
  • K did the right thing suspending Allen. I suspect the ACC might have helped sway his decision. The kid has problems. I'm all for guys being scrappy and getting under their opponents' skin, but he's not right mentally. I hope he gets his head on straight because he's a great player.
  • Hey Dave! Thanks for the chats. I appreciate them even when I have to read them later. Let's talk Mizzou Football Defense (instead of "Lets Fire Anderson"). Do you see the new line coach getting things straightened out this spring and bringing back the D-line U moniker? Also, do you think the secondary actually make some improvements as well? I'm anxious to see Mizzou be seriously relevant again.
  • The D-line will be a work in progress until all the knee ligaments heal. As I wrote yesterday, Odom expects some D-ends to play D-tackle during spring ball out of necessity just because they're so thin at tackle. I like the way Frazier played down the stretch last year. Tre Williams has a lot of potential as an edge rusher. If he can stay healthy, Terry Beckner has a chance to become a great player. Odom absolutely loves TBJ. Yesterday he called him the team's best leader. Really high praise. But they're going to need some of the junior college additions to adapt quickly and work into the depth. As for the secondary, they'll be young at corner, but there's no shortage of candidates at safety. I like Hilton and Perkins as safeties. I think they showed the most this year from the four guys that played in the rotation and have the most upside.
  • Your best guess: SEZ is demolished before or after the 2017 season?
  • Hard to say because as of last week they hadn't hired architects, and whoever they hire will have a big say in those plans. If they really want to be aggressive they could start the process this spring and summer and play the season with the south end under construction. The team might have to use a makeshift locker room on game day this season and next, but that's not that big of a deal.
  • Is the reason Jordan Barnett only getting 15 minutes of playing time that he is not yet in game shape and is controbuting little offensively? It seems to me that even if that is true, MIz could use a a 6'8" guy like him down low to stop the height advantage of the other teams and grab defensive and offensive rebounds. This has been lacking the last couple of seasons.
  • He played 24 minutes in his first game and 15 last night. He looks a little uncomfortable out there offensively. His impulse is to shoot from 3, but he's an athlete and a slasher and the staff wants him to pass on contested pull-up 3s and attack the rim. I think he'll play more as the season goes on. He did an OK job on Malcolm Hill a few times last night but got beat a few other times. They need his athleticism and rebounding.
  • Has a coach ever done more damage to a program that The True Son?
  • The team is losing the fan base is apathetic, but whoever replaces Anderson, whether that's in March or a year from now or two years from now, I don't think they'll have to clean up to the same degree that Mike Anderson did post-Snyder and Anderson did post-Haith. They'll need players. But Haith left a program that was under NCAA investigation and a roster with a bunch of transfers who didn't really want to be here.
  • As much as it pains me to say it, HCKA is a "dead coach walking", isn't he? You mentioned some reasons to not put him out of his misery, but other than the fact that his assistants can't coach either, what else outweighs stopping the bleeding and the further erosion of the "brand" or program?
  • I just don't see the upside of firing him now or before the season is over. Attendance won't go up. I don't think this team will start playing harder or shooting better under Fulford or Shields. If Sterk decides to make a change, he can make a change after the SEC Tournament and will have no shortage of candidates.
  • Thanks for the chat! I hope you feel better quickly. What is the next step in the new football facility project?
  • They need Curator approval in February and then it's a matter of wrapping up the funding, getting architect plans settled and moving forward with the initial stages of deconstruction of the south bowl. They have some utility work to do before anything else gets started, and that can begin in the spring. Sterk doesn't drag his feet. I think this will move at a swift pace.
  • when a coach plays players who shoot 1 for 11 and bang three straight shots off the backboard, while sitting a player (talented or not) who just scored some points and brought some energy to an otherwise somewhat listless offenses, that's either bad coaching or it's bad recruiting if those players getting minutes really are better than the ones sitting, right? I don't see another explanation.
  • I was baffled by the decision to keep Geist on the bench. He brought energy, toughness and shooting. He should have been on the floor until he needed a breather. Anderson admitted as much after the game, but by then it was too late. To some degree that should also fall on the staff. Someone should get in Anderson's ear and say, 'Uh, coach, Geist is the reason we're back in this game. He's doing us no good on the bench.' Hughes and VanLeer established themselves as the team's "shooters" when the season began, and Anderson seems reluctant to detract from his original script, even when the results aren't happening. He seems to think those guys are one good look away from figuring out their shot and getting hot. Obviously it didn't happen. I'm sure they shoot better in practice, but bad teams look better in practice because they're practicing against the other half of a bad team.
