Hey, folks. Welcome to the holiday edition of the Mizzou chat. I can only imagine the questions that are piling up. I'll get to as many as possible over the next two hours. A quick opener on the Michael Porter Jr. situation. I've heard a lot and learned a lot over the last 48 hours. As a reporter you can't always fully publish what you're told by sources, at least not initially until you can flesh out more details. At this point, a lot of conversations are on background. I'm governed by the same standards and rules in this forum as I'd use for a story I'd publish in the paper, though we're more conversational here. Feel free to ask what you'd like. I'll attempt to answer as best I can.
I hate to bust this myth, but bowl game opponents and locations don't help in recruiting. I've never covered a Mizzou player who said he chose the school based on where they played a bowl game when he was in high school. It's not like the coaches get out and visit recruits while they're on bowl trips with their players and families. All the games are on TV, so if Mizzou plays a bowl game in Houston, recruits in Texas can watch that game on TV just as recruits in Florida or California or anywhere else in the country. A bowl win over Texas would generate more buzz than a win over Iowa State or Kansas State, but it's not exactly in Missouri's control who they would play. The league office wil decide which bowl the Tigers play, and that bowl will decide who the opponent will be.
Well, the preseason expectations were based on Michael Porter being in the lineup. Without a preseason All-American, they're not as good. Imagine that. Without Porter, they're still better than they were last year but no better than a middle of the pack team in the SEC. Tilmon, Jontay Porter, Harris and Robertson will all be solid additions to the rotation, but they still don't have a dynamic, reliable perimeter scorer - without Porter Jr.
Porter left town yesterday to visit with a specialist, as was reported. That specialist is outside of the Mizzou medical staff. Essentially he's wanting a second opinion. To my knowledge he was not diagnosed with any serious injury by the team's medical staff. There is not a clear diagnosis/injury to share with the media/public. Once he's being evaluated/treated by a doctor outside of the team, then it's entirely up to the family to share that medical information. At this point - at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday - they haven't reached that point where that information is being made available. Could that change in the next 24 or 48 hours? Yes. I know everyone wants an answer, but sometimes there's not a clear answer to share, at least not yet.
I don't have enough credible information to make that kind of prediction, nor does the team to my knowledge.
The football team will have a Thanksgiving meal here in Columbia this week and leave for Fayetteville on Thursday.
Well, they're already 38 percent of the way to last year's win total, so I'm not sure it's all doom and gloom just yet compared to the past. They need to shoot better. They need to defend better. They need more consistent outings from guys like Barnett and Robertson. They need production from the freshmen every night.
Agreed. They don't get excused for the poor start. They also don't have to apologize for the problems at Florida, Tennessee and Vandy. I think the slow start is the biggest question heading into next season. How does Odom avoid those early-season struggles? The coordinator situation was a problem this year. It set things back at the worst possible time. The staff also took a while to settle on personnel. Once they committed to certain players in certain packages the results became more steady. The slow start is definitely something Odom and staff have to analyze in the offseason so they can diagnose what went wrong.
No telling how they'll finish their class. Will some undecided in-state recruits now favor Missouri? No indication that's going to happen. There are still a lot of targeted recruits from outside the state who will be here on visits and could sign during the early period. As for the quarterback situation, Wilson has the most game experience among the current backups. Should Lock leave, it's going to be an incredibly important spring to sort out the depth.
As of right now, I would be surprised if he plays/makes the trip to Orlando, but that can change. The team leaves this evening.
It all depends on what he hears from his new specialist. If a serious injury is diagnosed and/or surgery is the solution, then he could be shut down for a while. I'm not saying I have any inside knowledge that will be the case, but if he were completely OK right now he'd be playing - or at least at the arena.
Missouri played like a top 25 team against Kansas with Porter in the lineup. He wasn't great that day, but he's a natural scorer and his presence allows others around him to play more natural roles with less pressure on them to score.
I don't attempt to interpret an 18-year-old's cryptic social media posts. He posted a picture of praying hands. He comes from a very religious family. I assume he's praying.
Robertson played off the ball more last night. Geist started at point guard. Harris played 16 minutes there. I think you'll see Harris get more and more minutes at the point. Martin demands toughness at that position. PG is not Robertson's best position because it takes away his shooting ability to some degree, but Martin trusts the veteran when it comes to handling the ball and managing the team. He'd like to be able to have that same trust in Harris.
It's been in that same CBS national window for three years now. CBS always has the Black Friday afternoon game, and for many years it was Arkansas vs. LSU. Missouri has since replaced LSU as the Hogs' day-after-Thanksgiving rival.
I was taught differently, and more important than professors from more than 20 years ago, I learn from editors and fellow sportswriters whom I respect. As reporters we have off-the-record conversations with the people we cover EVERY SINGLE DAY. If every conversation shows up in the paper, a source would never talk to a reporter outside of a formal press conference.
Drew Lock isn't the only quarterback whose receivers drop passes. But, yes, there have been a bunch the last two weeks, mostly by Hall. His overall accuracy has been much better this season.
I'm not sure Kelly is enough of a tireless recruiter to thrive at Florida. He wasn't a great recruiter at Oregon. He's an Xs and Os guy, but his system isn't nearly as unconventional in 2017 as it was a decade ago. He'd he a good hire. I'm not sure he's bringing championships to Florida.
NFL scouts don't get too bogged down with stats. They watch film. They look at the physical attributes. They want to see how he delivers a pass, how he handles pressure, how he fits balls to his targeted windows.
Expectations will be measured if they have to work in a new quarterback in 2018 or 2019. Micah Wilson has played the most. Is he the next franchise QB? The staff really likes Taylor Powell, but he hasn't played in a game yet. Maybe they'll try up the grad transfer market to see if there's anyone with some experience available.