Howdy, chatters. You've got me for two hours plus maybe more. Let's get this started.
Cuonzo has made it clear he's not going to use a scholarship just to use it. And at this point, what point guards are still available? He's not big into junior college recruits. The grad transfer market has gone dry. Any HS recruits who are still available at this point are available for a reason - and it's usually not a good one. For now it sure seems he's content with Jordan Geist and Xavier Pinson as the primary ball-handlers for the upcoming season.
Michael Porter Sr. talked to the guys at PowerMizzou on a podcast yesterday and made it clear he doesn't want him to be a second-round pick. Now, what if teams tell him he's a late-first, early-second round prospect? If he's a fringe late rounder, there's a big decision to make. If he comes out of the combine as a sure first-rounder, then it sounds like he absolutely stays in the draft.
Underclassmen who have not signed with an agent have until May 30 to decide if they want to return to college. Prospects like Jontay will have a better feel for their draft stock after the combine, which is happening right now in Chicago. If he doesn't like the feedback he's received, he can elect to return to Mizzou as long as he announces his decision by May 30. His dad said on the podcast yesterday he has a workout with the Hawks on May 29, so it appears he'll be weighing his options up until the deadline.
There's an outdated belief that second-round picks don't land guaranteed contracts, but that's no longer true. Being a top-10 pick in the second round isn't all that different from being a late first-rounder when it comes to contract terms. But if you're just a freshman and considering next year's draft class is not expected to be very top heavy or deep, if you get a second-round grade or an iffy late first-round grade, there's a lot of upside to staying in college for another year. That said, if my son was in the position Jontay faces, I'd want to learn as much information as possible about his stock and the contract situation. This should be a no-lose scenario for Jontay. Leave now and become a first-rounder or come back next year and improve your stock.
Quick question for Macbook users: I keep getting messages that my startup disk is full and I can't save new documents. All that's saved on my computer is some photos and word documents. Deleting files doesn't seem to clear up any space. Any advice?
I touched on Mizzou's postseason credentials in today's paper. Yes, the RPI is OK at 32, but right now MU is 10-17. The SEC is the highest-rated conference, but it's hard to get past that record. Plus, if they lose the Tennessee series, that's going to put MU at either 19 or 20 conference losses - and the RPI is going to plunge with multiple losses at home to a team in the 70s. But if you win this series, get to 12 or 13 conference wins, then you get to earn some valuable RPI points with neutral-site games against higher RPI teams in Hoover. Missouri controls its tournament prospects at this point. Win this series and win one another in Hoover and they're in better shape.
Illinois State? I like Dan Muller, but I don't think he's winning the Big Ten anytime soon.
I've enjoyed covering Cuonzo, very personable, very professional with the media. Either way, I still have stories to file and deadlines to meet, so ultimately it doesn't matter if the coach is Mister Rogers or Dr. Evil, I have a job to do.
First of all, don't put too much stock into a mock draft written before the combine and NBA workouts. How many of these are being written by reporters who truly have well sourced intel from decision-makers from every team in the NBA? So, is he going 20 in the first round or 33rd in the second round? Fairly big difference there. Impossible to know right now which is more accurate. Again, the deadline for him to decide if he's returning to college is May 30. That leaves two weeks for him to decide.
Yes, source just confirmed that Mizzou will host Xavier in mid-December this year and then will play in Cincinnati at Xavier in 2019-20. Very good series for both teams.
I'm not sure about that. Kim might have ruffled a few feathers back at Mizzou during the Kim Anderson years with some radio comments he made about the state of the program. Not that it would influence Martin's opinion of him, but maybe others around the administration. I've always had a good rapport with Kim. I think he's got a bright future in coaching. Hell, he already has a good job at a high-major school at Colorado and he was reportedly in the mix for the Missouri State HC job this spring.
Missouri will slow down the tempo somewhat this year. The structure of the offense will look similar. Lots of three-receiver, one tight end, one back shotgun formations. There will be more variety, more multiple tight end sets, but you're not going to see anything radically different based on what the Tigers showed throughout the spring. The running game should be strong based on who returns at tailback and along the O-line - and because defenses will be cautious against defending the pass game. I don't think Lock has to match last year's numbers for Mizzou to be a better team.
There were some chemistry issues that perked up last year but those were more related to Michael once he returned to the floor. Cuonzo likes Jontay. He'd happily take him back. Unlike his older brother, Jontay spent the whole season around the team. He was able to develop relationships with his teammates and coaches. If he decides he's not ready to enter the draft, Cuonzo would welcome him back to the program.
The administration works closely with Nike to make all those decisions. The head coaches have some influence, too. Nike pays its member schools millions of dollars to wear its gear, so the company has a major say in the look of the uniforms. I'm not aware of any pending changes for either team.
Purdue's 2017 peaked with the Mizzou game. That was also Mizzou's worst performance by far. The two teams were far more evenly matched if you sized up their entire body of work. It won't be an easy win for the Tigers, but if you expect to capitalize on Lock and Beckner returning and you expect to improve on seven wins and you expect to become a contender in the SEC East, then that's the kind of game you have to start winning if you're a program like Mizzou. But it certainly looks like a swing game four months out. Right now, I like the firepower MU returns and I'm cautiously optimistic that the defense will be better coached and more rested in 2018.