  • Dave, thanks for the chats and Happy Holidays to you and your family. How do you perceive the strengths of the conferences? Do you still see SEC as best overall or does the Big 10 have a claim on that now? My order is Big 10 (sorry), SEC, PAC 10, ACC and Big 12. I think next year the PAC 10 will be really strong with USC on the upswing. Thank you
  • I thought the Big Ten had a better season mainly because it's stronger at the top. I'll take the mix of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin over Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU. Alabama's the best team overall, but I think those other top Big Ten teams have fewer flaws - and better coaches than the top SEC teams. The middle tier might be better in the Big Ten, too. Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska. I just wasn't very impressed with the SEC this year outside of Bama. Some teams had great units and great individual players: LSU's defense, Ole Miss' offense, Vandy's defense, Mizzou's offense. But you didn't see many complete teams in the league. (I probably just had my SEC credentials revoked for next year.)
  • As far as ranking the leagues, I'd go with Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12.
  • How long before the race question pops up re: CVL's playing time. It cannot be justified at this point.
  • Well, you just brought it up but I won't. I don't understand why he plays so many heavy minutes. He looked tired last night late and his jump shot looked like his legs were shot. Anderson trusts him to make fewer mistakes than other guys, but they're just not getting much production from the wings, CVL included.
  • What's your take on players skipping bowl games? I can't see any reason why an NFL bound player would play.
  • I understand their reasoning, but I'm concerned what it's going to do for college football. I like bowl games. I don't mind there being so many of them. I like to see great players play in those games. At what point do players from teams that are 8-3 decide to pull out of the final game of the regular season because they're out of contention for their conference. What if a junior standout running back for Auburn decides he won't play against Bama in the Iron Bowl because he doesn't want to hurt his draft stock. If anything, I think players should have to make these decisions before the bowls make their picks. I feel bad for the good folks at the Sun Bowl who put on a great game. They chose Stanford thinking they'll be getting one of the game's most exciting players to market their game around, and then he pulls out of the game. Again, I understand where the players are coming from, but where do we draw the line on this?
  • I watched the game on TV instead of paying exhorbitant prices that I saw tickets being offered on line. Was the Illini crowd bigger than the Mizzou crowd or did a lot of Mizzou fans skip this game to watch the MU-SLU game a couple of miles away?
  • I agreed with Hochman's estimate that it was about 65 percent Illini fans in the house. Mizzou bought 2,850 of its allotted 8,000 tickets. There were barren sections behind the basket in the Mizzou section. They absolutely need to lower the prices for this game. The schools don't set the prices. To sit in the arena's highest row in the mezzanine level costs you $47. You think a family of four wants to pay $200 for tickets for the worst seats to see two unranked teams?
  • Does Mizzou eat the money on the ticket allotment they didn't sell for the BR game?
  • I'm not sure how that works in this case. They might just give back the unsold tickets and don't have to pay for them.
  • There is a lot of blame to go around on the MU basketball front. One factor was the lack of underclassmen on the team Mike Anderson left when he went to Arkansas. How did his team get to be so lacking in freshman and sophomores?
  • Too much time has passed to keep blaming Mike Anderson for the roster situation. Haith chose to go the transfer route, and he also struggled recruiting impact high school players. That set the program back considerably. Kim Anderson inherited some malcontents and let his associate head coach bring in some more. But now he's got the roster he put together on his own, and while young they're just not getting much better.
  • Will Jordan Geist take playin time away from Collen VanLeer and or Frankie Hughes, both of whom have been very underwhelming the last month or so. Maybe Geist's hustle can burn a badly neede fire under players who are not producing.
  • Anderson didn't specify how he's going to change the rotation, but I think Missouri might want to consider starting Geist at point guard and Phillips off the ball. Phillips is the team's best 3-point shooter and it's not even close statistically. When it's time to sub, you can flip those two at the point, but I think Geist should be seeing the floor more.
  • Our men's BB talent level just isn't very good, is it? Puryear would be a great complementary player, and Barnett may or may not be an SEC starter/6th man, but the rest are strictly benchwarmers, at best, on most other Power 5 contenders, aren't they?
  • First off, minor thing here and nothing personal, but my biggest pet peeve in college basketball is using the term power five. There are six major conferences in college hoops. The Big East is a major conference with the defending national champs (Villanova), plus top 20 teams Creighton, Butler and Xavier. The Big East is a much better hoops league than the SEC. OK, got that off my chest. 
    As for MU's talent, I think this team's best players would be complimentary pieces on good teams. If a team had a dominant post player, Puryear would be a solid No. 2 in the frontcourt. I think Phillips would be a really good sixth man on a top 20 team. I haven't seen enough from Barnett to really evaluate him. He just hasn't played a whole lot of college hoops. 
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