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.




    Happy Thursday, sports fans. So much going on today. Cards-Dodgers in about an hour. The golfers are on the course at Augusta National. Most important, it's Mizzou Chat Day. Spring football wraps up with the spring game on Saturday. Huge baseball series this weekend against LSU. Basketball is in offseason mode. And Sophie Cunningham is a Mercury ... or whatever you call a singular Mercury. I'll be here for the next couple hours to talk all things Mizzou.
    Thanks so much for the chat, wish it could be twice a week!! First off, YAY SOPHIE!! She’s got a ton of fans wishing her the best. Secondly, do you have any insight into the Michael Porter Jr health situation? And thirdly, I think you discussed the empty seats at football games last week. Mizzou fans are fickle. Build a winner and they will come. Same for hoops! Thanks for the chat!!
    Like he did last year at Mizzou, Porter has appeared on several videos/social media posts dunking and doing his thing on the court but the Nuggets didn't play him at all during the regular season, and I don't suspect he'll make his NBA debut in a playoff series. He'll officially be a rookie next season, presuming he's healthy enough to play.
    So happy for Sophie. Do you know what her schedule will be like for the next month or so? Will she be allowed to graduate before moving to Phoenix? I thought I heard they have a game May 25. Will she know by then if she made the roster? I wish her the best. She is a very special young lady.
    There's no guarantee she'll make the roster, but Phoenix's GM and head coach said last night their draft was built around building for the future. She'll have to earn a roster spot on a very experienced roster. The Mercury's first preseason game is May 11. I can't recall if she's set to graduate in May or August, but I'm sure the schedule will work out. As of last night she wasn't sure when she'd have to report to training camp, but I would think it would start soon.
    any input on why Gregg Marshall hasn’t/isn’t being associated with any big jobs? Until a year or so ago it was an annual tradition to talk about Marshall leaving Wichita, haven’t heard that lately.
    His name came up in the Arkansas search but not as much as we've seen in other searches in the past. A couple factors could explain why:
    1. He's got a massive buyout of reported $15 million. Some of the best jobs that came open this year weren't necessarily programs that throw around the most money for basketball coaches, say like Alabama and Arkansas. That's a major cost, on top of whatever you have to pay Marshall, at least $4 million. (He makes $3.5 at Wichita State).
    2. Maybe the bloom has come off the rose since the Shockers moved to a more challenging conference. He averaged 31 wins his last five years in the Missouri Valley Conference ... and won 25 and 22 games the last two years. That's not to say he's still not a very good coach - great, perhaps - but playing the likes of Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, etc, has dropped his program down a few pegs. 
    If that trend continues Marshall might want to make the jump to a power conference school sooner than later - or maybe he's content at Wichita, where he's got a loyal fan base and the Koch Brothers' bankroll. 
     
    I agree with your long held stance that jontay is not coming back. However if for some reason he did, could Martin move him off scholarship? Certainly a waste of a roster spot and his total disassociation with the team this year would strike me as just cause for any college athlete not named porter. Again fully expect him to leave, but are we shackled with him if he stays?
    Yes, theoretically, Martin could say, "Sorry, kid, but we can't afford to use a scholarship on a player who won't see the court this year OR next year." But I don't see this story reaching that point. And I certainly don't see Jontay sticking around if he has to pay for his tuition/room/board and stay on the team as a walk-on. 
     
