Welcome back for another Mizzou Chat. I'll be here for the next two hours. Let's get this started.
There doesn't appear to be any 2017 recruits who MU is clearly pursuing. Maybe there's a late transfer. But if the staff is OK with the roster then they might want to pocket that scholarship and not take someone just for the sake of taking someone. You don't want to add a player to the roster who you're not committed to playing/developing. Then you can run into a problem next year of needing to clear roster space for a player you really want.
There's not a proven, established playmaker at linebacker on this team. The closest thing is Eric Beisel, and I think he can have a solid senior year. Terez Hall is a good athlete. Kaleb Prewett, who can play the nickelback/strongside linebacker position, had a strong spring. But is this a top-half of the SEC linebacker corps? There are some obvious question marks along the front, too. Marcell Frazier had a strong final month of the season. Who else can rush the passer? What impact will the wave of juco D-linemen make? Mizzou has a bunch of experienced safeties. Are they any good? New starters at cornerback.
Phillips. He can play off the ball and improved as a 3-point shooter last year, but he was one of the SEC's assists leaders last year - while playing with the worst 3-point shooting team in Mizzou history and one of the worst in the country. He could lead the league in assists this year with the addition of Porter, Tilmon, etc. Harris will get time at the point and could be the future there, but I doubt he beats out the veteran for the job. Roberts can handle the ball some, but he's more of a shooter than point man. Don't write off Geist either. He can earn some minutes there, too.
Maybe, but he'll have to earn it. I doubt Martin is too concerned about who starts. Coaches care about rotations, not starting lineups.
Robertson could be the starting two guard. I look more at defensive assignments when thinking about starting lineups. Barnett is 6-7 and can play on the wing, but is he going defend the 2 full-time? Is he quick enough for that role? I see him more as a 3 who will guard the bigger perimeter player on the floor, a guy who can come into the game off the bench and play the 2, 3 or 4 depending on matchups and style of play.
Missing the tournament would be a disappointment for this team in 2018. If you add the No. 1 player in the country and three more 4-star players - plus a potential 5-star reclassified big man - and combine that with a veteran core, you better make the NCAA field. Martin very well could have better teams down the road, but he might not ever have a better player than Porter Jr. They need to capitalize on that.
I'd expect the full schedule later this summer. Missouri will play Iowa State, Illinois, three games in the Orlando tournament and from there it's unclear. I would think MU would make the cut for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The opponent won't be Iowa State and probably not West Virginia (WVU is in the Orlando tourney). I imagine KU will make a pitch to avoid a matchup with Missouri. That leaves K-State, the Oklahoma schools (MU played OU in the 2014-15 SEC/Big 12 Challenge) and the Texas schools. Other than KU, the obvious choice, I'd like to see Oklahoma or Texas be the opponent. Or maybe a Mizzou-Mack Rhoades reunion.
Has that been reported somewhere that there was resentment between the veterans and Brown/Rabb? First I've heard of that. Not saying it's untrue, but I'm not sure one transfer proves there was resentment. Either way, I don't anticipate Phillips or Puryear leaving Mizzou. Could there be some friction with a cast of new players? Sure. But the greater good is winning games. And those two guys know too well what it's like to lose games. Both players said minutes after the season's final game that the team needed an upgrade in talent to be more competitive next season.
Not if MU believes Jontay Porter wants to start college this year. And as long as that possibility exists, MU won't have room for Pickett or anyone else.
Mizzou is 31-21, 11-16 in the SEC heading into tonight's series opener at Tennessee, the final series of the regular season. MU will make the SEC tourney (only 12 of 14 make the field) as the 11 or 12 seed depending on how this weekend unfolds. Either way, the Tigers will play in the single-elimination round on Tuesday. Win that game - would probably be against Arkansas, Texas A&M or Auburn - and they'll get into double-elimination play. Big picture, MU is a long shot to make an NCAA regional. RPI is still in the 60s. They'd have to sweep the Vols this weekend and have a long stay in Hoover to squeeze into the field. I think a 31-win season should still be considered a positive for a first-year staff that's playing with players he didn't recruit.
None of them are one-and-done prospects. Jontay Porter might have the most upside because he's 6-11 and has stretch-4 potential. Tilmon is more of a classic post player, and unless you're a dominant player at that position, you need to develop other skills to make it in the NBA in today's game. He'll have to develop his offensive game to become an NBA prospect. Harris and Roberts are good college prospects but I don't think anyone believes they'll be in the NBA quickly. Three/four-year players.
Just touched on this topic. I don't think either are one-and-done, but their NBA prospects will depend a lot on how they play as freshman.
I'm not sure ANYONE knows, including college coaches. Teams will pressure recruits, telling some they need to sign early and plead with others that they need to wait until February. Kids are going to get a lot of mixed signals. If you're a team's Plan B at a certain position, that team will urge them to wait until February to decide. For some players, a team might rescind their offer or lose interest if they don't sign in December. Bluebloods will always poach mid-tier power conference teams; mid-tier power conference teams will always poach other mid-tiers, lower-tiers and non-power conference teams. It's going to be really interesting to see how teams strategize with their offers to take advantage of the December date.
Martin knows the situation he both inherited and created. He's a relationships guy. He'll do his best to make this work. He's been around long enough to understand how locker room dynamics work. He'll need his veterans just like he'll need his newcomers. The great coaches make these chemistry experiments work.
The conversation comes up every year at the SEC meetings in Destin, which take place at the end of the month, and are quickly squashed. It's no secret Auburn has started some of this buzz in years past. Auburn could move to the East, flipping with Missouri, but would have to maintain its annual rivalry game with Alabama. The problem is Alabama would have to give up its annual rivalry game with Tennessee. And that's not happening. It would make more sense geographically for MU to play in the West. I'm not sure Barry Odom would be wild about that.
Hard to compare. Different eras. No. 3-point line back then. The 79-80 team had a dramatic roster rebuild with the addition of those guys. I think you also have to look at the 2000-01 team that added Johnson, Paulding, Bryant and Stokes to a nucleus of Gilbert, Rush and Grawer. The 93-94 team added O'Liney, Thames, Sutherland and Grimm.
Yes. Analysts who cover the draft have been saying that for a few months. He's that talented and this year's draft class isn't exactly loaded with generational talents.
Let's see the schedule first. I doubt MU will be ranked in the preseason poll. Not coming off an 8-win season. But if they beat a good Iowa State team, win some games in Orlando and knock off a Big 12 team and/or Illinois, then sure, MU could very well be ranked heading into January.