     
     
  • What was the reasoning behind Crockett declaring for the draft? His performance last season was not draft worthy. I dont even see him getting drafted. Your thoughts?
    I spoke with Crockett for an upcoming story last week. He said he decided midseason that he was going to enter the draft. He said his reasoning was the 2019 draft won't be as deep for bigger running backs than 2020 and he figured his stock would be higher this year than next. Now, that's a convenient thing to say when it's clear you're not the No. 1 running back on you college team, but Crockett insisted the decision had nothing to do with playing time or Larry Rountree's emergence as the team's best back. Running backs don't have the longest shelf life in pro football. If he's not going to boost his stock for 2020, I could see where he'd want to bet on himself and take a shot at 2019.
    Any idea how many fans Mizzou expects at the spring game this Saturday? I noticed Make it Right stuff will be given away to the first 10,000 fans. Is that a lot to expect for a spring game?
    It usually depends on the weather. The Weather Channel says high of 57, partly cloudy, zero precipitation. A crowd of 10,000 might be ambitious. MU rarely draws big crowds for the spring game. It's just not a must-see event for MU fans.
    Mizzou Baseball has really picked it up lately. The pitching has been outstanding, however the hitting has been up and down. With Mizzou winning their last SEC series with Kentucky and tying the one with Texas A&M, this LSU series may be bigger than what most people think. How do you think it will go and is Sikkema still going on sunday? He has moved from friday to saturday to sunday.
    It's a huge series. Mizzou is right on the brink of a regional berth 40 percent of the way through the conference season. Winning two of three would be a big statement for this program. Losing the series to LSU wouldn't destroy the season, but a sweep would strip some luster off the last couple weeks and make for added pressure the rest of the way. In their game notes for the series, Mizzou lists Cantleberry as starting Friday, Sikkema on Saturday and TBD on Sunday. I'm not sure what that means for LaPlante.
    Do you think Mizzou will use mostly a 4 guard lineup next year? I haven't seen them reach out to any bigs lately.
    Not necessarily. Tray Jackson will have a chance to start at power forward with Tilmon at center. Mitchell Smith showed some flashes late in the year playing the four/power forward position. We'll see what happens to K.J. Santos. He was out of the rotation altogether late in the year. Mizzou should have the guards to play some four-guard rotations, but I doubt you'll see that become a full-time thing. An option, yes.
  • Laplante only threw 65 pitches this past weekend while having a strong outing. Is Beiser putting TBD to try and mess with LSU and Maneri or is there something wrong?
  • I'm not sure. Might be some gamesmanship involved.
  • If Williams commits does basketball have a shot of getting a waiver for him?
    The NCAA has been handing out waivers like candy for the last year, so there's always hope. But I can't imagine Duquesne would green light a waiver and would instead, like Evansville with Dru Smith, object to a waiver and Williams will have to sit out. I don't know the intimate details of the situation, but both Williams and Duquesne's head coach were on record a few weeks ago talking about the player's growth and looking forward to next year. I'm not sure what the grounds would be for a waiver.
    Dave, curious if Crockett knew midseason that he wasn't coming back why didn't he make it more clear to the coaching staff?
    Why would he tell them when he didn't have to? That might jeopardize his playing time if the staff knew he wasn't coming back next year.
    The football program seems much more stable than it was a few years ago, which seems to have led to better coaching, a better record, better recruiting and higher expectations. Is that your perception of it?
    Stable how? In terms of staff continuity? That hasn't exactly been a strength of this staff three years through the Odom regime. He's been through three D-line coaches, two O-line coaches, a couple linebacker coaches, two defensive coordinators and two offensive coordinators. They're working in one new assistant this year and have three assistants holding new roles this year. He's gone through three director of operations. So, there's been constant movement on the staff since Odom took over.
    But, that said, I get the sense Odom likes this staff arrangement a lot and feels secure with the guys he has in place running things. He's delegating more. He's got some veteran voices on the staff in Dooley, Gibbs, Haley, etc. Sometimes change is healthy. Sometimes continuity is vital. Right now, things are trending in the right direction with this program. 
    What expectations do the coaches have for Parker Braun? What type of skill set does he have?
    He's got the height for a 4 but came in mostly playing on the perimeter as a 3. But the staff likes the growth he showed in practice and it seems they believe he can contribute next year in some capacity. Another summer in the weight room and he could become a stretch 4. Late in the year the staff believed he was outplaying some of the regulars in the frontcourt. The big question is whether he'll get a scholarship. If not, he might want to play somewhere else.
    With the knowledge that Eric Willams is visiting - do you any insight (or thoughts) on the scholarship management plan over the next 18 months for basketball? It's reported that Martin is aggressively going after Love, Fletcher and Christopher among others. I know the numbers - suggs stays/grad transfer and we have 2 openings for those guys - and no guarantees that we get any of them.

    BUT I'd like to think we'd prioritize 4 and 5 star guys over the potential second coming of KJ Santos in Williams. So do you have thoughts/insight to that end - is there a strategy in place or does Martin (or coaches in general) figure they can manufacture a transfer from a low production player (a la L Dee Murdock). Sorry for the long question - thanks for the chats.
  • First, I wouldn't compare Williams to Santos. Williams is one of the better players and best rebounders in the Atlantic 10. Santos was hardly a proven asset at Illinois-Chicago. 
    I'm not sure there's a concrete plan in place. These situations are fluid. For one, they need to get some closure on Jontay's situation - and anyone else who might be considering leaving the team. There's a chance Tilmon could explore his stock in the NBA draft - I'd fully expect the advice to be return to school - but until you know what you have for sure you can't really know what you'll add. So in the meantime they'll continue to recruit the targets they really want and the roster spots will eventually take care of themselves. That's how this works. 
    US BAnk stadium seats 66,000 fans. I didn’t see any attendance figures in any of the final 4 box scores i saw, so i’m wondering if you know what the attendance was? I guess the final will be held in domed football stadiums for now on, but the St Louis dome is so old that i guess there is no chance a final 4 will ever come back here. Do you know if the NCCA is coming back to St Louis for first round or regionals in the near future?
    St. Louis will host the first and second rounds at Enterprise Center in 2020. 
     
    Attendane for Monday's championship game was listed as 72,062.
    I saw yesterday that the fourth player on Dawn Staley's WBB South Carolina team is transferring out of the program. I think the latest one was their leading scorer this year. Any idea what is going on there? After all the grief she has given Mizzou, it kind of feels good to see her experience some adversity. Last I checked, she has made no comment about it and no specific reasons were stated in the article I saw.
    I saw the same report and I'm not sure what's going on in Columbia East but it looks like a mass exodus. One of the four who has entered the transfer portal barely saw playing time last year, but the other three were regulars in the rotation.
    any grad transfers with mizzou hoops on their radar?
    I don't believe they've been linked to any grad transfers just yet or at least any grad transfers who are seriously considering MU.
    Do you think Kim English will ever be an assistant or head coach at Mizzou? If I remember correctly, he has been very supportive of Haith and worked with him at Tulsa, so I am wondering if any of that changed his excitement about being a Tiger. I always liked his positive attitude and ability to encourage and motivate others..
    I don't see him having a future at MU under the current regime. And he'll have to prove himself as a head coach somewhere else before he gets a head-coaching job at Mizzou or another high-major. Unlike college football in the SEC, you don't see schools hiring head coaches with zero head-coaching experience. 
    His hiring a Tennessee adds another twist to a budding Mizzou-Vols rivalry. 
  • Mr. NCAA...any chance of blowback from your favorite org with all of the Make It Right talk? Decals, hashtags, billboards...seems like Mizzou risks angering the judge and jury.
    No.
    And really, Jon, where did this Mr. NCAA come from? Where have I ever been an advocate for the NCAA? Favorite organization? What?
    Who plays in conference championship game first Basketball or Football and how soon your best guess and thanks for these chat gets me through the off seasons
    I'll go with men's basketball getting to a championship game first, just because if you're a top four seed you only have to win two games to get to the title game. You can be as low as the 10 seed and you only have to win three games to the get to the title game. Football is more of a long slog and you have to count on beating a strong program like Georgia or Florida or having those teams lose more games in league play.
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